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[Python-Dev] Python startup time

On Wed, May 2, 2018 at 8:26 PM, Benjamin Peterson <benjamin at python.org>

> On Wed, May 2, 2018, at 09:42, Gregory Szorc wrote:
> > The direction Mercurial is going in is that `hg` will likely become a
> Rust
> > binary (instead of a #!python script) that will use an embedded Python
> > interpreter. So we will have low-level control over the interpreter via
> the
> > C API. I'd also like to see us distribute a copy of Python in our
> official
> > builds. This will allow us to take various shortcuts, such as not having
> to
> > probe various sys.path entries since certain packages can only exist in
> one
> > place. I'd love to get to the state Google is at where they have
> > self-contained binaries with ELF sections containing Python modules. But
> > that requires a bit of very low-level hacking. We'll likely have a Rust
> > binary (that possibly static links libpython) and a separate JAR/zip-like
> > file containing resources.
> I'm curious about the rust binary. I can see that would give you startup
> time benefits similar to the ones you could get hacking the interpreter
> directly; e.g., you can use a zipfile for everything and not have site.py.
> But it seems like the Python-side wins would stop there. Is this all a
> prelude to incrementally rewriting hg in rust? (Mercuric oxide?)

The plans are recorded at https://www.mercurial-scm.org/wiki/OxidationPlan.
tl;dr we want to write some low-level bits in Rust but we anticipate the
bulk of the application logic remaining in Python.

Nobody in the project is seriously talking about a complete rewrite in
Rust. Contributors to the project have varying opinions on how aggressively
Rust should be utilized. People who contribute to the C code, low-level
primitives (like storage, deltas, etc), and those who care about
performance tend to want more Rust. One thing we almost universally agree
on is that we want to rewrite all of Mercurial's C code in Rust. I
anticipate that figuring out the balance between Rust and Python in
Mercurial will be an ongoing conversation/process for the next few years.
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