[FRPythoneers] Re: jython hacking anyone

Kip Lehman kipster-t at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 9 10:09:34 MST 2006

Although my modest Java skills are rusting away each day, I'd be 
interested in
doing some Jython hacking.

Here are some thoughts about what is needed to propel Jython to a 2.2 beta
and final release

o  Jython status communication

   The likelihood that you, unless you are a core Jython developer,
   know what components are complete in Jython for a 2.2 release is
   quite small.  Why?  There appears to be no publicly available
   and easily digestible record of what is done, what is being worked
   on (and how far along it might be) and what remains to be done.

   A starting point might be to segment the product into a handful
   of categories (with some subcategorization) and put up a
   red/yellow/green scoreboard for each item on the Jython web-site.
   What might those categorizations be?  later...
   There is a Jython wiki page that might be an appropriate target for this.
   Having some rudimentary form of project status tracking might be
   helpful in terms of bringing in additional help.  If you don't know
   what needs to be done or fixed, you might not want to volunteer your
   time.  Knowing specific areas or items that are in need of attention
   and have a close relationship to your area of interest/expertise could
   be a catalyst for involvement and action.

      strawman categories:
          core language capabilities (new style classes, slots, 
generators, etc.)
          Java version compatibility
          GUI development/usage/examples
          Web related considerations (server side, client side?)
          applet related considerations (environment, howto, examples)

o  Classpath / invocation environment issues

    Having observed the Jython mailing for some years, a repeated topic
    of confusion is one related to setting the CLASSPATH, using jars and
    how to properly reference jars/dirs in manifests.
    Providing a primer on how to operate using the different constructs
    and some pointers on the decision making process of when and how to
    use said constructs would be a valuable addition to the Jython

o   Improving coverage and awareness of Jython environments.

        Jython 2.1 supports Java 1.2 through Java 1.5
        Jython 2.2x is slated to support Java 1.2? through Java 1.5 .
        Java 1.6 has either had an alpha release or such a release
        will occur within the next 3 months.

        Identifying features and capabilities within Java 1.5 and 1.6
        that would be candidates for exploitation from Jython or need
        documentation to introduce/explain them to Jython developers
        would be helpful and a good advertisement for Jython.

        Results of running the Jython test suite on various platforms/
        JVM versions could provide a one-stop shop for those wondering
        if Jython could work in their environment and also serve to
        display the wide range of Jython applicability.

o   Jython installation package

        Unknown what state the 2.2x version is in.  My recollection is
        that the 2.1 version was characterized as not being suitable
        for continued use.  A Jython installation package that can:

          1) be configured/scripted for large scale installations
             (aka headless)

          2) offer novice users a GUI with helpful explanations of
             installation choices and the opportunity to return and
             modify those choices
             (aka headed)

        would be a important component in polishing the Jython image.
        It could be that most of the work for the new installer is
        done and that testing activities would be the most important

o   Jython and web-services / SOAP
        Python SOAP implementations seem to offer only limited coverage
        and the documentation can be somewhat difficult to comprehend.

        Java web-services implementations seem to have a wider range
        of capabilities and larger operational acceptance.
        Leveraging some of the better Java web-services products with
        Jython might be a niche that could widen and diversify the
        Jython community.

o   Jythonc
        My impression from sporadic reading of the jython-dev mailing
        list is that jythonc isn't going to be a workable part of 2.2.
        Documenting the state of jythonc 2.1 and the problematic areas
        that prevent its completion in 2.2 would at least provide
        the community with valuable information. 

Kip Lehman

More information about the FRPythoneers mailing list