[pypy-dev] Comments from an observer

Ben.Young at risk.sungard.com Ben.Young at risk.sungard.com
Wed Dec 7 11:03:35 CET 2005

Dear PyPy'ers,

First of all I would like to say that I think PyPy is an amazing project 
and that you have all done a really great job. Also the comments I have on 
the project are not aimed at any people in the project, more just at the 
general direction it appears to be going in.

PyPy is on the edge of something great. A maintainable, powerful, 
flexible, fast interpreter is just what the python community needs. 
However just when it seems that PyPy can start to have some real 
significance in the Python world it seems like these benefits are being 
delayed for more research work which may take a long time.

For instance a way of writing a rpython module that could be compiled to a 
Cpython extension or a PyPy extension would allow people to start using 
PyPy now, and at the same time make faster, powerful extensions for 
CPython while maintaining an upgrade path to PyPy. This would bring PyPy 
to the attention of a lot of people giving more testers/developers.

Also, most people on #pypy seem to ask about using pypy to compile their 
simple python programs to c. Now, this doesn't seem like a great deal of 
work away (better error messages etc), but they are (politely) told that 
this is not what rpython is for. Now if rpython is not for this, why did 
you write PyPy in it? The same arguments could be applied to most programs 
(python is easier to read/maintain/write). I really can't see why 
something as useful as rpthon should remain an implementation detail, and 
again, exposing it would bring great exposure and benefits to the project.

I don't want to come across like a moaner (and indeed, that's why I stop 
writing on #pypy as felt I couldn't be enough of a positive voice), and 
the only reason I'm writing this is because I think so much of the project 
and think it has so much potential. The last thing I want to see is for 
PyPy to become a great implemention with many powerful features, but then 
find that it had missed its time by not being "results driven" enough. The 
world doesn't need another powerful research/university language, it needs 
a great production language and with PyPy I think Python could be that 

Anyway, enough of my ranting. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone or 
completely missed the point. I'll go back to being a hopefull lurker 


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