Python code written in 1998, how to improve/change it?

Peter Hansen peter at
Thu Jan 19 23:16:57 EST 2006

Carl Cerecke wrote:
> Carl Cerecke wrote:
>>Ah. Well, my post suggested, as one option, the callables call
>>each other directly.
> Doh! No I didn't. And they shouldn't. Otherwise the call stack
> gets out of hand. But I did suggest that each callable representing a 
> state set a global variable, just before it returns, to the callable 
> representing the next state to be called. Still no map required. Just a 
> while loop. In any case, the function call/return is wasted cycles.

I believe the more modern approach to this is to use generators in some 
way, yield each other as the next state.  This way you avoid all almost 
all the function call overhead (the part that takes significant time, 
which is setting up the stack frame) and don't have to resort to 
bytecode hacks for better performance.

Of course, if you have a state machine with many small states each doing 
a tiny bit of processing and you're still concerned over performance, 
you probably should be looking into Pysco or Pyrex and avoid making your 
code really unreadable.


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