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IBM developerWorks: Charming Python: Inside Python's implementations

Nov 13, 2000, 19:48 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Mertz)

[ Thanks to Frank for this link. ]

"What most programmers probably think of when they talk about "Python" is the specific implementation sometimes called "CPython" (because it is implemented in C). However, Python as a language specification has been implemented several times in parallel with the evolution of Guido van Rossum's reference implementation. This article consists of annotated interviews with the creators of two of the non-standard Pythons -- Stackless and Vyper."

"By my count, there are four implementations of Python that you can download and run today, and one more implementation is being created. Each implementation has interesting reasons for existing, which you can read about here in the words of the implementation developers themselves."

"Recompiling a compiler or interpreter to a different platform produces an implementation that is only trivially different (there might be minor conditional compilations and changes), but the most interesting implementations (to me) are those that transcend platform issues. In fact, the Python implementations we'll look at in this article are mostly multiplatform themselves. The idea of an implementation is also different from that of a version. All the implementations treated here are basically at the same language version (1.5.2) in terms of the language features. Obviously CPython 1.6/2.0/3000 already has a partially new underlying implementation, but the other implementations can equally match the features at these language levels."

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