Converting Python app to C++ completely

Joe Knapka jknapka at earthlink.nospam
Mon Sep 16 14:21:11 EDT 2002

Roy Smith wrote:
> Magnus Lycka <magnus at> wrote:
>>A common approach is to factor out the performance critical
>>parts (once you have actually measured) and rewrite them in
>>C or C++. The profiler is a good tool for this measuring.
> I'm in the process of doing exactly that.  I've got an app I wrote in 
> Python which needed speeding up.  Profiling showed that 99% of the CPU 
> time was spent in one class, which did a lot of low-level character 
> processing.  Mostly what it did was thrash around creating string 
> objects and tearing them down again in a rather un-pythonic way.
> Seemed like a perfect opportunity to learn C++, so I re-wrote the class 
> in that language.  Somewhat surprisingly, I only got about a 2x speedup.  
> I think the reason is because now instead of spending all my time 
> allocating and deallocating Python strings, I'm doing the same with C++ 
> strings :-)
> I'm going to take a shot at re-writing it again using C-style arrays of 
> characters.  It'll be interesting to see how much speedup I get.  I 
> figure one of two things will happen; either the C version will be much 
> faster than the C++ version, or it won't.  Either way, I figure I will 
> have learned something about C++, and maybe about Python too :-)

You might try rewriting it in Python, using lists of characters
instead of strings for the stuff that's causing performance
trouble. Given str, lst = list(str), then do all the processing
(in place) on lst, and ''.join(lst) to turn it back into a string.


-- Joe

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