The developers of Pyston have released version 2.2 of their runtime. Pyston is an adaptation of the popular programming language Python, with extra emphasis on speed.
Poor performance when implementing their code is a problem that many Python developers face. This has led to the Pyston project. Pyston is a fork of the CPython implementation with the goal of making the implementation time a lot shorter.
30 percent faster than Python
In version 2.0 of Pyston, the developers behind the project already claimed that their implementation was 20 percent faster than standard Python, but in version 2.2, that speed improvement is even 30 percent, according to internal web server benchmarks. The developers have achieved this without fundamentally changing the underlying project. Instead, the developers made several smaller improvements, mainly in the mechanisms for JIT and attribute cache.
Little-used debugging features removed
On a larger scale, the developers have removed a lot of little-used debugging features. These features slow down the implementation process considerably, even when they are not used. With this change alone, the developers achieved a performance improvement of 2 percent. The developers found this remarkable since it means that of all the computers in the world currently running Python, 2 percent are performing debugging checks.
By removing these checks, the team has removed a feature that some users might still need. Therefore, the Pyston developers are now positioning the implementation as an “optimised build”. People who still need the debugging features can use the debug build of the standard Python implementation.
Usage as easy as possible
Pyston developers continue to work on making the implementation as painless to use as possible. The goal is that eventually, Python can be used by simply typing ‘pyston’ instead of ‘python’. Version 2.2 of Pyston can be found on GitHub.