Why not a Python compiler?
hniksic at xemacs.org
Fri Feb 8 17:32:19 CET 2008
Ryszard Szopa <ryszard.szopa at gmail.com> writes:
>> The main determinant of Python's performance isn't the interpreter
>> overhead, but the amount of work that must be done at run-time and
>> cannot be moved to compile-time or optimized away.
> Well, I am still not convinced that Python is intrinsically
> un-compilable :-).
It's not. My point is that it's very hard to optimize if your goal is
to implement Python as currently defined.
> Some optimizations that are nowadays done by hand probably could be
> abstracted. Think assigning a method to a local variable before using
> it in a loop...
That's an example of what I'm talking about: it is simply not correct
to cache methods in general. If you think changing classes is a
no-no, remember that function objects can be and do get added to an
individual instance's __dict__. Of course, your compiler could
support a declaration that disables the optimization for code that
really needs to do it, but then you're no longer compatible with
Python. (And by "Python" I don't mean just CPython, but the core
language as defined by the language reference and implemented in
CPython, Jython, and IronPython.)
> Anyway, I won't be very surprised if in a couple of years your
> average c.l.py troll is going to be asking "So I heard that Python
> is an interpreted only language, how can it be any good?", and you
> will be explaining for the thousandth time: "Since version 4.2
> Python has a fast native code compiler, so...". ;-)
I'll be very happy to be proven wrong in that respect. :-)
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