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Re: Why is Elisp slow?

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Why is Elisp slow?
Date: Mon, 06 May 2019 13:25:51 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

I totally agree with the sentiment; we'd benefit from "out-sourcing" the
maintenance of the language implementation, but we can't just replace
Elisp with something else, so we need to find another well-maintained
Elisp implementation that's at least as good as that we have now.

AFAIK the options are:
- Keep what we have
- Move to Guile
- Move to CLISP
- Move to SBCL
CLISP is not actively maintained nowadays.
AFAIK SBCL is alive and kicking, but I'm not sure how well it works on
platforms other than GNU/Linux-on-AMD64.

Of course, Guile has the advantage that someone has already spent a fair
bit of time implementing support for Elisp, whereas for CLISP and SBCL
that would be extra work (Elisp is close to a subset of CL but not

Another approach would be to implement an Elisp-to-JS compiler and
then use one of the heavily-optimized JIT-compilers for JS.
Compiling Elisp to JS should be much easier than compiling to
native code.


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