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I've been playing with Cython recently and I'm really impressed with its compatibility with arbitrary Python code. It's possible to compile all of Tornado with only minor changes (for a ~25% speedup without any type annotations). https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/python-tornado/Kele7...

And you can usually get significantly larger speedups if you profile to find hotspots and then declare the types of a few variables in them.

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