Subject: Re: How fast can lisp go?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/07/11
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Richard James Panturis Giuly <>
| I want to use lisp to deal with processing a stream of video.  Do
| you think that's ridiculous, or can I process data with lisp almost
| as quickly as a lower level language?

  Well, as general advice, less than 1% of the code of a program is
  truly speed-sensitive, and you can write the remainder of the code
  much faster in Common Lisp than in any other language.  You won't
  notice any differences in response time on that code, anyway.

  The speed-ciritical code may require special coding, as with a whole
  lot of type declarations, careful examination of bottlenecks with a
  profiling tool, etc.  Common Lisp environments come with a whole lot
  of mature tools in this regard.  It is not uncommon for a Common
  Lisp project to drop down to C or assembler to take care of special
  needs.  For instnace, if you're on an Pentium processor, you may
  find it useful to exploit the Pentium II or Pentium III facilities,
  and this may be hard to do directly from Common Lisp, while some C
  or C++ compilers may have reasonable support for them.

  More often than not, however, you may be able to experiment with a
  variety of algorithms in Common Lisp in the time it takes just to
  write _one_ that works correctly in, say, C++.  This aspect of the
  language is often not appreciated by non-Lispers.

  If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.