Alternative Python Implementation "Pyston" Plans For Greater Performance, 64-bit ARM

Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 26 October 2021 at 06:56 PM EDT. 13 Comments
Pyston as the alternative Python implementation open-sourced originally by Dropbox is forming ambitious plans for a bright future.

While Dropbox continued developing Pyston publicly from 2014 to 2017, they stopped supporting it with having moved their performance-sensitive code to other languages. But the original developers then restarted work on it and released Pyston 2.0 in 2020.

Pyston 2.0 was made closed-source along with the follow-on 2.1 release but then Pyston 2.2 this year returned it to being open-source. Then in August it was announced the Pyston developers joined Anaconda to continue their work on this high performance Python implementation.

Now with having a reliable footing under the Anaconda organization, they have published a road-map for their intentions moving forward. Along with establishing a proper CI/CD system, Pyston developers are working to provide packages through Conda. In the near-term they are also working on 64-bit ARM support and continued performance improvements.

Longer-term they are planning for macOS and Windows support, Numba integration, improved multi-threading, opt-in features that could potentially break semantics, and keeping up with performance optimizations. Right now they are reporting 30% faster than CPython for their main benchmarks and 60% faster for other commonly-used benchmarks. Next year they also plan to shift their Python version target against v3.10.

More details on the Pyston roadmap via the blog.
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