Saw recent discussion: https://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2016-February/143013.html I remember trying WPython; it was fast. Unfortunately it feels it came at the wrong time when development was invested in getting py3k out the door. It also had a lot of other ideas like *_INT instructions which allowed having oparg to be a constant int rather than needing to LOAD_CONST one. Anyways I'll stop reminiscing abarnert has started an experiment with wordcode: https://github.com/abarnert/cpython/blob/c095a32f2a68ac708466b9c64906cc4d0f5... I've personally benchmarked this fork with positive results. This experiment seeks to be conservative-- it doesn't seek to introduce new opcodes or combine BINARY_OP's all into a single op where the currently unused-in-wordcode arg then states the kind of binary op (à la COMPARE_OP). I've submitted a pull request which is working on fixing tests & updating peephole.c Bringing this up on the list to figure out if there's interest in a basic wordcode change. It feels like there's no downsides: faster code, smaller bytecode, simpler interpretation of bytecode (The Nth instruction starts at the 2Nth byte if you count EXTENDED_ARG as an instruction). The only downside is the transitional cost What'd be necessary for this to be pulled upstream?