GraalVM versus jython

v+ik's Avatar

v+ik

14 Oct, 2021 07:29 AM

I realize the highest priority for now is probably support for MD+.

But when I first discovered the Python support in MD, I was disappointed it was Python 2 (via jython) because I didn't learn Python until 3.0 came out, and now Python 2 is no longer supported. And it seems that jython isn't particularly actively supported either, and the support for Python 3 features in jython has been languishing for years.

And then I discovered GraalVM ( https://www.graalvm.org/ ). While I haven't used it at all, it claims to run Java faster than the JVM, and has Python 3.8 support that it claims is faster than CPython 3.8 and faster than jython.

"On average, Python in GraalVM is 8.92x faster than CPython and 8.34x faster than Jython"

It also has support for Javascript, WASM, Ruby, and R... a polyglot environment they call it. I'm not suggesting that all these languages should be supported in MD, and I have no idea how the packaging would work to support even Python, but they do seem to claim it is somewhat modular... you don't have to add all the languages... on the other hand, there are a significant number of JavaScript programmers because of the web, and support for Javascript and WASM could be interesting to them.

I have no idea how the packaged size of the environment to support Java & Python for MD would compare to the packaged size of the current MD, nor if the packaging would permit separable support for Python, Javascript, and WASM, in the nature of language plugins.

But I thought it sounded like a possible way forward to support Python 3, and the performance claims could be interesting as well. While MD seems quite responsive in my usage, faster is generally better.

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