[Python-3000] long/int unification

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Fri Aug 25 08:39:22 CEST 2006

Fredrik Lundh <fredrik at pythonware.com> wrote:
> martin at v.loewis.de wrote:
> > I'm not sure whether this performance change is
> > acceptable; at this point, I'm running out of ideas
> > how to further improve the performance.
> without really digging into the patch, is it perhaps time to switch to 
> unboxed integers for the CPython interpreter ?
> (support for implementation subtypes could also be nice; I agree that
> it would be nice if we had only one visible integer type, but I don't 
> really see why the implementation has to restricted to one type only. 
> this applies to strings too, of course).

In the integer case, it reminds me of James Knight's tagged integer
patch to 2.3 [1].  If using long exclusively is 50% slower, why not try
the improved speed approach?  Also, depending on the objects, one may
consider a few other tagged objects, like perhaps None, True, and False
(they could all be special values with a single tag), or even just use
31/63 bits for the tagged integer value, with a 1 in the lowest bit
signifying it as a tagged integer.

 - Josiah

[1] http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-dev/2004-July/046139.html

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