This Week in PyPy
by Jeremy Jones
I've heard of PyPy, but never really understood what they were trying to accomplish. I guess I always figured it was a "for the heck of it" project. Not so. Here is their mission statement (from the PyPy architecture document):
PyPy is an implementation of the Python programming language written in Python itself, flexible and easy to experiment with. Our long-term goals are to target a large variety of platforms, small and large, by providing a compiler toolsuite that can produce custom Python versions. Platform, memory and threading models are to become aspects of the translation process - as opposed to encoding low level details into the language implementation itself. Eventually, dynamic optimization techniques - implemented as another translation aspect - should become robust against language changes.
So, there's some serious stuff going on in PyPy. I've got to confess that this particular "this week in PyPy" doesn't mean much to me. Maybe once I read the architecture overview and some of the other docs on the PyPy webpage, it'll come together for me a little better.
The PyPy team is going to post a weekly update of the happenings in PyPy at this website: http://codespeak.net/pypy/dist/pypy/doc/weekly/. I'll try to post a link to the specific weekly update as I notice them.
Here's a blog entry that puts PyPy in context
The discussion of PyPy in particular is about half way down I think, but it's an interesting take on the various implementations of Python such as Jython, Iron Python and PyPy, and their respective value.