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Dropbox Announces Their Own Open-Source Python

Compiler

Published on 04 April 2014 09:27 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Compiler
35 Comments

The Dropbox cloud storage provider has announced Pyston, their own open-source JIT compiler to Python. The big focus with Pyston is on speed.

Dropbox has long enjoyed using the Python programming language to build their cloud storage service but now they're looking for a high-performance Python implementation that can compete with the likes of C++ and other system languages. Kevin Modzelewski wrote on the Dropbox blog, "Here at Dropbox, we love Python and try to use it for as much as we can. As we scale and the problems we tackle grow, though, we’re starting to find that hitting our performance targets can sometimes become prohibitively difficult when staying on Python. Sometimes, it can be less work to do a rewrite in another language. I personally love Python, and it pains me every time we decide to rewrite something, so I wanted to do something about it. After some abandoned experiments with static compilation, we looked around and saw how successfully JIT techniques are being applied in the JavaScript space: Chrome’s V8 engine, in particular, has greatly pushed the status quo of JavaScript performance. Our hope is that by using similar techniques, we can achieve similar performance improvements for Python."

Pyston is to be an open-source JIT-based Python implementation focused on maximizing the performance. Yes, Dropbox acknowledges PyPy, Jython, and other Python-based projects, but they hope to be able to deliver greater performance while being compatible with the upstream Python implementation. Pyston is also built atop the LLVM compiler infrastructure.

Those Python developers interested in more information on Pyston can read this Dropbox blog post and find the initial commit of their open-source code via GitHub.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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