Saturday, May 27, 2006

Results from the Need For Speed sprint

The Need For Speed sprint in Reykjavik, Iceland, is winding down today, and Steve Holden has posted a summary of the results. The gains are impressive:
  • Several string methods such as .find() and .replace() are now much faster; some methods are up to 4 times or even 25 times faster! (Work by Andrew Dalke and Fredrik Lundh.)
  • Exception handling is now 30% faster than in Python 2.4. (Work by Georg Brandl, Richard Jones, and Sean Reifschneider.)
  • The struct module now precompiles format strings and is about 20% faster. (Work by Martin Blais, Bob Ippolito.)
  • The interpreter can be built using Microsoft Visual Studio 8's profile-driven optimizations. (Work by Kristjan Jonsson, Richard Tew.)
  • Georg Brandl and Jack Diederich began a rewrite of the decimal module into C, laying the foundations for a Summer of Code student to complete the work.

And there's even more! A complete list of the improvements made at the sprint are recorded in the Successes wiki page.

Thanks to the participants, to CCP Games for their support, and to the sprint's sponsor, EWT LLC.