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

Dan Sugalski dan at sidhe.org
Mon Aug 4 16:10:34 EDT 2003

At 2:13 PM -0400 8/4/03, A.M. Kuchling wrote:
>On Mon, 4 Aug 2003 13:21:52 -0400, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.net> wrote:
>>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 .  (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.

The reason for the interest in bytecode for this goes back to the 
python-dev traffic that lead to the challenge starts at 
more or less (there are some messages previous to it). The quick 
summary is that it was posited that native compilation and/or JITting 
(depending on how you look at it) wouldn't be a win for Python. I 
said it would be and parrot was sufficiently far along for me to be 
comfortable with that, and put up $10 and a round of beer to 
emphasize I was willing to back it up. (Seemed an appropriate way to 
show I was serious) Guido took me up on it, and the bet escalated a 
bit afterwards.

The bytecode emphasis is there mainly because of the bet. I put up 
that parrot'd be a faster engine for python than the CPython core, 
not a better parser of the python source. The best way to demonstrate 
that is to run some python bytecode--actually producing that bytecode 
is a matter for a compiler, and while that's certainly an important 
thing, it wasn't the main emphasis.

--------------------------------------"it's like this"-------------------
Dan Sugalski                          even samurai
dan at sidhe.org                         have teddy bears and even
                                       teddy bears get drunk

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