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Is OCaml fast?
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Date: 2010-11-22 (13:42)
From: Thomas Fischbacher <t.fischbacher@s...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Is OCaml fast?

Gregory Bellier wrote:

> If you want speed then you should learn assembly or choose C as a second 
> choice.

Certainly not assembly. Modern microprocessors just see assembly as a
kind-of high level language which they interpret in a funny way, doing
all sorts of re-schedulings, register renamings, delayed branching,
speculative execution etc. Producing code that can take advantage of
this is best left to the compiler - unless one has to deal with
instruction set extensions for which there is no good compiler
support yet.

> It depends on the kind of apps you'd like to write. Even though O'Caml 
> is fast, it's not the first criteria I have in mind which would be 
> security : no segfault, no need to handle horrible stuff like in C, ...

I'd say the OCaml native compiler is reasonably fast for pretty much all
applications that need the speed of compiled code. But I'd say the same
for GHC and SBCL, say. There are some good reasons to take a closer look
at OCaml, but these are related to other qualities of the language.

In my view, its greatest benefit is that it makes working with closures
simple while being fast and by far not as intimidating to (prospective)
PhD students as Scheme/Lisp (but that only because most of them have
been spoilt by imperative languages beforehand).

best regards,
Thomas Fischbacher