"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Saturday, February 07, 2004

Them's Fight'n Words

Anders Hejlsberg: There is clearly a performance aspect to it. One possible solution would be to say, "There are no value types. All types are heap allocated. Now we have representational identity, and so we're done, right?" Except it performs like crap. We know that from Smalltalk systems that did it that way, so something better is needed.

This is really one more thing generally not worth worrying about. *This* is the real lesson of Smalltalk in the real world. I have seen precious few Smalltalk (or Lisp, or ...) applications that required this kind of minutiae. Large matrices of doubles in these cases, usually, are the culprit. In these cases the work arounds are not enough to justify complicating the language for everyone.

A good 64-bit data representation will make this point moot in just that many more scenarios. But when Smalltalk and other simple dynamic languages are cruising with 64-bits, the complicated languages like C# will *still* be burdened with all their interfering mechanisms.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.