Updated March 6, 2011 - Mako 0.4 has ironed out some of the bumps and is within 10% of Jinja2's speed for this test.
Here we address this statement made by Seth (nice to meet you, Seth!):
Jinja2 was consistently around 25-50r/s faster than Mako for me
and when I read that, I said to myself, "yeah, probably, Armin wrote Jinja2 well after Mako, and probably did the same thing I did with Cheetah when I wrote Mako, ensured it was just a teeny bit faster".
As is my pessimistic nature, I made the same assumptions with ORMs a long time ago, I said "yeah OK, they focused more on speed than I did, they're probably right !" Until I went and tried it out, and saw that wasn't the case at all.
So I whipped up a quick test for this one, running the templates directly without any web frameworks involved in a timeit run of 10000 render() calls. Shrugs Oh well, I'm getting 18%-21% faster performance from Mako, the latest Jinja2 is 24% faster using Seth's exact Jinja2 templates, compared against two versions of the Mako template which duplicate the Jinja2 templates down to the newline:
classics-MacBook-Pro:mako_v_jinja classic$ python run.py jinja2 2.5: 7.5499420166 mako 0.3.6: 6.17144298553 mako 0.3.6 using def: 5.95005702972
Edit: ah crap, forgot to upgrade Jinja2 - Armin wins !:
jinja2 2.5.5: 4.56899094582 mako 0.3.6: 6.26432800293 mako 0.3.6 using def: 6.06626796722
Update March 2011 - some of the issues have been addressed in Mako 0.4.0, Mako now nearly the same:
jinja2 2.5.5: 4.35861802101 mako 0.4.0: 4.83493804932 mako 0.4.0 using def: 4.82003712654
All three versions use a basic template inheritance setup. The first Mako test uses the traditional next.body() approach to render the "body", the second does more exactly the method used by the Jinja2 template, declaring a "block" (in Mako's case a <%def>) and then calling it as a method, i.e. self.content().
I was surprised myself This is hardly surprising ! I've hardly done anything at all with Mako speedwise in years (with one exception below) and assumed newer module-compiled systems were smoking me by now (as I've been told these guys did).
The ironic thing is that Mako got a pretty big speed boost in version 0.3.4, when we started using Armin's own MarkupSafe, the library that was written originally for Jinja specifically, to do escaping. It's written in C and is a huge improvement over the very slow cgi routine we were using. Jinja2 and Mako are almost like cousins at this point - we also use some AST utility code written by Armin.