Nuitka Release 0.6.0

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 adds massive improvements for optimization and a couple of bug fixes.

It also indicates reaching the mile stone of doing actual type inference, even if only very limited.

And with the new version numbers, lots of UI changes go along. The options to control recursion into modules have all been renamed, some now have different defaults, and finally the filenames output have changed.

Bug Fixes

  • Python3.5: Fix, the awaiting flag was not removed for exceptions thrown into a coroutine, so next time it appeared to be awaiting instead of finished.
  • Python3: Classes in generators that were using built-in functions crashed the compilation with C errors.
  • Some regressions for XML outputs from previous changes were fixed.
  • Fix, hasattr was not raising an exception if used with non-string attributes.
  • For really large compilations, MSVC linker could choke on the input file, line length limits, which is now fixed for the inline copy of Scons.
  • Standalone: Follow changed hidden dependency of PyQt5 to PyQt5.sip for newer versions
  • Standalone: Include certificate file using by requests module in some cases as a data file.

New Optimization

  • Enabled C target type nuitka_bool for variables that are stored with boolean shape only, and generate C code for those
  • Using C target type nuitka_bool many more expressions are now handled better in conditions.
  • Enhanced is and is not to be C source type aware, so they can be much faster for them.
  • Use C target type for bool built-in giving more efficient code for some source values.
  • Annotate the not result to have boolean type shape, allowing for more compile time optimization with it.
  • Restored previously lost optimization of loop break handling StopIteration which makes loops much faster again.
  • Restore lost optimization of subscripts with constant integer values making them faster again.
  • Optimize in-place operations for cases where left, right, or both sides have known type shapes for some values. Initially only a few variants were added, but there is more to come.
  • When adjacent parts of an f-string become known string constants, join them at compile time.
  • When there is only one remaining part in an f-string, use that directly as the result.
  • Optimize empty f-strings directly into empty strings constant during the tree building phase.
  • Added specialized attribute check for use in re-formulations that doesn't expose exceptions.
  • Remove locals sync operation in scopes without local variables, e.g. classes or modules, making exec and the like slightly leaner there.
  • Remove try nodes that did only re-raise exceptions.
  • The del of variables is now driven fully by C types and generates more compatible code.
  • Removed useless double exception exits annotated for expressions of conditions and added code that allows conditions to adapt themselves to the target shape bool during optimization.

New Features

  • Added support for using .egg files in PYTHONPATH, one of the more rare uses, where Nuitka wasn't yet compatible.
  • Output binaries in standalone mode with platform suffix, on non-Windows that means no suffix. In accelerated mode on non-Windows, use .bin as a suffix to avoid collision with files that have no suffix.
  • Windows: It's now possible to use clang-cl.exe for CC with Nuitka as a third compiler on Windows, but it requires an existing MSVC install to be used for resource compilation and linking.
  • Windows: Added support for using ccache.exe and clcache.exe, so that object files can now be cached for re-compilation.
  • For debug mode, report missing in-place helpers. These kinds of reports are to become more universal and are aimed at recognizing missed optimization chances in Nuitka. This features is still in its infancy. Subsequent releases will add more like these.

Organizational

  • Disabled comments on the web site, we are going to use Twitter instead, once the site is migrated to an updated Nikola.
  • The static C code is now formatted with clang-format to make it easier for contributors to understand.
  • Moved the construct runner to top level binary and use it from there, with future changes coming that should make it generally useful outside of Nuitka.
  • Enhanced the issue template to tell people how to get the develop version of Nuitka to try it out.
  • Added documentation for how use the object caching on Windows to the User Manual.
  • Removed the included GUI, originally intended for debugging, but XML outputs are more powerful anyway, and it had been in disrepair for a long time.
  • Removed long deprecated options, e.g. --exe which has long been the default and is no more accepted.
  • Renamed options to include plugin files to --include-plugin-directory and --include-plugin-files for more clarity.
  • Renamed options for recursion control to e.g. --follow-imports to better express what they actually do.
  • Removed --python-version support for switching the version during compilation. This has only worked for very specific circumstances and has been deprecated for a while.
  • Removed --code-gen-no-statement-lines support for not having line numbers updated at run time. This has long been hidden and probably would never gain all that much, while causing a lot of incompatibilty.

Cleanups

  • Moved command line arguments to dedicated module, adding checks was becoming too difficult.
  • Moved rich comparison helpers to a dedicated C file.
  • Dedicated binary and unary node bases for clearer distinction and more efficient memory usage of unuary nodes. Unary operations also no longer have in-place operation as an issue.
  • Major cleanup of variable accesses, split up into multiple phases and all including module variables being performed through C types, with no special cases anymore.
  • Partial cleanups of C type classes with code duplications, there is much more to resolve though.
  • Windows: The way exec was performed is discouraged in the subprocess documentation, so use a variant that cannot block instead.
  • Code proving information about built-in names and values was using not very portable constructs, and is now written in a way that PyPy would also like.

Tests

  • Avoid using 2to3 for basic operators test, removing test of some Python2 only stuff, that is covered elsewhere.
  • Added ability to cache output of CPython when comparing to it. This is to allow CI tests to not execute the same code over and over, just to get the same value to compare with. This is not enabled yet.

Summary

This release marks a point, from which on performance improvements are likely in every coming release. The C target types are a major milestone. More C target types are in the work, e.g. void is coming for expressions that are done, but not used, that is scheduled for the next release.

Although there will be a need to also adapt optimization to take full advantage of it, progress should be quick from here. There is a lot of ground to cover, with more C types to come, and all of them needing specialized helpers. But as soon as e.g. int, str are covered, many more programs are going to benefiting from this.