I'm happy to announce that I will hold a special 90 minutes session on
Lisp at the next ACCU conference, April 2008, Oxford. The abstract is
Performance and Genericity: the forgotten power of Lisp
Lisp is one of the eldest languages around, and probably still is the
most versatile of them. In our current times where there seem to be a
regain of interest for dynamic and functional programming, many of those
recent languages (Ruby to name one) acknowledge the fact that they were
inspired by Lisp, but not quite as powerful.
So why is it that so many people seem to acknowledge the power of Lisp
but so few of us are actually using it? Two important reasons are that
people either still think it is slow, or think that being so old, it
must be dead, so they simply have forgotten all about it.
The purpose of this session of twofold: first we want to remind people
of the power of Lisp, and second, we want to break the myth of slowness.
In a first step, we illustrate the expressive power of Lisp by showing
how straightforward it is to implement binary methods, a concept
otherwise difficult to reach in traditionnal OO languages. This will
allow us to provide a "guided-tour" of some of the powerful features of
Common Lisp: CLOS (the Object System) and its multiple-dispatch
paradigm, the CLOS MOP (the Meta-Object Protocol) and it's ability to
let us rewrite new, specialized, objet-systems for our own purpose, and
finally the Common Lisp particular package system.
In a second step, we present a recent research demonstrating that Lisp
can run as fast as C, given that it is properly typed and optimized.
This is done by analyzing the behavior and performance of pixel access
and arithmetic operations in equivalent Lisp and C code for some simple
image processing algorithms.
Didier Verna, didier(a)lrde.epita.fr, http://www.lrde.epita.fr/~didier
EPITA / LRDE, 14-16 rue Voltaire Tel.+33 (0)1 44 08 01 85
94276 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France Fax.+33 (0)1 53 14 59 22 didier(a)xemacs.org