[TUHS] Early Unix function calls: expensive?

Tim Bradshaw tfb at tfeb.org
Mon Jan 4 09:53:00 AEST 2016

> On 3 Jan 2016, at 23:35, Warren Toomey <wkt at tuhs.org> wrote:
> Does anybodu have a measure of the expense of function calls under Unix
> on either platform?

I don't have the reference to hand, but one of the things Lisp implementations (probably Franz Lisp in particular) did on the VAX was not to use CALLS: they could do this because they didn't need to interoperate with C except at known points (where they would use the C calling conventions).  This change made a really significant difference to function call performance and meant that on call-heavy code Lisp was often very competitive with C.

I can look up the reference (or, really, ask someone who remembers).

The VAX architecture and its performance horrors must have killed DEC, I guess.

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