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10 March 2011, 14:35

Visual Studio plug-in for Python developers

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Python Microsoft has presented a beta version of the Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) at PyCon 2011, which is currently taking place in Atlanta. The free plug-in for Microsoft's latest Visual Studio 2010 development environment enables Python developers to access the major features of the development environment – whether they use the CPython standard implementation or the IronPython .NET implementation.

Developers can also now use "High Performance Computing" clusters to scale their code. Microsoft points out that the plug-in is not a Python distribution, but rather that it works with a developer's existing Python installation and provides the integrated editing and debugging experience of Visual Studio.

The Python Tools for Visual Studio are available on Microsoft's CodePlex hosting site for open source projects. They can be downloaded from the PTVS project page and are made available under an Apache 2.0 licence. The developers plan to release a final version in the autumn. The current beta supports such components as the Message Passing Interface (MPI), a standard for exchanging messages in parallel computing on distributed systems, the IPython shell, and the NumPy and SciPy for .NET libraries. The second beta, scheduled for summer 2010, will work with Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud environment and include a MapReduce implementation.

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