python startup time

Quinn Dunkan quinn at
Sun Mar 19 22:14:14 CET 2000

I know this has been discussed before, but I don't remember the answer and
can't find it on deja:

Why does the python take so long to start up?  Is it because it loads so many
modules?  And if that is the case, why is module loading slow?  Things I have
written in ruby and perl that use many modules are a lot faster (hugs is slow,
but hugs is hugs).  Normally after I run a small program of any sort, the next
time I run it it's basically instant because of caching... but python always
has a fixed little pause before it gets going, and after that performance is
fine.  This is a problem when writing small utilities in python: on a loaded
machine, or when invoked many times in a pipeline, there can be quite a wait,
even on a fast machine, which is not so good for interactive use.  Meanwhile,
the same thing in certain other languages completes almost instantly.  Any
ideas on what this is, or ways to speed it up?


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