[gambit-list] Speed improvement of lib/digest.scm

Taylor R Campbell campbell at mumble.net
Wed Nov 18 14:02:50 EST 2009

   Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 13:05:41 -0500
   From: Bradley Lucier <lucier at math.purdue.edu>

   By the way this slowdown is due to the 16-bit algorithms which are  
   used to perform the computations without overflowing the fixnums.  The  
   C version probably does 32-bit operations, which is at least a factor  
   of 2 faster, and probably more when shifts are involved.

Common Lisp systems are capable of open-coding modular arithmetic up
to the machine word width; all you need to do is insert the occasional
(LOGAND #xFFFF...) into your usual generic arithmetic expressions.
It's unfortunate that no Scheme system -- to my knowledge -- does
this.  Instead the extent of any abstraction for `fast integers'
provided by Scheme systems is fixnums -- to the ridiculous point that
they have been formalized in the R6RS.

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