Thursday, May 04, 2006

Favourite student slave labour tasks for python.

These are my favourite python ideas from the google summer of code.

Ones that I think will benefit the most people, and affect the most change for the better. Ok, just ones I reckon would be cool.

  • Implement ctypes support for GCC ARM platforms. The underlying issue is lack of closure API support for ARM in libffi. A patch available at [WWW], that should be hopefully a good starting point. ctypes CVS has a libffi_arm_wince directory, which also seems to support closure API.
  • Make a python+pygame plugin for IE, netscape. CodingProjectIdeas/PythonWebPlugin

  • Psyco for MacOSX. PPC, and universal binary versions. (also psyco for ARM would be cool!!)

  • Research how to get python support into all the cheap webhosts.

  • Security audit of python. Using as many automated processes as possible.
  • Python speed up. Reduce memory usage, speedup startup time. The two main speed regressions of the 2.0, 2.1,2.2,2.3,2.4 releases. (438,453,499,771,880) syscalls vs 106 for latest perl. 0m0.031s, 0m0.029s, 0m0.037s, 0m0.059s, 0m0.057s real time to start vs 0m0.007s for the latest perl.
  • Code coverage. (there are a few suggestions for code coverage).
  • Improve thread performance. (reducing memory usage will probably help thread performance the most)

The memory usage, and start up times would be great to improve. As I think these are the things which make people avoid using processes. Processes give us protection, and are a great way at keeping parts separate. However if processes are so expensive to use in python, then other means will be used instead.

A security audit would be wonderful. I'm not sure if a security audit has been done on python, and I'm sure it would lead to a bunch of bug fixes. So a security audit is much in line with using code coverage of tests. I guess a lint, and pychecker would be other good things to add into the python build process.

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