rubyinline, etc.

By: JasonB (, March 2, 2008 6:01 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
nordsieck ( on 3/2/08 wrote:
>Precisely, but that is the whole point, isn't it?

No, it's not -- otherwise you can say "Java is incredibly efficient" because it supports native methods, and you can prove it by writing your entire program in C and then having a Java main() method that just calls the C program.

The fact that a language allows you to avoid using it for the entire program doesn't mean you can apply the attributes of those parts to the language itself. Most languages allow you to execute code written in another languages. What is important is how well the parts actually written in that language perform.

>There is no payoff to have performance
>that isn't in the critical path.

Well, in itself it certainly doesn't hurt, but it's also besides the point. My objection was that you were claiming Python and Ruby are reasonably efficient not because they are, but simply because they allows you to write parts in another language that is efficient.

>There is a definite benefit to using high level
>languages as a default in terms of increased flexibility to iterate, as well as
>decreased line count (and hence decreased maintenance cost).

I actually think those are overstated.

Iteration times: a simple change of code and a recompile of our software to reflect that change takes about 10 seconds, because only the affected unit needs to be recompiled and the program isn't very large to relink -- yet this program is still much bigger than anything I would contemplate in a scripting language. With Edit and Continue it is even possible to change the source code while debugging and continue on, although I normally don't use that -- once you've realised what the problem is there is often little point in continuing rather than starting again.

Line count: I just don't see it. Python and C++ have very similar line counts, with differences being caused by things as trivial as }'s on empty lines. Each language has a few standard features that the other lacks that can swing an individual program one way or the other, but we're not talking about a huge difference here, and most of the work in writing software is not in the physical typing in of the code. Furthermore, static typing does allow a whole class of bugs to be caught at compile time that wouldn't be visible unless you happened to trigger them at runtime otherwise.

C++ does have greater scope for writing lousy programs, of course. I prefer not to use this ability. :-)

>To restate, machine efficiency is only valuable in certain cases. Developer efficiency is valuable in all cases.

To restate: attributes can only be given to a language when they are a property of that language, not when they are "inherited" by the language's ability to combine programs with code written in another language. Pretty much all languages allow that, rendering comparisons meaningless.
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TopicPosted ByDate
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  And the links..Anders Jensen2008/02/14 04:25 AM
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        LOL (NT)Linus Torvalds2008/02/14 05:43 PM
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        Disappointing..Linus Torvalds2008/02/15 05:01 PM
          Disappointing..anon2008/02/15 08:54 PM
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          Disappointing..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/22 06:27 PM
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        Disappointing..Fred Bosick2008/02/22 06:38 PM
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        And the links..iz2008/02/17 10:55 AM
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              And the links..JasonB2008/02/18 10:34 PM
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                  And the links..iz2008/02/20 10:36 AM
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                  And the links..JasonB2008/02/20 06:28 PM
        And the links..JasonB2008/02/17 06:47 PM
          And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/18 02:27 PM
            And the links..JasonB2008/02/18 10:00 PM
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              Berkeley View on ParallelismFritzR2008/02/24 03:08 PM
          rubyinline, etc.nordsieck2008/02/22 03:38 PM
            rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/02/23 05:53 AM
              rubyinline, etc.nordsieck2008/03/02 01:40 AM
                rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/02 02:49 AM
                  rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/02 07:41 AM
                    rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/02 08:19 AM
                      rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/02 08:30 AM
                        rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/02 05:26 PM
                rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/02 06:01 PM
                  rubyinline, etc.Anonymous2008/03/03 02:11 AM
                    rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/03 09:40 AM
                      rubyinline, etc.Foo_2008/03/09 09:59 AM
                        rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/10 01:12 AM
                        rubyinline, etc.Gabriele Svelto2008/03/10 02:22 AM
                          rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/10 04:35 AM
                            C++ for beginnersMichael S2008/03/10 05:16 AM
                              C++ for beginnersJasonB2008/03/10 06:35 AM
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                rubyinline, etc.Linus Torvalds2008/03/03 11:35 AM
                  rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/03 02:35 PM
                    rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/03 03:57 PM
                      rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/03 08:10 PM
                        rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/04 01:53 AM
                          rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/04 07:51 AM
                            rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/04 08:29 AM
                              rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/04 08:53 AM
                                rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/04 11:20 AM
                                  rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/04 02:13 PM
                                    read it. thanks (NT)Michael S2008/03/04 04:31 PM
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                      efficient HLL'sPatrik Hägglund2008/03/05 01:23 AM
                        efficient HLL'sMichael S2008/03/05 02:45 AM
                          efficient HLL'sWilco2008/03/05 05:34 PM
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                              efficient HLL'sWilco2008/03/06 02:27 PM
                    efficient HLL'sanon2008/03/05 08:20 AM
      And the links..Groo2008/02/17 04:28 PM
        And the links..Vincent Diepeveen2008/02/18 02:33 AM
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