Why is python not written in C++ ?

Ethan Furman ethan at stoneleaf.us
Wed Aug 4 00:52:34 CEST 2010

John Bokma wrote:
> Ethan Furman <ethan at stoneleaf.us> writes:
>> 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?
> Via C.

Huh?  Presumably Python itself is not a library, and the extension may 
not be a library, at some point they will have different name mangling 
schemes... are you suggesting that after going through the effort if 
writing all this in C++ you would then have to write a wrapper in C so 
the two could talk to each other?


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