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
PROGRAMMING --
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 Pyston.org blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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