[Python-Dev] Int FutureWarnings and other 2.4 TODOs

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Fri Dec 5 10:09:21 EST 2003

> > To my mind, the *ideal* is that there's a single type, probably
> > called "int" or "integer" which can take on an arbitrary size and
> > precision BUT which, if it happens to be small enough to fit in
> > a C int will take up less memory and run faster. The fact that
> > it's stored differently should be an implementation detail not
> > visible to the user.
> Hmmmm...  How important is the "less memory" angle versus the "faster"
> angle?  Why not just add a few bytes to the long type to store an int?
> If you're using the int, the pointer is NULL, and you're saving that
> memory, at least.  The only harm is some extra memory in the type
> object.

I'd say that the "less memory" angle is pretty important.  The int
implementation has been using every trick in the book to save memory
from very early days on: it has the most sophisticated special-purpose
allocator, *and* it uses a cache for popular values, *and* you really
can't squeeze any more bits out of the structure.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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