Microsoft Silverlight to back Ruby, Python in browser

Microsoft plans to enable the Python and Ruby languages to be used for client-side development of rich Internet applications that leverage the company's Silverlight browser plug-in technology. The intent is to let developers continue using these languages on the client side without having to also incorporate javascript. While use of javascript for Web development has been called AJAX (Asynchronous javascript and XML), Microsoft is referring to its planned capabilities as APAX and ARAX, with Python and Ruby replacing javascript in these new acronyms.

"The difference between AJAX, ARAX, and APAX is the language, if you will," said Brian Goldfarb, group manager for Microsoft's developer division, in an interview on Friday afternoon. Today, it is common for developers to use javascript in the browser. But with Microsoft's planned release of Silverlight 2 later this year, developers could begin using Python and Ruby on the client as well. Ruby and Python already are being used for server-side development.

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What's the catch? Is it really Python and Ruby or some bastardized MS Python and MS Ruby that causes Firefox to crash, etc?

The catch? You will now have to download and run silverlight.
Because hey! Your browser doesn't seem to understand all that nice ruby in the page...
Javascript is an international standard and there's a reason for those, take me for example, i don't want silverlight on my pc cuz it's got nothing i find is useful, so all of a sudden all those websites designed for silverlight will be websites that i can't visit anymore.
I like the idea behind it, it's nice and all, but what's happening here is another complete ****** move that causes everyone to need more clutter on their PC.

I thought this fell under the banner of .NET Dynamic Languages and the DLR?

Don't think the ARAX and APAX acronyms will really catch on.

(SOOPRcow said @ #2.1)
Should just make it a more uniform name if anything... maybe ASAX? S being scripting.

That is actually a VERY good idea.

Yes, I think you can use those languages too with Silverlight 2. Silverlight 1 only does Javascript, IIRC.

But I think the news here is that Python/Ruby hasn't been announced as being available as well, and they aren't traditionally considered .NET languages. I guess this is about IronRuby / IronPython though?

(Jugalator said @ #1.1)
Yes, I think you can use those languages too with Silverlight 2. Silverlight 1 only does Javascript, IIRC.

But I think the news here is that Python/Ruby hasn't been announced as being available as well, and they aren't traditionally considered .NET languages. I guess this is about IronRuby / IronPython though?

IronRuby/IronPython are just the compilers. The language is still Python/Ruby.

Anyways, any .NET language is supported but C#/VB.NET and others must be pre-compiled to CIL beforehand. The IronRuby/IronPython compilers are included with Silverlight. So Python/Ruby code can be in source form itself.