01 November 2011

Nuitka Release 0.3.13

This is to inform you about the new stable release of Nuitka. It is the extremely compatible Python compiler, “download now”.

This release is mostly the result of working towards compilation of a real programs (Mercurial) and to merge and finalize the frame stack work. Now Nuitka has a correct frame stack at all times, and supports func_code and gi_code objects, something previously thought to be impossible.

Actually now it’s only the “bytecode” objects that won’t be there. And not attributes of func_code are meaningful yet, but in theory can be supported.

Due to the use of the “git flow” for Nuitka, most of the bugs listed here were already fixed in on the stable release before this release. This time there were 5 such hot fix releases, sometimes fixing multiple bugs.

Bug Fixes

  • In case of syntax errors in the main program, an exception stack was giving that included Nuitka code. Changed to make the same output as CPython does. Fixed in 0.3.12a already.

  • The star import (from x import *) didn’t work for submodules. Providing * as the import list to the respective code allowed to drop the complex lookups we were doing before, and to simply trust CPython C/API to do it correctly. Fixed in 0.3.12 already.

  • The absolute import is not the default of CPython 2.7 it seems. A local posix package shadows the standard library one. Fixed in 0.3.12 already.

  • In --deep mode, a module may contain a syntax error. This is e.g. true of “PyQt” with port_v3 included. These files contain Python3 syntax and fail to be imported in Python2, but that is not to be considered an error. These modules are now skipped with a warning. Fixed in 0.3.12b already.

  • The code to import modules wasn’t using the __import__ built-in, which prevented __import__ overriding code to work. Changed import to use the built-in. Fixed in 0.3.12c already.

  • The code generated for the __import__ built-in with constant values was doing relative imports only. It needs to attempt relative and absolute imports. Fixed in 0.3.12c already.

  • The code of packages in “__init__.py” believed it was outside of the package, giving problems for package local imports. Fixed in 0.3.12d already.

  • It appears that “Scons”, which Nuitka uses internally and transparent to you, to execute the compilation and linking tasks, was sometimes not building the binaries or shared libraries, due to a false caching. As a workaround, these are now erased before doing the build. Fixed in 0.3.12d already.

  • The use of in and not in in comparison chains (e.g. a < b < c is one), wasn’t supported yet. The use of these in comparison chains a in b in c is very strange.

    Only in the test_grammar.py it was ever used I believe. Anyway, it’s supported now, solving this TODO and reducing the difference. Fixed in 0.3.12e already.

  • The order of evaluation for in and not in operators wasn’t enforced in a portable way. Now it is correct on “ARM” too. Fixed in 0.3.12e already.


  • The built-ins GeneratorExit and StopIteration are optimized to their Python C/API names where possible as well.


  • The __file__ attribute of modules was the relative filename, but for absolute filenames these become a horrible mess at least on Linux.

  • Added assertion helpers for sane frame and code objects and use them.

  • Make use of assertObject in more places.

  • Instead of using os.path.sep all over, added a helper Utils.joinpath that hides this and using os.path.join. This gives more readable code.

  • Added traces to the “unfreezer” guarded by a define. Helpful in analyzing import problems.

  • Some PyLint cleanups removing dead code, unused variables, useless pass statement, etc.

New Tests

  • New tests to cover SyntaxError and IndentationError from --deep imports and in main program.

  • New test to cover evaluation order of in and not in comparisons.

  • New test to cover package local imports made by the “__init__.py” of the package.


  • Drop “compile_itself.sh” in favor of the new “compile_itself.py”, because the later is more portable.

  • The logging output is now nicer, and for failed recursions, outputs the line that is having the problem.


The frame stack work and the func_code are big for compatibility.

The func_code was also needed for “hg” to work. For Mercurial to pass all of its test suite, more work will be needed, esp. the inspect module needs to be run-time patched to accept compiled functions and generators too.

Once real world programs like Mercurial work, we can use these as more meaningful benchmarks and resume work on optimization.