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Frontier is Native

Frontier is a 'fat' app, it contains both 68K and native PowerPC code. If you have a Mac with a PowerPC processor, Frontier will run much faster.

Check out suites.samples.performance.

It does three tests, comparing the performance of Frontier's built-in script interpreter, UserTalk, with the AppleScript script interpreter.

If you run these tests on a 68K machine, the two interpreters show almost identical performance. So I decided to try these scripts on my PowerPC. AppleScript is running in 68K emulation on the PowerPC.

Here's the picture...

The first test measures the speed of the interpreter's main processing loop. This tells you how efficient the system is for any computational tasks, looping, searching, comparisons, building HTML pages, things like that.

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A "tick" is a 60th of a second.

The second test measures the performance of a call to a local subroutine. This gives us some idea of how much overhead there is in symbol table performance in the interpreter.

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The third test measures the performance of interpreter's interface to library subroutines, either implemented internally to the interpreter (the Frontier architecture supports over 700 builtin verbs) or AppleScript's OSAX interface.

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The tests were performed on an PowerMac 9500 running Frontier 4.2.

If you're running scripts on a PowerMac that do a lot of computation, text processing or calls into the operating system, writing the scripts in UserTalk may get you a performance boost.

Tabular summary of the results

Integer Arithmetic43 ticks11 ticks
Subroutine Call34 ticks28 ticks
Frontier Built-in1095 ticks2 ticks

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