Subject: Re: Common LISP: The Next Generation From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 1996/10/01 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.dylan Message-ID: <email@example.com> [James Toebes] | Let me explain what I mean by 'getting the job done'. Thanks. | I am not referring to UNICODE character set. Since Microsoft is a pusher of Unicode (ISO 10646) in Windows NT and also a member of the Unicode Consortium, I find it amazing beyond compare if they have called something else "Unicode", as well. Somebody must have confused the name, at least. | All computer operations reguardless of the language can be broken down | to some basic functions line add two integers, store a variable, | compare two values, .... There's an ISO standard at some stage called "Language-independent procedure calling". It sounds vaguely like the effort you mention. That standard is highly optimized for languages with trivial representation of objects, as found in languages with values and storage locations that are typed at compile-time, only. It fails utterly to address the needs of dynamic languages, of which several have arrived on the scene "recently". I believe in creating "interfaces" or "trampolines" or whatever between different languages' optimal data representations and function calling mechanisms. Languages just differ too much in how they do things beyond the most basic to be able to agree on a common format without seriously hurting performance. Assuming, that is, that "performance" still means something when this gets used. (In some existing systems, this overhead can be ignored because it will always be much smaller than the next most costly overhead, typically interprocess communication mechanisms.) I have found that function calling mechanisms have been getting more and more complex in recent years both on the CPU level and in the coding conventions employed, to the point where a function should be quite long before it pays to call it instead of inlining its body. Inlining code between languages will be tricky at best, so the standard practice of creating large amounts of teeny-weeny functions as accessors into larger objects will have a tremendous cost overhead if those objects are not interchanged at the highest possible level. This means that type definitions (e.g., struct and class declarations) need to be shared across the language interface. This is a non-trivial problem, not at all solved by reducing function calls to interchange of some notion of "basic" building blocks. That whole concept is seriously dated; I'd say it's _pre_-object-orientation. #\Erik -- I could tell you, but then I would have to reboot you.