Visualizing language trade-offs

Guillaume Marceau has done some excellent work crafting the data from the venerable Computer Language Benchmark Game into visualizations that quickly show the trade-offs of using each language. The speed, size and dependability of programming languages puts each language in a small graph that simultaneously shows the execution speed and program size of each test for every language. From there, the characteristics of each language is manifest. He then goes on to consider whether functional languages display unique performance/size characteristics.

This is a must-read. It’s also great information design, proving that programming language esoterica needn’t bore the reader.

One thought on “Visualizing language trade-offs

  1. Isaac Gouy

    > a small graph that simultaneously shows the execution speed and program size

    aka scatter plot

    > It’s also great information design

    Scroll so the charts fill the browser.

    Now quickly which axis is execution speed and which axis is program size?

    Did you use what you already knew about languages to work that out?

    Does Mozart/Oz look like it should be in the same column as Java 6 -Xint ?

    How can we compare Ruby with PHP – most of the information seems to be off the chart?

    http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32/shapes.php

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