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Low level things in C or Scheme [was Stupid module and pregexp questions

From: tomas
Subject: Low level things in C or Scheme [was Stupid module and pregexp questions]
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 10:12:43 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.3i

On Mon, Apr 28, 2003 at 06:55:26AM -1100, MJ Ray wrote:
> On 2003-04-28 18:53:42 +0100 address@hidden wrote:
> >Call me conservative, what not. I'd think You'd Write A Regexp Lib In 
> >C (TM).
> Why do you want to tie one hand behind your back like that?  Scheme is 
> such a beautiful language that we should have a good, optimised, tight 
> core and then as much as possible of the remaining system written in 
> Scheme, possibly compiled down, maybe through C, for speed of loading 
> when necessary.  Some things have to interface with the outside world 
> and may need to have C layers for that reason, but regular expressions 
> aren't one of them.

Uh, oh. I think we touch a Deep Philosophical Thing (TM) here :-)

In theory, Scheme can be as efficient as C (a sloppy way of expressing
that a Scheme program, given the right Scheme implementation, etc.).

Still, I think it comes at a price (in terms of a sophisticated Scheme
implementation, and it seems there are (practical) tradeoffs in the
trio code efficiency -- eval flexibility -- complexity of implementation).

Of course, if we can have our cake and eat it, I'm all for it, but I'm
comfortable with the idea of a layered system where you do the low-level
things in one language and the high-level things in another. It correlates
quite well with the layering of software and thus feels (to me) very

Sorry for the hand-waving :-)

-- tomas

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