Ever since reading JasonZ's post about it, I've been very interested in IronPython.  Part of it was ActiveState's largely failed (from a perf perspective at least) attempt at Python for .NET, but my interest was reinforced when I found out about Jim being the father of Jython.  I had learned about and used Jython at my last job when I used MaxQ as an internal testing framework.  Using MaxQ was fun, especially since it gave me a chance to do some things like converting MaxQ to Apache Jakarta's HttpClient away from a slightly more outdated one. Anyway, since I loved Python syntax but had the need to use existing Java libraries we had written, Jython was absolutely the perfect tool for MaxQ and many other needs that came down the pipe both at the job and in my “fun projects“ at home. 

Oh, and if all that weren't enough, Jim was co-designer/chief architect of AspectJ - regardless of where you fall on the “perceived AOP value“ gradient, it's clearly significant for many sets of problems, and his role in bringing it to the Java world is appreciated by many.

I looked around again at IronPython and some similar things recently as we had some needs for some scripting of .NET classes for some web service interaction.  The first thing considered was Perl, but we needed NTLM support and didn't have LWP::Authen::NTLM already installed, and it's non-trivial to get it for boring reasons.  I was happy to see both that IronPython had made it up to version 0.6 (posted just a couple days ago) and that Jim had presented at OSCON with some nice explanation of the CLR in the presentation.  Make sure to check out slide 11 - Performance for some nice quotes :)

In any case, on IronPython's main web page is a nice notice from Jim about him coming on board here at Microsoft!

The more time that I spent with the CLR, the more excited I became about its potential. At the same time, I was becoming more frustrated with the slow pace of progress that I was able to make working on this project in my spare time. After exploring many alternatives, I think that I've found the ideal way to continue working to realize the amazing potential of the vision of the CLR. I've decided to join the CLR team at Microsoft beginning on August 2.

Very cool!  It's incredible to have some great minds to work with.  I'm happy to hear he's joining the ranks - good job JasonZ getting him :)  I'm looking forward to Jim's upcoming work for better dynamic language support in the CLR!  As he mentions in that slide, IronPython will be hitting 1.0, and with his joining the CLR team, I have no doubts IronPython on the .NET 2.0 CLR will be quite a sight to behold - I'm very much looking forward to both it and his start on Monday. :)