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Re: What's so cool about Scheme?

On Friday, June 6, 2003, at 07:58 AM, Anton van Straaten wrote:
> If Scheme is a scripting language, it's the fastest one on the planet, 
> by a
> wide margin.

That's impressive. Are one or more of the languages tested here:
a flavor of Scheme? xemacs, guile maybe?

> So, if one's goal is to implement a "scripting language", implementing 
> it in
> Scheme makes a lot of sense - you can leverage Scheme's 
> language-building
> features, ending up with a much smaller and more maintainable code 
> base, and
> you could easily generate a very fast interpreter binary.

Which Scheme would result in a smaller code base? Scheme48 is about 25K 
lines of code. Given that the book makes no mention(I didn't see 
anything and there's not index entry) of garbage collection, I assume 
the code base would need to include Scheme itself for the runtime?

> If, OTOH, one's goal is to be a human compiler, by all means, keep 
> churning
> out that hand-crafted C code!  ;oP

A concern with developing a high level language is that there are heavy 
costs involved with doing things dynamically. With C, I get the feeling 
that I can optimize the important bits, know what the important bits 
are and see to a reasonable extent what sort of instructions the 
machine will get from the ones I give it. With Scheme, these things 
aren't clear to me and I wonder if Scheme might make too many of these 
decisions for me. For example, what if I need to integrate well with C 
libraries? What if the concurrency model needs to call back and forth 
between C and my language? What if lists aren't the the ideal data 
structure for my language? What if I need a different sort of garbage 

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