[Web-SIG] Research Topics for Grad School

Stéfane Fermigier sf at fermigier.com
Mon Nov 11 03:44:57 EST 2019


I've been using the PyIodide project for some research work (
https://github.com/abilian/olapy/tree/master/pyodide). This is great, but
in the end it's "just" CPython compiled in the browser, with some hacks
sprinkled around to make the libraries you depend upon work in the browser.

Transpiling is another approach, which has other use cases.

Both of these approaches have legitimate use cases, but I believe they both
will allow only niche applications. We need, IMHO, a new approach that
would combine the pros of both approaches (i.e.: maximise interoperability
with both the Python and HTML5 ecosystems).

I've had a short discussion on this topic on Twitter yesterday:


And at the end of the conversation, I was thinking to myself: "Wouldn't it
be great if there was some PhD work starting on this subjects?".

But I can't really recommend, without thinking about it much longer, an
appropriate detailed approach for a research project.

At least, I'm open to keeping the discussion open.

(Relevant starting points should be Russell's, Łukasz' and Paul's talks
about the future of Python).


On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 4:15 AM yun bao <dayunbao at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm planning to go to grad school next fall, and I'm in the process of
> refining my thesis idea.  My basic idea is connected to Python running in a
> web browser.  However, I'm still trying to hone in on a good research idea
> that will be useful and relevant to the Python community.  So I was hoping
> someone here might be able to help.
> I've been reaching out to a few different communities to better understand
> the current state of, and problems associated with, getting Python running
> in a browser.  I spoke to someone at Mozilla, who said he thought that
> pursuing WebAssembly was the best option.  He said it was very unlikely
> that browser vendors would drastically modify their products to host a
> dedicated Python engine. He pointed me to the Pyodide project, which has
> gotten quite a few scientific Python packages running in a web browser
> using the WebAssembly version of CPython. The Pyodide team compiled CPython
> to WebAssembly using Emscripten.  This is pretty exciting, as most of the
> solutions I'd previously seen involved translating or transpiling Python to
> JavaScript (Transcrypt, Brython, PypyJS), and then executing that.  I've
> reached out to the Pyodide people, but thought I would see if anyone in the
> Python community was involved in this kind of work.
> Any thoughts or advice that you could share would be most welcome.
> Thanks,
> Andrew
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Stefane Fermigier - http://fermigier.com/ - http://twitter.com/sfermigier -
Founder & CEO, Abilian - Enterprise Social Software -
Chairman, National Council for Free & Open Source Software (CNLL) -
Founder & Organiser, PyParis & PyData Paris - http://pyparis.org/ &
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