The biggest pain with dealing with the peephole optimizer is that it happens after all the complicated flattening and fixup[^1] the compiler does, which means you have to hack up the jump targets as you go along. The future bytecode optimizers that PEP 511 enables will have the same headache.
But this isn't actually necessary. The optimizer could work on a flat array of instructions[^2] instead of an array of bytes, with relocatable jump targets instead of fixed byte offsets, and then the compiler could do the fixup _after_ the optimization.[^3]
It would break the optimizer APIs, but `PyCode_Optimize` isn't public, and the API proposed by PEP 511 is public, but that PEP isn't even finalized, much less accepted yet.
I don't think we need to expose the intermediate representation any farther along than the `PyCode_Optimize` step.[^4] Just moving the optimize one step earlier in the chain solves more than enough to be worth it.
[^1]: If you think numbering the offsets and emitting the jump targets is easy: Every time you fix up a jump, that may require adding an `EXTENDED_ARG`, which means you have to redo any fixups that cross the the current instruction. The compiler does this by just looping until it hasn't added any more `EXTENDED_ARG`s.
[^2]: In case anyone's thinking that wordcode would solve this problem, it doesn't. The `EXTENDED_ARG` jump targets are a much bigger hassle than the 1-or-3-byte-ops, and wordcode not only can't eliminate those, but makes `EXTENDED_ARG` more common.
[^3]: The compiler doesn't actually have exactly what the optimizers would want, but it's pretty close: it has a linked list of block objects, each of which has an array of instruction objects, with jump targets being pointers to blocks. That's actually even better to work with, but too complicated to expose to optimizers. Flattening it would be trivial. Or, if that's too expensive, we could do something almost as simple and much cheaper: convert it in-line to a deque-like linked list of arrays, with jump targets being indices or pointers into that. Or we could just expose the list of blocks as-is, as an opaque thing with a mutable-deque-of-instructions API around it.
[^4]: Later stages--import hooks, optimizing decorators, etc.--have the same pain as the peephole optimizer, but they also have code objects that contain other code objects, and they can be written in Python, and so on, so the same solution isn't feasible there. Of course we could add a function to convert bytecode back to a list of instructions, in some format that can be exposed to Python (in fact, `dis` already does 90% of that), and then another one to convert that back to bytecode and redo the fixup (which is basically the third-party `byteplay` module). But that's almost certainly overkill. (If we wanted that, I'd rather add `byteplay` to the stdlib, port it and `dis` to C, and expose a C API for them. And then we could use that for everything, including the peephole optimizer and PEP 511 optimizers. Which would all be really cool, but I think it's more work than we want to do, and I don't know if we'd actually want something like `byteplay` builtin even if it were easy...)