Four years ago, I wrote about FreePascal (FPC) as the best optimized open source compiler based on Computer Language Benchmarks Game (CLBG). Today, I look again at the game and, surprisingly, got a very different result. The fact makes me quite sad. Looking further at the fastest computer language category, I feel a deep disappointment. 😦
At May 2007, FPC was the best programming language when speed and size (memory footprint) weighted equally. Though it was not the fastest programming language, C (gcc) was the fastest, but FPC was still in top five of the list. It was on the forth if I remember it correctly. Today? It’s no longer the case.
Let’s see the result of the best programming language, as taken on May 4th, 2011.
As the table shown, FPC is now on the fifth. But don’t be happy with that! If you look at the number of languages at 2007, GLBC was comparing more languages than it is today. I believe Eiffel (SmartEiffel) and D (Digital Mars), which both are good languages and compilers by the way, could possibly be better than FPC. Too bad some good programming languages and compilers are thrown out of the game.
Now let’s look at the fastest programming language result, as taken on the same day as above.
Now FPC goes waaayyyyyy down the hill! From the top five at 2007 to the 14th on 2011. It’s not even in the top ten! The most disappoinment come from the fact that C# and Java, both interpreted languages, beat FPC as native programming language. Something that I believe won’t be happened, is now actually a fact! It really makes me sad and, honestly as a pascal warrior, a bit humiliated. 😦
I still believe that, theoretically, native programming language will always be superior both on speed and size against interpreted one, unless the native one is poorly written. And my believe is proven by the fact that C (gcc) and C++ (g++) is on the top both on speed and size. This fact makes me suspicious that there’s something wrong with the development of FreePascal, especially on the speed optimization part. Though I don’t know what is exactly wrong as I ain’t an expert on compiler code and development.
However, for many other reasons than speed, I still favor pascal as my primary programming language and FreePascal as the compiler. I also still believe in FPC’s developers commitment to make FPC as the best native compiler in the world. Just let’s hope FPC development team wouldn’t become as lazy as Delphi’s. 🙂
Or, perhaps it’s time to move on? 😉