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

Dennis Allison allison at sumeru.stanford.EDU
Wed Oct 29 12:21:56 EST 2003

How about re-engineering the interpreter to make it more MP friendly?
(This is probably a bigger task than a Masters thesis.)  The current
interpreter serializes on the global interpreter lock (GIL) and blocks
everything.  Is there another approach which would allow processing to
continue?  Guido said once that there was an attempt to change the
granularity of the locking, but that it quickly became overly complex and
unstable.  Perhaps some of Maurice Herlihy's ideas may be adapted to the
problem.  Moreover, it may not be necessary that the interpreter state be
consistent and deterministic all the time as long as it eventually
produces the same answer as a deterministic equivalent.  There may be
interpreter organizations which move forward optimistically, ignoring
potential locking problems and then (if necessary) recoveri, and these
may have better performance than the more conservative ones.  Or they may 
not.  Some kind of performance tests and evaluations would need to be
part of any such study.

On Tue, 28 Oct 2003, Brett C. wrote:

> Today I got the wheels turning on my masters thesis by getting an 
> adviser.  Now I just need a topic.  =)  The big goal is to do something 
> involving Python for a thesis to be finished by fall of next year (about 
> October) so as to have it done, hopefully published (getting into LL4 
> would be cool), and ready to be used for doctoral applications come 
> January 2005.
> 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.

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