[pypy-dev] bootstrapping issues

holger krekel hpk at trillke.net
Sat Jan 11 21:40:11 CET 2003

Welcome to the Minimal Python list, 

It appears (to me) that Armin and Christian are both
busy for the weekend so i start some bootstrapping. 
First five paragraphs of background. 

The idea of actually starting to do "Minimal Python"
arose from a thread in python-de (2003q1 first post).
There soon was the idea of doing a sprint with the goal
of releasing first bits.

Armin, Christian and me realized early that opening up 
the discussion (instead of in private mails) is a very good 
idea as there is lots of experience and code out there.

Nevertheless, i'd like the attendants of the planned 
sprint to decide which route they want to follow 
coding-wise eventually.  We will propose some dates 
by the end of the month, btw. 

I think that - if in doubt - we follow the lead 
from CPython e.g. regarding coding style, language 
definition etc.  Every deviation should be justified 
by the goals.  I don't think we should follow a PEP 
process soon, though.

During January i want to setup accounts and a 
cvs-repository.  The involved policies will be liberal.

ok. enough organizational things for now.  

Bootstrapping will be a hot topic for Minimal Python 
itself.  We probably first want to use the CPython 
development environemnt to get going.  We probably 
want to base it on the python-2.3 cvs tree.

There is the idea of not using make/configure/automake
but a simple understandable debuggable (read: python based) 
build environment.  IOW words the number of dependencies 
for building Minimal Python should also be minimal.  

For avoiding the need of C-coded system modules  
there is interest to code a generalization of 
the "struct" module which allows *calling* functions at
the C-level.  This general C-"Extension" will be 
system-dependent. The gateway code between the "machine"
and python probably needs to be coded in assembler:
You can't "construct" a C-function call within 
ANSI-C.  Both Microsoft and Apple have proprietary
solutions for Java.  (these insights courtesy of 
Jens-Uwe Mager and Christian Tismer who endorse 
the idea). 

When this succeeds we can start to code e.g. a 
POSIX-layer and wrap C-libaries (at runtime) 
from python.  

So much for now from my side.  I am sure that 
as so many people inherit the good culture from
c.l.py and python-dev we will have good discussions.  
Please note that there are some subscribers (e.g.
Jens-Uwe Mager) who are experts but not neccessarily
in core CPython.  

I hope/suggest that even naive sounding questions about Python 
and its core are welcomed.  It certainly helps if more 
people understand the internals and the involved issues.  
I reserve the right to ask naive questions, myself :-)


    holger krekel

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