18 August 2010

Nuitka Release 0.1 (Releasing Nuitka to the World)

Obviously this is very exciting step for me. I am releasing Nuitka today. Finally. For a long time I knew I would, but actually doing it, is a different beast. Reaching my goals for release turned out to be less far away than I hope, so instead of end of August, I can already release it now.

Currently it’s not more than 4% faster than CPython. No surprise there, if all you did, is removing the bytecode interpretation so far. It’s not impressive at all. It’s not even a reason to use it. But it’s also only a start. Clearly, once I get into optimizing the code generation of Nuitka, it will only get better, and then probably in sometimes dramatic steps. But I see this as a long term goal.

I want to have infrastructure in the code place, before doing lots of possible optimization that just make Nuitka unmaintainable. And I will want to have a look at what others did so far in the domain of type inference and how to apply that for my project.

I look forward to the reactions about getting this far. The supported language volume is amazing, and I have a set of nice tricks used. For example the way generator functions are done is a clever hack.

Where to go from here? Well, I guess, I am going to judge it by the feedback I receive. I personally see “constant propagation” as a laudable first low hanging fruit, that could be solved.

Consider this readable code on the module level:

meters_per_nautical_mile = 1852

def convertMetersToNauticalMiles(meters):
    return meters / meters_per_nautical_mile

def convertNauticalMilesToMeters(miles):
    return miles * meters_per_nautical_mile

Now imagine you are using this very frequently in code. Quickly you determine that the following will be much faster:

def convertMetersToNauticalMiles(meters):
    return meters / 1852

def convertNauticalMilesToMeters(miles):
    return miles * 1852

Still good? Well, probably next step you are going to in-line the function calls entirely. For optimization, you are making your code less readable. I do not all appreciate that. My first goal is there to make the more readable code perform as well or better as the less readable variant.

But yes, lets see what happens. Oh, and you will find its latest version here.

Kay Hayen