Better integer performance possible?

Michael Klein Mklein at
Mon Oct 25 20:15:12 UTC 1999

> Ask Ian about Jitter -- he has been having fun with it recently.  When he's
done, I think the SmallInt comparison will be much better.  LargeInts
will be similarly better, but not like the Dolphin numbers.  I
personally have not ever found LargeInt speed to be a concern in any
useful code.

It is very usefull in cryptography.  See:

	Applied Cryptography
	Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C 
	by Bruce Schneier 

	ISBN:  0-471-59756-2

especially Section 9.5

I found out about Squeak's LargeInteger slowness while trying to port
some crypto-stuff to Squeak.

Incidentally, when I'm trying to hype Smalltalk to some C hacker, I tell
them about my experience
of porting the RSA reference code for large prime number generation from
C to Smalltalk.

It consisted mostly of deleteing the C-Code, and slight syntactical
changes to the
*comment* in the C-code into Smalltalk.  Java is almost as ugly as C in
this case, as well.

> We would happily invite a replacement LargeInt package into Squeak if it
were at least as simple and understandable (I cannot imagine this not
being the case!!), and if it did not add a significant overhead to the

Perhaps they could be pluggable.  SmallIntegers aren't easily
understandable... all of the complexity
is hidden into C into machine-language into silicon.  There is absolutly
no insight on how to
divide small integers anywhere (that I know of) in Squeak.

-- Mike Klein

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