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RE: [Axiom-developer] Aldor and Lisp

From: Martin Rubey
Subject: RE: [Axiom-developer] Aldor and Lisp
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 11:52:39 +0200

Page, Bill writes:
 > On Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:40 AM Martin Rubey wrote:

 > > > > It is notable I think, that the original Axiom developers chose to
 > > > > re-implement SPAD as Aldor (written in C) rather than continue to make
 > > > > improvements to SPAD.

 > > I'm absolutely certain that the reason for this was rather a political
 > > than a technical one.
 > Could you explain what makes you absolutely certain of this?  Can you cite
 > any references to Axiom or Aldor literature?

Well, disclaimer: *I* am absolutely certain. This does still not mean that it's
true. I don't have any references.

 > In what sense was it "political"? Who stood to gain by such a decision?

At that time, Axiom and Aldor were commercial products, and Lisp was said to be
slow and Axiom had a reputation of being so slow, close to being unusable.

 > To me the technical reasons seem rather obvious. So please forgive me if I
 > seem rather skeptical.

Citing Renaud:

> I was quite disappointed with Aldor, the main interest was the ability to
> produce fast code by compiling to C and using the latest bignum libraries,
> when I went at NAG to port the real closure in Aldor the efficiency gain was
> quite low just a factor of 1.5 to 2.5 ... I think that will be much reduced
> for current versions of axioms since gcl is able to produce efficient code
> and it also uses recent versions of gmp.


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