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

Neil Schemenauer nas-python at python.ca
Wed Oct 29 11:35:40 EST 2003

Hi Brett,

Some ideas:

  * Finish of the AST compiler.  Make it possible to manipulate
    ASTs from Python and allow them to be feed to the compiler to
    generate code.  This is one half of macros for Python.  The
    other half is harder.

  * Build a refactoring code editor that works using the AST.

  * Implement an object system that supports multiple dispatch.
    You can look at Dylan and Goo for ideas.

  * Optimize access to global variables and builtins.  See PEP 267 for
    some ideas.  If we can disallow inter-module shadowing of names
    the job becomes easier.  Measure the performance difference.

  * Look at making the GC mark-and-sweep.  You will need to provide
    it explict roots.  Is it worth doing?  Mark-and-sweep would
    require changes to extension modules since they don't expose
    roots to the interpreter.

  * More radically, look at Chicken¹ and it's GC.  Henry Baker's
    "Cheney on the M.T.A"² is very clever, IMHO, and could be used
    instead of Python's reference counting.  Build a limited Python
    interpreter based on this idea and evaluate it.

1. http://www.call-with-current-continuation.org/chicken.html
2. http://citeseer.nj.nec.com/baker94cons.html

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