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

Brett C. bac at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Wed Oct 29 20:05:03 EST 2003

Martin v. Löwis wrote:

> "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*?

Design/implementation.  Basically something involving how a language 
either works or is created.

> 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

Maybe.  Kind of happy with the way things work now, though.  =)

> - threading: attempt to provide free threading efficiently

Wow, that would be a challenge, to say the least.  Might be too much for 
just a masters thesis.

> - 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)

I was actually thinking of type-inference since I am planning on 
learning (or at least starting to learn) Standard ML next month.

> - floating point: provide IEEE-794 (or some such) in a portable
>   yet efficient way

You mean like how we have longs?  So code up in C our own way of storing 
  794 independent of the CPU?

> - persistency: provide a mechanism to save the interpreter state
>   to disk, with the possibility to restart it later (similar to
>   Smalltalk images)

Hmm.  Interesting.  Could be the start of continuations.

> 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

I think you get what you mean by this, but I am not totally sure since I 
can't come up with a use beyond threads killing themselves properly when 
the whole program is shutting down.

> - 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)

Have no clue what this is since I don't know C#.  Almost sounds like 
Michael's def func() [] proposal at the method level.  Or just a lot of 
descriptors.  =)

Time to do some Googling.

> - interfaces (this may go along with optional static typing)

Yeah, but that is Alex's baby.

Thanks for the suggestions, Martin.


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