Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.
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Python is my language of choice, something that I’ve used for a number of websites, applications and tools. It’s speed of execution has never been an issue for me, even when using it to wrangle large XML files into something more useful.
Despite this, I’m happy to see the existence of the Unladen Swallow project. Whether this tiny team of two Google engineers will really be able to make Python 5 times faster remains to be seen, but the attempt will surely be worthwhile. Already improvements have been made, and brought back into the mainline of Python, and the approach being taken seems solid.
The project’s plan is both practical and well thought out. There have been several attempts to re-implement or speed up Python before (PyPy, Pysco, IronPython, Jython), none of which have come close to challenging CPython in terms of adoption. By accepting that CPython is the common implementation of choice, and concentrating on making it better, the project’s benefits should be widely felt. Similarly, planning to gain the performance improvements through application of the relevant academic research, rather than trying to discover something new, should ensure a measure of success in a short period of time.
Copyright 2009 Colin Stewart