[Python-Dev] Request commit privileges for Stefan Krah

Mark Dickinson dickinsm at gmail.com
Mon Dec 14 20:38:18 CET 2009

I'd like to request that Stefan Krah be granted commit privileges to the Python
svn repository, for the sole purpose of working on a (yet to be created)
py3k-decimal-in-c branch.

Stefan has produced a C library 'libmpdec' implementing (fast!) arbitrary
precision decimal arithmetic, together with a Python extension module
'Cdecimal' that provides full compatibility with Python's decimal module.
The current version of the code can be found at:


It's currently licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License, but
Stefan has indicated that he's willing to relicense it to the PSF under
a contributor agreement.

We'd like to start work on a branch that integrates Stefan's work into the
Python source tree, with the hope that this work could be considered for
inclusion in py3k when it's completed.

While I haven't yet done anything resembling a thorough code review of
Stefan's code, the code I have looked at has seemed very high quality,
and gives me a high degree of confidence in its correctness.  Stefan's also
done a truly ridiculous amount of correctness and compatibility testing of
this code, and in the process discovered several corner case bugs in
Python's decimal module.

(I'm not yet asking for a decision on *whether* the decimal module should
be replaced with a C version;  that decision should be easier to make once
Stefan's code is fully integrated into the branch, and we have some timings
and benchmarks to show the performance benefit.  There are also various
other questions about a C version of decimal that will eventually need to
addressed, but I don't want to distract from the main point of this message.)


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