Re: Why are intepreters so slow today

Lawrence Kirby (
Sat, 16 Apr 1994 15:06:22 +0000

In article <> "John Nagle" writes:

> Lately, I've been looking at interpreters suitable for use as
>extension languages in a control application. I need something that
>can do computation reasonably fast, say no worse than 1/10 of the
>speed of compiled C code. Interpreters have been written in that speed
>range quite often in the past. But when I try a few of the interpreters
>available on the Mac, performance is terrible.
> My basic test is to run something equivalent to
> int i; double x = 0.0;
> for (i = 0; i < 1000000; i++) x = x + 1.0;

I tried running this on an Acorn A5000 under C in interpreted basic. The
A5000 uses an ARM3 processor which is roughly the speed of a 486SX/25 i.e.
it has no FPU.

Under C this took 10 seconds, interpreted BASIC took 16 seconds.

As our esteemed Prime Minister John Major would say:

Back to Basics!

Lawrence Kirby |
Wilts, England |