Python is far from a top performer according to benchmarktest...

Michael Hudson mwh at
Tue Jan 13 11:58:11 CET 2004

Robin Becker <robin at> writes:

> this was also my understanding, the difficulty is that humans can't do
> the correct analysis in their heads for all, but the most simple
> programs. I seem to remember that almost all the compilers I used had
> mechanisms for turning off the most aggressive optimisations so if the
> card deck suddenly started working with them off then you could try and
> figure out what was wrong. Another nastiness was that by putting prints
> in you often disrupted the optimisations and the values you got printed
> seemed to indicate everything was fine.

This last point is true in C, too, particularly with floating point
code on x86: turn optimization off or put in debugging prints and then
the floats get rounded to C doubles (64 bytes) frequently; don't, and
they stay as 80 bit values in the FPU for longer.  This can lead to
differing behaviour (and thus programmer insanity).


41. Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but
    withstand progress.
  -- Alan Perlis,

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