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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Performance of Guile Scheme vs librep Lisp

From: Joris van der Hoeven
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Performance of Guile Scheme vs librep Lisp
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 15:12:59 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi Karl,

Yes, if the choice of Guile were to reconsider, there would probably
be several good alternatives. The problem is that this is quite
difficult in the near future, because our task-list is already
full with more urgent things...

Best wishes, Joris

On Sat, Nov 12, 2005 at 03:43:42AM -0800, Karl Hegbloom wrote:
> A long time ago, I tried out the SCWM (scheme controlled window
> manager), which had Guile Scheme as it's extension language.  It was
> really slow, and difficult to use because of that.  Not long after that,
> Sawfish, then called Sawmill, was released.  It is much faster than
> SCWM, and very useable.  Soon after I mentioned this fact on the Guile
> mailing lists, someone began work on a byte code virtual machine and
> compiler for Guile.  For some reason, it is not part of the Guile
> release right now.
> It turns out that the reason for its performance superiority over Guile
> is that rep has a byte compiler and virtual machine.  The VM is based on
> a technique known as "indirect threading" that was developed for engines
> driving portable Forth language implementations.
> Guile does not have a byte code virtual machine.  Instead, it is a
> tree-code evaluator.  This means slower execution and probably (I'm
> guessing) greater memory consumption.
> Like Guile, rep was designed to be an embedded extension language.  John
> Harper, its author, started writing it to create his version of an
> Emacs.  Later, he used it to implement the Sawmill window manager, now
> known as Sawfish.  Rep has a fairly decent module system, is easy to
> link to C programs, and has both a Lisp and Scheme personality.  There
> is an evaluator for R4RS scheme as well as one for a lexically scoped
> Lisp.  The main thing about it is that it's quick.  A lot faster than
> Guile.
> If TeXmacs is spending much time executing Scheme code, perhaps Rep
> would be a better choice?  There may be other reasons for choosing it
> that I am not completely aware of.  One may be the Gnome2 bindings for
> it.
> OTOH, if anyone ever finishes up the byte code engine for Guile, and
> perhaps the GNU Lightning based JIT...  It will be fastest then.
> -- 
> Karl Hegbloom <address@hidden>
> _______________________________________________
> Texmacs-dev mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/texmacs-dev

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