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Re^2: Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013

by raiph (Friar)
on Feb 03, 2013 at 17:52 UTC ( #1016845=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013
in thread Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013

But it's clear that Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013.
... based on microbenchmarks of a language that isn't Perl 6?

No. You've picked up on what I consider a point of interest rather than the big picture.

The outlook for Perl 6 speed improvement in 2013 is based on many factors:

  • I mentioned several factors in my post. For example, Larry Wall declaring speed to be the #1 blocker of adoption in November.

  • There are other factors I didn't mention. For example, Rakudo is sufficiently complete that the existing core hackers are fairly free to focus on other things, and speed is increasingly becoming a priority for Jonathan and Moritz. Furthermore, as Moritz notes, the Rakudo toolchain has reached the point that non-core-hackers are successfully hacking on AST generation and NQP to improve speed (with the nice side effect of leading them toward being new core hackers). I could continue but I recommend anyone interested visits #perl6 and asks questions.

As for "a language that isn't Perl 6" I'll point out that NQP is basically a small subset of Perl 6 (NQP stands for Not Quite Perl) and Rakudo compiles to NQP. So if NQP gets faster, Rakudo Perl 6 gets faster.


Comment on Re^2: Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013
Re^3: Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Feb 03, 2013 at 21:46 UTC
    For example, Larry Wall declaring speed to be the #1 blocker of adoption in November.

    A lot of people have declared a lot of things over the lifetime of the project. Most of them haven't happened. I will believe them when I see them.

    ... if NQP gets faster, Rakudo Perl 6 gets faster.

    That's nonsense. Features aren't free. Parrot has at various times beaten a lot of languages and implementations on various microbenchmarks, and Rakudo and even NQP didn't.

      Parrot has at various times beaten a lot of languages and implementations on various microbenchmarks

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that has been the case for a long time (ie since the removal of the JIT in 2009(?)), and never for any language except PIR.

      Rakudo/JVM might or might not work out, but as far as I can tell we already know that Rakudo/Parrot has not.

      -- gerdr

        As I recall, these were microbenchmarks without the JIT in 2010 and 2011. I don't have that code anymore, so I'm going by memory. They were definitely hand-written PIR code, though.

        If what I recall is true, then you can draw two conclusions. First, performance on a microbenchmark represents little more than performance on a microbenchmark. Second, features aren't free.

      Fwiw I posted this meditation and these responses mostly for those who might enjoy:

      • core hacking that's vastly simpler and more likely to be accepted than Perl 5 core hacking

      • using Perl 6 when it's a lot faster

      (This may well not include chromatic.)

      For example, Larry Wall declaring speed to be the #1 blocker of adoption in November.
      A lot of people have declared a lot of things over the lifetime of the project. Most of them haven't happened. I will believe them when I see them.

      Larry Wall isn't just a random person and he wasn't declaring that anything has happened. He's the leader of the Perl 6 project, he focused attention, and #perl6 folk listened. (Another example: Moritz forgot to mention he added sink (void) processing in late December, something that had been on the todo list for many years and which makes most code in void context a lot faster.)

Re^3: Perl 6 is going to get a lot faster in 2013
by DrHyde (Prior) on Feb 04, 2013 at 11:46 UTC
    Larry can declare that speed is the number one blocker of adoption as much as he likes. The real blocker to adoption is that perl 6 ain't yet complete.
      Your view is prevalent. If you could answer a few questions it might become clearer whether your view is based on something I'm not taking into account, or misunderstanding, or something else:

      • Are you looking forward to using Perl 6 when it is "complete"?
      • When did you last use Perl 6, and which compiler?
      • What do you think is missing?

      Folk adopted Perl 5 en masse even though it was and has always been "incomplete". For example, from a talk submitted to YAPC::NA yesterday:

      Perl 5.2 introduced prototypes to the language, and in the documentation has noted from the very beginning "Alphanumerics have been intentionally left out of prototypes for the express purpose of someday in the future adding named, formal parameters." That was almost 18 years ago, and we still don't have named, formal parameters in core.
        Folk adopted Perl 5 en masse even though it was and has always been "incomplete".

        Hey look, a false equivalence!

        Yes, I'm looking forward to trying it out. I've never used it.

        I agree that perl has always been somewhat incomplete, in the sense that it's always possible to make it better. But that's a silly way of interpreting completeness. I've given an example (which took me approximately 30 seconds to find using google) elsewhere in this thread of a core feature that doesn't yet exist. I understand that object introspection and macros are also still not implemented.

        If I didn't already have a set of excellent tools available, then I might consider using perl 6 even in its current state - just like I did back with early perl 5.

      The real blocker to adoption is that perl 6 ain't yet complete.

      What makes you think so? Do you have any data that supports your statement?

      I ask because when we released the first version of the Rakudo Star distribution, we got loads of feedback. And most of it was along the lines of "the features are very nice, but it's too slow". Which indicates the the majority of potential users doesn't think that he lack of completeness is the main problem.

        I agree with this. In my attempts to get on board it was speed and the dearth of documentation (and corresponding weakness in diagnostic feedback for misuse) that kept putting me back in the drink. I never considered "code completeness" for a moment; only "code what can I do with thisness."

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