[Python-Dev] Re: Re: 2.4 news reaches interesting places

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at pythonware.com
Sat Dec 11 19:06:19 CET 2004

Guido van Rossum wrote:

> > fwiw, IDG's Computer Sweden,  "sweden's leading IT-newspaper" has a
> > surprisingly big Python article in their most recent issue:
> >
> >     Better performance biggest news in 2.4
> >

(hmm.  I seem to have accidentally deleted a line here...)

> > and briefly interviews swedish zope-developer Johan Carlsson and Python-
> > Ware co-founder Håkan Karlsson.
> Maybe we've done this to ourselves then. I'm sure the interviewer
> didn't know what was the biggest news until after Johan and Håkan told
> him. And this despite all the functional improvements that are much
> more interesting for most Python programmers: generator expressions,
> decorators, a ton of new modules...

I don't know Johan, but I'm pretty sure Håkan didn't talk about performance;
he's more interested in *development* speed... (and I don't think he's been
following 2.4 that closely).

Looking again, the article says:

    "Among the news in 2.4 is better performance, especially for new
    functions that were added in 2.3."

and then mentions integer/long integer unification and the decimal type as notable
additions, and continues "and so it continues, with a long list of improved details".
The article also points to www.python.org/2.4, where the first link is:


which says:

    Here are the (subjective) highlights of what's new in Python 2.4.

    * Faster

    A number of modules that were added in Python 2.3 (such as sets and heapq)
    have been recoded in C.   In addition, there's been a number of other speedups
    to the interpreter. (See section 8.1, Optimizations, of the "What's New" document
    for more [this lists a couple of thousand tweaks by Raymond, and Armin's string
    concatenation hack]).

    * New language features

    /.../ unification of integers and long integers /.../ decimal - a new numeric type
    that allows for the accurate representation of floating point numbers /.../

so I don't think you can blame Johan or Håkan...  the writer simply read the
python.org material, and picked a couple of things that he found interesting
(decorators and generator expressions may be a big thing for an experienced
pythoneer, but they are probably a bit too obscure for a general audience...)

> Ah, but several of those modules are rewrites in C of modules that
> were previously written in Python. Maybe we really *should* stop
> emphasizing speed so much to ourselves, and focus more on fixing bugs
> and adding features instead of looking for speedup opportunities.

yes please.

> (Wish I could add more to this thread but my family is calling...)

same here.  more later.


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