Stackless/microthreads merge news

Glyph Lefkowitz glyph at
Mon May 15 19:32:09 EDT 2000

cg at (Cees de Groot) writes:

> Christian Tismer  <tismer at> said:
[ my comments about java and COBOL snipped ]

> > This argument has hit me right between the eyes.  I may be changing
> > targets again, not so sure, but see Jeff Senn's post and my reply.
> > Rebuilding Python as a very tiny, scalable engine for
> > microcontrollers could be what we need, soon.

> Gee, you're easy to influence. One Java-hater passes by, drops a
> couple of casual and largely incorrect remarks, and you immediately
> retarget...

I would be happy to learn why my remarks are "largely incorrect".

> It's probably right that the ex-COBOL community is coming to
> Java. Luckily, they're not the only ones, and the fact that the
> COBOL guys are moving over doesn't immediately make a language
> worthless.

The ex-COBOL community is most of it, I think (or people who would do
COBOL if java weren't around).  If you look at Java forums, and the
sort of things that Sun is doing with Java, this mostly holds up.

The people to whom Java would have been interesting without the flaws
it's currently living with are mostly moving on, or developing
derivative, incompatible systems.  This is a generalization, and as
with all generalizations, it is wrong ;-).

The python community, dispite being waaay smaller, seems more diverse
and generally more fun.  Certainly, less deluded about the limitations
of the language.  (I *love* watching popular net.personality python
lovers argue about its deficiencies without coming to hate it!)

> Side note: I haven't followed the whole stackless discussion, but I
> don't understand why you can get C to follow your ideas without
> having to modify the sillicon machine it's running on, while for
> Java you would need to have to modify the software machine it's
> running on. But then, I'm a no-brainer doing Java...

Because he didn't make C stackless: he made Python-in-C stackless, and
CPython is an implementation of a virtual machine as well as a
language.  JPython relies upon the Java virtual machine, and is just
an implmentation of the Python language.  Therefore, in order to make
JPython stackless, he has to edit the Java virtual machine, in order
to make CPython stackless, he had to edit the Python virtual machine.

In fact, he commented that making C itself stackless would be too hard
to really consider seriously and nobody in the community would
appreciate it at all.

        live-without-first-class-methods-ly y'rs,

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