[Python-ideas] Optimizing builtins

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Sat Jan 1 21:37:05 CET 2011

On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
> On 1/1/2011 11:41 AM, Guido van Rossum wrote:
>> In general I am not much in favor of trying to optimize Python's
>> bytecode. I prefer the bytecode to be dead simple.
> I think people constantly underestimate the virtue of Python and CPython
> simplicity. Projects that depend on a couple of genius ubergeeks die when
> the ubergeeks leave. The executable-pseudocode simplicity of the language
> makes it a favorite for scientific programming, spilling over into financial
> programming. The simplicity of the code allows competent students (and
> non-CS major adults) become developers.

And, of course, the (relative) simplicity of the implementation will
always draw CS students looking for compiler optimization projects
(just as the simplicity of the language draws CS students looking to
write a complete compiler). But it's one thing to get a degree out of
some clever optimization; it's another thing to actually make it stick
in the context of CPython, with the concerns you mention (and others I
only have in my guts :-).

--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)

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