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Re: [VM] MIME encoding/decoding

From: Ulrich Mueller
Subject: Re: [VM] MIME encoding/decoding
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2014 10:07:03 +0200

>>>>> On Fri, 18 Jul 2014, Patrick P Murphy wrote:

> On Fri, 18 Jul 2014 09:13:37 +0200, Ulrich Mueller <address@hidden> said:
>> These C programs were first shipped with in VM 6.76 which was released
>> in September 2000. This is somewhat surprising, because at that time
>> Emacs (version 20.4 then) already included the base64-decode-region
>> etc. functions.

> No, it's not surprising.  Typical resources at the time for a
> near top-of-the-line PC would have been:

>   550 MHz processor (just one, no cores)
>   64 Megabytes (not Gigabytes) of RAM if you were very lucky
>   ATA-2 hard drive, maybe 10 or 20 Gigabytes.

> Performance was a real issue, and in a speed battle between emacs lisp
> and a compiled C program, the latter usually won by at least one order
> of magnitude, maybe two.

The base64-* functions always were internal Emacs functions, i.e.
implemented in C. Therefore I doubt that one could improve performance
by calling an external program, which has additional overhead for
spawning a new process.

Adding these programs to VM would still have made sense in the late
1990s, but no longer in 2000 when Emacs 20.4 had the built-in C


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