Just Don’t Rakudo It?!

After the announcement that the Niecza v6 now supports full bigint Ints, I finally have downloaded it and gotten it working on my MacBook Pro. (The tricky bit was getting mono, making niecza work was trivial after that.)

And with a couple of trivial modifications, I’ve got the old mandelbrot-color script ported to niecza. There is one major issue: Complex.abs doesn’t work properly. The resulting set is still correct, I think, but the coloring is off.

Here’s the crazy bit: it can calculate a 1001×1001 Mandelbrot set in under 5 minutes on my MBP. By comparison, a 145×145 Mandelbrot set in Rakudo runs in about 5 and a half minutes. That’s niecza clocking in at roughly 47 times faster than Rakudo!

My initial impression is that Niecza still has a lot of rough edges and unimplemented features. But it seems to me that with this release, it’s gone from a cool up-and-coming Perl 6 to a real contender.

I guess the real question here is how Rakudo Nom will handle it. Getting rid of all the endless object creation stuff should be a big win for Complex-heavy math code.

Update: And additional quick benchmarks on string code show no advantage what-so-ever for Niecza — even factoring out Niecza’s crazily slow startup time? I suppose I might have managed to choose the worst-possible comparison (from Rakudo’s point of view) for my first benchmark…

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