Abelson and Python

Scott David Daniels scott.daniels at acm.org
Thu Nov 23 17:50:21 CET 2006

markscottwright wrote:
> Fredrik Lundh wrote:
>> markscottwright wrote:
>>  > If it were that easy, the PyPy guys would be done by now.
>> if the PyPy guys had focused on writing a Python interpreter in Python,
>> they'd been done by now.
>> </F>
> Isn't that the point of PyPy?  It's what their mission statement says
> (http://codespeak.net/pypy/dist/pypy/doc/architecture.html#mission-statement):
> "PyPy is an implementation of the Python programming language written
> in Python itself, flexible and easy to experiment with."
> This is something that is amazingly easy to do in scheme, since the
> language is so simple, but is typically pretty difficult to do in other
> languages....
> That said, I see now that the course we're talking about isn't the same
> as the old 6.001 course, and presumably has different pedagogical goals.
There are a more than a few library functions in the Python code that
are written in C in CPython.  Not only is PyPy trying to get the
_entire_ Python system into Python, it is trying to do so in a
friendly-to-translation-in-a-statically-typed-language way.

Besides, if you can freely use "eval" and "exec", how hard is a pure
python language interpreter?

--Scott David Daniels
scott.daniels at acm.org

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