Sun hires two key Python developers

Move is part of an effort to expand Java's reach

Sun Microsystems is looking to bolster its stance in the Python programming realm with the hiring of two prominent developers in this space.

The company yesterday announced the hiring of Ted Leung, long-time Python developer at the Open Source Applications Foundation, and Frank Wierzbicki, lead implementer of the Jython project, which enables Python to run on the Java virtual machine, Sun said.

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"Ted will be actively participating in Python projects and will provide leadership from tooling to platforms, within Sun. Frank will be continuing his work with Jython. Both Ted and Frank will be active members of the Python community and will help Sun learn how to address the community's needs," Sun said in a prepared statement.

Sun made a similar move to accommodate the Ruby language in 2006, hiring developers Charles Nutter and Tom Enebo to pursue development of JRuby, which enables the Ruby language to run on the JVM. Recently, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz expressed Sun's intentions to make multiple languages besides Java run on the JVM. The company also has a project under way, the Da Vinci Machine, to meet this goal

Python is an object-oriented programming language for developing applications for the Web and desktop. Sun left open the possibility that Python and Jython could be supported in a future version of the NetBeans IDE.

"Stay tuned. We are excited at the interest and uptake of the Ruby and JRuby support in NetBeans IDE 6," Sun said in commenting about the possible addition of Python and Jython support to NetBeans.

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