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Re: Strong Typing, Dynamic Languages, What to do?

--- Matthias Felleisen <matthias@ccs.neu.edu> wrote:
> 1. How can [efficiency] possibly matter to beginners
(<= 2
> years of training)? 
>    They don't even know how to write a correct
> program. 

The thing here is that every young CS student wants to
write that incredible games/application/OS that is
just going to *blow away* their friends because its so
fast, so slick and so, just, wow!

Whose hard disk isn't littered with little demo games
and special effects from their teenage years?  Mine
certainly is.

This is the attitude you'll find amongst most CS
students.  The interesting thing is that performance
measurements are based mostly on hearsay.  C is fast
because, well, everyone says C is fast.  O'Caml the
same.  SML/NJ isn't because some micro-benchmarks
using an old version of the compiler don't produce
good results (c.f Matthias Blume's posted x6 speed
improvement over the posted matrix multiplication
result) and because everyone says it is slow.
This is an unfortunate but real social aspect of
development.  If people start saying `MzScheme has a
lightening fast interpreter; it even beats some
compiled code!' then maybe student's attitude towards
Scheme would change.


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