Python un-plugging the Interpreter

Steve Holden steve at
Tue Apr 24 16:44:48 CEST 2007

Jorgen Grahn wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Apr 2007 20:39:57 -0700, Alex Martelli <aleax at> wrote:
>> Steve Holden <steve at> wrote:
>>> A long time ago Greg Stein produced a patch that removed the need for
>>> the GIL, but nobody seemed to want to pay the penalty it extracted in
>>> speed reduction, so it languished unadopted.
>> Perhaps the current wave of dual-core and quad-core CPUs in cheap
>> consumer products would change people's perceptions -- I wonder...
> Maybe it would change /perceptions/, but would normal users suddenly
> start running things that are (a) performance-critical, (b) written in
> Python and (c) use algorithms that are possible to parallellize?
> I doubt it. (But I admit that I am a bit negative towards thread
> programming in general, and I have whined about this before.)
Well there seems to be little doubt that the rise in clock speeds is 
reaching a plateau, so it seems like parallelization will have to be the 
long-term trend. It's difficult to perform a deep enough static analysis 
of programs in dynamic languages to automatically parallelize the code 
(it's hard enough for languages like Fortran), but I am sure that over 
the next few years languages will start to sprout features that make 
programmer-directed parallelization easier.

I'd like to see Python leading that charge, not failing to track it. So, 
stop being a Luddite ;-)

Steve Holden       +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC/Ltd
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