On 08/10/18 11:21, Stefan Behnel wrote:
coming back to PEP 489 , the multi-phase extension module initialization. We originally designed it as an "all or nothing" feature, but as it turns out, the "all" part is so difficult to achieve that most potential users end up with "nothing". So, my question is: could we split it up so that projects can get at least the main advantages: module spec and unicode module naming.
PEP 489 is a great protocol in the sense that it allows extension modules to set themselves up in the same way that Python modules do: load, create module, execute module code. Without it, creating the module and executing its code are a single step that is outside of the control of CPython, which prevents the module from knowing its metadata and CPython from knowing up-front what the module will actually be.
Now, the problem with PEP 489 is that it requires support for reloading and subinterpreters at the same time . For this, extension modules must essentially be free of static global state, which comprises both the module code itself and any external native libraries that it uses. That is somewhere between difficult and impossible to achieve. PEP 573  explains some of the reasons, and lists solutions for some of the issues, but cannot solve the general problem that some extension modules simply cannot get rid of their global state, and are therefore inherently incompatible with reloading and subinterpreters.
Are there any issues that aren't explained in PEP 573? I don't think Python modules should be *inherently* incompatible with subinterpreters. Static global state is perhaps unavoidable in some cases, but IMO it should be managed when it's exposed to Python. If there are issues not in the PEPs, I'd like to collect the concrete cases in some document.
I would like the requirement in  to be lifted in PEP 489, to make the main features of the PEP generally available to all extension modules.
The question is then how to opt out of the subinterpreter support. The PEP explicitly does not allow backporting new init slot functions/feeatures:
"Unknown slot IDs will cause the import to fail with SystemError."
But at least changing this in Py3.8 should be doable and would be really nice.
I don't think we can just silently skip unknown slots -- that would mean modules wouldn't be getting features they asked for. Do you have some more sophisticated model for slots in mind, or is this something to be designed?
What do you think?