[Numpy-discussion] Some observations or questions about psyco & pyrex

John Eikenberry jae at zhar.net
Sat Feb 8 15:11:01 CST 2003

Perry Greenfield wrote:

> Both psyco and pyrex have some great aspects. But I think
> it is worth a little reflection on what can and can't be
> expected of them. I'm basically ignorant of both; I know
> a little about them, but haven't used them. if anything I 
> say is wrong, please correct me. I'm going to make some
> comments based on inferred characteristics of them that 
> could well be wrong.

I'd like to suggest to anyone interested in these ideas that they take a
look a the pypython/minimal-python mailing list:

> Psyco is very cool and seems the answer to many dreams. 
> But consider the cost. From what I can infer, it obtains
> its performance enhancements at least in part by constructing
> machine code on the fly from the Python code. In other
> words it is performing aspects of running on particular
> processors that is usually relegated to C compilers by 
> Python.
> I'd guess that the price is the far greater difficulty of
> maintaining such capability across many processor types.
> It also likely increases the complexity of the implementation
> of Python, perhaps making it much harder to change and
> enhance. Even without it handling things that are needed
> for array processing, how likely is it that it will be 
> accepted as the standard implementation for Python for 
> these reasons alone. 
The hope is that quite the opposite of just about every one of these
points will be true. That once Python is reimplemented in Python, with
psycho as a backend jit-like compiler, it will decrease the complexity
of the implementation. Making it much easier to change and enhance. 

I tend to be quite optimistic about the potential for pypython and
psycho. I think the added work of the platform dependent psycho modules
will be offset by the rest of the system being written in Python.


John Eikenberry
[jae at zhar.net - http://zhar.net]
"Perfection (in design) is achieved not when there is nothing more to add,
 but rather when there is nothing more to take away."
                                        -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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