[New-bugs-announce] [issue27078] Make f'' strings faster than .format: BUILD_STRING opcode?

Antti Haapala report at bugs.python.org
Sat May 21 15:18:36 EDT 2016

New submission from Antti Haapala:

I benchmarked some f'' strings against .format, and surprisingly f'' was slower than .format in about all the simple cases I could think of. I guess this is because f'' strings implicitly use `''.join([])`.

The byte code for f'foo is {foo}' currently is

  1           0 LOAD_CONST               1 ('')
              3 LOAD_ATTR                0 (join)
              6 LOAD_CONST               2 ('foo is ')
              9 LOAD_GLOBAL              1 (foo)
             12 FORMAT_VALUE             0
             15 BUILD_LIST               2
             18 CALL_FUNCTION            1 (1 positional, 0 keyword pair)

It was mentioned here https://bugs.python.org/issue24965 but since I came up with the idea when inspecting this, I'd propose again here that a new opcode be added for f'' strings - BUILD_STRING n, with which f'foo is {foo}' could be compiled to 

              0 LOAD_CONST               2 ('foo is ')
              3 LOAD_GLOBAL              1 (foo)
              6 FORMAT_VALUE             0
              9 BUILD_STRING             2

instead. Internally this wouldn't even need to call `PyUnicode_Join`, but instead `seplen == 0` case could be refactored into a separate function. Not only with this is it possible to know the length of the string, but also the number of string components are already known, so it'd be possible to build a tuple fast from the values on stack.

And that way people doing micro benchmarks would find out that the new Python 3.6 feature would not only look nice but also be a way to write better-performing code.

components: Interpreter Core
messages: 266016
nosy: ztane
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Make f'' strings faster than .format: BUILD_STRING opcode?
type: enhancement
versions: Python 3.6

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