Guido van Rossum: achieve at least 1x speedup in Python next year

Guido van Rossum, the father of Python, revealed some of Python’s development plans at the Python Language Summit in 2021, saying that its short-term plan is to achieve at least a double speed increase in Python 3.11. According to the official release cycle, Python 3.10, currently in beta, is scheduled to be released in October this year, and Python 3.11 is expected to be released in 2022.

In November 2020, Guido announced his comeback a year after retiring and joined the Microsoft Developer Division. Guido revealed that Microsoft has funded the creation of a small Python team. Currently, this team member besides Guido himself; also includes Python core developer, Microsoft senior software engineer Eric Snow, and Semmle, research engineer Mark Shannon.

Guido van Rossum retired

Photograph by Daniel Stroud, first retouched version uploaded by User:Deedub1983, second retouching by User:HarJIT. [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

According to Guido, their project aimed at “Making CPython Faster” was named “Shannon Plan”; the goal is to achieve 5 times faster Python within 4 years, that is, an average of 1.5 times per year. They have created a GitHub repository for the project, which includes a branch of CPython, a set of tools for benchmarking and analysis, and an issue tracker.

Guido said that all of this will be open source. And promised that “Don’t break stable ABI compatibility, Don’t break limited API compatibility, Don’t break or slow down extreme cases, Keep code maintainable.”

Regarding how to achieve at least 1x speedup in Python 3.11 version, Guido revealed that the improvements it will need to do include: an adaptive and specialized bytecode interpreter (see PEP 659 for details); optimize the frame stack; Change the method of function calling; implement more effective exception handling; increase optimization to speed up the startup time; modify the format of the .pyc bytecode cache file.