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

Edward K. Ream edream at tds.net
Tue Jan 14 12:14:34 CET 2003

> We announce a mailinglist dedicated to developing
> a "Minimal Python" version.  Minimal means that
> we want to have a very small C-core and as much
> as possible (re)implemented in python itself.  This
> includes (parts of) the VM-Code.

> Building on the expected gains in flexibility
> we also hope to use distribution techniques such
> as PEP302 to ship only a minimal set of modules
> and load needed modules on demand.

> As Armin Rigo of PSYCO fame takes part in the effort,
> we are confident that MinimalPython will eventually
> run faster than today's CPython.

> And because Christian Tismer takes part, we are
> confident that we will find a radical enough
> approach which also fits Stackless :-)

It now appears that I have misunderstood what these paragraphs meant. I
apologize for any confusion that I may have created.

My initial reading of this was that MinimalPython would be faster _because_
parts of the VM code were merely recoded in Python. After studying psyco
further it seems more likely that what was meant was that MinimalPython
could be faster than the present CPython because the techniques of psyco
might be applied to improve the speed of the present main interpreter loop.
The former statement seemed (and still seems) most unlikely.  The latter
statement seems quite plausible.

In short, I really don't understand the aims of this project very well.  I
can imagine that it has one or more of the following goals:

1. To code as much as possible of the Python distribution in Python.
2. To increase the speed of Python by integrating psyco into the
3. To provide a test-bed for alternative implementations such as stackless.

What happens if these goals conflict?  For example, much of psyco is
presently written in C.  I don't suppose these goals imply that all of psyco
will be recast in Python, or do they?  If recasting code in Python conflicts
with increasing code speed, which is most important?  What happens if the
goal of supporting stackless Python conflicts with the other goals?

Any clarifications would be most welcome.

Edward K. Ream   email:  edream at tds.net
Leo: Literate Editor with Outlines
Leo: http://personalpages.tds.net/~edream/front.html

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