Google Highly Open Participaton Contest -- another notch in the source code!

Pavel Vinogradov <fastnix> has been keeping me updated on an issue he discovered while testing TCMalloc with Python as a Google Highly Open Participation (GHOP) task, task 105.

Briefly, Pavel discovered a situation in which replacing the Python memory allocator with TCMalloc resulted in really bad performance. The latest is that there appears to be a bug or gotcha in TCMalloc with glibc, where TCMalloc does a poor job in cases where mremap can be used by glibc. The TCMalloc folk are going to look into it more, I gather. (See google-perftools thread here.)

Anyway, this was a situation where we just threw the task at the students to see if anything interesting would pop out -- not expecting much of anything other than a learning experience for the student -- and yet through some simple-yet-dogged testing, Pavel really contributed something.

Awesome stuff!

There have been several real success stories to GHOP. I need to write them down, sigh... my kingdom for some time :)

--titus

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