[Openmcl-devel] Speed, compilers and multi-core processors

Dan Weinreb dlw at itasoftware.com
Thu May 21 12:38:04 PDT 2009

Justin Grant wrote:
> Thanks for the responses Dan, Mikel :
>>     Haskell has many mutable data structures too
>     It does?  I didn't know that; I thought it didn't.  (I'm only up
>     to chapter 9 in "Real World Haskell".)
> You're ahead of me in RWH but what a great read hey ?
Yes!  If anyone wants to learn Haskell, I strongly
recommend this book.
>>     Who's to say that the user will always be writing concurrent
>>     programs ?
>     Sure, I agree.
>     On the other hand, soon nearly every personal computer (assuming
>     that that continues to have a meaning!) will have multiple cores.
>     In fact, we're pretty close to that now.  Sometimes it's easy
>     to keep cores busy simply because there are many background
>     processes, but the number of cores continues to rise.  I recently
>     was shopping for a new desktop and found that there are
>     consumer computers using the Intel i7 with 8 cores.  So
>     it seems not unreasonable to assume that there will be more
>     and more need for languages that handle concurrency.
>     As you say, not every job needs to worry about that kind
>     of close concurrency; but more and more jobs are going
>     to.  At least, many people think that's what's coming.
> I agree that this is coming (and are already here to a certain degree).
> I'd love to get an 8 or 16 way machine under my desk !
> I agree that it's important to build a Lisp on top of a JVM in spite 
> of the potential issues that I mention.
> I'm a fan of the JVM too, not as much the language Java or some of 
> it's libraries but hey "worse is better" and I use those when 
> necessary. Pragmatism often overrides my desire to write beautiful 
> code in a more beautiful language.
There is work going to to improve the JVM for non-Java languages,
especially languages with dynamic typing.  There was a "JVM summit"
for various people implementing non-Java languages on the JVM.
Rich says that real tail-calling is something everyone wants. (I don't
know if we'll ever get full Scheme call/cc etc.)
> For all my playing devil's advocate regarding Clojure I really do 
> appreciate all the work that's gone into it.
> It's one of the best Lisp's on the JVM to date.
Has anyone here tried out ABCL (Armed Bear Common Lisp)?  It runs
on the JVM and is supposed to be Common Lisp.
> I worked on a project over a year ago where
That's very interesting!

-- Dan

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