Stackless Python, eventual merge?

Greg Ewing see_reply_address at something.invalid
Wed Sep 18 19:43:44 EDT 2002

Martin v. Löwis wrote:

> Depends on your notion of "danger"; I usually associate it with fear
> and uncertainty :-)

Well, I *do* experience fear and uncertainty when
I find that the normally secure and predictable
environment of Python suddenly starts crashing
on me. It takes all the fun out of things.

> If you know it can crash when you do certain things, and you document
> that limitation, there is no danger. There are already ways to crash
> Python, the dlmodule being an example in the core distribution.

The problem in this case is that it's not something
*I* do which is going to cause the crash, it's
something done by the internals of some piece of
C code that I know nothing about. Something which
is not going to be documented, because it's a
perfectly legitimate and unremarkable thing for
C code to do.

So, the only way to find out whether a particular
extension is safe to use in Stackless is to try
it. And that only gives a definite answer when
the answer is "no, it's not safe". If it doesn't
crash, I still can't be confident that it won't
crash at some time in the future.

That's why I say that I would be nervous about
using Stackless. Not to say that would stop me
from using it, but I'd feel nervous while I was
doing it! :-)

> Also, readers should notice that your example requires Stackless to be
> used:

Yes, I understand that, and I acknowledge that it
won't cause any harm to have Stackless in the core
if the Stackless stuff is switched off by default.

Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,	
Christchurch, New Zealand

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