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    Huh, I didn’t know Julia had that feature. Personally, I wouldn’t find it very useful, since I’ve never wanted to hand-optimize generated assembly code. Besides, what would you do once you know what assembly is being generated? I guess you could use it to refactor your Julia code to run faster, but you can’t really tell what changes will make the assembly code better.

    Personally, I find the easy FFI a lot more interesting, since it means you can hook into existing C libraries or into C code you’ve written yourself. For instance, I’m a contributor to a Julia audio library (https://github.com/ssfrr/AudioIO.jl), which uses the PortAudio and libsndfile libraries. Julia’s FFI means we don’t have to write a lot of boilerplate C code just to interface with the Julia runtime.

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      I really like this guy’s writing style, but I doubt that my interests will align with his. I’ve never needed that kind of raw compute power - the JVM or CLR has always been good enough. Regardless, I could see this being a good replacement for R, if the statistician community were to accept it.

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        Fortunately with Julia, there are a lot more reasons to like the language than just raw performance. Having an FFI that doesn’t give the FFI programmer a headache is pretty nice. Also, it has a good type system, homoiconicity, and all those other language features that the author doesn’t really care about.

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        This is also one of the things I like a lot about CMUCL and SBCL:

        $ sbcl
        This is SBCL 1.0.57.0.debian, an implementation of ANSI Common Lisp.
        …
        * (defun f (x) (if (< x 2) 1 (+ (f (- x 1)) (f (- x 2)))))
        F
        * (f 8)
        34
        * (disassemble #'f)
        
        ; disassembly for F
        ; 0AB4E42E:       8B55F8           MOV EDX, [EBP-8]           ; no-arg-parsing entry point
        ;       31:       BF08000000       MOV EDI, 8
        ;       36:       E8461F4BF6       CALL #x1000381             ; GENERIC-<
        ;       3B:       7C72             JL L5
        ;       3D:       8B55F8           MOV EDX, [EBP-8]
        ;       40:       BF04000000       MOV EDI, 4
        ;       45:       E8811D4BF6       CALL #x10001CB             ; GENERIC--
        ;       4A:       7302             JNB L0
        ;       4C:       8BE3             MOV ESP, EBX
        ;       4E: L0:   8D5C24F8         LEA EBX, [ESP-8]
        ;       52:       83EC0C           SUB ESP, 12
        ;       55:       8B05F8E3B40A     MOV EAX, [#xAB4E3F8]       ; #<FDEFINITION object for F>
        ;       5B:       B904000000       MOV ECX, 4
        ;       60:       892B             MOV [EBX], EBP
        ;       62:       8BEB             MOV EBP, EBX
        ;       64:       FF5005           CALL DWORD PTR [EAX+5]
        ;       67:       7302             JNB L1
        ;       69:       8BE3             MOV ESP, EBX
        ;       6B: L1:   8955FC           MOV [EBP-4], EDX
        …
        

        I’ve often found it useful for answering “Why are my Lisp functions so slow?”

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          Is there a good web framework for Julia? I’d be interested in trying it out.