[Stackless] EuroPython 2010 Trip Report

Richard Tew richard.m.tew at gmail.com
Sat Jul 24 01:54:36 CEST 2010

On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 5:01 AM, Andrew Francis <andrewfr_ice at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hi Folks:
> I have just come back from EuroPython. One of the highlights of the conference was that Christian Tismer was given an achievement award. Congratulations Christian!!!!

Congratulations Christian, it is well deserved.

> Some thoughts. Most of the talks that involved concurrency, especially pyCSP were well attended. Denis Bilenko gave a great talk on gEvent. I spoke quite a bit with Denis. In his keynote, Guido von Rossom spoke about he attending nearly all the talks involving CSP and how sub-generators are on his wishlist.

I know I could google this, but I imagine other people are wondering
as well.  So maybe you could elaborate on exactly what Guido sees a
sub-generator as?

> From talking to folks, Stackless Python is not well understood. For instance I had a talk with Ray Hettinger after his generator talk (Monocle). There were quite a few things I believe he did understand about Stackless. Also the presence of other concurrency frameworks that use greenlets confuses where Stackless sits in the grand scheme of things.

Indeed.  While now Stackless may have a certain amount of
documentation and example code, and it may have installers and a few
other accoutrements that make it more approachable and useful.. it is
still an alternate installation of Python.  Either we need to start
talking some smack about greenlet based solutions, or we need to
address this.  Which shall it be? ;-)

> I participated in two sprints: PyPy and PyCSP. Since my Netbook's Python environment was worky, I couldn't get mercurial to work properly - so I could contribute little. However on the PyPy side, Antonio was good enough to take me by the hand and show me the initial baby steps for adding new syntax to Python. Yeah!
Sounds like a great experience

> As for my own talk. Well select and stackless.py are somewhat esoteric topics. However select/alt appeared in two other talks!!! Still I felt I got deeper into how the basics of CSP that used channels actually worked than most other talks. Also the talk did cover a bit, both prototyping select with stackless.py and its C implementation. Without my friend Kevin's help, it would have taken me much longer to do the C part. Although the code passes simple tests, I have written tests where the C version core dumps and the PyPy version hangs. This suggests that there maybe a problem in the underlying algorithms.
> That said, I talked to the PyPy team about my version of Stackless.py - where it would reside. Similarly I would like to reach a consensus about Stackless C select - how will it be handled? Where do the patches go? I am not an expert on versioning.

Well, it is between you and the PyPy team.  You having stepped up and
done some work, and PyPy being their project.  Personally my only
concern is that the addition of this to the main Stackless module in
PyPy moves it away from however much of a one-to-one representation of
the functionality in the "real Stackless".

Is this a bad thing?  Is PyPy still mooted as the future of Stackless?
 Or is that Stackless lite?  Speaking of which, maybe some of us
should step forward and offer to help Christian with that, in order to
take Stackless to the next level and show those greenlet hooligans
what's what.

Anyway, it sounds like you had a great time.  Reading about your
experiences makes me wish I was there, but CCP don't pay for me to
travel to conferences anymore since I am no longer an employee.


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