PyPy Progress: Python Fast and Flexible

Thursday, June 26, 2008

As readers of the PyPy blog already know, PyPy development has recently focused on getting the code base to a more usable state. One of the most important parts of this work was creating an implementation of the ctypes_ module for PyPy, which provides a realistic way to interface with external libraries. The module is now fairly complete (if somewhat slow, but now up to only twice as slow as CPython), and has generated a great deal of community interest. One of the main reasons this work progressed so well was that we received funding from Google's Open Source Programs Office. This is really fantastic for us, and we cannot thank Google and Guido enough for helping PyPy progress more rapidly than we could have with volunteer-only time!

This funding opportunity arose from the PyPy US road trip at the end of last year, which included a visit to Google. You can check out the video of the talk we gave during our visit. We wrapped up our day with discussions about the possibility of Google funding some PyPy work and soon after a we were at work on the proposal for improvements we'd submitted.

One nice side-effect of the funding is indeed that we can use some of the money for funding travels of contributors to our sprint meetings. The next scheduled Google funding proposal also aims at making our Python interpreter more usable and compliant with CPython. This will be done by trying to fully run Django on top of PyPy. With more efforts like this one we're hoping that PyPy can start to be used as a CPython replacement before the end of 2008.

Many thanks to the teams at merlinux and Open End for making this development possible, including Carl Friedrich Bolz, Antonio Cuni, Holger Krekel, Maciek Fijalkowski, Samuele Pedroni and yours truly. We always love to hear feedback from the community, and you can get the latest word on our development and let us know your thoughts on the PyPy Status Blog.