What is Python good for?

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Sat Sep 15 01:57:06 CEST 2001


Courageous wrote:
> 
> >> There's abundant evidence, in my estimation, that the
> >> mass of programmers who "hand-tune C code" *degrade*
> >> their applications' performance.
> 
> I can only suppose you believe this true because you believe
> that "the mass of programmers who 'hand-tune C code'" do so
> blindly. Those of us who use profiling tools, however, most
> certainly do _not_ degrade application performance. In this
> context, the claim is absurd on its face.
> 
> But perhaps you are correct. Perhaps the majority of C-code
> tuners don't profile. Is that what you are saying?
> 
> Because surely you're not claiming that someone who uses a
> profiler is "degrading" their applications performance.

Not speaking for Cameron, but I would say that the phrase
"hand-tune" implies specifically *not* using tools such as
profilers in the process.  I think most programmers who
spend time optimizing C code do it rather blindly, along 
the lines of "it isn't fast enough, so I'll try to speed
up this loop here so it will be faster".  

The definition of "fast enough" is probably nowhere to be 
found, the focus on "this loop" is an educated guess at best, 
and tools are "too expensive" or "too hard to figure out", 
so they continue blindly from project to project, wasting 
time doing something they refer to as "optimizing".

-excessively-quoting-ly "yr's"
Peter Hansen



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