Python's biggest compromises

Michael Hudson mwh at
Mon Aug 4 13:05:21 CEST 2003

Paul Rubin <> writes:

> > As I understand it, Psyco unboxes some types and does away with some
> > of the need for any GC.  *That* does seem to make a difference.
> I think very large performance improvements can come from changing the
> language semantics in ways that would cause some backwards
> incompatibility.  But I think that should be considered for Python
> 3000 which should be implemented with a native-code compiler from the
> very outset.  I don't see why a good Python system can't have the
> performance of a good Lisp system.

I can think of a few reasons, actually, with Python as it is today,
mostly along the lines of things like "you can't extend at runtime the
functionality of #'cl:=".

Tangentially, I'm not aware of any work that does Pysco-style dynamic
specialization in a Common Lisp environment, which surprises me to the
extent that I suspect I just don't know about it.  Can anyone provide
a pointer?


  ... with these conditions cam the realisation that ... nothing
  turned a perfectly normal healthy individual into a great political
  or military leader better than irreversible brain damage.
                   -- The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Episode 11

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