extradoc / sprintinfo / paris / paris-report.txt

Paris sprint report 2005-10-10-2005-10-16
Authors: Michael Hudson, Carl Friedrich Bolz, Armin Rigo


Ludovic Aubry        
Adrien Di Mascio     
Jacob Hallen          
Laura Creighton      
Beatrice Duering      
Armin Rigo            
Samuele Pedroni       
Anders Chrigstroem    
Holger Krekel          
Lene Wagner           
Michael Hudson        
Carl Friedrich Bolz  
Bert Freudenberg     
Anders Lehmann       
Boris Feigin	     
Amaury Forgeot d'Arc 
Andrew Thompson      
Christian Tismer     
Valentino Volonghi   
Aurelien Campeas
Stephan Busemann
Nicholas Chauvat


The largest PyPy sprint yet (in terms of attendants) where done in the offices of Logilab in Paris 

Possible task on the sprint was:

RTyper tasks:
- fixed size lists
- poor-man type erasure for rlist and rdict

- rtyping of classes/instances/methods for target languages with direct/prevalent OO/class support:
  devise a low-level model variation for this case

Annotator related tasks:

- support the notion of separate/external functions (and classes/PBCs)
  in preparation for separate compilations

JIT related work:
- (DONE) support addresses in the backends
- an ll interpreter written in RPython
- Saving ll graphs plus a loader written in RPython

- Start thinking/experimenting with JIT generation at translation time

- (DONE the starting) start a genasm back-end

- release the GIL around system calls
- understand and possibly fix where the overhead, when threads are enabled, comes from

- (DONE) generating (single-threaded) stackless C code

- (somewhat DONE) stack overflow detection (needed to be able to run many compliancy tests)
- try more interp. level optimisations (dicts with string keys, more agressive use of fastcall*...)

- compute correct max stack size in compiler (?)
- cleanup our multiple compiler situation: remove
  testcompiler, fix the tests to work on CPython 2.3 too,
  decide what to put in lib-python/modified-2.4.1/compiler --
  stablecompiler or astcompiler? -- and submit it back to
  CPython.  Clean up pyparser/

- (socket module, PEP302)

GC related tasks:
- look into implementing weakrefs
- Boehm: fix the x=range(10**7) issue
- (improve refcounting)
- (passes toward integrating other GCs, rpython/memory)

- cbuild/translator.Translator (use SCons?, use/generalize TranslationDriver)
- PyPy option handling unification, passing options to targetpypy*
- inline (transforms in general) 

- (DONE) genc: producing multiple .h/.c files tracking Python code origin

Larger whole projects:

- Javascript frontend
- support for developing C extensions for CPython with RPython code
- writing a sort of flow object space for the llinterpreter
  to experiment with JIT work


Activities during the sprint  - day-to-day:

The morning (once everyone had found their way/fought with the
metro/...) began with a tutorial for the newcomers and two discussion
groups -- one on implementing stackless-like functionality and one
titled "towards a translatable llinterpreter".

After lunch, everyone met to hear the results of the discussion groups
and decide what to do next.  The stackless group's conclusion was
"it'll be easy!" :) The llinterp group concluded "it might be doable".
More details can be found in svn at

(consistency?  We're researchers!)

Christian (he didn't get a choice), Valentino, Anders (L), Adrien,
Armin and Amaury became the stackless working group and by Tuesday
lunchtime had progressed via an unlikely sounding six-person-pair
programming methodology involving a beamer to a fully stackless C
translation, albeit with limited functionality visible even to

Samuele, Bert, Arre, Aurelien, and Boris became what was ultimately
known as the 'ootype group' working on a variation of the rtyper more
suited to translation to a language with a richer type system than C
(classes, lists, some vague notion of type safety, etc) such as Java,
Smalltalk, ...

Michael and Andrew worked on a backend that emits machine code -- in
particular ppc32 machine code -- directly.  By the end of Monday a toy
function doing some simple integer calculations had been translated
but on Tuesday restructuring towards re-use (and comprehensibility)
became the main goal.  Oh, and not assuming an infinite supply of

Carl and Holger started implementing Addresses in the C backend to
prepare for the coming llinterpreter work, finishing on Monday
evening.  Carl then worked on data structures needed for a
translatable llinterpreter.

Consortium meeting + breakday

The stackless group reported good progress, having compiled a working
pypy-c with stackless support and implemented stack overflow detection
for non-stackless builds.  Unfortunately for the stackless builds,
several CPOython tests expect infinite recursion to result in an error
-- and do so fairly quickly, i.e. in less time than it takes to fill
the entire heap with stack frames.  This groups work is basically
done for this sprint, although Anders and Christian are going to work
on compliancy testing with the new pypy-c.  While waiting for builds
targeting compliancy tests, they are also going to investigate
reorganizing code generation to improve locality.

The ootype group is also progressing well.  The RTyper has mostly been
refactored to be independent of the targeted type system and work is
continuing on implementing the new OOType type system alongside the
existing LLType target.  This group will be continuing, although with
somehwat different membership -- Michael joining and half of each of
Samuele and Arre leaving.

Michael and Andrews work on the PPC backend has progressed to the
point where essentially any function that only manipulates integers
can be translated (with an exceedingly stupid register allocator).
Further work depends to a large extent on the llinterpreter work (see
below) so this work will wait until after the sprint.  Andrew is
moving to work on implementing a Numeric-a-like for PyPy, together
with Ludovic.

The LLInterpreter grouplette (Carl and 0.5 Armins and a little Holger)
did not produce much code since there are many decisions to be made
and the implications of these decisions are not understood.  A
discussion group of Carl, Armin, Samuele, Holger, Christian and Arre
will try to shine lights into these shadows, and report after lunch.

Valentino and Amaury are going to implement the socket module.  This
is a step towards allowing Valentino to run Twisted on PyPy and thus
make him very happy.

This sprint is working in quite a different way to previous sprints --
there is lots of discussion which isnt new, but the farming off of
discussion to groups of 5-6 people who present a report to the larger
group is a novelty and seems to be working well (15+ people is too
many for a focussed technical discussion).  Another difference is a
less strict emphasis on "pair" programming -- or, if you like, we are
still pair programming but we have redefined "pair" to mean a group of
two to six programmers :)

On Friday morning another discussion group was founded and discussed -
again - the state and future of the l3interpreter (l3 = lll = low low
level), that is the translatable llinterpreter. The results were
presented after lunch, together with some ideas about the JIT.
Afterwards Carl gave a short talk on the results of his summer of code
project on writing garbage collectors in RPython.

Boris, Michael, Bert with help from Samuele spent the whole rest of the
sprint working on the many open issues related to ootyping. Simple
programs can now be ootyped, including inheritance, methods, instance
attributes and right at the end some support for prebuilt instances. In
addition they extended the llinterpreter to understand the ootype
operations as well (we were worried that our names were starting to make

Armin spent the last days fixing different cases that crashed pypy-c
which he found by running the CPython compliancy tests. In addition he
helped various people to find their way around the codebase.

Adrien and Arre worked on fixing compiler and parser issues that led to
wrong line numbers and different issues that popped up.

Ludovic and Adrien experimented with rewriting parts of the Numeric
package in RPython.

Valentino and Amaury continued on implementing the socket module which
turned out (as expected) to be a platform dependent nightmare. They have
a kind of complete socket module now, but some functions cannot yet be

Christian worked on an experiment to reorder functions in the created C
code to improve code locality.

Finally, after a week of srapped attemps, much headscratching and heated
discussion there was some code written for the l3interpreter. On
Saturday afternoon Holger and Carl wrote the basic model and managed to
interpret interesting functions like x + 4. On Sunday Samuele and Carl
continued and started on a graph converter that takes ll graphs and
transforms into the form the l3interpreter expects.

On Saturday afternoon there was a planning meeting where the actions of
the following weeks were discussed. The EU-report writing was
distributed to the different consortium members.
Furthermore we discussed the various conference and sprints planned for autumn 2005
and spring 2006.

All in all it was a very productive sprint but of course we all have to
recover for two weeks now.