Why is Python slow? (was Re: One Python 2.1 idea)

Aahz Maruch aahz at panix.com
Sun Dec 24 21:37:02 CET 2000

In article <m38zp6nk8k.fsf at localhost.localdomain>,
Lieven Marchand  <mal at bewoner.dma.be> wrote:
>I think Common Lisp shows that getting very good speed in Python is
>quite feasable. The original CMUCL implementers weren't such a large
>group. Their highly optimising compiler (which incidentally is also
>called Python) has on occasion beaten FORTRAN at numerics. I don't
>know why some people in the Python community think compiling Python is
>such a problem. Practically all the problems have been tackled and
>solved 20 years ago in the Lisp community.

One of the reasons that gets brought up less often than it should is
that Guido is somewhat fanatical about also keeping the CPython
implementation clean and simple.  I'm pretty sure that -- Ghu forbid it
become necessary -- I could manage to maintain CPython if I had to.

This leaves less room for optimization than many people think.
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