Parallel Python on PowerMac?

Alan Kennedy alanmk at
Mon Nov 29 19:59:02 CET 2004

[Wolfgang Keller]
 > as I might get a dual-G5 PowerMac someday in the not to distant
 > future, I was wondering what options are available for making Python
 > benefit from the second CPU? Running two interpreters and using Pyro
 > would not be the most efficient (and easiest) way, I guess?

Qualifier: obviously efficiency is relative to the application.

But I would venture to say that, *in the general case*, the "most 
efficient" way to benefit from a second cpu, both in terms of coding 
time and execution efficiency, is to use either jython on a suitable jvm 
or ironpython on mono (when it catches up with the .net CLR in efficiency).

I say "most efficient in execution efficiency" because all of the 
de/serialization involved with communicating between two independent 
cpython interpreters, using something like pyro, would outweigh whatever 
performance advantage cpython might have over jython or ironpython. This 
becomes more pronounced as you add more and more processors into the 

I say "most efficient in coding time" because cpython would require you 
to specially write code for inter-interpreter communications, and 
possibly restructure your application accordingly, whereas jython and 
ironpython won't: the same interpreter can have threads on multiple 
processors, all executing simultaneously.

Although, iff your prospective machine supports System V IPC, you might 
want to check out PoSH.


alan kennedy
email alan:    

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