Best Python Interpreter

By | November 20, 2020
Python Interpreter

Initially, there was always confusion between Python2 and Python3, but now it’s all clear that Python3 is the only programming language to choose and learn. The community has announced that there would be no further updates on the Python2 versions and Python 3.x versions will be valid from now onwards.  There is no doubt that Python is one of the most popular programming languages. In the past few years, it has gained rapid popularity amongst the developer community across the globe.

As we all know that Python is a high-level programming language, which means its code written in a human-readable form. Still, the computer does not understand high-level language, it requires a translator to convert the high-level code to the machine code to get executed by the operating system. Python uses an Interpreter as a translation tool for the computer to translate and execute the high-level Python code. When we install Python in our system, we install the Python interpreter making it easier to read and execute Python. In this article, we have mentioned some of the best Python interpreters which you can find on the internet. Let us see what is an interpreter.

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What is an Interpreter?

An interpreter is a computer program that directly executes the programming code without changing them in a machine language or bytecode. Unlike the compiler, the interpreter does not generate a separate file for the byte code; it directly executes the source code.

Best Python Interpreter (Python Implementations):

The original Python which is widely used by the Python community and which is present at the official web-site of python www.python.org is implemented using C programming language, that why it is also known as CPython. Like CPython there are many other implementations of Python programming which are known as the different Python interpreters or Implementations. And here is the list of top 5 Python Interpreters for 2021 that you can explore and use to upgrade your python knowledge.

  • CPython
  • PyPy
  • Stackless Python
  • Jython
  • IronPython

1. CPython

Cpython

GitHub Repo: https://github.com/python/cpython

Supported by Python 3.x Versions

It is the default interpreter of Python if you install Python from its official website eventually you end up installing CPython as an Interpreter. CPython is written in C and Python programming languages, that’s how it gets its name, and if we look at the overall use of Python across the globe, CPython is the most widely used implementation of Python programming.

It is developed by Python core developers & the Python community and supported by the Python Software Foundation. Although it is an interpreter it also acts as a compiler, because it performs some compilation operations, converts the Python code into bytecode, and then uses an interpreter to execute them, this all happens virtually, so it does not consider as a compiler.

So, if you are writing a Python code that you want to share with the community as an open-source so you must target the CPython users because it has the widest reach.

2. PyPy

PyPYURL: https://pypy.org/

Supported by Python 2.x and 3.x versions

It is a powerful, fast, and compatible implementation of the Python programming languages, and considered as the alternative tool for CPython. As compared to CPython, PyPy is faster, because it is a just-in-time compiler and CPython is an interpreter.

Every Python code can run on PyPy except for those which depend on the CPython extension. Though PyPy is an interpreter, internally it uses a technique known as meta-tracing, which transforms an interpreter into the just-in-time compiler. It is very easy to work with interpreters, but they usually execute code slow as compared to the compilers, but PyPy solves this problem for Python interpreters. PyPy is suggested for those who want to increase the performance of their program, and if you run your Python program using PyPy then it would eat less memory than CPython.

3. Stackless Python

Stackless PythonGitHub Repo: https://github.com/stackless-dev/stackless

Supported by Python 3.x versions

Stackless Python is a Python programming language interpreter, and like CPython, it is also written in C and Python. As its name suggest the Stackless Python interpreter avoids C call stack. A call stack is a stack data structure that holds the subroutines and decides the control flow of the function calls. Though in Stackless Python interpreter it avoids Stack calls, for the function calls it uses the stack.

In addition to Python features, Stackless also adds support for coroutines, communication channels, and task serialization. Micro thread is the most important feature of Stackless Python, and it avoids much of the overhead associated with usual operating system threads.

4. Jython

JPythonGitHub Repo: https://hg.python.org/jython

Supported by: Python 2.X versions

It is an implementation of Python programming language, which helps to run the Python code on the Java Platform. As its name suggests, this tool is written in Java & Python, and it is formally known as JPython, but in 1999 it named Jython.

Jython was initially introduced in 1997, and the objective of this tool was to replace the C with Java for performance-intensive code accessed by Python programs. Using Jython, you can import and use any Java and Python modules, except those which were implemented in C language.

Jython can compile your Python source code into Java byte code so it could be executed by the Java Virtual Machine(JVM), so if you are using Python2.x version and want to run your Python code in JVM for that you need Jython.

5. IronPython

IronPythonURL: https://ironpython.net/

Supported by Python 2.x Versions

It is an Open-Source implementation of Python Programming language which is written in C# programming language. The only objective of IronPython is to integrate with the Microsoft .NET framework so that a Python developer can use the .NET and Python Libraries altogether.

It is implemented on the top of Dynamic Language Infrastructure (DLR) and Common Language Infrastructure that provides dynamic typing and dynamic method dispatch, among other things, for dynamic languages. Now, IronPython is not in use that much only a group of volunteers still maintaining this project at GitHub.

Which Python Version Should You Choose in 2021?

There are two core versions of Python, Python 2.x, and Python 3.x. There is no brainer that Python 3.x version is the ultimate choice you have. The Python developer community and CPython core developers community have retired Python 2 series. Now there would be no updates provided for the Python 2.x versions. So it would be a great choice if you pick Python 3 for 2021.

 

Conclusion

There are various implementations of Python in different programming languages which are known as Python interpreters. CPython is the widely used Python implementation/Interpreter, that is offered by the official Python. For a python developer, it is also very important to know the other implementation of Python. We hope with this article on Python interpreters you get an idea about different python interpreters present in the market.

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