[Openmcl-devel] Lisp versus JavaScript (was: list - vector)

R. Matthew Emerson rme at clozure.com
Mon May 18 21:46:07 PDT 2009

On May 18, 2009, at 11:51 PM, Andrew Shalit wrote:

> On May 18, 2009, at 10:08 PM, Gary Byers wrote:
>> If you're starting from the assumption that #'CL:AREF (without any
>> compile-time assertions) is somehow analogous (performance-wise or
>> otherwise) to an array-reference operator in a language with one  
>> array
>> type, you probably won't get very far very fast; that's simply not
>> a reasonable assumption.  In my mind, this is the sort of thing that
>> every serious CL programmer should know (though I admit to not being
>> entirely clear on how this knowledge is to be acquired; I imagine  
>> that
>> most of what's written about it tends to be excruciatingly
>> implementation-
>> dependent.)
> That brings us to the class line: "Lisp programmers know the value of
> everything and the cost of nothing."
> Perhaps we could add, Lisp implementors know the cost of everything,
> but Lisp documenters haven't been able to make that sufficiently
> obvious to other Lisp programmers.  But every little bit helps.

Norvig has a couple of chapters about efficiency in PAIP:


Chapter 10, "Low-level efficiency issues," is an interesting and  
informative read.

The whole book is good, for that matter.  The AI problems are  
primarily a vehicle for demonstrating advanced Common Lisp programming  
techniques, so don't be turned off by the "artificial intelligence" in  
the title if AI is not your thing.

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