[Python-Dev] Python 2.5 and ast-branch

Jeremy Hylton jeremy at alum.mit.edu
Thu Oct 6 21:42:47 CEST 2005

On 10/6/05, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> On 10/6/05, Neil Schemenauer <nas at arctrix.com> wrote:
> > Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > If we kill the branch for now, then anyone that wants to bring up the idea
> > > again can write a PEP first
> >
> > I still have some (very) small hope that it can be finished.  If we
> > don't get it done soon then I fear that it will never happen.  I had
> > hoped that a SoC student would pick up the task or someone would ask
> > for a grant from the PSF.  Oh well.
> >
> > > A strategy that may work out better is [...]
> >
> > Another thought I've had recently is that most of the complexity
> > seems to be in the CST to AST translator.  Perhaps having a parser
> > that provided a nicer CST might help.
> Dream on, Neil... Adding more work won't make it more likely to happen.

You're both right.  The CST-to-AST translator is fairly complex; it
would be better to parse directly to an AST.  On the other hand, the
AST translator seems fairly complete and not particularly hard to
write.  I'd love to see a new parser in 2.6.

> The only alternative to abandoning it that I see is to merge it back
> into main NOW, using the time that remains us until the 2.5 release to
> make it robust. That way, everybody can help out (and it may motivate
> more people).
> Even if this is a temporary regression (e.g. PEP 342), it might be
> worth it -- but only if there are at least two people committed to
> help out quickly when there are problems.

I'm sorry I didn't respond earlier.  I've been home with a new baby
for the last six weeks and haven't been keeping a close eye on my
email.  (I didn't see Nick's earlier email until his most recent

It would take a few days of work to get the branch ready to merge to
the head.  There are basic issues like renaming newcompile.c to
compile.c and the like.  I could work on that tomorrow and Monday.

I did do a little work on the ast branch earlier this week.  The
remaining issues feel pretty manageable, so you can certainly count me
as one of the two people committed to help out.  I'll make a point of
keeping a closer eye on python-dev email, in addition to writing some


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