On Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:57:10 AM UTC-6, Chris Angelico wrote:
 
1) Performance. Huge huge performance hit. I can take Pike to OS/2, an
unoptimized build on an unsupported platform, and absolutely cream a
REXX program at any sort of computational work. By specifically
working with integers rather than "numbers", I can run code blazingly
fast.

2) Accuracy. With REXX, all arithmetic is governed by a single setting
of NUMERIC DIGITS, which specifies how many digits of accuracy you
want to preserve. (Python can improve granularity with separate
contexts, but the same issue will still apply - contexts just let you
use different NUMERIC DIGITS settings simultaneously in one program.)

hi Chris,  good to hear from another Rexx programmer! Back in the day (during 
my 25 year tenure with IBM, I wrote thousands of scripts in Rexx for VM370 
systems, and OS/2.  I too still have OS/2 running.  whoohoo!

Thanks for your comments. I would normally have agreed with you on this
but not in this case.  I do not think you are wrong, I just think you may have
underestimated the power of decimal.Decimal /its phenomenal--really--!

Don't take the Rexx reference too much to heart, I just wanted folks to know
where I got my influence on this thinking. Rexx was too slow... so was Decimal
until 3.3, and then, boy has it taken off so-to-speak!

Implementation details are way off in the future of course, but I am thinking 
AI processing on this idea. The Python system will sense and optimize the 
decimal contexts (local and otherwise) so that things are balanced between
speed and accuracy.  And I would note, that speed is not as important for
most python related aspects as user clarity and modern policy and account-
ability.  But, I'm not the least concerned for performance being a problem, 
because I have thoroughly tested decimal.Decimal and it flat screams, unlike 
our old friend Rexx. 

Thanks again for your feedback on the idea. Please give it some more thought, 
and let me know what you think of AI for load/speed/accuracy balancing.

PS  Have you considered the way things might have been if Palmisano
had played ball with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer back in the day... OS/2 
would rule, gnu/linux might never have been invented period, and you and
I might not be having this conversation today!  ha!  Go Big Blue.

marcus