Nuitka Release 0.5.24

This is to inform you about the new stable release of Nuitka. It is the extremely compatible Python compiler. Please see the page "What is Nuitka?" for an overview.

This release is again focusing on optimization, this time very heavily on the generator performance, which was found to be much slower than CPython for some cases. Also there is the usual compatibility work and improvements for Pure C support.

Bug Fixes

  • Windows: The 3.5.2 coroutine new protocol implementation was using the wrapper from CPython, but it's not part of the ABI on Windows. Have our own instead. Fixed in 0.5.23.1 already.
  • Windows: Fixed second compilation with MSVC failing. The files renamed to be C++ files already existed, crashing the compilation. Fixed in 0.5.23.1 already.
  • Mac OS: Fixed creating extension modules with .so suffix. This is now properly determined by looking at the importer details, leading to correct suffix on all platforms. Fixed in 0.5.23.1 already.
  • Debian: Don't depend on a C++ compiler primarily anymore, the C compiler from GNU or clang will do too. Fixed in 0.5.23.1 already.
  • Pure C: Adapted scons compiler detecting to properly consider C11 compilers from the environment, and more gracefully report things.

Optimization

  • Python2: Generators were saving and restoring exceptions, updating the variables sys.exc_type for every context switch, making it really slow, as these are 3 dictionary updates, normally not needed. Now it's only doing it if it means a change.
  • Sped up creating generators, coroutines and coroutines by attaching the closure variable storage directly to the object, using one variable size allocation, instead of two, once of which was a standard malloc. This makes creating them easier and avoids maintaining the closure pointer entirely.
  • Using dedicated compiled cell implementation similar to PyCellObject but fully under our control. This allowed for smaller code generated, while still giving a slight performance improvement.
  • Added free list implementation to cache generator, coroutines, and function objects, avoiding the need to create and delete this kind of objects in a loop.
  • Added support for the built-in sum, making slight optimizations to be much faster when iterating over lists and tuples, as well as fast long sum for Python2, and much faster bool sums too. This is using a prototype version of a "qiter" concept.
  • Provide type shape for xrange calls that are not constant too, allowing for better optimization related to those.

Tests

  • Added workarounds for locks being held by Virus Scanners on Windows to our test runner.
  • Enhanced constructs that test generator expressions to more clearly show the actual construct cost.
  • Added construct tests for the sum built-in on verious types of int containers, making sure we can do all of those really fast.

Summary

This release improves very heavily on generators in Nuitka. The memory allocator is used more cleverly, and free lists all around save a lot of interactions with it. More work lies ahead in this field, as these are not yet as fast as they should be. However, at least Nuitka should be faster than CPython for these kind of usages now.

Also, proper pure C in the Scons is relatively important to cover more of the rarer use cases, where the C compiler is too old.

The most important part is actually how sum optimization is staging a new kind of approach for code generation. This could become the standard code for iterators in loops eventually, making for loops even faster. This will be for future releases to expand.

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