[pypy-dev] Introducing myself, again

Edward K. Ream edream at tds.net
Tue Jan 14 13:09:50 CET 2003

We didn't get off to the best start on the comp.lang.python list, so
I'd like to reintroduce myself to you.  In this posting I'll discuss my
background and how I might contribute to the psyco project.


I have been programming for 35+ years, first in assembly and C, then in C++
and Objective-C, and finally and most joyously in Python.  I've used the
NextStep/Yellow Box/Cocoa, Borland C++ Builder, wxWindows and tcl/tk class
frameworks.  I am familiar with the Smalltalk and Java class libraries.

My primary interests have always been:

1) the programming process itself and
2) getting maximum speed out of programs.

One of my earliest projects was improving the speed of a screen driver by
about a factor of 10.  Doing so changed qualitatively how people interacted
with the screen.

Sometime in the 80's Leor Zolman gave me the source code of the BDS-C
compiler to study.  For several years this was the fastest C compiler
available on micros (as we called PC's then), and to this day is
one of the fastest compilers ever built.  Studying this compiler was a
revelation for me: it broke all the rules about compilers I learned in
graduate school, and broke them very well.  I realized then that much of my
career would be unlearning what I thought I knew :-)

In the 90's I designed and built a commercial optimizing C compiler.  This
was a technical success:  it produced very good m68000 code and did it
faster than the Borland C compiler.  It was not a commercial success as the
company folded before the compiler was released.  The compiler was not
particularly elegant; I am not a compiler expert, and I _do_ have real

I am the BDFL of the Leo project.  Leo is a major Open Source project
written in Python.  The Leo project takes up the bulk of my time, and I
would gladly give some time to this project.

I am also the creator of the pl68k programming language and compiler, the
Sherlock tracing system, and the ancient RED text editor. With the exception
of the C compiler (and related linker and file system), everything I have
done has been Open Software.

How I might help

I have lots of experience with making code work fast and I have a number of
ideas about generalizing and improving psycho...

I would be willing to help improve the documentation of psyco.  I think
psyco promises a huge win for Python, and I would like to see it explained
so many people can understand and improve it.

I have created a Leo outline of an old version of psyco, and I would be
happy to convert all or parts of this project to Leo.  Leo is an excellent
way of organizing, studying and presenting complex code. Whether the psyco
project chooses to adopt Leo "officially" is not for me to say, and I would
recommend this project experiment with using Leo.

Oh yes, I have a Python script that helps with conversion of C code to
Python.  It simply hacks on the syntax, removing braces, semicolons, type
declarations, converting argument lists to def statements, that kind of
thing.  The script is buried in the source code for Leo.

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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