pypy / pypy / doc / clr-module.rst

The clr module for PyPy.NET

PyPy.NET give you access to the surrounding .NET environment via the clr module. This module is still experimental: some features are still missing and its interface might change in next versions, but it's still useful to experiment a bit with PyPy.NET.

PyPy.NET provides an import hook that lets you to import .NET namespaces seamlessly as they were normal Python modules. Then,

PyPY.NET native classes try to behave as much as possible in the "expected" way both for the developers used to .NET and for the ones used to Python.

In particular, the following features are mapped one to one because they exist in both worlds:

  • .NET constructors are mapped to the Python __init__ method;
  • .NET instance methods are mapped to Python methods;
  • .NET static methods are mapped to Python static methods (belonging to the class);
  • .NET properties are mapped to property-like Python objects (very similar to the Python property built-in);
  • .NET indexers are mapped to Python __getitem__ and __setitem__;
  • .NET enumerators are mapped to Python iterators.

Moreover, all the usual Python features such as bound and unbound methods are available as well.

Example of usage

Here is an example of interactive session using the clr module:

>>>> from System.Collections import ArrayList
>>>> obj = ArrayList()
>>>> obj.Add(1)
0
>>>> obj.Add(2)
1
>>>> obj.Add("foo")
2
>>>> print obj[0], obj[1], obj[2]
1 2 foo
>>>> print obj.Count
3

Conversion of parameters

When calling a .NET method Python objects are converted to .NET objects. Lots of effort have been taken to make the conversion as much transparent as possible; in particular, all the primitive types such as int, float and string are converted to the corresponding .NET types (e.g., System.Int32, System.Float64 and System.String).

Python objects without a corresponding .NET types (e.g., instances of user classes) are passed as "black boxes", for example to be stored in some sort of collection.

The opposite .NET to Python conversions happens for the values returned by the methods. Again, primitive types are converted in a straightforward way; non-primitive types are wrapped in a Python object, so that they can be treated as usual.

Overload resolution

When calling an overloaded method, PyPy.NET tries to find the best overload for the given arguments; for example, consider the System.Math.Abs method:

>>>> from System import Math
>>>> Math.Abs(-42)
42
>>>> Math.Abs(-42.0)
42.0

System.Math.Abs has got overloadings both for integers and floats: in the first case we call the method System.Math.Abs(int32), while in the second one we call the method System.Math.Abs(float64).

If the system can't find a best overload for the given parameters, a TypeError exception is raised.

Generic classes

Generic classes are fully supported. To instantiate a generic class, you need to use the [] notation:

>>>> from System.Collections.Generic import List
>>>> mylist = List[int]()
>>>> mylist.Add(42)
>>>> mylist.Add(43)
>>>> mylist.Add("foo")
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<console>", line 1, in <interactive>
TypeError: No overloads for Add could match
>>>> mylist[0]
42
>>>> for item in mylist: print item
42
43

External assemblies and Windows Forms

By default, you can only import .NET namespaces that belongs to already loaded assemblies. To load additional .NET assemblies, you can use clr.AddReferenceByPartialName. The following example loads System.Windows.Forms and System.Drawing to display a simple Windows Form displaying the usual "Hello World" message:

>>>> import clr
>>>> clr.AddReferenceByPartialName("System.Windows.Forms")
>>>> clr.AddReferenceByPartialName("System.Drawing")
>>>> from System.Windows.Forms import Application, Form, Label
>>>> from System.Drawing import Point
>>>>
>>>> frm = Form()
>>>> frm.Text = "The first pypy-cli Windows Forms app ever"
>>>> lbl = Label()
>>>> lbl.Text = "Hello World!"
>>>> lbl.AutoSize = True
>>>> lbl.Location = Point(100, 100)
>>>> frm.Controls.Add(lbl)
>>>> Application.Run(frm)

Unfortunately at the moment you can't do much more than this with Windows Forms, because we still miss support for delegates and so it's not possible to handle events.

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