August 14th, 2007

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Rewriting in ocaml

I’m rewriting my typesetting software in Objective Caml, which can be compiled to fast machine code. For verse like Paradise Lost my software is very fast, but I’m elsewhere working with prose paragraphs and for these the software is slow (by modern standards). I would rather not have to dream up and code compromise speed-ups (like the one TeX uses, in which it first tries to format a paragraph without hyphenation and see if the result is ‘good enough’), and so would rather use a ‘faster’ language. Objective Caml seems to be one of the ‘faster’ compiled languages, I have written a few programs in an earlier version of Caml, and it is reasonably terse. Also the compiler is decently fast.

First I looked up benchmarks of interpreted languages, and, while what I scanned over did not include Unicon, it did include Icon as such (which would include Unicon code not using classes and objects), and it was one of the ‘faster’ languages, seeming a bit ‘faster’ than Python, and much faster than current implementations of Ruby. Lua seemed a bit ‘faster’ than Icon; I gathered that its internals are based on the internals of modern Icon, and probably represent an improvement. In any case, it didn’t look as if I could get any dramatic improvements by switching to another interpreted language.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Phil Rizzuto has died

The Scooter, Phil Rizzuto, has died.

My favorite memory of Rizzuto is the time he said, in all seriousness, that there was no room in the Major Leagues for a .500 pitcher. That one had Bill White ROTFL on air.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Rove paranoia

Stacy Taylor is substituting for Randi Rhodes today (because Randi is on a cruise to Alaska), and a guy just called in to Mr. Taylor, saying that Rove is leaving the White House to do this or that for 2008 ‘Republican’ strategy.

As if Rove couldn’t do that, and more effectively, from within the White House! :)

More likely: The ship is sinking and Rove is a rat.

Furthermore, the caller may be suffering from what I call ‘Rove paranoia’, or the idea that Rove is behind ‘everything’ and is so, so important.

The ship goes beneath the waves not long after Gonzales flees it, if he ever does.