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[Python-Dev] Comparing PEP 576 and PEP 580


On 2018-07-06 23:12, Guido van Rossum wrote:
> It's your PEP. And you seem to be struggling with something. But I can't
> tell quite what it is you're struggling with.

To be perfectly honest (no hard feelings though!): what I'm struggling 
with is getting feedback (either positive or negative) from core devs 
about the actual PEP 580.

> At the same time I assume you want your PEP accepted.

As I also said during the PEP 575 discussion, my real goal is to solve a 
concrete problem, not to push my personal PEP. I still think that PEP 
580 is the best solution but I welcome other suggestions.

> And how do they feel about PEP 576? I'd like to see some actual debate
> of the pros and cons of the details of PEP 576 vs. PEP 580.

I started this thread to do precisely that.

My opinion: PEP 580 has zero performance cost, while PEP 576 does make 
performance for bound methods worse (there is no reference 
implementation of the new PEP 576 yet, so that's hard to quantify for 
now). PEP 580 is also more future-proof: it defines a new protocol which 
can easily be extended in the future. PEP 576 just builds on PyMethodDef 
which cannot be extended because of ABI compatibility (putting 
__text_signature__ and __doc__ in the same C string is a good symptom of 
that). This extensibility is important because I want PEP 580 to be the 
first in a series of PEPs working out this new protocol. See PEP 579 for 
the bigger picture.

One thing that might count against PEP 580 is that it defines a whole 
new protocol, which could be seen as too complicated. However, it must 
be this complicated because it is meant to generalize the current 
behavior and optimizations of built-in functions and methods. There are 
lots of little tricks currently in CPython that must be "ported" to the 
new protocol.

> OK, so is it your claim that the NumPy developers don't care about which
> one of these PEPs is accepted or even whether one is accepted at all?

I don't know, I haven't contacted any NumPy devs yet, so that was just 
my personal feeling. These PEPs are about optimizing callables and NumPy 
isn't really about callables. I think that the audience for PEP 580 is 
mostly compilers (Cython for sure but possibly also Pythran, numba, 
cppyy, ...). Also certain C classes like functools.lru_cache could 
benefit from it.

> Yet earlier in
> *this* thread you seemed to claim that PEP 580 requires changes ro
> FASTCALL.

I don't know what you mean with that. But maybe it's also confusing 
because "FASTCALL" can mean different things: it can refer to a 
PyMethodDef (used by builtin_function_or_method and method_descriptor) 
with the METH_FASTCALL flag set. It can also refer to a more general API 
like _PyCFunction_FastCallKeywords, which supports METH_FASTCALL but 
also other calling conventions like METH_VARARGS.

I don't think that METH_FASTCALL should be changed (and PEP 580 isn't 
really about that at all). For the latter, I'm suggesting some API 
changes but nothing fundamental: mainly replacing the 5 existing private 
functions _PyCFunction_FastCallKeywords, _PyCFunction_FastCallDict, 
_PyMethodDescr_FastCallKeywords, _PyMethodDef_RawFastCallKeywords, 
_PyMethodDef_RawFastCallDict by 1 public function PyCCall_FASTCALL.


Hopefully this clears some things up,
Jeroen.