[ann] Minimal Python project

Christian Tismer tismer at tismer.com
Mon Jan 13 18:02:51 CET 2003

(copying to pypy-dev since this is an incentive)

Paul Rubin wrote:
> Christian Tismer <tismer at tismer.com> writes:
>>You know what my goals are.
>>Smaller, more flexible, faster, easier to change,
>>easier to maintain, easier to keep backwards
>>compatible, more portable due to less C code,
>>down-sizeable by features (which is most difficult),
>>the full catastrophe...
> Well ok, it wasn't clear before what the entire set of goals were.
>>We will try to implement Python as exact and clean
>>as possible. The langage should be implemented

Now Paul is nailing thing down :-)

> Are you going to try to keep the C API backwards compatible?

I wish to, but I cant guarantee it. This is
a matter of experimentation. Fore sure, we
will try to build a version that adheres to
the C API, at least in the early bootstrap
phase, we really need to do so, in order to use
"borrowed" internals and extensions.

It then depends on experience to be gathered,
how much conformance to the C API costs. If it turns
out to be much more efficient to use a different
API, and maybe a radical change of internal
data structures as well, then TiPy (randomly picked
name from all the proposals :) is the first chance
to try such new ways at all.
This can lead to a compatibility layer (maybe hard
to implement), and these insights may become
proposals to change core Python as well.
It is also thinkable to have options in TiPy which
make even this configurable at boot time, and people
can decide whether they want it compatible or faster.

Some of the "internal" API like compiler related
functions and stuff from ceval.c will most probably
be changed, anyway, but the common API will be
as it is now. This is where we start with.

> Are you going to include exact implementations of currently
> not-really-documented features such as metaclasses?

Absolutely. I'm using metaclasses very much, and I
also will chime a compatible patch in, which allows
to use slots in metaclasses. I need that, and Stackless
has it.

> Will stuff like frame objects still work as documented?  Do you expect
> to be able to run the current version of pdb.py without changes?

Yes, for the first round, frames should be rather
like they are now. They will get more interfaces
to be manipulated by Python code.
pdb.py should run as it is now.
I know there is an issue with Psyco, which doesn't
create frames all the time. This is an issue that
need thorough discussion and design.

> I don't think you should necessarily hold yourself to any of the
> above, but that's just me.

If the above can be achieved for a reasonable
price, then we really should try. If it hurts
too much, then it may be easier to change the
rest of the world :-)

>>It will be a major amount of work to deduce the
>>dependencies of features, and how to arrange them
>>in a scalable shape. I do believe that the core
>>group will help us with that.
> I'm pretty excited by the project.  I think you're going to push the
> limits of the Python language harder than they've ever been pushed
> against before.  And you'll be in a unique position to actually remove
> the limits when you hit them, rather than having to work around them.
> I hope you'll trust yourself to use such opportunities when it's right
> to do so.

Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to to as
well as possible. Not loosing chances to stay
compatible, at the same time not loosing good
new opportunities by sticking too much with
old principles.
This is not easy and a balancing act. Something
that I could not do alone, and I'm happy that
there are so many supporters and people going to

I'd-love-to-have-*you*-in-that-group-too -- chris

Christian Tismer             :^)   <mailto:tismer at tismer.com>
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