A framework for creating Python/C++ polyglots, programs valid in both programming languages

5 months after


A framework for cross language development


Python++ is a framework for creating Python/C++ polyglots, programs valid in both programming languages. Specifically, it is a collection of guidelines and boilerplate that allows you to write a single program which will produce the same output when compiled with a C++14 compiler or run with a Python3 interpreter. It does this with heavy usage of C style macros and numerous hacks of the syntax of both languages. No external transpiler or preprocessor (aside from the standard C/C++ preprocessor) is needed. The exact same Python++ file can be fed in unmodified to a stock C++ compiler and a stock Python interpreter and you will get the same output. The first version of Python++ was developed by William W Wold for the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon 2017.


Python++ consists of 3 things:

  1. ppp.ppp: This is itself a polyglot that can be copied to the top of your Python++ source, or placed alongside it and imported.
  2. A comprehensive guide to writing Python++ programs.
  3. examples: examples of programs written in Python++.


With Python

Running Python++ programs with Python3 is easy. Simply enter

python3 your_source_file.ppp

With C++

It is a bit trickier to compile as C++ because the compiler doesn't recognize .ppp as a valid file extension by default. Also, you need support for C++14. With a recent version of GCC, the following command works:

g++ -x c++ -std=c++14 your_source_file.ppp -o output_binary

-std=c++14 seems to be default on my system, but better to make it explicit. If you want to use an IDE or a different compiler I'm sure you can figure it out. If you do, feel free to edit this readme with instructions and send in a pull request.

Test Script is a BASH script that automatically tests the given source code with both Python and C++. You must have Python3 and gcc installed to use it. It reports if the program worked with Python, if it worked with C++ and if the outputs from the two languages match, as well as displaying the output and any error messages.


If you want to add a feature or fix a bug/typo, please do so and send in a pull request.


Python++ is licensed under the permissive Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License (WTFPL). See COPYING for details.

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