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November 16, 2012

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I have absolutely no doubt that had this been tried in either APL or its successor, J, that either would have won, hands down. They are known for their extreme terseness and concision.

I don't think that table is Tufte-compliant. :-) . It's really hard to tell quickly what the relative order of the languages is. For example, start with the "R" row. It's short, so to find out the relationship between "R" and Matlab,Clojure.Haskell,Ruby,&Pascal, you have to jump around the previous rows. Can some enterprising coder take the source data and plot it better? Look: we all know Mathematica won, so put it as the first row, but order the columns in decreasing magnitude. Since "language A faster than lang B" is transitive, we really don't need any more than that one line to calculate all the ratios anyway, but for the casual reader, placing the rows in this new order will be a lot clearer, I think.

Actually, to present the data accurately, it is not transitive.

If all tasks were complete in all languages it would be possible to represent the data with a single row.

But because the tasks that are common between language A and B are not the same as between B and C or between A and C, it is possible for A>B>C>A to occur.

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