When a veteran Lisp programmer tackles a seemingly "easy" question which can be 
a daily and dirty task of any programmer, and presents the question as a 
"challenge" a beautiful thread unfolds.

When it comes to processing a text file (which is about 220 MB) which one is 
better: some Common Lisp implementation or Python?

Is that a valid question? What are the hidden assumptions of implementations? 
What are the trade-offs?

Does it matter if the file is Unicode encoded or plain ASCII? Does it matter 
what is assumed by your compiler as default? What about profiling your code?

A very simple problem which led to a detailed and professional discussion among 
coders (including some optimization patches to the open source CL 
implementation SBCL, but remember that closed source CL implementation Allegro 
Common Lisp was also used in the original post, too, so another dimension about 
choosing your tools).

Definitely worth a look.

Details are at:


Emre Sevinc

e-MBA Software Development @ Istanbul Bilgi University

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