Re: Languages of multiple abstaction

Brooks Moses <bmoses-nospam@cits1.stanford.edu>
1 Nov 2006 00:54:37 -0500

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From: Brooks Moses <bmoses-nospam@cits1.stanford.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 1 Nov 2006 00:54:37 -0500
Organization: Stanford University
References: 06-10-126
Keywords: design, performance

fermineutron wrote:
> It is generally the belief that high level languages are slower than
> the low level languages. It seems to me that there are 2 possible
> reasons for it.
>
> 1) The abstraction level of HLL is higher, hence the compiler, using
> todays technologies, can not create as clean code as it would from a
> language of lower level of abstraction.


1a) Making the fastest and cleanest machine code possible has not often
been a primary goal of authors of HLLs and their compilers. I think
that's more of what's going on than that it's "not possible".


[...]
> So the question becomes:
> If a code is written in HLL and great care is taken to write the code
> in such a way that the compiler will do as good of a job as it possibly
> can, and then another code with the same care is written in LLL, will
> the code originally written in HLL be that much slower?


I find myself wondering whether that's a meaningful question. It seems
to me that taking this amount of great care to write the code in a way
that's deeply mindful of how the computer hardware processes eliminates
many of the advantages of using a HLL. It's basically punching holes
through all the abstractions that make the HLL valuable -- if you're
going to be thinking at that low a level, isn't a LLL the right tool?


- Brooks


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