Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unladen Swallow

Unladen Swallow is a branch of Python 2.6.1 that aims to be 5x faster than CPython (via Jesse Noller):

The majority of our work will focus on speeding the execution of Python code, while spending comparatively little time on the Python runtime library. Our long-term proposal is to replace CPython’s custom virtual machine with a JIT built on top of LLVM, while leaving the rest of the Python runtime relatively intact. We have observed that Python applications spend a large portion of their time in the main eval loop. In particular, even relatively minor changes to VM components such as opcode dispatch have a significant effect on Python application performance. We believe that compiling Python to machine code via LLVM’s JIT engine will deliver large performance benefits.

Great name.

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