[Python-Dev] A new webpage promoting Compiler technology for CPython

Philip Jenvey pjenvey at underboss.org
Sat Feb 16 01:01:15 CET 2013

On Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 2:36 PM, Stefan Behnel <stefan_ml at behnel.de> wrote:

> This is off-topic for this list, but the main problem with PyPy is that
> you'll quickly hit a lot of walls when you try to use it for anything
> serious in the area. It's true that there is a certain level of
> interoperability with CPython extensions, but calling it a "focus area"
> makes it sound bigger than it actually is in my ears. Even trying to get
> bugs fixed to at least make things work at all often means running against
> walls on their side. I can tell, trying to port Cython mostly consisted of
> bugging PyPy developers to fix stuff, which took anything from days to
> still-not-done, each time. And, by design, PyPy makes it very hard and time
> consuming to debug it and to try to fix bugs in their code base.

I take issue with how you've described this, Stefan: I recall many on
pypy-dev working with you quite a bit on the Cython port. There are some
difficult problems involved and the port is not a main focus of the core
PyPy team -- there's only so many free cycles. You should ping us (IRC is
great) about any outstanding issues.

> So, while I agree that PyPy is worth a try in certain application areas,
> and can be helpful for some special needs, also in the field of scientific
> computing, it's lightyears away from a production-ready state in that area.
> It just doesn't integrate with the huge bulk of software that people use in
> their daily work. And once you rely on that software, which is hand tuned,
> well integrated and real-world proven in so many ways, over the time span
> of way more than a decade, the most visible advantage of PyPy to make
> Python code run faster becomes almost pointless. In that light, telling
> people to try PyPy and to drop (most of) their current ecosystem for it
> doesn't really sound helpful and clearly appears outside of the focus of
> the web site in question.

I disagree that it's pointless. Numba disagrees too: it also attempts to
make Python code faster.

PyPy is indeed a work in progress in this area, but that doesn't
necessarily preclude it from being included.

Philip Jenvey
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