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Re: continuation efficiency

From: Martin Grabmueller
Subject: Re: continuation efficiency
Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 10:20:43 +0200 (MET DST)

> From: address@hidden (Thomas Bushnell, BSG)
> Date: 05 Jul 2001 14:50:28 -0700
> I have some potential uses of continuations, which will be used in
> automatically generated code.  That makes it easier to go ahead and
> make the continuations all the time, but only use them once in a
> while.  (To only make the continuations when they are needed would
> complicate the compiler.)  So this question is for those who
> understand guile guts enough to answer sensibly for the particular
> implementations guile uses.

Well, I'm not really an expert on this, but I have by now read the
source code enough to answer the questions.  Maybe others can improve
my answers.

> I.  Is A substantially worse than B:
>     A: (call/cc (lambda (c) (do-something)))
>     B: (do-something)
>     (Note that the continuation in A is never used.)

A is worse, because the (machine) stack gets copied, even if the
continuation is not used.

> II. Is A substantially worse than B:
>     A: (call/cc (lambda (c) (do-some-things) (c do-something)))
>     B: (begin (do-some-things) (do-something))
>     (Note that the escape procedure is only used as a tail call in the
>     argument to call/cc.)

Same for this one, the place of the continuation call does not matter,
because the expensive part is the stack copy.  (And no clever
optimizations as far as I know.)

> Does the following expression (which runs forever) run forever, or
> does it run out of space?  (The astute will notice a connection
> between this question and number I above.)
> (letrec
>   ((whizzie 
>    (lambda (argument)
>     (argument (call/cc whizzie)))))
>   (call/cc whizzie))

Trying this out with my local Guile gives me a stack overflow and so
does not run forever.


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