Generate Python code objects by "assembling" bytecode (Now includes a functional/AST-oriented API, too!)

## Project description

peak.util.assembler is a simple bytecode assembler module that handles most low-level bytecode generation details like jump offsets, stack size tracking, line number table generation, constant and variable name index tracking, etc. That way, you can focus your attention on the desired semantics of your bytecode instead of on these mechanical issues.

In addition to a low-level opcode-oriented API for directly generating specific Python bytecodes, this module also offers an extensible mini-AST framework for generating code from high-level specifications. This framework does most of the work needed to transform tree-like structures into linear bytecode instructions, and includes the ability to do compile-time constant folding.

Please see the BytecodeAssembler reference manual for more details.

Changes since version 0.6:

• Fix bad stack calculations for BUILD_CLASS opcode

Changes since version 0.5.2:

• Symbolic disassembly with full emulation of backward-compatible JUMP_IF_TRUE and JUMP_IF_FALSE opcodes on Python 2.7 – tests now run clean on Python 2.7.
• Support for backward emulation of Python 2.7’s JUMP_IF_TRUE_OR_POP and JUMP_IF_FALSE_OR_POP instructions on earlier Python versions; these emulations are also used in BytecodeAssembler’s internal code generation, for maximum performance on 2.7+ (with no change to performance on older versions).

Changes since version 0.5.1:

• Initial support for Python 2.7’s new opcodes and semantics changes, mostly by emulating older versions’ behavior with macros. (0.5.2 is really just a quick-fix release to allow packages using BytecodeAssembler to run on 2.7 without having to change any of their code generation; future releases will provide proper support for the new and changed opcodes, as well as a test suite that doesn’t show spurious differences in the disassembly listings under Python 2.7.)

Changes since version 0.5:

• Fix incorrect stack size calculation for MAKE_CLOSURE on Python 2.5+

Changes since version 0.3:

• New node types:
• For(iterable, assign, body) – define a “for” loop over iterable
• UnpackSequence(nodes) – unpacks a sequence that’s len(nodes) long, and then generates the given nodes.
• LocalAssign(name) – issues a STORE_FAST, STORE_DEREF or STORE_LOCAL as appropriate for the given name.
• Function(body, name='<lambda>', args=(), var=None, kw=None, defaults=()) – creates a nested function from body and puts it on the stack.
• If(cond, then_, else_=Pass) – “if” statement analogue
• ListComp(body) and LCAppend(value) – implement list comprehensions
• YieldStmt(value) – generates a YIELD_VALUE (plus a POP_TOP in Python 2.5+)
• Code objects are now iterable, yielding (offset, op, arg) triples, where op is numeric and arg is either numeric or None.
• Code objects’ .code() method can now take a “parent” Code object, to link the child code’s free variables to cell variables in the parent.
• Added Code.from_spec() classmethod, that initializes a code object from a name and argument spec.
• Code objects now have a .nested(name, args, var, kw) method, that creates a child code object with the same co_filename and the supplied name/arg spec.
• Fixed incorrect stack tracking for the FOR_ITER and YIELD_VALUE opcodes
• Ensure that CO_GENERATOR flag is set if YIELD_VALUE opcode is used
• Change tests so that Python 2.3’s broken line number handling in dis.dis and constant-folding optimizer don’t generate spurious failures in this package’s test suite.

Changes since version 0.2:

• Added Suite, TryExcept, and TryFinally node types
• Added a Getattr node type that does static or dynamic attribute access and constant folding
• Fixed code.from_function() not copying the co_filename attribute when copy_lineno was specified.
• The repr() of AST nodes doesn’t include a trailing comma for 1-argument node types any more.
• Added a Pass symbol that generates no code, a Compare() node type that does n-way comparisons, and And() and Or() node types for doing logical operations.
• The COMPARE_OP() method now accepts operator strings like "<=", "not in", "exception match", and so on, as well as numeric opcodes. See the standard library’s opcode module for a complete list of the strings accepted (in the cmp_op tuple). "<>" is also accepted as an alias for "!=".
• Added code to verify that forward jump offsets don’t exceed a 64KB span, and support absolute backward jumps to locations >64KB.

Changes since version 0.1:

• Constant handling has been fixed so that it doesn’t confuse equal values of differing types (e.g. 1.0 and True), or equal unhashable objects (e.g. two empty lists).
• Removed nil, ast_curry() and folding_curry(), replacing them with the nodetype() decorator and fold_args(); please see the docs for more details.
• Added stack tracking across jumps, globally verifying stack level prediction consistency and automatically rejecting attempts to generate dead code. It should now be virtually impossible to accidentally generate bytecode that can crash the interpreter. (If you find a way, let me know!)

Changes since version 0.0.1:

• Added massive quantities of new documentation and examples
• Full block, loop, and closure support
• High-level functional code generation from trees, with smart labels and blocks, constant folding, extensibility, smart local variable names, etc.
• The .label() method was renamed to .here() to distinguish it from the new smart Label objects.
• Added a demo that implements a “switch”-like statement template that shows how to extend the code generation system and how to abuse END_FINALLY to implement a “computed goto” in bytecode.
• Various bug fixes

There are a few features that aren’t tested yet, and not all opcodes may be fully supported. Also note the following limitations:

• Jumps to as-yet-undefined labels cannot span a distance greater than 65,535 bytes.
• The dis() function in Python 2.3 has a bug that makes it show incorrect line numbers when the difference between two adjacent line numbers is greater than 255. (To work around this, the test_suite uses a later version of dis(), but do note that it may affect your own tests if you use dis() with Python 2.3 and use widely separated line numbers.)

If you find any other issues, please let me know.

Please also keep in mind that this is a work in progress, and the API may change if I come up with a better way to do something.

Questions and discussion regarding this software should be directed to the PEAK Mailing List.

## Project details

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