Tuesday, May 10, 2011

./setup.py GSoC/blog

[title shamelessly stolen from my mentor, Ronan Lamy]

As hinted to by the title, I've been accepted for the Google Summer of Code 2011. My work will be on SymPy, which is a Python library for symbolic mathematics (think Maple or Mathematica), and my goal is to convert it to Python 3. Namely, I will try to support all Python versions starting from 2.5, and this should be accomplished with the use of a single code-base (and automatic running of the 2to3 tool in the Python 3 use case). You can read my full application here.

As this is a complex issue, the first order of business would be to establish an automated testing system that would be able to spot any regressions (currently, SymPy supports Python 2.4 - 2.7, and there are already various small bugs and differences in behavior based on Python version); the current contenders are Jenkins (via Tox) and Buildbot. I will write-up a more detailed comparison, as related to the specific use-case of SymPy, when I've tried both. Of course, any comments, suggestions or new ideas are very welcome.

My second major goal for the community bonding period (ending on the 23rd) is to work on the warnings running with "Python -3" produces. This is an important first step to Python 3 porting, as it will solve some real issues and help me understand the code better. If possible, I will also try to improve code coverage of the test suite (or, alternatively, bother the developers responsible for that piece of code), which is also important for preventing subtle bugs from appearing.

Here's to running SymPy on Python 3 (and PyPy!) by the end of the summer!

1 comment:

  1. Another thing you can do now is help with the release. Your project will be a lot easier when we don't have to support Python 2.4, and we are dropping support right after the release.

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