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

Brett C. bac at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Wed Oct 29 20:28:13 EST 2003

Neil Schemenauer wrote:

> 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.

I actually wanted to originally do that, but there is no real research 
involved; its just coding at this point, right?

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

Would probably require the AST to be done.

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

Huh, cool.  Just looked at Dylan quickly.

>   * 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.

... and watch my head explode from reading the latest threads.  =) 
Maybe, though.

>   * 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.

I don't know if it is worth it, although having so far two people 
suggest changing the GC to something else is interesting.

>   * More radically, look at Chicken? and it's GC.  Henry Baker's
>     "Cheney on the M.T.A"? 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

I will have a read.

Thanks, Neil.


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