|Assembly language programming preferable to HLL ??? decwrl!nsc!nsta!instable.ether!orr (Orr Michael) (1986-12-03)|
|Re: Assembly language programming preferable to HLL ??? watmath!watnot!ccplumb (Colin Plumb) (1986-12-03)|
|Re: Assembly language programming preferable to HLL ??? harvard!seismo!utah-cs!shebs (1986-12-04)|
|Re: Assembly language programming preferable to HLL ??? harvard!dartvax!uvm-gen!cavrak (1986-12-05)|
|Re: Assembly language programming preferable to HLL ??? decvax!wanginst!infinet!rhorn (1986-12-11)|
|Date:||Thu, 4 Dec 86 11:48:15 MST|
|From:||harvard!seismo!utah-cs!shebs (Stanley Shebs)|
|Organization:||University of Utah CS Dept|
In article <277@ima.UUCP> Orr Michael writes:
> Have you seen an article in "Computer Language" magazine
>of Oct. 86 about "Universal assembly language" ?
> The autor also suggests a "UNIVERSAL ASSEMBLER" to run on many machines.
>I think FORTH already fits the bill, & has many other advantages.
> Any Comments, netlanders ?
Yeah, don't read Computer Language. I glance at copies in bookstores to
verify that, yes, this month they have still more inaccurate/superficial
articles. The idea of a "universal assembler" has been resurfacing every
once in a while for the last thirty years, but is still a silly idea.
Assembly language must by its nature reflect the underlying hardware, so
a universal assembler requires all machines to have the same architecture.
Folks who think a universal assembler is possible have probably only
studied about two processors and supposed that they all look the same.
(Try finding something that Vax and a Cray have in common!)
Forth is not a "universal assembler", it is a high-level (well, sort of)
programming language. Either: 1) it is compiled, in which case it has
the same defects attributed to Fortran etc compilers, or 2) it is interpreted,
but interpreted code is almost always slower than compiled code, or 3)
the machine executes Forth directly, which doesn't do anything for the
performance of Forth on other machines.
There was an interesting remark in an old paper on Interlisp-D, I think,
to the effect that moving much of the system from low-level languages
into compiled Lisp resulted in an overall performance gain, just because
the compiler performed consistently well, while the human coders did not.
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