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RE: [xml-dev] When parsing speed matters (was Re: [xml-dev] No XML Binaries? BuyHardware)

Len Bullard writes:

> Imagine a processor per language.  Gack!

Yes, Gack, as you put it.  Now imagine a processor that's good at 
character and string manipulation, table lookup scanning, buffer 
manipulation, substitution, etc. and you might have something that would 
do well on lots of languages, XML included.  A better investment than more 
general purpose processing cores?  I have no clue at this point.

I should say, I've personally never been a fan of special purpose 
hardware, except when either its peak or average utilization is likely to 
be very high (as seems to be the case with graphics chips, ethernet chips, 
and the like).  It won't surprise me a bit if, even if XML processing is 
offloaded, that the offload is to general purpose cores.  I'm just 
pointing out that the equation is changing as the relative rate of change 
in clock speed vs. transistor count starts to favor the latter.  There 
will be increasing incentives to learn to do work in parallel as opposed 
to sequentially.

Anyway, this discussion has probably gone past the point of being of 
interest to a crowd that gathers here mainly to discuss XML.  I'm happy to 
wrap it up around now.


Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

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