[Python-ideas] Exploration PEP : Concurrency for moderately massive (4 to 32 cores) multi-core architectures

Brian Granger ellisonbg.net at gmail.com
Fri Sep 21 04:29:03 CEST 2007

>  > I apologize if this statement is a little exaggerated.  But, I do
>  > think this is a really critical problem that is going to affect
>  > certain groups of Python users and developers in adverse ways.
>  > Perhaps I have not made a very strong case that it is a true "crisis"
>  > though.
> No, you're missing the point.  I don't see anybody denying that you
> understand your own needs.  *You* may face a (true) crisis.  *The
> Python community* does not perceive your crisis as its own.

I do agree that there is a diversity of needs in the greater Python
community.  But the current discussion is oriented towards a subset of
Python users who *do* or care about parallelism.  For this subset of
people, I do feel the issues are important.  I don't expect people who
don't need high performance and thus parallelism to feel the same way
that I do.

> Personally, I don't see why it should.  And I think you'd be much more
> successful at selling this with a two-pronged approach of evangelizing
> just how utterly cool it would be to have a totally-threading GIL-less
> Python on the one hand,

Now I am really regretting using the word "crisis," as your statement
implies that I am so negative about all this that I have lost sight
positive side of this discussion.  I do think it would be fantastic to
have a more threading capable Python.

> and recruiting some gung-ho grad students with
> Google SoC projects (or *gasp* some of your DoE grant or VC money) on
> the other.

*gasp*, I wasn't aware that I had grad students, DOE grants or VC
money.  A lot of things must have changed while I have been out of
town this week :)  While the company at which I work does have DOE
grants, work on the GIL is _far_ outside their scope of work.

One of the difficulties with the actual work of removing the GIL is
that it is difficult, grungy work that not many people are interested
in funding.  Most of the funding sources that are throwing money at
parallel computing and multicore are focused on languages other than
Python.  But, I could imagine that someone like IBM that seems to have
an interest in both Python and multicore CPUs would be interested in
sponsoring such an effort.  You would think that Google would also an
interest in this.  To me it seems that the situation with the GIL will
remain the same until 1) someone with lots of free time and desire
steps up to the plate or 2) someone ponies up the $ to pay someone to
work on it.  Currently, I am not in the first of these situations.

> Note that nobody has said anything to discourage this as a research
> project.  Nothing like it's impossible, stupid, or YAGNI.  But Guido,
> and other senior developers, are saying they're not going to devote
> their resources to it as things currently stand (and one of those
> resources the attention of the folks who review PEPs).

That has been made clear.


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