Python compiler ? (was Re: Python for drivers?)

Neel Krishnaswami neelk at
Fri Apr 28 21:39:37 EDT 2000

Neil Schemenauer <nascheme at> wrote:
> I don't think this guy is making native code compilers.  The
> "compiled" TkDiff demo is still implemented using Tcl.  Unlike my
> grandfather, I can't read German so I can't figure out what his
> "compiler" is supposed to do from the "whitepaper".  Babelfish
> does not seem to help.

This sounds more like freeze or GM's installer than a compiler.

I'd guess that places to start if you wanted to try optimizing Python
would be, ordered by increasing sexiness/wizardry, are:

o The Oaklisp implementation. Oaklisp is a fully OO Scheme whose
  object system is basically identical to Python's. Its compiler
  and runtime would make a good starting point if you wanted 
  something we mortals could understand. The Squeak Smalltalk
  implementation would also be worth looking at (it seems to be
  about 3-4 times faster than Python).

o Similix, a partial evaluation program specialization framework
  written by a gang of crazy Danes. If you wrote a Python interpreter
  in Scheme, you could use Similix to automatically generate
  a compiler from it.

o Stalin, Jeffrey Mark Siskind's hyper-optimizing whole-program
  Scheme compiler. Basically, you would need to study it, and then
  use its techniques to implement a Python compiler. The Self project
  would probably also have much of use.


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