Re: [dev] Interesting post about X11

From: Thorben Krueger <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 20:45:51 +0200

On 22 June 2010 20:17, Kurt H Maier <> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM, Donald Allen <> wrote:
>> So, if we take you at your
>> word, you are advocating returning to writing assembly code. As
>> someone who wrote his first computer program in 1960 in assembly
>> language on an IBM 1620, and who wrote an awful lot of assembly code
>> in the 1960s and 1970s, I can assure you that's not a good idea.
> And if we take you at your word, are you advocating that we follow
> abstraction out until we're using touchscreens to drag Sprog[1]
> widgets around?  I sure hope not.
> I think what should be pursued is a balance between abstracting out
> pain-in-the-ass boilerplate (of which modern C is full) and reducing
> programming to mindless library-gluing (which is what Java gave the
> world). To be perfectly honest, no matter how well your Scheme program
> runs, if it takes up much more system resources than existing C
> programs, I don't want it.  It's not just about easing the development
> load by throwing hardware at the problem -- we've had enough of that.

A word of caution from Don Knuth at this point: "Premature
optimization is the root of all evil."

I have grown to cherish this piece of wisdom over the years, as it
often turned out that I had focused my energies on the wrong problems.
I am not saying that implementing something in C is "premature
optimization", but choosing C over a higher-level language for
performance reasons should not be something you do unquestioningly or
"as a rule".

If you have a simple program which mostly does I/O, _that_ is going to
be your bottleneck. Don't worry about the number of instructions your
CPU has to execute.

> There's no reason I need to bog down my computers with langauge
> interpreters -- much less crimes against nature like emacs.  There are
> plenty of regular languages out there that don't need the
> infrastructure scheme does, many of which have already been mentioned
> in this thread.
> Thanks for the book link, though -- I didn't know that was available
> online these days!
> --
> # Kurt H Maier
Received on Tue Jun 22 2010 - 18:45:51 UTC

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