[pypy-dev] Re: [ann] Minimal Python project

Christian Tismer tismer at tismer.com
Mon Jan 13 03:39:11 CET 2003

Paul Rubin wrote:
> Christian Tismer <tismer at tismer.com> writes:

Now I'm trying to do my second answer to this.

>>>I think that local declarations and type hints are useful language
>>>improvements for more reasons than helping generate fast code...

[me, arguing against introduction of new features,
  introducing many fruitless discussions...]

> Yes, if you want to implement an extension of this type it's better to
> just pick out a way to do it and code it up, than to spend weeks
> posting netnews about different possible methods.  There's also a nice
> characteristic of experimental implementations, that if you don't like
> how a feature works out, you can change it, unlike if it gets into a
> real Python release and people start depending on it.  However, I can
> understand your approach of wanting to leave it out completely at
> first and possibly add it later if it's needed.

I guess that something will be needed sooner or
later, also that we will implement some extensions
raher soon, but not publishing them as a valid
langugage extension.
It is great to keep the flexibility as you mentioned,
and this project will need several iterations of
many constructs. I think I should have mentioned
Extreme Programming, earlier. One necessary is
to do without lots of fixed design decisions. It
is urgent to be flexible and open to new ideas.
In the sprint, we will probably go many different
ways at the same time, and drop most of them, soon.
Our way of examinining new ways of programming
will be as extreme as the principles of extreme
programming. There is for sure no other way.

[conservative about changing language]

> I think you should feel willing to take some liberties with the
> language if it makes your implementation cleaner.  A lot of the weird
> corners of Python seem to me to be implementation hacks based on
> CPython internals anyway.  Plus, I've mentioned that coding in Python
> gives me something like the joy that I imagine that the 1960's Lisp
> hackers must have felt.  The language itself is in similar shape to
> 1960's Lisp, with just two implementations (CPython and Jython), both
> of them interpreters.  If the development of native-code Python
> compilers results in some language evolution like it did for Lisp,
> that's natural and not a bad thing.  However, it all depends on what
> your goals are.

You know what my goals are.
Smaller, more flexible, faster, easier to change,
easier to maintain, easier to keep backwards
compatible, more portable due to less C code,
down-sizeable by features (which is most difficult),
the full catastrophe...

> I don't personally see a pure, faithful, exact
> reimplementation of a static target whose existing implementation is
> free and works perfectly well on a wide range of platforms as being
> something I'd want to devote precious volunteer energy to.  It's much
> more interesting to be able to expand the boundaries of what's been
> done before (as Stackless expanded boundaries).  However, YMMV.

We will try to implement Python as exact and clean
as possible. The langage should be implemented
At the same time, as much as possible should become
pluggable. It will be possible to have MiniPy
without floats, without longs, without Unicode,
without generators, without bool, without enums,
it will be possible to have a Python that cannot
generate any new types and classes, and so on.
Modules which depend on these features will then not
It will be a major amount of work to deduce the
dependencies of features, and how to arrange them
in a scalable shape. I do believe that the core
group will help us with that.

positively yours -- chris

Christian Tismer             :^)   <mailto:tismer at tismer.com>
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