[Python-Dev] Reworking the GIL

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sun Oct 25 22:57:21 CET 2009

> [SNIP - a lot of detail on what sounds like a good design]
> Now what remains to be done?
> Having other people test it would be fine. Even better if you have an
> actual multi-threaded py3k application. But ccbench results for other
> OSes would be nice too :-)
> (I get good results under the Windows XP VM but I feel that a VM is not
> an ideal setup for a concurrency benchmark)
> Of course, studying and reviewing the code is welcome. As for
> integrating it into the mainline py3k branch, I guess we have to answer
> these questions:
> - is the approach interesting? (we could decide that it's just not worth
> it, and that a good GIL can only be a dead (removed) GIL)

I think it's worth it. Removal of the GIL is a totally open-ended problem
with no solution in sight. This, on the other hand, is a performance benefit
now. I say move forward with this. If it happens to be short-lived because
some actually figures out how to remove the GIL then great, but is that
really going to happen between now and Python 3.2? I doubt it.

> - is the patch good, mature and debugged enough?
> - how do we deal with the unsupported platforms (POSIX and Windows
> support should cover most bases, but the fate of OS/2 support depends on
> Andrew)?
It's up to Andrew to get the support in. While I have faith he will, this is
why we have been scaling back the support for alternative OSs for a while
and will continue to do so. I suspect the day Andrew stops keeping up will
be the day we push to have OS/2 be externally maintained.

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