[Haskell-cafe] Re: Why can't Haskell be faster?

Rodrigo Queiro overdrigzed at gmail.com
Thu Nov 1 05:09:15 EDT 2007

I assume the reason the switched away from LOC is to prevent
programmers artificially reducing their LOC count, e.g. by using
a = 5; b = 6;
rather than
a = 5;
b = 6;

in languages where newlines aren't syntactically significant. When
gzipped, I guess that the ";\n" string will be represented about as
efficiently as just the single semi-colon.

On 01/11/2007, Ketil Malde <ketil+haskell at ii.uib.no> wrote:
> Don Stewart <dons at galois.com> writes:
> > goalieca:
> >>    So in a few years time when GHC has matured we can expect performance to
> >>    be on par with current Clean? So Clean is a good approximation to peak
> >>    performance?
> If I remember the numbers, Clean is pretty close to C for most
> benchmarks, so I guess it is fair to say it is a good approximation to
> practical peak performance.
> Which proves that it is possible to write efficient low-level code in
> Clean.
> > And remember usually Haskell is competing against 'high level' languages
> > like python for adoption, where we're 5-500x faster anyway...
> Unfortunately, they replaced line counts with bytes of gzip'ed code --
> while the former certainly has its problems, I simply cannot imagine
> what relevance the latter has (beyond hiding extreme amounts of
> repetitive boilerplate in certain languages).
> When we compete against Python and its ilk, we do so for programmer
> productivity first, and performance second.  LOC was a nice measure,
> and encouraged terser and more idiomatic programs than the current
> crop of performance-tweaked low-level stuff.
> BTW, Python isn't so bad, performance wise.  Much of what I do
> consists of reading some files, building up some hashes (associative
> arrays or finite maps, depending on where you come from :-), and
> generating some output.  Python used to do pretty well here compared
> to Haskell, with rather efficient hashes and text parsing, although I
> suspect ByteString IO and other optimizations may have changed that
> now.
> -k
> --
> If I haven't seen further, it is by standing in the footprints of giants
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