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Re: Why is Elisp slow?


From: 조성빈
Subject: Re: Why is Elisp slow?
Date: Mon, 6 May 2019 23:04:05 +0900


> 2019. 5. 6. 오후 10:33, Óscar Fuentes <address@hidden> 작성:
> 
> Ergus <address@hidden> writes:
> 
>> Bringing a C api and use Lisp for high level or interactive functions
>> reduces overheads, simplify the C code we have and enables a more
>> modular design. But I know that try to do that now is not realistic with
>> the amount of code and people we have. So that's why I was talking about
>> Guile, but after all it seems not to be realistic either.
>> 
>> So whats the alternative? Keep our interpreter as is and deal with few
>> developers (and decreasing) and performance issues and a lot of code to
>> maintain?
> 
> Emacs doesn't suffer from scarcity of Elisp programmers. Emacs lacks C
> programmers.

1. Arguably this is because Elisp *is* the extension language of Emacs.
2. Arguable Emacs suffers from both. :-( I have yet to find a good flow (a 
static type checking variant of JS from facebook) mode. I have yet to find a 
good debugging package (dap-mode comes close). I have yet to find a good 
<insert arbitrary package here>. Most Emacs packages have an equivalent one (if 
possible0 in Atom, VSCode, etc… but there are *lots* of packages that lack in 
Melpa. 
3. 

> Maybe it is related to how easy it is to get something working on each
> language. Elisp has a huge advantage over C on that aspect, not only
> because Elisp is more simple and way more expressive, but also because
> of the REPL (no edit-compile-run-crash hamster wheel) and because Emacs
> is, in practice, a Lisp machine with the associated advantages.

Also, um… comparing Elisp with C for ‘easy’?̊̈ Maybe comparing with JS, Python, 
Scheme, CL would be better, and Elisp isn’t always superior. Elisp is more 
expressive and allows better abstractions than most ALGOL-derived languages, 
but esoteric function names and scoping rules that default to dynamic scoping, 
etc… CL is superior than Elisp in almost all viewpoints. Scheme also has 
superior points to Elisp.

I wouldn’t say that Elisp is the selling point of Emacs; why did Atom succeed 
much more than Emacs?̊̈
The reason Emacs succeeded is that Emacs allows tweaking the editor to the 
extreme; Atom was successful for similar reasons albeit using JS instead of 
Elisp.

> Elisp is a hacker's dream. Not so C.

Lisp was, and is a hacker’s language.
C++, Java is a corporate language. 
C was, and is a hacker’s language.


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