July 14, 2003

The Python vs Parrot challenge is on!

I should've posted this during OSCON, but you'll notice a distinct lack of posting in that period. :)

Anyway, the Python vs Parrot challenge is official, and the rules are simple.

  1. The python folks will put together a benchmark program and compile it to Python 2.3 bytecode by December 2003. The base program should run at least 30 seconds so that the inevitable cache wobbles don't significantly affect the time
  2. Both sides can massage the bytecode as needed into a native format, done off-line.
  3. Latest stable CVS is used for the tests
  4. Builtin functions only, no non-python libraries allowed.
  5. No I/O. All data has to be static
  6. Best of 3 runs, on the same x86 Linux box, provided by the conference
  7. Output is compared to a stock python running the reference bytecode, and should be the same

The stakes are $10, a round of drinks, and a pie at 10 paces. Guido's not chosen his pie flavor yet. :)

The reasons for a few of those might be non-obvious, so some explanations.

#1 is because I want a benchmark, and don't know enough python to write one. Besides, this way there's no squawking about a bogus benchmark.

#2 is useful for both of us--me because I'll need to massage, Guido because he may have The Next Best Thing by then.

#3 so we get the latest Fast Thing in case either of us has done better since the last big release

#4 because this is a test of the interpreter speed, not our C compilers

#5 was Guido's but that's fine, I don't want to get penalized for disk latency

#6 is to cover the possibility that something fires off in the background -- it's not either of our fault if a cron daemon decides to go checking its data and blowing caches

#7 ought to be pretty obvious :)

Posted by Dan at July 14, 2003 03:27 PM | TrackBack (2)

> Guido's not chosen his pie flavor yet.

So which flavor did you choose? :o)


Posted by: Jerome Quelin at July 16, 2003 09:55 AM

While it's no doubt ultimately irrelevant, bannana cream. It'll be a yummy pie to eat at the post-contest victory celebration. :)

Posted by: Dan at July 16, 2003 10:00 AM

What about inviting stackless python to the comparision? It is said to be quite a bit faster than normal CPython?

Posted by: Jörg Sonnenberger at January 13, 2004 12:20 PM