Subject: Re: Can I use Lisp?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/10/25
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Eric Marsden <>
| I agree with your second statement, but don't see any justification
| for the first, unless you implicitly assume that every programmer is
| interested in performance on each problem. If I am not particularly
| concerned about performance, I will not notice the slowdown from
| user-defined functions, so I will not be discouraged from using
| abstraction.

  This is a good point.  I tend to stress that CLISP is not suitable
  if your goal is performance, anyhow, so I should also argue that
  it's good enough as long as you don't prioritize performance.

  _However_, my experience is that even though you ignore performance
  (as long as you get your answers within a reasonable amount of time),
  a large number of programmers will want to know the "expensiveness"
  of what they do and then soon discover that builtins in CLISP are
  very fast (especially bignums) while their own code runs much, much
  slower.  Even if you ignore performance consciously, I don't think
  you can completely ignore the effect of _observing_ that some things
  are much faster than others even if you did not set out to find out
  about this to begin with.

  Hence my cautions.  If you know about them and are aware of the
  conditions under which CLISP is and is not good enough, I don't
  think CLISP is a bad choice (as long as you use the ANSI mode with
  the -a option, but that that's not the default is another gripe).

  I agree with everything you say, but I would
  attack to death your right to say it.
				-- Tom Stoppard