Chapter 25. Extending and Embedding Jython

Jython implements Python on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Jython's built-in objects, such as numbers, sequences, dictionaries, and files, are coded in Java. To extend Classic Python with C, you code C modules using the Python C API (as covered in Chapter 24). To extend Jython with Java, you do not have to code Java modules in special ways: every Java package on the Java CLASSPATH (or on Jython's sys.path) is automatically available to your Jython scripts and Jython interactive sessions for use with the import statement covered in Chapter 7. This applies to Java's standard libraries, third-party Java libraries you have installed, and Java classes you have coded yourself. You can also extend Java with C using the Java Native Interface (JNI), and such extensions will also be available to Jython code, just as if they had been coded in pure Java rather than in JNI-compliant C.

For details on advanced issues related to interoperation between Java and Jython, I recommend Jython Essentials, by Samuele Pedroni and Noel Rappin (O'Reilly). In this chapter, I offer a brief overview of the simplest interoperation scenarios, which suffices for a large number of practical needs. Importing, using, extending, and implementing Java classes and interfaces in Jython just works in most practical cases of interest. In some cases, however, you need to be aware of issues related to accessibility, type conversions, and overloading, as covered in this chapter. Embedding the Jython interpreter in Java-coded applications is similar to embedding the Python interpreter in C-coded applications (as covered in Chapter 24), but the Jython task is easier. Jython offers yet another possibility for interoperation with Java, using the jythonc compiler to turn your Python sources into classic, static JVM bytecode .class and .jar files. You can then use these bytecode files in Java applications and frameworks, exactly as if their source code had been in Java rather than in Python.

    Part III: Python Library and Extension Modules