[Python-3000] the future of the GIL

tomer filiba tomerfiliba at gmail.com
Sat May 5 15:29:47 CEST 2007

hi all

i have to admit i've been neglecting the list in the past few months,
and i don't know whether the issue i want to bring up has been
settled already.

as you all may have noticed, multicore processors are becoming
more and more common in all kinds of machines, from desktops
to servers, and will surely become more prevalent with time,
as all major CPU vendors plan to ship 8-core processors
by mid-2008.

back in the day of uniprocessor machines, having the GIL really
made life simpler and the sacrifice was negligible.

however, running a threaded python script over an 8-core
machine, where you can utilize at most 12.5% of the horsepower,
seems like too large a sacrifice to me.

the only way to overcome this with cpython is to Kill The GIL (TM),
and since it's a very big architectural change, it ought to happen
soon. pushing it further than version 3.0 means all library authors
would have to adapt their code twice (once to make it compatible
with 3.0, and then again to make it thread safe).

i see all hell has broken loose here, PEP-wise speaking, but i really
hope there's still time to consider killing the GIL at last.


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