Subject: Re: Can I use Lisp?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/10/24
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* glauber <>
| In my (limited) experience, CLISP is often fast enough. In the PC, well
| optimized code often runs as fast compiled in CLISP as it does in Corman Lisp
| (a machine-language compiler). Corman beats CLISP easily on sloppy code,
| though...

  CLISP is often good enough as long as you do not write any functions
  of your own that implement any abstractions that require multiple
  calls to user-land functions.  CLISP's performance dichotomy between
  its C-implemented compiled runtime functions and your byte-compiled
  Lisp functions leads programmers to optimize at a low abstraction
  level because they are penalized for their abstractions.  This is
  not a good thing for a Lisp environment, where we want to encourage
  function calls and make abstractions as inexpensive as possible.  We
  don't want people _not_ to use Common Lisp because of performance
  issues or to think that only built-ins are fast because they are
  written in C.  Approach CLISP as a good toy implementation of Common
  Lisp, and move on to a real compiler if you ever plan to investigate
  performance issues.

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