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Re: Test reader speed of Guile 3.0.6

From: Han-Wen Nienhuys
Subject: Re: Test reader speed of Guile 3.0.6
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2021 11:30:46 +0100

On Fri, Mar 12, 2021 at 11:28 PM Dr. Arne Babenhauserheide
<> wrote:
> >> there’s a Guile 3.0.6 release planned that includes a rewrite of the
> >> reader in Scheme. It has speed in the same order of magnitude as the
> >> previous reader but might have different performance characteristics.
> >>
> >> If I remember correctly, lilypond uses the reader a lot, so if you have
> >> a test-system with lilypond on Guile 3, could you test how running
> >> lilypond with the current Guile master from git affects lilypond?
> >
> > last time I looked, building GUILE 3 from source was truly glacial,
> > making this kind of thing annoying to check.
> If you build from tarball it is much faster, because it then provides
> pre-created bootstrapping files. What’s so slow is creating the initial
> optimized reader.

That wouldn't work for testing a prerelease, though.

> > You say "same order of magnitude". Do you have benchmarks so we know
> > what to expect?
> The current *average* spead of the reader is roughly 80% of the reader
> implemented in C, but with different performance characteristics. I’m

$ cat ../
#(define (microseconds)
  (let* ((t (gettimeofday))
(us (/ (cdr t) 1000000.0)))
   (+ (car t) us)))

#(define start (microseconds))

% \include ""
\include ""

#(display (- (microseconds) start))

Parsing & evaluating '(1 2 3) 200 times.
- guile 1.8: 1.25ms
- guile 2.2: 3.2ms
- guile 3.0.6: 2.08ms

Parsing & evaluating the giant expression in define-grobs.scm once:

- guile 1.8: 10.6ms
- guile 2.2: 166ms
- guile 3.0.6: 71ms

Parsing & evaluating the giant expression in define-grobs.scm once
(but quoted, ie. not real evaluation):

- guile 1.8: 10.0ms
- guile 2.2: 13ms
- guile 3.0.6: 12.8ms

In summary, the read speed itself for large expressions is on the same
order as 1.8, but for many small expressions (which is a much more
common use-case) there is still a 60% slowdown.

> asking here because I want to avoid surprising and avoidable changes
> that block Lilypond. I consider Lilypond to be the most important
> flagship project of Guile, and I want to do what I can to prevent
> unnecessary friction.

I appreciate the heads up you gave here today, but from our side, it
doesn't seem like the Guile project is much concerned with our needs.
The evaluation speed of GUILE 3.x is still pretty poor. Having fast,
JIT'ed code seems interesting in theory, but the way it's implemented
in Guile 3.x is a giant headache: the separate byte compilation is
extremely slow, and it is hard to manage (where should the .go files
be stored/installed, how/when are they generated etc.). It also
doesn't match our use case, because a lot of the code that we have
comes from .ly files, so it cannot be precompiled.

Han-Wen Nienhuys - -

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