So I've spent 3 days on EuroPython 2008 in Vilnius, Lithuania with my colleges Jim and Frank, Ted from Sun and of course a lot of other people in the European Python community. Most notably we've spent a fair amount of time talking to the PyPy group. Since they are mostly based in Europe they didn't have a large presence at PyCon.
Jim and I did two talks together. The first one was a tutorial about various ways of manipulating and compiling code in Python, and how to do that while staying compatible across Python implementations. The second was a presentation about the internals of Jython, showing how similar Jython is to CPython internally, and walking through how you go about supporting some of the cool features of Python. We also managed to sneak in some slides about our ongoing work with the advanced compiler and where that will take us (more on that in a later post). From where I was sitting it seemed people were interested in what we were talking about, and I think our presentations were fairly well received.
Yesterday we had a meeting with the PyPy group resulting in a list of tasks on which our two teams are to collaborate. I think this was very interesting and I believe both sides will get substantial benefits from this effort. It is also my hope that this list will not be complete, but that we will find more interesting tasks to collaborate around after the completion of these tasks.
The most important task for us at the moment is to get ctypes ported to Jython and the JVM. This is important for the PyPy team as well since it will make their JVM back end more complete. The way we were outlining it the implementation would be a JNI bridge to _rawffi, the part of ctypes that is implemented in C, and then use the same Python level implementation of the API as PyPy does. Another way of doing it would of course be to use JNA, but I actually think the JNI path might be more maintainable in this case, since PyPy still needs the C version of _rawffi for pypy-c.
Personally I am very interested in the PyPy JIT, and I think that my work on the advanced Jython compiler could be very useful for the PyPy team when they start their effort on a JVM back end of their JIT. I also think that I can use a lot of the ideas they have implemented in their JIT project in the advanced compiler.
I will not go into the entire list of collaboration points, since the PyPy blog post liked above does a good job there, but I would also like to mention the effort of sharing test cases, which I think is highly important.
At the moment Jim and I are in the PyPy sprint room here at EP, and we just have some blogging to do before we get our hands dirty with code.