Subject: Re: Floating Point speed in Common Lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/03/13
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Bulent Murtezaoglu
| I think for simple things that could also be easily implemented in C
| right from the start, it isn't obvious that Common Lisp is a good
| environment.  Incremental development etc. is all very nice, but when the
| smallest problem you can try takes as long to run as several
| edit-make-crash cycles in C, the benefits of Lisp are less clear.

  one of the curious properties of programming in Common Lisp is that you
  adopt different styles according as the needs you foresee for your code
  differ.  usually, you know beforehand that some code is speed-critical
  and you care about consing, declarations, and such early, and take care
  not to violate the principles that you know will result in fast code.

  adopting a number of different styles and becoming willing to write code
  that is not "beautiful Lisp" but only _exports_ a "beautiful Lisp"
  interface takes a lot of experience.  I remember I spent a lot of time
  getting to grips with the need to write really _ugly_ code, but then it
  dawned on me that while I liked C because I could bury ugliness in code
  and I like Common Lisp because it is elegant and beautiful, these are
  _not_ mutually exclusive qualities.  I can bury ugliness in Common Lisp,
  too, but if I take care to write an elegant interface to it, it's gone
  forever, quite unlike C, where the interface still sucks.

  there's one thing I miss, though, but I'll make that a separate thread.

  God grant me serenity to accept the code I cannot change,
  courage to change the code I can, and wisdom to know the difference.