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Re: [ASCOM] python ASCOM 'Define structures

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  • Bob Denny
    Mike -- Are you new to Python programming, or just new to using Python to access Windows/COM objects? These things are analogous to beans in Java, except
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 18 8:49 PM
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      Mike --

      Are you new to Python programming, or just new to using Python to access Windows/COM objects? These things are analogous to "beans" in Java, except they are usable from most languages on Windows. It does seem like you're struggling with Windows/COM issues and not specifically issues with ASCOM drivers. The "exception" is that some of the exceptions defined in the standards are implemented pin a way that they cannot be instantiated outside of the (small) set of .NET languages. This will be fixed. We discussed it in the Tuesday platform developers' meeting.

      -- Bob


      On Apr 15, 2012, at 14:45, "Mike" <mikerushford@...> wrote:

      > In Vb the example syntax for a class is as follows
      > Private Utl As ASCOM.Utilities.Util
      > In Python this the syntax is:
      > Utl = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")
      >
      > In VB syntax for a structure as follows
      > Private StarStruct As ASCOM.Astrometry.CatEntry 'Define structures
      >
      > What is the python syntax to do the same?
      >
      > Where do we find the CatEntry structure definition and data types?
      >
      > Thanks
      >
      > Mike
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > For more information see http://ASCOM-Standards.org/.
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email FROM THE ACCOUNT YOU USED TO SUBSCRIBE(!) to:
      > ASCOM-Talk-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Mike
      Bob; I am experienced/beginner at Python, leaning jargon and coding by examples. This is my first Windows/COM experience inspired by the python code example in
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 20 8:06 PM
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        Bob;

        I am experienced/beginner at Python, leaning jargon and coding by examples. This is my first Windows/COM experience inspired by the python code example in the files section by Joe Ulowetz.
        Chris told me there were some code that is .net and I have my python now .net enabled but have not learned to do anything with the .net yet. Can you point me to a first ASCOM .net class and method I might try to make work?

        I am reporting my efforts so to learn by the much appreciated comments made by member of this group. Though it appears to be a programming discussion I hope it has using ASCOM central to this discussion. My goal is web page control of my telescope. Want to retrofit to the Dan Gray SiTech controllers, simulation via POTH hub only right now. I originally created this concept 1993 EOTS as BBS then moved it to 1995 using linux, xephem and some c drivers I wrote and want to now want try the ASCOM approach.

        Example:
        I had a problem with these python line failing:

        import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects
        DeltaT = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.DeltaT")
        The error message was not insightful to me. Peter was going to look into it. I was trying to define this class (proper jargon?) but apparently this is not necessary.

        I find the solution is as follows:

        import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects
        Utl =
        win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")
        NOVAS2COM = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS2COM")

        JD = Utl.JulianDate
        print "NOVAS2COM.DeltaT",NOVAS2COM.DeltaT(JD)

        Getting this solution to me was a staggering journey through various doc on the web and this group.

        I put my finding as code in the forum folder <mikerushford EOTS>
        I will try to put links in the code to the know how resources that enable each success.

        I am happy to see my efforts are touching some basic issues (I don't understand yet) that the ASCOM team is discussing.

        Mike

        --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, Bob Denny <rdenny@...> wrote:
        >
        > Mike --
        >
        > Are you new to Python programming, or just new to using Python to access Windows/COM objects? These things are analogous to "beans" in Java, except they are usable from most languages on Windows. It does seem like you're struggling with Windows/COM issues and not specifically issues with ASCOM drivers. The "exception" is that some of the exceptions defined in the standards are implemented pin a way that they cannot be instantiated outside of the (small) set of .NET languages. This will be fixed. We discussed it in the Tuesday platform developers' meeting.
        >
        > -- Bob
        >
      • Tim Long
        Mike, the difficulty with this type of post is that the developers, being developers, want to help a fellow developer learning a new skill, but they are
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 21 4:32 AM
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          Mike, the difficulty with this type of post is that the developers, being developers, want to help a fellow developer learning a new skill, but they are already flat-out just supporting the ASCOM issues and there really isn't time to help people learn programming languages. Your questions are only tangentially related to ASCOM. Replace ASCOM with 'Any .NET class' or 'Any COM object' and you have the same questions. It’s also fairly obvious that you haven’t read all of the developer documentation that’s available and that can be a source of friction when posting off-topic questions.

           

          Speaking personally, I’m quite interested in your learning experience with Python, but speaking as a group moderator, I suspect that no-one here really has the experience to help you. While we really want you to succeed in your efforts with ASCOM, it is too much to expect to get help learning Python. You would be better served in that respect asking on a Python specific group or somewhere like StackOverflow.com, or taking a Python tutorial. There are also dozens of Python books and ebooks available, some are extremely cheap.

           

          Once you get up to speed with Python and using it to access either .NET or COM, then of course if you start running into issues that are specific to ASCOM, we will be only too pleased to help out. Until then, there is masses of documentation in the developer section of the ASCOM web site and in the help file that comes with the ASCOM developer tools. You really need to read and digest all of this before you start asking questions.

           

          As a final suggestion, since you are not already an experienced Python programmer, I have to question whether Python is the best approach for you. Microsoft has a very good free web stack, using a web technology such as ASP.NET MVC3 with Visual Studio Web Developer will enable you to use C# or Visual Basic within your web pages. This would  bring you into the ‘main stream’ of ASCOM development and you may well find that there are more resources and people with the right experience to help you. There are certainly some very good learning resources available for ASP.NET MVC, such as the ‘nerd dinner’ tutorial by Scott Guthrie. The best way to get started with Microsoft web development is to use the Web Platform Installer.

           

          --Tim Long

                                                                                                                                   

           

          -----Original Message-----
          From: ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike
          Sent: 21 April 2012 04:07
          To: ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [ASCOM] python ASCOM 'Define structures DeltaT example

           

          Bob;

           

          I am experienced/beginner at Python, leaning jargon and coding by examples. This is my first Windows/COM experience inspired by the python code example in the files section by Joe Ulowetz.

          Chris told me there were some code that is .net and I have my python now .net enabled but have not learned to do anything with the .net yet. Can you point me to a first ASCOM .net class and method I might try to make work?

           

          I am reporting my efforts so to learn by the much appreciated comments made by member of this group. Though it appears to be a programming discussion I hope it has using ASCOM central to this discussion. My goal is web page control of my telescope. Want to retrofit to the Dan Gray SiTech controllers, simulation via POTH hub only right now. I originally created this concept 1993 EOTS as BBS then moved it to 1995 using linux, xephem and some c drivers I wrote and want to now want try the ASCOM approach.

           

          Example:

          I had a problem with these python line failing:

           

          import win32com.client      #needed to load COM objects

          DeltaT =            win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.DeltaT")

          The error message was not insightful to me. Peter was going to look into it. I was trying to define this class (proper jargon?) but apparently this is not necessary.

           

          I find the solution is as follows:

           

          import win32com.client      #needed to load COM objects

          Utl =

          win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")

          NOVAS2COM = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS2COM")

           

          JD = Utl.JulianDate

          print "NOVAS2COM.DeltaT",NOVAS2COM.DeltaT(JD)

           

          Getting this solution to me was a staggering journey through various doc on the web and this group.

           

          I put my finding as code in the forum folder <mikerushford EOTS> I will try to put links in the code to the know how resources that enable each success.

           

          I am happy to see my efforts are touching some basic issues (I don't understand yet) that the ASCOM team is discussing.

           

          Mike

           

          --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, Bob Denny <rdenny@...> wrote:

          >  

          > Mike --

          >

          > Are you new to Python programming, or just new to using Python to access Windows/COM objects?  These things are analogous to "beans" in Java, except they are usable from most languages on Windows. It does seem like you're struggling with Windows/COM issues and not specifically issues with ASCOM drivers. The "exception" is that some of the exceptions defined in the standards are implemented pin a way that they cannot be instantiated outside of the (small) set of .NET languages. This will be fixed. We discussed it in the Tuesday platform developers' meeting.

          >

          >  -- Bob

          >

           

           

           

          ------------------------------------

           

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        • Peter Simpson
          Hi Mike, I ve not used Python before so apologies if any of this is pyNonsense! I don t know yet why DriverHelper.Util is failing for you but I have had
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 21 5:00 AM
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            Hi Mike,

            I've not used Python before so apologies if any of this is pyNonsense!

            I don't know yet why DriverHelper.Util is failing for you but I have had success in using the new .NET based  objects, which are  also exposed through  COM. These are preferable to the original COM objects because they have more functionality and will be  developed going forward. The original VB6 based COM objects are provided just for backward compatibility and won't be changed in future.

            For a Utilities object the following works for me:

            import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU

            ASCOMUtilities = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")

            print 'Platform Version is ', ASCOMUtilities.PlatformVersion

            print 'Platform Version is still ', ASCOMUtilities.PlatformVersion


            For Chooser this works:

            import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU

            ASCOMChooser = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Chooser")

            ChosenDevice = ASCOMChooser.Choose("ASCOM.Simulator.Telescope")


            Using COM comes with a few  limitations in comparison to .NET. An important one is that COM (as a technology) does not support overloads. To provide the maximum functionality to COM users, we thus expose  the most complex .NET overload in the COM interface. 

            In this case Chooser.Choose("DeviceName") is exposed but Chooser.Choose() is not. I've documented this and the other limitations in the "ASCOM Platform for COM Developers" section in the Developers Help file.

            For AstroUtils this works for  me:

            import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU

            AstroUtils= win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.AstroUtils.AstroUtils")

            DeltaT = AstroUtils.DeltaT()

            print 'DeltaT = ', DeltaT


            Your original example wasn't making use of the AstroUtils object that you created

            The ASCOM.AstrometryExceptions are not  intended to be thrown by user applications, they are intended only to be received by applications. Consequqntly, I have never tested their creation through COM as they are only thrown by .NET classes. Having reviewed the code, these exceptions don't have a parameterless contructor that is mandatory for instantiation through COM, which explains why they cannot be created through COM.

            I will have a look at these and update them to be fully COM compatible because they will not be easily identifiable  to COM based applications in their present form (they do not have unique COM error numbers for example).

            NOVAS2 is not usable through COM because it is a static class and COM can not support static classes. NOVAS31 is the recommended route as it is the latest NOVAS code base and is an  instantiable class that can be exposed through COM

            NOVAS3 is deprecated in favour in NOVAS31 and this works for me:

            import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU

            NOVAS31= win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS31")

            JD = NOVAS31.JulianDate(2012,4,21,10.0)

            DeltaT = NOVAS31.DeltaT(JD)

            print 'Julian Date, DeltaT = ', JD, DeltaT


            I have also tried some of the more complex NOVAS31 functions and those that require structures as parameters don't work in Python. This appears to be an issue only for COM based applications  because the functions work fine when called from .NET applications.

            I think this is because  the structures don't pass through  COM as I had assumed. I will have a look at this but it may require a breaking change to fix.

            I suggest that you have a look at one of the .NET interface approaches available to Python, hopefully you will have all functions available to you through that approach. Please let us know how you get on.

            Regards, Peter

            --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, "Mike" <mikerushford@...> wrote:
            >
            > Bob;
            >
            > I am experienced/beginner at Python, leaning jargon and coding by examples. This is my first Windows/COM experience inspired by the python code example in the files section by Joe Ulowetz.
            > Chris told me there were some code that is .net and I have my python now .net enabled but have not learned to do anything with the .net yet. Can you point me to a first ASCOM .net class and method I might try to make work?
            >
            > I am reporting my efforts so to learn by the much appreciated comments made by member of this group. Though it appears to be a programming discussion I hope it has using ASCOM central to this discussion. My goal is web page control of my telescope. Want to retrofit to the Dan Gray SiTech controllers, simulation via POTH hub only right now. I originally created this concept 1993 EOTS as BBS then moved it to 1995 using linux, xephem and some c drivers I wrote and want to now want try the ASCOM approach.
            >
            > Example:
            > I had a problem with these python line failing:
            >
            > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects
            > DeltaT = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.DeltaT")
            > The error message was not insightful to me. Peter was going to look into it. I was trying to define this class (proper jargon?) but apparently this is not necessary.
            >
            > I find the solution is as follows:
            >
            > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects
            > Utl =
            > win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")
            > NOVAS2COM = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS2COM")
            >
            > JD = Utl.JulianDate
            > print "NOVAS2COM.DeltaT",NOVAS2COM.DeltaT(JD)
            >
            > Getting this solution to me was a staggering journey through various doc on the web and this group.
            >
            > I put my finding as code in the forum folder <mikerushford EOTS>
            > I will try to put links in the code to the know how resources that enable each success.
            >
            > I am happy to see my efforts are touching some basic issues (I don't understand yet) that the ASCOM team is discussing.
            >
            > Mike
            >
            > --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, Bob Denny rdenny@ wrote:
            > >
            > > Mike --
            > >
            > > Are you new to Python programming, or just new to using Python to access Windows/COM objects? These things are analogous to "beans" in Java, except they are usable from most languages on Windows. It does seem like you're struggling with Windows/COM issues and not specifically issues with ASCOM drivers. The "exception" is that some of the exceptions defined in the standards are implemented pin a way that they cannot be instantiated outside of the (small) set of .NET languages. This will be fixed. We discussed it in the Tuesday platform developers' meeting.
            > >
            > > -- Bob
            > >
            >
          • Peter Simpson
            Hi Mike, I ve managed to get the following code to work in IronPython. It is able to create necessary the structures and pass them to the NOVAS31 routines, I
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 21 2:26 PM
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              Hi Mike,

              I've managed to get the following code to work in IronPython. It is able to create necessary the structures and pass them to the NOVAS31 routines, I hope it helps.

              import clr
              clr.AddReference("System.Windows.Forms")
              clr.AddReference("ASCOM.Astrometry")
              clr.AddReference("ASCOM.Utilities")
              import ASCOM.Astrometry
              import ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS 
              import ASCOM.Utilities
              from System.Windows.Forms import MessageBox

              # Set up simple variables
              RA = 0.0
              Dec = 0.0
              Acc = ASCOM.Astrometry.Accuracy.Full

              # Create objects and report Platform version
              Utl = ASCOM.Utilities.Util()
              Nov31 = ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS31()
              MessageBox.Show("Platform version: " + Utl.PlatformVersion.ToString())

              # Create structures - must be initialised in the constructors or the structures are bad
              CE3 = ASCOM.Astrometry.CatEntry3(RA=10.0, Dec=30.0,StarName="My star name", Catalog="HIP", Parallax=1.0, ProMoDec=2.0, ProMoRA=3.0, RadialVelocity=4.0, StarNumber=5)
              OnSurface=ASCOM.Astrometry.OnSurface(Height=100, Latitude=51.0, Longitude=0.0, Pressure=1000.0, Temperature = 25.0)

              # Get the current Julian date and DeltaT
              JD = Nov31.JulianDate(2012, 4,21, 17.0)
              DeltaT=Nov31.DeltaT(JD)

              # Confirm that the astrometric RA/DEC is very close to the star's catalogue RA/DEC of 10.0 30.0
              rc, RAOut, DecOut = Nov31.AstroStar(JD, CE3, Acc, RA, Dec)
              MessageBox.Show("Astro RA Dec= " + Utl.HoursToHMS(RAOut) + " " + Utl.DegreesToDMS(DecOut,":",":","") + " " + " RC = " + rc.ToString())

              # Display the Topocentric RA/DEC at a place on the earth's surface near London, England
              rc, RAOut, DecOut = Nov31.TopoStar(JD, DeltaT ,CE3, OnSurface, Acc, RA, Dec)
              MessageBox.Show("Topo RA Dec= " + Utl.HoursToHMS(RAOut) + " " + Utl.DegreesToDMS(DecOut,":",":","") + " " + " RC = " + rc.ToString())

              Regards, Peter

              --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Simpson" <peter@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi Mike,
              > I've not used Python before so apologies if any of this is pyNonsense!
              > I don't know yet why DriverHelper.Util is failing for you but I have had
              > success in using the new .NET based objects, which are also exposed
              > through COM. These are preferable to the original COM objects because
              > they have more functionality and will be developed going forward. The
              > original VB6 based COM objects are provided just for backward
              > compatibility and won't be changed in future.
              > For a Utilities object the following works for me:
              >
              > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU
              >
              > ASCOMUtilities = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")
              >
              > print 'Platform Version is ', ASCOMUtilities.PlatformVersion
              >
              > print 'Platform Version is still ', ASCOMUtilities.PlatformVersion
              >
              >
              >
              > For Chooser this works:
              >
              > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU
              >
              > ASCOMChooser = win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Chooser")
              >
              > ChosenDevice = ASCOMChooser.Choose("ASCOM.Simulator.Telescope")
              >
              >
              >
              > Using COM comes with a few limitations in comparison to .NET. An
              > important one is that COM (as a technology) does not support overloads.
              > To provide the maximum functionality to COM users, we thus expose the
              > most complex .NET overload in the COM interface.
              > In this case Chooser.Choose("DeviceName") is exposed but
              > Chooser.Choose() is not. I've documented this and the other limitations
              > in the "ASCOM Platform for COM Developers" section in the Developers
              > Help file.
              > For AstroUtils this works for me:
              >
              > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU
              >
              > AstroUtils=
              > win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.AstroUtils.AstroUtils")
              >
              > DeltaT = AstroUtils.DeltaT()
              >
              > print 'DeltaT = ', DeltaT
              >
              > Your original example wasn't making use of the AstroUtils object that
              > you created
              > The ASCOM.AstrometryExceptions are not intended to be thrown by user
              > applications, they are intended only to be received by applications.
              > Consequqntly, I have never tested their creation through COM as they are
              > only thrown by .NET classes. Having reviewed the code, these exceptions
              > don't have a parameterless contructor that is mandatory for
              > instantiation through COM, which explains why they cannot be created
              > through COM.
              > I will have a look at these and update them to be fully COM compatible
              > because they will not be easily identifiable to COM based applications
              > in their present form (they do not have unique COM error numbers for
              > example).
              > NOVAS2 is not usable through COM because it is a static class and COM
              > can not support static classes. NOVAS31 is the recommended route as it
              > is the latest NOVAS code base and is an instantiable class that can be
              > exposed through COM
              > NOVAS3 is deprecated in favour in NOVAS31 and this works for me:
              >
              > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects from JoeU
              >
              > NOVAS31= win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS31")
              >
              > JD = NOVAS31.JulianDate(2012,4,21,10.0)
              >
              > DeltaT = NOVAS31.DeltaT(JD)
              >
              > print 'Julian Date, DeltaT = ', JD, DeltaT
              >
              >
              >
              > I have also tried some of the more complex NOVAS31 functions and those
              > that require structures as parameters don't work in Python. This appears
              > to be an issue only for COM based applications because the functions
              > work fine when called from .NET applications.
              > I think this is because the structures don't pass through COM as I had
              > assumed. I will have a look at this but it may require a breaking change
              > to fix.
              > I suggest that you have a look at one of the .NET interface approaches
              > available to Python, hopefully you will have all functions available to
              > you through that approach. Please let us know how you get on.
              > Regards, Peter
              > --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, "Mike" mikerushford@ wrote:
              > >
              > > Bob;
              > >
              > > I am experienced/beginner at Python, leaning jargon and coding by
              > examples. This is my first Windows/COM experience inspired by the python
              > code example in the files section by Joe Ulowetz.
              > > Chris told me there were some code that is .net and I have my python
              > now .net enabled but have not learned to do anything with the .net yet.
              > Can you point me to a first ASCOM .net class and method I might try to
              > make work?
              > >
              > > I am reporting my efforts so to learn by the much appreciated comments
              > made by member of this group. Though it appears to be a programming
              > discussion I hope it has using ASCOM central to this discussion. My goal
              > is web page control of my telescope. Want to retrofit to the Dan Gray
              > SiTech controllers, simulation via POTH hub only right now. I originally
              > created this concept 1993 EOTS as BBS then moved it to 1995 using linux,
              > xephem and some c drivers I wrote and want to now want try the ASCOM
              > approach.
              > >
              > > Example:
              > > I had a problem with these python line failing:
              > >
              > > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects
              > > DeltaT =
              > win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.DeltaT")
              > > The error message was not insightful to me. Peter was going to look
              > into it. I was trying to define this class (proper jargon?) but
              > apparently this is not necessary.
              > >
              > > I find the solution is as follows:
              > >
              > > import win32com.client #needed to load COM objects
              > > Utl =
              > > win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Utilities.Util")
              > > NOVAS2COM =
              > win32com.client.Dispatch("ASCOM.Astrometry.NOVAS.NOVAS2COM")
              > >
              > > JD = Utl.JulianDate
              > > print "NOVAS2COM.DeltaT",NOVAS2COM.DeltaT(JD)
              > >
              > > Getting this solution to me was a staggering journey through various
              > doc on the web and this group.
              > >
              > > I put my finding as code in the forum folder <mikerushford EOTS>
              > > I will try to put links in the code to the know how resources that
              > enable each success.
              > >
              > > I am happy to see my efforts are touching some basic issues (I don't
              > understand yet) that the ASCOM team is discussing.
              > >
              > > Mike
              > >
              > > --- In ASCOM-Talk@yahoogroups.com, Bob Denny rdenny@ wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Mike --
              > > >
              > > > Are you new to Python programming, or just new to using Python to
              > access Windows/COM objects? These things are analogous to "beans" in
              > Java, except they are usable from most languages on Windows. It does
              > seem like you're struggling with Windows/COM issues and not specifically
              > issues with ASCOM drivers. The "exception" is that some of the
              > exceptions defined in the standards are implemented pin a way that they
              > cannot be instantiated outside of the (small) set of .NET languages.
              > This will be fixed. We discussed it in the Tuesday platform developers'
              > meeting.
              > > >
              > > > -- Bob
              > > >
              > >
              >
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