The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Programming Language Benchmarks

Here’s a great website for comparing programming language performance:

It’s truly enlightening. For example, you will find that Cincom VisualWorks is generally much, much faster than Ruby, but Ruby is much more memory-efficient.

No surprise but C++ is much faster and much more memory-efficient than Java.

C# is generally much faster than Python. Both languages are roughly similar in terms of memory consumption.

BASIC is hands down much faster and leaner than Python or Ruby.

You can spend hours comparing every language pairing. It’s fun!!!

A couple of caveats:

These are benchmark comparisons of specific language implementations. You can’t draw final conclusions about the languages themselves. However, they are good indicators of relative performance and should be used appropriately in decision-making.

Also, just because Language A is much faster than Language B does not mean that Language B is inadequate to the task of running your application. For example, C++ is clearly faster and leaner than Java, but Java runs well for many applications.

At least for me, this website has convinced me that VisualWorks is better than Ruby (I don’t really care that Ruby uses less memory). If Smalltalk is a little sluggish on my iMac, imagine how slow Ruby must be!!


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