Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jython - Python with Power of Java

Jython, formerly known as JPython, is an implementation of the Python programming language written in Java.

Java and Python, each have their advantages and disadvantages. Java is a very powerful language. Python is a very easy and very efficient language. Jython is a technology capable of merging Python and Java together to create efficient and powerful applications. Jython combines the advantages of Python and the Java virtual machine and library and serves as a handy complement to the Java platform. Jython allows programmers to use the syntax and most of the features of the Python programming language.

Jython programs can easily import and use any Java class. Except for some standard modules, Jython programs use Java classes instead of Python modules. Jython includes almost all of the modules in the standard Python programming language distribution, lacking only some of the modules implemented originally in C. For example, a user interface in Jython would be written with Swing, AWT or SWT. Jython compiles to Java bytecode either on demand or statically. Jython also includes jythonc, a compiler that converts Python source code into Java bytecode (intermediate language). This allows Python programmers to write classes which can be fully utilized by a Java program.

Jython is interesting to Java programmers for several reasons:

* Jython's version of the Python interpreter shell allows convenient experimentation and exploration of ideas and APIs without having to go through the usual Java compile/run cycle.

* Python is dynamic and generic by design, so you don't have to add these features by using complex libraries (such as those for Java reflection and introspection). This makes some sorts of development easier and is especially useful in automated testing frameworks.

* Many developers like Python's syntax and the feel of the language; they find it a much more productive way to develop and maintain Java applications.

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