Could Emacs be rewritten in Python?

Christian Tanzer tanzer at
Mon Apr 7 08:18:20 CEST 2003

martin at (Martin v. =?iso-8859-15?q?L=F6wis?=) wrote:

> pobrien at (Patrick K. O'Brien) writes:
> > Are there translators out there?  I looked and couldn't find any.
> Parsing S-Expressions is fairly trivial - they are designed to be
> readily parsable. For a full translator, you need to define the
> language mapping first, i.e. how do you want to represent atoms,
> function names, etc.

I expect the main difficulty to be the difference in scoping
models -- the dynamic scoping of Elisp is probably pretty hard to
simulate in Python without incurring major performance problems. And
that's used by lots of Elisp code, so skipping it is not an option if
you want to have comparable behavior.

Christian Tanzer                                         tanzer at
Glasauergasse 32                                       Tel: +43 1 876 62 36
A-1130 Vienna, Austria                                 Fax: +43 1 877 66 92

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