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Re: Poor Sun timings, as competition...

    Date: Mon, 6 Aug 90 15:41 EDT
    From: Qobi@ZERMATT.LCS.MIT.EDU (Jeffrey Mark Siskind)

									I will strengthen
    my claim:
      Most of the time, recompiling an entire 600 line file under the Lucid
      development compiler on a Sparcstation I+ will be faster then recompiling
      a single function on an XL1200 with m-sh-C!

Really?  Compiling and loading all of CLIM took comparable amounts of time
on the XL1200 and a Sun 4/330.  I admit I am not a heavy-duty Sun user (I
only have used Franz and not Lucid, for example) and don't know one Sparc
from another, so this information may not be interesting, but I believe
they were within a minute or two of each other, over a 20-minute
compile-and-load denominator.

    Yes, it is true that the development environment on Symbolics is better
    than on a Sun but the gap is closing. While Genera 8.0 is an
    improvement over System 98.0, everybody else is also improving, and at
    a rate faster than Symbolics. Though they are not yet there, they are
    quickly catching up. In 1982 the claim that the Symbolics development
    environment was light years ahead of the competition was truly valid.
    It isn't so any more. What the m-sh-C example shows is that sometimes
    raw speed more than makes up for lack of a fancy feature. IMHO there is
    a lot of latent speed left in Symbolics machines, both the XL1200 and
    even the lowly 3640---if only a decent compiler was written for it. 

Although the compiler is pretty slow, the binary file loader seems, if
possible, worse.  Although compile-and-load was comparable, loading the
system without a compilation is not.  I no longer remember what the
difference was, but it was substantial.

    months ago I would never have thought of giving up my Symbolics
    machine. I was a staunch defender of it. But two months of hacking
    Lucid on SparcStation I+ has made me think twice. 

To me, the main difference between the Franz environment and the Symbolics
environment is the debugger and its editor support.  Under Genera, you can
type in a form as it appears in the source, and if it's from the same
lexical environment as the place you blew out, it will evaluate to the same
value.  If you give the editor c-E command, you will wind up in the editor,
looking at the source for the current function.  If you give the "Show
Source Code" command, you will be given the source of the current function,
with sub-forms mouse-sensitive for choice as things to evaluate or places
to set breakpoints (the latter only works with a compiler option, and is
awfully slow, but is incredibly useful nonetheless).

Under Franz, you can't even find out the values of all local variables (of
course, on the Sun-4 they may not exist any more even if lexically valid,
but a compiler option could prevent this optimization), much less list them
by name.  They keep telling me that the right way to debug problems is with
the interpreter.
						      Speed may not be the
    only thing but it sure is an important factor. Price/Performance is
    another. You can't live on your laurels forever.

I don't think anybody, even at Symbolics, would disagree with you about