[pypy-dev] Questions about the C core

Andrew McGregor andrew at indranet.co.nz
Mon Jan 13 00:56:25 CET 2003

--On Sunday, January 12, 2003 16:37:32 +0100 Christian Tismer 
<tismer at tismer.com> wrote:

> holger krekel wrote:
>> [David Ascher Sat, Jan 11, 2003 at 09:03:55PM -0800]
>>> On the topic of macros et al:
>>> I think that delivering minimal python will be quite hard.  If the
>>> mandate is to create a new implementation of Python, then I think that
>>> the syntax of current Python should be seen as a "minimal" requirement
>>> from a syntactic POV.  New syntactic elements can clearly be defined as
>>> well, although naturally care should be taken to ensure that existing
>>> code still works. (so making 'spam' a reserved word probably wouldn't
>>> work).
>>> On the other hand, I'm going to lose interest in this project pretty
>>> fast if it turns into an _unsubstantiated_ argument about language
>>> design.  If a new language construct is proposed as a fairly direct and
>>> well-supported way to get the implementation done better, faster,
>>> cheaper, then by all means.
>> To me http://www.python.org/dev/culture.html has become kind of a
>> mantra.  IMO especially 'readability counts' constrains Macro ideas
>> alot.
>> Anyway, i am all for sticking to the language definition.  Though
>> I guess it will get easier to try out new syntax/semantic ideas.
>> I think that the decisions from the python developers have generally
>> been very wise and publically extending the language should really be
>> accepted by the usual authorities.   Of course, there might be
>> some special rules or constructs in the bootstrapping process
>> if that really helps.  But even then, i think that these will
>> be restrictions rather than extensions.  Let's not give up
>> the common coding style and readability.  What might seem a
>> gain in the short term might not play out well in the end.
>> IOW I trust e.g. Guido more than my own judgement on these matters.
> You are absolutely right!
> We are not here for language design.
> That's already done by Guido, and he is
> right about it. We just want to try a
> different implementation. This is a high
> risk to be just a waste and something that
> the core group cannot afford to try, due
> to lack of time.
> What we effectively are doing is a prototype
> of a new implementation based upon new
> techniques. This is explorative programming,
> pioneer work, an experiment.
> We will see if it succeeds. It will help Python
> either way.
> ciao - chris

Fair enough.  I simply thought that macros were an *old* technique that 
could be useful, even if only as part of the implementation, but the 
consensus is otherwise.  I don't quite understand, but I'll shut up now :-)

I guess the operative part of the culture document is #5, 'Flat is better 
than nested'.

Please don't continue the thread, I'm convinced.


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