Libraries implementation in C or in Python? Evolution of Python, Jython...

Ron Stephens rdsteph at
Sun Jun 10 21:47:07 EDT 2001

Are Python's libraries generally written in C or in Python, and why?
Someone commented on another thread that the function  ran
faster in its 1.5.2 version than in its 2.1 version, because in 1.5.2 it
was implemented in C and in 2.1 it was implemented in Python. It was
suggested to instead use the "pre" module, but I see it is old and may
become obsolete? I am curious as to the reasoning behind why these kinds
of changes and decisions are made?

In general, as Python evolves from version to version, is Python code
likely to get slightly faster in execution time, or slightly slower?
Mind you, I am a Pythonista because of the numerous other beauties of
the language, not because of any speed issues; and I can certainly see
why Python should be and is optimized for other criteria, not speed, and
if this sometimes means a little step backwards in speed of code
execution then so be it. But I am just curious about the trade-offs, and
why such decisions are made.

There have been a few threads about 2.x versions of Python being a
little slower, in terms of the execution speed of similar code, than
1.5.2. Is this speed decrement likely to be permanent? Can anyone
comment on this?

I hesitate to ask any of this, because my extreme state of newbieness
and lack of knowledge do not give me any right to even speak up and ask
such questions. I only rush in where I should fear to tread because the
tangible beauty of the evolutionary process of a work of art such as the
Python programming language excites my curiosity and sense of wonder.

And then there is Jython. Is Python the mother and Java the father, or
is it the other way around? Does anyone else see the evolution of
Python, Jython and future offspring as a living work of art?

Ron Stephens

"...And from the heights of Mount Olympus, the mighty Patriarch C looks
on with pride as His progeny mutate under the new arts of cryo-genetic
surgery, His chromosomes are mixed-in, multiply inherited, and
ultimately transcended..." quoted from the Ars Cryogenia, Class
Phylogeny, opus five.

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