Python is slow

bearophileHUGS at lycos.com bearophileHUGS at lycos.com
Fri Dec 12 15:58:39 CET 2008


sturlamolden:
> On a recent benchmark Java 6 -server beats C compiled by GCC 4.2.3 And
> most of that magic comes from an implementation of a dynamically typed
> language (Smalltalk). [...]
> http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32q/benchmark.php?test=all〈=all

That is indeed a nice result, JavaVM has come a long way from the
first one used for applets. That result comes mostly from the fact
that this is a test on a 4-core CPU, that is less easy to manage from
C. You can see that in the single 64-bit core tests:
http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u64/benchmark.php?test=all&lang=all
And take a look at the memory used too, up to 34 times higher for the
JVM on the 4-core CPU.

In the next years people that use low-level languages like C may need
to invent a new language fitter for multi-core CPUs, able to be used
on GPUs too (see the OpenCL), less error-prone than C, able to use the
CPU vector instructions efficiently. (The D language is probably unfit
for this purpose, because even if it's meant to be a system language,
I don't think it can be used much to replace C everywhere it's used
now.) A C+ maybe? :-)

I agree that CPython may quite enjoy having something built-in like
Psyco, but it's a lot of work for an open source project. Probably
with 1/3 or 1/2 of the work poured on PyPy you may create that
improvement for CPython. Maybe PyPy will someday produce some fruit,
but I think they have used the wrong strategy: instead of trying to
create something very new that someday will work, it's often better to
try to improve something that today everybody uses, AND try to be
useful from almost the very beginning.

Bye,
bearophile



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