pypy-0.8.0: Translatable compiler/parser and some more speed

The PyPy development team has been busy working and we’ve now packaged our latest improvements, completed work and new experiments as version 0.8.0, our third public release.

The highlights of this third release of PyPy are:

  • Translatable parser and AST compiler. PyPy now integrates its own compiler based on Python own ‘compiler’ package but with a number of fixes and code simplifications in order to get it translated with the rest of PyPy. This makes using the translated pypy interactively much more pleasant, as compilation is considerably faster than in 0.7.0.
  • Some Speed enhancements. Translated PyPy is now about 10 times faster than 0.7 but still 10-20 times slower than CPython on pystones and other benchmarks. At the same time, language compliance has been slightly increased compared to 0.7 which had already reached major CPython compliance goals.
  • Some experimental features are now translatable. Since 0.6.0, PyPy shipped with an experimental Object Space (the part of PyPy implementing Python object operations and manipulation) implementing lazily computed objects, the “Thunk” object space. With 0.8.0 this object space can also be translated preserving its feature additions.

What is PyPy (about)?

PyPy is a MIT-licensed research-oriented reimplementation of Python written in Python itself, flexible and easy to experiment with. It translates itself to lower level languages. Our goals are to target a large variety of platforms, small and large, by providing a compilation 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 a language implementation itself. Eventually, dynamic optimization techniques - implemented as another translation aspect - should become robust against language changes.

Note that PyPy is mainly a research and development project and does not by itself focus on getting a production-ready Python implementation although we do hope and expect it to become a viable contender in that area sometime next year.

PyPy is partially funded as a research project under the European Union’s IST programme.

Where to start?

Getting started:

PyPy Documentation:

PyPy Homepage:

The interpreter and object model implementations shipped with the 0.8 version can run on their own and implement the core language features of Python as of CPython 2.4. However, we still do not recommend using PyPy for anything else than for education, playing or research purposes.

Ongoing work and near term goals

At the last sprint in Paris we started exploring the new directions of our work, in terms of extending and optimizing PyPy further. We started to scratch the surface of Just-In-Time compiler related work, which we still expect will be the major source of our future speed improvements and some successful amount of work has been done on the support needed for stackless-like features.

This release also includes the snapshots in preliminary or embryonic form of the following interesting but yet not completed sub projects:

  • The OOtyper, a RTyper variation for higher-level backends (Squeak, …)
  • A JavaScript backend
  • A limited (PPC) assembler backend (this related to the JIT)
  • some bits for a socket module

PyPy has been developed during approximately 16 coding sprints across Europe and the US. It continues to be a very dynamically and incrementally evolving project with many of these one-week workshops to follow.

PyPy has been a community effort from the start and it would not have got that far without the coding and feedback support from numerous people. Please feel free to give feedback and raise questions.

have fun,

the pypy team, (Armin Rigo, Samuele Pedroni, Holger Krekel, Christian Tismer, Carl Friedrich Bolz, Michael Hudson, and many others:

PyPy development and activities happen as an open source project and with the support of a consortium partially funded by a two year European Union IST research grant. The full partners of that consortium are:

Heinrich-Heine University (Germany), AB Strakt (Sweden) merlinux GmbH (Germany), tismerysoft GmbH (Germany) Logilab Paris (France), DFKI GmbH (Germany) ChangeMaker (Sweden), Impara (Germany)