Why is python not written in C++ ?

Ethan Furman ethan at stoneleaf.us
Tue Aug 3 19:02:10 CEST 2010

John Bokma wrote:
> Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> writes:
>> On 08/01/2010 07:09 PM, John Bokma wrote:
>>>> One thing that comes to mind is that it's much easier to distribute C 
>>>> libraries than C++ libraries.
>>> In the beginning of C++ there were programs that just converted C++ to C
>>> (frontends). At least that is how the C++ compiler Acorn sold worked.
>>> So I don't think your argument was much true back then.
>> No, he is still right.  Each C++ implementation did name mangling
>> differently leading to "C" libraries that had incompatible names and
>> signatures.  Also each frontend could have generated incompatible
>> vtables and other C++ structures.  So C code generated by one C++
>> frontend could not easily call C code generated by another C++ frontend.
>>  So the same arguments that are made about C++ now were just as valid
>> back then when C++ was merely a fancy preprocessor.
> See my other post: I understand that two C++ preprocessors can't call
> each others generated code, but if one uses C++ and knows that one can
> only use shared C libraries on target systems, and not C++ libraries
> that might be present (or more likely not: C++ was new in those days).

So if Python were written in C++, and an extension was written in C++, 
how could the two call each other?


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