[pypy-dev] Comments from an observer

Ben.Young at risk.sungard.com Ben.Young at risk.sungard.com
Wed Dec 7 12:51:50 CET 2005


Jacob Hallén <jacob at strakt.com> wrote on 07/12/2005 11:45:48:

> onsdagen den 7 december 2005 11.03 skrev Ben.Young at risk.sungard.com:
> > 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
> > language.
> >
> > 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
> > again!
> 
> Thanks for your input Ben,
> 
> I think you are quite right in everything you say, and there are people 
among 
> the Pypy developers who would be very interested in working on making 
RPython 
> directly useable. However, we are to a fairly large extent deadline 
driven.
> 
> The EU financing comes with a large set of promises for what we are 
going to 
> do and a fairly strict timeline to go with it. Currently this timeline 
says 
> that we are to work on core optimisations, stacklessness and JIT, with 
the 
> work to be finished by May 2006. Some people are also to do support for 
> aspect oriented programming and constraints satisfaction. After May, 
there 
> are other things promised until the official end of the EU project in 
> November 2006. You can see the EU financing as being a fully commercial 
> customer driven project. The only difference is the the customer hardly 
ever 
> changes his mind.
> 
> This means that (almost) everyone currently working on the project is 
very 
> busy and doesn't have time to delve into interesting paths.
> 
> Fortunately, we are in contact with a party that is very interested in 
doing 
> exactly what you propose to do, and may be ready to pay for getting it 
done. 
> However, this would require people not currently doing Pypy development 
to do 
> the work. I'm not at liberty to discuss this in detail. I would just 
like to 
> mention it so that you can see that there may be a way forward.
> 
> Even though the EU financing is a straight-jacket, we should remember 
that we 
> would be nowhere near what we have today without it.
> 
> Best regards
> 
> Jacob Hallén
> 

Hi Jacob,

Thanks for the reply. I understand completely about the EU thing. Both a 
massive benefit and a minor curse.

Just wanted to put my frustrations down in words! I guess it comes from 
wanting to contribute but having no time to do it at all.

Cheers,
Ben



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