[Haskell-cafe] Language Shootout reverse-complement benchmark

Gwern Branwen gwern0 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 11:38:28 EDT 2010

On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 10:25 AM, David Leimbach <leimy2k at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm still trying to figure out what the point of the shootout really is.  If
> there's no dedicated folks working with a language there, trying to make
> things run faster, a language will come out looking inefficient potentially.
>  There's a lot of compile flags and optimizations that can make a difference
> in probably all of the languages listed on that page.

'Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.'

> I guess all you can get from the shootout is a sense of what a particular
> language or set of tools is capable of in the hands of the programmers who
> submit implementations.  It doesn't really give you a concrete idea as to
> how to evaluate a programming language.
> It does still seem kind of fun for some reason though :-)
> Dave

The Shootout has a number of valuable purposes:

1) Concrete evidence that language X *can*, somehow, be as fast as language Y
2) Public examples of techniques to do #1, again concrete
3) Exposes where libraries/compilers can do better (this has happened
many times with GHC and Haskell libraries)
4) Motivates people to work on creating/fixing #2 and #3


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