3.7 CLOS optimizations
3.7.4 Method combination optimization Method combination optimization is supported at least by run-time caches for generic function dispatch codes and effective method functions. Occasionally, after altering a generic function (such as by adding or deleting a method) when there is no appropriate dispatch-code or effective-method-code available, the compiler may be invoked at run-time to prepare such a run-time cache. However, if it is not possible to invoke the compiler (such as in a compilerless application environment), a compiled but more general and less optimized technique will be used instead.
Calls to generic functions having methods with
eql specializers will not be affected (in performance) unless the object is in the same class as one of the
eql specializer objects, and even in this case, the effect is not a defeat of the optimization, but rather consists of minor additional dispatch time.
The Advanced User's Guide - 9 SEP 1996
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