Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shed Skin: Call for participation

Okay, so I have built this pretty cool (restricted) Python-to-C++ compiler, that actually works for many not-too-large programs. It currently builds (simple) extension modules, and shows massive speedups for many programs, often outperforming Psyco by a factor. As I recently showed on my blog, it also integrates nicely with Parallel Python. I would have thought the latter would have given rise to at least one comment..

Am I the only one seeing the potential of an implicitly statically typed Python-like-language that runs at practically the same speed as C++? Is it that being ahead of the time makes you completely misunderstood, even by pretty smart hackers? I remember developing something quite like Wikipedia many years ago, and being unable to convince anyone of why this would be a good idea.. Of course that doesn't mean my compiler is a good idea (I wish), but I'm sure not going to give up as easily this time.

So, once again, I'd like to ask for more participation. Many open source users don't realize, I think, how open source projects, especially new ones, thrive on user feedback. Programming is debugging, and there's nothing more satisfying than fixing particular problems users encounter. Sure, I could find most bugs myself, but I don't want to end up in a nut house, and at some point there has to be some kind of community process. Patches are very useful too, even simple ones, as they often trigger more patches by me. Extension module support, for example, started out as a simple proof-of-concept patch sent in by a user.

I'd very much like to take Shed Skin further forward, but I need your help to do so! Please visit the homepage and send in bug reports or join the mailing list and start some discussions. I can also be hired to work on specific features of course :) So hurry to the homepage: