Language Design

Exploring Python's Internals By Rewriting Them In Rust - Episode 207

Summary

The CPython interpreter has been the primary implementation of the Python runtime for over 20 years. In that time other options have been made available for different use cases. The most recent entry to that list is RustPython, written in the memory safe language Rust. One of the added benefits is the option to compile to WebAssembly, offering a browser-native Python runtime. In this episode core maintainers Windel Bouwman and Adam Kelly explain how the project got started, their experience working on it, and the plans for the future. Definitely worth a listen if you are curious about the inner workings of Python and how you can get involved in a relatively new project that is contributing to new options for running your code.

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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Adam Kelly and Windel Bouwman about RusPython, a project to implement a new Python interpreter in Rust

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what Rust is for anyone who isn’t familiar with it?
  • How did RustPython got started and what are your goals for the project?
  • Can you discuss what is involved in implementing a fully compliant Python interpreter?
  • What are some of the challenges that you face in replicating the capabilities of the CPython interpreter?
    • Are you attempting to maintain bug parity?
    • How much of the stdlib needs to be reimplemented?
    • Can you compare and contrast the benefits of Rust vs C?
    • Will the end result be compatible with libraries that rely on C extensions such as NumPy?
  • What is the current state of the project?
    • What are some of the notable missing features?
  • Can you talk through your vision of how the WebAssembly support will manifest and the types of applications that it will enable?
    • How much effort have you put into size optimization for the webassembly target to reduce client-side load time?
    • Are there any existing options for minification of Python code so that it can be delivered to users with less bandwidth?
  • What have been some of the most interesting/challenging/unexpected aspects of implementing a Python runtime?
  • What do you have planned for the future of the project?
  • What are the risks that you anticipate which could derail the project before it becomes production ready?

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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Parsing and Parsers with Dave Beazley and Erik Rose - Episode 95

Summary

If you have ever found yourself frustrated by a complicated regular expression or wondered how you can build your own dialect of Python then you need a parser. Dave Beazley and Erik Rose talk about what parsers are, how some of them work, and what you can do with them in this episode.

Preface

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable.
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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Erik Rose and Dave Beazley about what parsing is, why you might want to use it, and how their respective libraries Parsimonious and PLY make it easy.

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you each start by talking a bit about your respective libraries and what problem you were trying to solve when they were first created?
  • In what ways does a full-fledged parser differ from what a regular expression engine is capable of?
  • What are some of the different high-level approaches to building a parser and when might you want to choose one over the others?
  • I’m sure that when most people hear the term parsing they associate it with reading in a data interchange format such as JSON or CSV. What are some of the more interesting or broadly applicable uses of parsing that might not be as obvious?
  • One term that kept coming up while I was doing research for this interview was “Grammars”. How would you explain that concept for someone who is unfamiliar with it?
  • Once an input has been parsed, what does the resulting data look like and how would a developer interact with it to do something useful?
  • For someone who wants to build their own domain specific language (DSL) what are some of the considerations that they should be aware of to create the grammar?
  • What are some of the most interesting or innovative uses of parsers that you have seen?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA