This release mainly has a scalability focus. While there are few compatibility improvements, the larger goal has been to make Nuitka compilation and the final C compilation faster.
Compatibility: The nested arguments functions can now be called using their keyword arguments.
Compatibility: Generators with Python3.4 or higher now also have a __del__ attribute, and therefore properly participate in finalization. This should improve their interactions with garbage collection reference cycles, although no issues had been observed so far.
Windows: Was outputting command line arguments debug information at program start. Issue#284. Fixed in 0.5.17.1 already.
- Code generated for parameter parsing is now a lot less verbose. Python level loops and conditionals to generate code for each variable has been replaced with C level generic code. This will speed up the backend compilation by a lot.
- Function calls with constant arguments were speed up specifically, as their call is now fully prepared, and yet using less code. Variable arguments are also faster, and all defaulted arguments are also much faster. Method calls are not affected by these improvements though.
- Nested argument functions now have a quick call entry point as well, making them faster to call too.
- The slice built-in, and internal creation of slices (e.g. in re-formulations of Python3 slices as subscripts) cannot raise. Issue#262.
- Standalone: Avoid inclusion of bytecode of unittest.test, sqlite3.test, distutils.test, and ensurepip. These are not needed, but simply bloat the amount of bytecode used on e.g. macOS. Issue#272.
- Speed up compilation with Nuitka itself by avoid to copying and constructing variable lists as much as possible using an always accurate variable registry.
- Nested argument functions of Python2 are now re-formulated into a wrapping function that directly calls the actual function body with the unpacking of nested arguments done in nodes explicitly. This allows for better optimization and checks of these steps and potential in-lining of these functions too.
- Unified slice object creation and built-in slice nodes, these were two distinct nodes before.
- The code generation for all statement kinds is now done via dispatching from a dictionary instead of long elif chains.
- Named nodes more often consistently, e.g. all loop related nodes start with Loop now, making them easier to group.
- Parameter specifications got simplified to work without variables where it is possible.
- Nuitka is now available on the social code platforms gitlab as well.
Long standing weaknesses have been addressed in this release, also quite a few structural cleanups have been performed, e.g. strengthening the role of the variable registry to always be accurate, is groundlaying to further improvement of optimization.
However, this release cycle was mostly dedicated to performance of the actual compilation, and more accurate information was needed to e.g. not search for information that should be instant.
Upcoming releases will focus on usability issues and further optimization, it was nice however to see speedups of created code even from these scalability improvements.