On Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 10:04:46AM +1000, Damien George wrote:
> I guess my main question to this list is: if CPython were to add a
> function to change the optimisation level at runtime, what would it
> look like?
I don't think it would look like sys.optimize(flag). At the very least,
it would have to take *at least* three values:
- no optimizations (the default)
- remove asserts (-O)
- remove asserts and docstrings (-OO)
but even that is very limiting. Why can't I keep asserts, which may be
useful and important in running code, but remove docstrings, which
mostly are used interactively? I think the idea of "optimization levels"
has reached its use-by date and we should start considering separate
flags for each individual optimization.
In particular, I expect that some time soon somebody will propose at
least one more optimization:
- remove annotations
and I seem to recall somebody requesting the ability to turn off
constant folding, although I don't remember why. I can easily imagine
Python implementations offering flags to control more complex/risky
- resolve built-in names at compile-time
- inline small functions
- unroll loops
etc. Victor Stinner is (I think) working on bringing some of these to
CPython, and it seems to me that if they are to be under any
user-control at all, a simple optimization level counter is not going to
be sufficient. We're going to need a set of flags.
But it seems to me that the ability to change optimizations at runtime
would be rather confusing. Shouldn't optimizations, or at least some of
them, apply on a per-module basis rather than globally?
I don't even know how to reason about code optimizations if any function
I run might have changed the optimization level without my knowledge. So
I think this is a very dubious idea.
 Yes, I know that will change the semantics of Python code.
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