[TUHS] lisp challenge

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Sat Feb 17 09:44:32 AEST 2018

    > From: Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com>

    > the proof here is to show up with a pure lisp grep that is fast as the C
    > version. ... I've never seen a lisp program that out performed a well
    > written C program.

Your exact phrase (which my response was in reply to) was "lisp and
performance is not a thing". You didn't say 'LISP is not just as fast as C' -
a different thing entirely. I disagreed with your original statement, which
seems to mean 'LISP doesn't perform well'.

Quite a few people spent quite a lot of time making LISP compiler output fast,
to the point that it was possible to say "this compiler is also intended to
compete with the S-1 Pascal and FORTRAN compilers for quality of compiled
numeric code" [Brooks,Gabriel and Steele, 1982] and "with the development of
the S-1 Lisp compiler, it once again became feasible to implement Lisp in Lisp
and to expect similar performance to the best hand-tuned,
assembly-language-based Lisp systems" [Steele and Gabriel, 1993].


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