Finally the code-base for the first Copper language interpreter has been published on Github!
I did some speed profiling… – something I probably should have done a before outright stating my virtual machine is “not improvable” on its blog. Of course, I know better, and that’s why I performed speed profiling.
The profiling narrowed down the bulk of the speed bottleneck to function calls (actually, it was a confirmed educated guess, but I think I know where the other bottlenecks are).
Not to the surprise of any expert, the primary issue turned out to be string comparison. Strings add up to be amazingly expensive. Currently, there are too many function calls that depend on them in the script execution section of the engine.
Continue reading “Type System Revise”
I do love languages, and (as I wrote in my very first post on this blog) Copper has its origins in Goldfish, a language initially intended for AI. In a way, making a language was still on the bucket list, so the things I said in that post are not lie, but there is more to the story.
Finally, enough of the engine has been reimplemented such that I was able to perform benchmarking again. The results don’t look good.
That about describes everything about Copper right now, for the most part. The Copper interpreter was originally a state machine and the new version isn’t any different in that regard. But the “state restored” in this case primarily refers to the fact that everything I had in the original version of the interpreter has been restored in the new version including all the built-in functions. That means I’m back to where I was about 5 weeks ago, but this time, I have what I believe to be a MUCH faster interpreter, though I have yet to benchmark it. (Ok, so the ability to run Copper functions outside of Copper has not been finished and I’ll talk about that.)
Transition complete. There are now 3 branches: fn, Bobcat, and master (also known as “Cheetah”). I’m hoping that the new code-base in Cheetah will prove to be much faster than the original design. All things considered, I knew I had designed a slow system. It was effective and relatively easy to maintain, and the new system is likely to be slightly more challenging. However, I maxed out what I was going to get out of the old design. The processing code was very bulky with tons of methods dedicated to it. I spoke about its task system in a previous post, which should have been published a long time ago, but now is as good a time as ever to compare it with the new system. The new system (the new engine, that is) has a separate parsing and execution system, reducing the primary execution sector (the methods doing the repetitive operations) to only a handful of methods.
Sometimes the easiest way to see if something will work is to start coding it, writing down ideas as you go. The adage is 100 hours of programming will save you 10 hours of planning. That can be very true, but sometimes it isn’t possible to figure out if an idea will work until you try putting it together in code. You’re going to need to write some pseudo code, and you may get to the point where you’re just writing code.