python performance

Martin v. Löwis loewis at
Mon Sep 16 05:59:57 EDT 2002

Padraig Brady <Padraig at> writes:

> > Calling functions adds overhead.  Running code within functions
> > reduces overhead for object access.
> Ah OK, this because it has to search a smaller namespace?

No. Inside a function, local variables are accessed with integer
indices, instead of by name. This is possible because there is static
knowledge about the local variables in a function.

> Wouldn't compiling overcome this? 

Not if you want to preserve Python semantics; the compiler would need
to emit code that performs the same actions that the interpreter
currently does.


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