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That said, I think profiling and solving performance issues is critical
*before* integrating this work. It doesn't need to be done by you, but
the python-dev community shouldn't feel strong-armed to solve the issue.

> IOW I really do not look forward to someone saying "importlib is so much
> slower at importing a module containing ``pass``" when (a) that never
> happens, and (b) most programs do not spend their time importing but
> instead doing interesting work.

Well, import time is so important that the Mercurial developers have
written an on-demand import mechanism, to reduce the latency of
command-line operations.

But it's not only important for Mercurial and the like. Even if you're
developing a Web app, making imports slower will make restarts slower,
and development more tedious in the first place.

> So, if there is going to be some baseline performance target I need to hit
> to make people happy I would prefer to know what that (real-world)
> benchmark is and what the performance target is going to be on a non-debug
> build.

- No significant slowdown in startup time.

- Within 25% of current performance when importing, say, the "struct"
  module (Lib/struct.py) from bytecode.