[Python-Dev] Reworking the GIL

Andrew MacIntyre andymac at bullseye.apana.org.au
Mon Oct 26 13:37:14 CET 2009

Brett Cannon wrote:
> 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.

Notwithstanding my desire to keep OS/2 supported in the Python tree,
keeping up has been more difficult of late:
- OS/2 is unquestionably a "legacy" environment, with system APIs
different in flavour and semantics from the current mainstream (though
surprisingly capable in many ways despite its age).
- The EMX runtime my OS/2 port currently relies on to abstract the 
system API to a Posix-ish API is itself a legacy package, essentially
unmaintained for some years :-(  This has been a source of increasing
pain as Python has moved with the mainstream... with regard to Unicode
support and threads in conjunction with multi-processing, in particular.

Real Life hasn't been favourably disposed either...

I have refrained from applying the extensive patches required to make
the port feature complete for 2.6 and later while I investigate an
alternate Posix emulating runtime (derived from FreeBSD's C library,
and which is used by Mozilla on OS/2), which would allow me to dispense
with most of these patches.  But it has an issue or two of its own...

The cost in effort has been compounded by effectively having to try and
maintain two ports - 2.x and 3.x.  And the 3.x port has suffered more
as its demands are higher.

So while I asked to keep the OS/2 thread support alive, if a decision 
were to be taken to remove OS/2 support from the Python 3.x sources I
could live with that.  A completed migration to Mercurial might well
make future port maintenance easier for me.


Andrew I MacIntyre                     "These thoughts are mine alone..."
E-mail: andymac at bullseye.apana.org.au  (pref) | Snail: PO Box 370
        andymac at pcug.org.au             (alt) |        Belconnen ACT 2616
Web:    http://www.andymac.org/               |        Australia

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