[Python-Dev] Looking for master thesis ideas involving Python

Martin v. Löwis martin at v.loewis.de
Wed Oct 29 02:17:58 EST 2003

"Brett C." <bac at OCF.Berkeley.EDU> writes:

> So, anyone have any ideas?  The best one that I can think of is
> optional type-checking.  I am fairly open to ideas, though, in almost
> any area involving language design.

Did you explicitly mean language *design*? Because there might be
areas of research relevant to language implementation, in terms of
efficiency, portability, etc.

Here are some suggestions:
- memory management: attempt to replace reference counting by
  "true" garbage collection
- threading: attempt to provide free threading efficiently
- typing: attempt to provide run-time or static type inference,
  and see whether this could be used to implement some byte codes
  more efficiently (although there is probably overlap with the
  specializing compilers)
- floating point: provide IEEE-794 (or some such) in a portable
  yet efficient way
- persistency: provide a mechanism to save the interpreter state
  to disk, with the possibility to restart it later (similar to
  Smalltalk images)

On language design, I don't have that many suggestions, as I think the
language itself should evolve slowly if at all:
- deterministic finalization: provide a way to get objects destroyed
  implicitly at certain points in control flow; a use case would be
  thread-safety/critical regions
- attributes: provide syntax to put arbitrary annotations to
  functions, classes, and class members, similar to .NET
  attributes. Use that facility to implement static and class methods,
  synchronized methods, final methods, web methods, transactional
  methods, etc (yes, there is a proposal, but nobody knows whether it
  meets all requirements - nobody knows what the requirements are)
- interfaces (this may go along with optional static typing)


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