[Python-Dev] Re: pirate (python+parrot)

Guido van Rossum guido at python.net
Mon Aug 4 15:48:22 EDT 2003

> On the other hand, if Parrot provides stacklessness, JIT compilation, 
> cross-language interop, and pushes some complex C-level maintenance burden 
> onto other people, perhaps you'll consider consider the laundry run and 
> drinks worth it in the end.  No way to find out if Parrot is up to the task 
> without trying...

That's why I'm taking the challenge.  But I'm skeptical, and that's
why I'm not too worried...

> > OTOH there may be a devilish plan here to let Dan believe he won't
> > have to work very hard, and then in the end he'll lose because your
> > implementations are inefficcient... :-)
> For some reason the Parrot developers seem more focused on working with 
> bytecode; see Dan Sugalski's weblog at 
> http://www.sidhe.org/~dan/blog/archives/000205.html .

Interesting indeed.  The focus on bytecode is understandable: let
someone else write a parser, so Parrot won't have to.  But from
skimming his log, Dan seems to take the bytecode too seriously;
it's really only meant to be a quick way for the parser to output
something.  In particular, bytecode hacks were never a goal.

  (There's an amusing 
> link in the comments for a Python-bytecode-to-SAX-event-stream translator; 
> my mind is boggled.)  Bytecode translation doesn't strike me as a very 
> useful course to follow, because Python's bytecode is vulnerable to being 
> changed between versions and because looking at bytecode provides less 
> information than looking at an AST.

Sure, but bytecode evolves slowly enough to be useful for Dan;
given that the only parse tree format we have is *intricately* linked
with the Python parser and (at least part of) its runtime, I can see
why Dan would have nothing of it.


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