[ann] Minimal Python project

Christian Tismer tismer at tismer.com
Sun Jan 12 20:03:23 CET 2003


Steve Holden wrote:
> "Edward K. Ream" <edream at tds.net> wrote ...
> [Holger]
> 
>>>As Armin Rigo of PSYCO fame takes part in the effort,
>>
>>we are confident that MinimalPython will eventually
>>run faster than today's CPython.
>>
>>This announcement seems to be making a truly remarkable claim, namely that
>>one could increase the speed of  C code by recoding it in Python and then
>>applying Psycho to it.
>>
>>I am inclined to disbelieve this claim.  Why should Psycho be able to do
>>better than an optimizing C compiler applied to hand-written interpreter
>>code and/or library code?  [...]

...

> In more or less the same way that a good C compiler nowadays tends to
> produce code that out-performs an algorithm coded in assembly language by a
> moderately-competent programmer?

Exactly.
A good C compiler outperforms a good assembly
programmer, since it is stubborn enough and able
to keep track of many registers and variables.
These are things that a programmer can probably
do better in the small, but not in the large.

But a C compiler creates static code.
A compiler which is able to figure out
the common cases at run-time and is able
to specialize, is more adaptive and thereby
can theoretically produce better code than
the static compiler. It also can adapt to
the actual CPU version much better, if we
support that.

This is of course not an easy job, and maybe
we will fail miserably for some reason.
But we will never know if we don't try.

There is at least a chance to take -- chris

-- 
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