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

Neil Schemenauer nas-python at python.ca
Wed Oct 29 23:15:08 EST 2003

On Wed, Oct 29, 2003 at 05:28:13PM -0800, Brett C. wrote:
> Neil Schemenauer wrote:
> >  * Finish of the AST compiler.
> I actually wanted to originally do that, but there is no real research 
> involved; its just coding at this point, right?

Right.  It's a prerequite to doing real research.  See Jeremy's web
log.  If you don't want to finish the AST compiler you could just
use the Python implementation.  It would be slow but good enough for
testing ideas.

> Huh, cool.  Just looked at Dylan quickly.

The reference manual is a good reading:


Some of the parts I like are the builtin classes (numbers and
sealing especially) and the collection protocols.  The module and
library system is also interesting (although overkill for many

> >  * Look at making the GC mark-and-sweep.
> I don't know if it is worth it, although having so far two people 
> suggest changing the GC to something else is interesting.

Implementating yet a another M&S GC is not research, IMHO.  What
_would_ be interesting is comparing the performance of reference
counting and a mark and sweep collector.  CPU, cache and memory
speeds have changed quite dramatically.  Also, comparing how easily
the runtime can be integrated with the rest of the world (e.g. C
libraries) would also be valuable.

That said, I'm not sure it's worth it either.  I find the Chicken GC
more interesting and would look into that further if I had the time.


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