Theoretically speaking, is it possible to have a Lisp/Scheme compiler that can produce code that can compete with compiled C, let's say within 15-25% margin?
In my testing, I've found that the current crop of compilers (Bigloo, SBCL, Gambit, Chicken, etc) are 20-50 times slower than equivalent C code.
The only outlier is the Stalin compiler. For simple programs, it produces binaries that are equivalent to C. However, what I find suspicious is that none of the other projects (Bigloo, Chicken, Clozure, etc) have attempted to implement whatever tricks Stalin uses ("whole program optimization", etc).
I'm a huge fan of LISP since the mid 90s and would love to bring it on board so my team can crank out projects in half the time in normally takes using C/C++/.NET/etc, but...the performance issues are a huge roadblock.
I wonder if the lack of quality LISP compilers are due to the fact that no serious time and money has been invested into the subject OR if this simply isn't a feasible task given the current state of compiler technology??