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Jean-Pierre Rosen <[log in to unmask]>
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Jean-Pierre Rosen <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 08:43:36 +0200
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>On a mailing list concerned with another programming language (but not a
>very well-known one*), the following comment appeared today:
>> If you want to see a really slow compiler I suggest
>> you try using ADA (yuk!) if you haven't already.
>I suspect this may be based on not-very-current experience, and I would
>like to provide some solid evidence that Ada compilers need not be slow.
Actually, since an Ada compiler does a *lot* more than other compilers, they may well be a bit slower.
However, an interesting measure is reported in "Ada avec le sourire" (available only in French, sorry).
The authors report that they compared the compilation speeds of similar Ada and Pascal program under Vax/VMS (old technology nowadays). The compilers are based on the same technology, so it minimizes effects due to compilers rather than the language. They found that on the average, compilation speed was 4 times slower with Ada than Pascal. 
HOWEVER, they measured the average time spent in compilation over a month by a team who had switched from Pascal to Ada: this one *decreased* with Ada.
Explanation: since the Ada compiler caught a lot more errors at compilation time, there was much much less useless recompilations.

In short: if you focus only on compilation speed, it may be true that Ada compilers are slower than other languages. But if you are interested in how long it takes to go from a first compile to a working program, then Ada wins.
                  J-P. Rosen ([log in to unmask])
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