[mercury-users] How efficient is mercury?

Ralph Becket rafe at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Fri Apr 23 10:43:42 AEST 2004

Maurizio Colucci, Thursday, 22 April 2004:
> Thanks for the insighful reply. I have eventually chosen Mercury, and I am 
> amazed at how many errors in my old prolog code I discovered :-)

The clincher for me was the amount of trust I feel I can place in
Mercury programs once they've got past the compiler.  I hardly ever
have to use the debugger.

In terms of graphics performance, you might want to e-mail Julien
<juliensf at cs.mu.oz.au> who has been working on the OpenGL binding for
Mercury.  I don't think the control language for games matters that much
- many commercial games have Python or Lua running the show behind the
graphics engine.

> Do you suggest I use the new or the old interface for calling C predicates?

The new interface is well documented in the ROTD and is not likely to go
away (unlike the old interface, which will be deprecated at some point
in Mercury's future.)

> > You can use imperative 
> > structures such as arrays and pointer graphs in Mercury, but being
> > purely declarative means that doing so incurrs some syntactic overhead
> > (i.e. your programs will be a little longer, but should run just as
> > quickly.)
> I don't want to... otherwise I'd use C#.

Well, some problems have a natural imperative flavour to them.  The
important thing, IMHO, is to maintain the declarative semantics.

> > In terms of raw performance, I would expect Mercury and Clean to be very
> > close to one another, 
> That's very good news.

Sorry, I meant to say Mercury and OCaml - Mercury isn't lazy which makes
it much easier to compile very efficient straight-line code.

Keep us posted: we're always interested in new projects and applications
that use Mercury.

-- Ralph
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