At 1:10 AM +0900 8/23/02, Gavin Sinclair wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Dan Sugalski" <dan / sidhe.org>
>
>
>>
>>  Folks have already thrown Lisp, OCaml, Prolog, and Japanese into the
>>  mix, and Smalltalk is always floating around. Given that those are
>>  reasonably academic languages (Okay, except for Japanese :) I'll add
>>  a few of the more low-level or odd languages.
>>
>>  [...]
>>
>>  Fortran: Yeah, it's older than you are, but it still can't be beat 
>>for speed.
>
>Can I ask why?  People say it all the time, but I point-blank refuse 
>to believe that it is faster than optimised C.

That's fine. You'd be wrong in your lack of belief. :)

Fortran compilers can optimize code better than C compilers for one 
reason: no pointers. Pointers *kill* optimization dead--they 
introduce an awful lot of uncertainty into code, enough to really 
hamper what an optimizer can do. I chatted about this once with one 
of the guys on the Dec Fortran compiler team. Dec Fortran (well, 
Compaq Fortran (okay, HP Fortran)) is screamingly fast and will wipe 
the floor with equivalent code written in C compiled with Dec C. 
(Which is something of an accomplishment, as Dec C has the best 
optimizer I've ever seen for a C compiler)

On Fortran's turf, nothing (save, perhaps, a good APL) can beat it for speed.

Having said that, I'd not use Fortran to write, say, a mail client. 
(But, then, I wouldn't use C either :)
-- 
                                         Dan

--------------------------------------"it's like this"-------------------
Dan Sugalski                          even samurai
dan / sidhe.org                         have teddy bears and even
                                       teddy bears get drunk