PyPy directs Mozilla money to Python 3 support

PyPy directs Mozilla money to Python 3 support
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PyPy runs Python faster, but its Python 3 support has lagged; a fresh infusion of cash from the Mozilla Foundation will be put toward fixing that problem

PyPy, the Python implementation that uses an optimizing compiler for speed, has been awarded $200,000 as part of Mozilla's Open Source Support initiative.

According to a blog post from the PyPy team, the money will go toward funding Python 3.5 support in PyPy.

PyPy supports Python 3 through a separate version of the interpreter, similar to how the default Python 3 and Python 2 implementations are developed independently. The most recent version of Python 3 supported by PyPy is Python 3.3, which doesn't include many major changes added to the language recently.

"The long-term goal," write PyPy's developers on the project's blog, "is also to get a version of 'PyPy3' that is as good as 'PyPy2' is, including its performance and its cpyext layer (CPython C API interoperability), for example." C extensions make up a big part of Python's culture of third-party software, but have historically not worked well in PyPy, so there's been ongoing effort to improve the situation.

The changes in fortune for Python 2 and Python 3 are motivating PyPy to finance updated Python 3 support. Python 2 is set to lose support by 2020, and Python 3 has gained enough ground with developers that a healthy number of Python libraries are now compatible with it.

The PyPy project has been raising money for years to fund three key initiatives around the project. Python 3 support is one of them, and general PyPy development is another.

A third initiative, the software transactional memory (STM) initiative, is an attempt to create a Python runtime that allows true multithreading, a long-desired goal. But that initiative appears to have taken a backseat, most likely because users will more immediately benefit from Python 3 support and a faster JIT engine.

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