[plt-scheme] xxx chooses MzScheme as preferred language

From: Hans Oesterholt-Dijkema (hdnews at gawab.com)
Date: Sun Jun 4 02:18:59 EDT 2006

I understand the concern for performance and memory usage. But I've seen 
around that are total failure because people don't know about creating 
good algorithms.
The speed of the language only becomes a major concern, if the 
application requests
it and the programmers have done a great job on the algorihmic level. 
But at that
point, a performance increase can also simply be gotten by improving the 


Edmund Dengler schreef:
> Greetings!
> On Fri, 2 Jun 2006, Abdulaziz Ghuloum wrote:
>> I don't buy that performance doesn't matter; it's just not as important
>> as the other factors for people using PLT software.
>> I would guess that the largest portions of PLT users are students who
>> use DrScheme as part of their coursework.  Performance is perhaps the
>> last thing to matter for this group.  Casual programmers who play with
>> Scheme every now and then while reading SICP/HtDP don't care about
>> performance either.  People writing web-based applications and related
>> stuff don't care either since the bottleneck for these applications is
>> usually the speed of the network/database/... .
>> What remains is perhaps less than 1% of the Schemers who do care about
>> performance because their applications demand it.  To be popular, you
>> better focus your effort on catering to the needs of 99% of users.  The
>> other 1% can use whatever other implementation/language with negligible
>> overall effect on PLT's popularity.
>> Aziz,,,
> As somebody who develops systems, and who talks to plenty of companies and
> individuals that develop, I can tell you there are a large number of
> practical engineering concerns that drive selecting a language. This
> ranges from performance ("it's not fast enough"), resource usage (too much
> memory being a big one - when you start to swap, things really die, or you
> need to fit lots of things in memory), library support ("I have to write
> too much myself", "no database/gui support"), whether the language is
> going to be around in a couple of years, whether you can actually produce
> a standalone binary, and can you get developers.
> Note that Java is _still_ argued against because of both performance and
> memory utilization (and note - while Java has gotten better, on a number
> of systems these two still kill - OpenBSD anybody?), which are much better
> than MzScheme.
> A number of projects which were desired to be done in Python were dumped
> by various groups for purely performance reasons.
> Note that acturial science used APL (of all languages) for quite few years
> beacuse of the ability to do fast calculations. This flies in the face of
> people who claim that users will never use exotic technologies - if it is
> useful, they will learn to live with it.
> In this case, MzScheme wins on library (could always be more, but not too
> bad) and longevity (it looks like it will be around for awhile). Not sure
> the standalone support is really there yet. _But_, definitely loses on
> performance/memory and currently developer availability.
> As they all say, there are three types of lies: lies, *** lies, and
> statistics. I would say that there are probably more users who might have
> used MzScheme _if_ performance/memory had been reasonable than there are
> current users (this is a completely WAG, but on the other hand, I know
> quite a number of decent developers who are bemoaning the lack of anything
> better than C/C++ or Java for realistic systems). By that measure, over
> 50% (I would still raise this even more) cared about performance, but
> didn't stick around to be counted in the current user survey.
> Regards!
> Ed
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