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Re: Python and Allegro net comparisons
Thanks for getting in touch with me. I will call Chris.
I'd to mention a couple of things. The reason why I've been comparing to
Allegro is that Franz came up with such a nice price for a CMU site
license. Lucid is not as easily available.
I feel like I am pretty much forced to compare benchmarks with commercial
implementations, and at least in technical papers, the test conditions need
to be pretty clear. Basically, I have a need to establish that my
compiler is not terrible.
Note also that I don't feel the unsafe Gabriel results are terribly
important; environment is certainly more important. I keep trying to pound
that fact in, but people still want to see those Gabriels.
I have considered only presenting the slowdown for safe code in each
implementation, since I do consider that rather important. But then
Allegro would come out looking even worse, since fast-safe code is where
Python has the greatest relative advantage.
I suppose I could do something like measure several commercial
implementations, then compare the CMU result to the average. I think that
would meet my needs, but I would need access to several other commercial
There is also the issue of benchmarking conditions. I am running *my*
version of the benchmarks on your Lisp. I'm trying to be fair, but of
course, I haven't spent time tuning my benchmarks for Allegro. Perhaps
Franz could make available its Gabriel sources (and sources for other
benchmarks it considers more representative.)
As I see it, there are several very important differences between a product
like Allegro and CMU CL:
-- Allegro is supported, and has good documentation.
-- Allegro runs on many, many platforms.
-- Allegro is more highly tuned, especially with respect to memory usage.
-- Allegro's development environment combines GUI features with the GNU
CMU CL does have several technical features which some users many like, but
each has a corresponding cost:
-- Advanced compiler optimizations make the compiler slower and bigger.
-- The native Lisp development environment (Hemlock) offers somewhat
easier extensibility, but at the cost of GNU emacs compatibility.
For some features, such as source-level debugging, the cost/benefit ratio
is fairly impressive, leading me to believe that this is a commercially
viable technology. I infer from claims made by Franz employees about the
future of Lisp that Franz is very interested in supporting source-level
debugging. I would be happy to discuss the details of our debugger (and of
course, our code can be used also.)
Anyway, as a first step, I will edit all of our documentation to avoid
explicit mention of Allegro, in favor of vague terms such as "commercial