Welcome Pythonistas to Sun!

Today we can finally announce another exciting language-related event: we've hired Frank Wierzbicki of the Jython project and Ted Leung of OSAF (and a bunch of other stuff) to help with the Python story at Sun. Hooray!

Frank Wierzbicki has been tirelessly plodding away on Jython for years, since the early days. Even when Jython was considered by many to be "dead", Frank kept the project moving forward as best he could. Now he's been a major part of Jython's revitalization...a new release last year and rapid work to get compatibility up to current-Python levels prove that.

Ted Leung has long been involved with the Open Source Applications Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation, and was one of the original developers of the Xerces Java XML parser. I don't know Ted personally, but I'm excited to be working with him, especially in light of some of this previous roles.

So what does this mean for Sun? Well, it means we're serious about improving support for Python on Sun platforms. Jython is a big part of the story, since they have many challenges similar to JRuby, but a bunch of new ones as well. So we'll be looking to share key libraries and subsystems as much as possible, and we'll start looking at Jython as another driver for future JVM and platform improvement. On the non-Java side of the world, it means we'll ramp up support for Python itself. Sun has already settled on Mercurial for source control for all our OSS projects, and the package management system being worked up for Indiana is written in Python as well. But there's more we need to do.

Please help me in congratulating Frank and Ted on their new roles at Sun. It's going to be another interesting year for polyglots :)
Written on March 3, 2008