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Re: Emacs Lisp's future

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Emacs Lisp's future
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:46:21 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4.50 (gnu/linux)

>> It is the lisp which sage supports (they have a funding grant which
>> requires that sage be installable from source on just about anything
>> which has an existing C compiler) and the maxima tests consistantly
>> show it as second only to compiled-to-machine-code lisps like sbcl.

Note that this speed is probably only for "compiled code".
ECL has two evaluation methods:
- "byte-code interpreter".
- "compilation to native code via C" (requires a local installation of
  a C compiler).

I just tried a silly microbenchmark to get an idea of the byte-code
interpreter's performance:

   (let ((x 0)) (dotimes (i 10000000) (setq x (- i x))) x))

and on my machine, it took 3.5s compared.  This isn't super-fast
compared to Emacs-24.3 which takes 6.7s in the purely interpreted case
and 1.7s in the byte-compiled case.

Of course, this is a silly benchmark, but I think this indicates that
ECL focuses on performance of compiled code (the above silly code runs
in 0.7s when compiled, FWIW).


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