Thue-Morse and performance: Squeak v.s. Strongtalk v.s. VisualWorks

Klaus D. Witzel klaus.witzel at
Sun Dec 17 15:32:36 UTC 2006

Hi Michael,

on Sun, 17 Dec 2006 15:58:12 +0100, you wrote:
> Hi Klaus,
> On 12/17/06, Klaus D. Witzel <klaus.witzel at> wrote:
>> > I can always design you a benchmark that makes a particular system  
>> look
>> > bad.
>> C'mon. It's either faster or it's not. No way out.
> exactly, you're absolutely right there.
> The question is which conclusions you draw from such a punctual
> observation.

Right you are, and so is Andreas.

> And the conclusion you initially drew - something along
> the lines of "I thought Strongtalk was the fastest Smalltalk, whoops,
> that's not true" - is far too general in the limited light your
> particular measurement sheds on Strongtalk performance.

Yes, I can now see that my "and now it shows to be in almost the same  
class as Squeak is" is understood as a strong claim. But it just expresses  
my disappointment and desillusion.

> I guess this is what it boils down to. Judging an entire system's
> performance by just one small simple point of observation just doesn't
> work. (I must admit that this started me in the first place.)

No (agreeing with your "just doesn't work"). But the message is clear  
(reflecting Andreas' point): if you have nothing to inline (etc), then  
PICs (which can run out of steam) won't help.

No misunderstanding, my point did not change: even if so (have nothing to  
inline), *faster than all others* is "fast even beyond PICs capabilities".  
Otherwise it can be contradicted by Andreas (... can always design you a  
benchmark that makes a particular system look bad... :)

Perhaps there is something to learn from VW (without compromising the  
existing, I mean). Who knows.

 From a pragmatic point of view, if you can't write inlineable (type  
feedback'able, etc) code (or, as Andreas pointed out: can't write such a  
test :) , whatever the reason, don't expect a guarantee for superior  


> Best,
> Michael

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