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Re: constant `e'

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: constant `e'
Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2007 16:06:57 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.93 (gnu/linux)

>> Also, the compiler will have to work extra hard to try and figure out
>> whether it is safe to optimize it away or not.  If it's more work for the
>> compiler, it's probably more work for the human reader as well.

> I doubt the valitidy of that.  The purpose of high-level
> languages is to make code easier for humans to read at the
> expense of making it harder for computers to execute.
> This seems to fundamentally contradict your statement.

Being difficult to execute is very different from being difficult to
understand.  I wrote "more work for the compiler", in a paragraph that talks
about optimizing, so I was referring to the effort needed to "understand"
rather than "execute" a piece of code.

Note that the higher-level languages are always more constraining than
lower-level ones (try to write GC in elisp, for example).  Those constraints
make it easier for people and compilers to understand what the code does,
because they can assume they hold without having to check.


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