[Python-Dev] scropion

Michael Chermside mcherm at mcherm.com
Tue Oct 12 16:27:03 CEST 2004

> [Paul introduces himself]
> My question is for performance: isn't binary code faster than p code?
> So If I can vote, I would vote for c or c++ in the numerics functions and
> data transfer areas.
> even assembler. The quicker the better.

Hello, and welcome.

Thanks for your input on what kinds of things you value in Python. (The
Python developers, who use the python-dev list) DO pay attention to such
opinion (although don't expect sudden changes... you are one in a sea of
 users). You are not alone in caring about performance -- it's been a
popular topic lately.

I'll comment briefly on your specific suggestions. Binary code is faster
than "p code" usually, but in some cases the "p code" is more ammenable
to automated optimization. That is why certain kinds of code can run
FASTER in java than in C. Python code too will often run faster than the
equivalent C code... not because of a powerful just-in-time optimizer,
but because the Python code is written using better algorithms and data
structures than one would bother with in C.

But you specifically mention numerics functions and data transfer...
two areas where well-written C code is likely to be much better
performing. We certainly share the goal of better performance (so long
as it doesn't come at the cost of other things like usability and
maintainability). If you know of some specific areas where we could
improve, please submit a patch (through SourceForge's patch manager) --
we'd love to have the help!

Finally, you mention the possibility of dropping into assembler.
Unfortunately, this is sure to be rejected because it conflicts with an
important design principle -- Python is designed to be VERY portable,
and should compile on just about any system with a standards-compliant
C compiler.

-- Michael Chermside

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