Unsupported Python Features

One of our goals is to make Cython as compatible as possible with standard Python. This page lists the things that work in Python but not in Cython. As Cython matures, the items in this list should go away.

Generators and generator expressions

The yield keyword is not yet supported. This is work in progress.

Since Cython 0.13, some generator expressions are supported when they can be transformed into inlined loops in combination with builtins, e.g. sum(x*2 for x in seq). As of 0.14, the supported builtins are list(), set(), dict(), sum(), any(), all(), sorted().

Other Current Limitations

  • The globals() builtin returns the last Python callers globals, not the current function’s locals. This behavior should not be relied upon, as it will probably change in the future.
  • The locals() builtin can only be used if all local variables can be converted to Python objects, and returns a dict.
  • Class and function definitions cannot be placed inside control structures.

Semantic differences between Python and Cython

Behaviour of class scopes

In Python, referring to a method of a class inside the class definition, i.e. while the class is being defined, yields a plain function object, but in Cython it yields an unbound method [1]. A consequence of this is that the usual idiom for using the classmethod() and staticmethod() functions, e.g.:

class Spam:

    def method(cls):

    method = classmethod(method)

will not work in Cython. This can be worked around by defining the function outside the class, and then assigning the result of classmethod or staticmethod inside the class, i.e.:

def Spam_method(cls):

class Spam:

    method = classmethod(Spam_method)

This will change in the near future.


[1]The reason for the different behaviour of class scopes is that Cython-defined Python functions are PyCFunction objects, not PyFunction objects, and are not recognised by the machinery that creates a bound or unbound method when a function is extracted from a class. To get around this, Cython wraps each method in an unbound method object itself before storing it in the class’s dictionary.