[Newbies] Re: Primitives and array computation

David Finlayson dfinlayson at usgs.gov
Fri Jul 11 17:26:42 UTC 2008

It is interesting to look at the Computer Language Benchmarks Game and
see the relative speed of dynamic vs statically typed languages on
micro-benchmarks (these are math heavy tests). I didn't look at the
Lisp derivatives to see if they were using dynamic or static typing (I
believe they can use either as required), but it looks like the
fastest purely dynamically typed language I've used is Python with
Psyco. That is about 7x slower than the fastest C++ implementation.
The fastest smalltalk in the game is VisualWorks at about 10x slower
than C++ and Squeak is about 50x slower than C++.


I understand in theory it is possible to have good performance out of
dynamicly typed languages, but it seems the only way to get good
performance today is to punt out of your dynamic language into a C or
Fortran library for all the heavy lifting. It's a shame really. In
fact, I think there is a high-speed compiler for Smalltalk that is
typeless, but it was swallowed by Sun before it took off.


On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 4:27 PM, Frederic Dambreville
<squeak at fredericdambreville.com> wrote:
>> When you think of it, it's pretty well the case of Matlab:
> That's it. Actually, I was also thinking about something like the J
> language.
>> Though i have a decently working version under Visualworks and Dolphin,
>> the Squeak one is unfortunately bleding edge (that means the tests do not
>> pass, worse, they can crash or block your image).
>> By now, i'm not working on it.
>> But if you want to use it as a starting point, i can provide some help.
> I will look at it. However,  my contribution in the close future will be
> restricted  to my current  need (a Bellman-like equation propagation).
> See you,
> FD
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David Finlayson, Ph.D.
Operational Geologist

U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

Tel: 831-427-4757, Fax: 831-427-4748, E-mail: dfinlayson at usgs.gov

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