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Richard Kelsey wrote:

I think the overhead is largely unimportant. Unless you are interacting
  with near-c-speed-sufficiently-smart-scheme-compilers (better think of
  crawling-lame-naive-bytecode-interpreter) the overhead of this will
  be completely lost in the noise the Scheme implementation produces.

I meant the overhead of manipulating Scheme objects from C code,
which is independent of the speed at which the Scheme code runs.
It would be nice if the C code ran at near-C speed, no matter how
lame or otherwise the speed of the Scheme code.

And I mean that the "noise" of argument evaluation, procedure invocation
and procedure return will outweigh the cost of a couple of extra
indirections. If the wrapped C code is long-running, it should extract
the data from the passed Scheme argument values anyway, and convert
it into a representation it can easily handle.