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[REBOL] Re: language shoot-out :-)

From: joel:neely:fedex at: 5-Nov-2002 14:19

Hi, Jan,
> Your statement "this is exercise in language comparison" is > not quite accurate: it looks like this is in fact an "exercise in > language implementation comparison". >
You're absolutely correct; I was being hasty/sloppy in my terms! Jan Skibinski wrote:
> Not to overheat the discussion.. take it easy... > I was obviously teasing in part. >
The temperature's just fine; no worries! It's just that I've seen a number of posts over the years (on this list and others) where a bit of code is offered to demonstrate an idea (esp. a limitation) and someone responds with "Here's how you could redesign your demonstration to avoid that problem." I have this absurd mental image of someone saying, "I want to enter the Olympic swimming competition in the butterfly event; but since I don't do the butterfly stroke so well, I'm going to ride my motorcycle instead!" ;-)
> But I have some problems with Ackerman per se. As you must > have noticed from the second part of my previous post, any > language and any implementation must fail sooner or later > on ack 4 family. From this perspective this function is > "ill conditioned", or "singular" - as some matrices are. >
Hmmmm... (You're talking to an old Math major here... ;-) We call a matrix "singular" because *in*principle* its inverse is not defined. That's different from saying that an evaluation of a given *well*defined* function may require more memory or precision than available on my computer for some arguments. Ackermann just happens to be a function that runs up against implementation limits quicker than most, but it isn't inherently ill-defined or badly-behaved (just *very* hungry for cycles! ;-)
> I have known and watched the "shootout" page for more than > a year now. But frankly, I am not sure how useful it is due > to... >
Interesting observations. I posted some possible "why/who" comments re a REBOL-vs-X shootout a little while ago. There's also the case of language junkies who are simply interested in seeing different ways of doing things. But, as you point out, real benchmarks are always performed using real implementations. At least it has the benefit of allowing one to choose an implementation (when more than one are available) or puts pressure on the keepers of the One True Implementation (when only one is available) to improve performance when their performance falls behind. -jn- -- ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Joel Neely joelDOTneelyATfedexDOTcom 901-263-4446