Balanced trees

Ian Kelly ian.g.kelly at
Tue Mar 11 04:38:02 CET 2014

On Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM, Chris Angelico <rosuav at> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 12:26 PM, Steven D'Aprano
> <steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
>> In my experience, the average developer has an amazing talent for
>> pessimising code when they think they are optimising it.
> I remember a number of incidents from personal experience when I was a
> *very* average developer. One time, writing C++ code, I looked at the
> disassembly and decided the compiler was doing a terrible job. No no,
> I could make this so much better by using the 80x86 "REP MOVSW"
> command (or commands, depending on your point of view). That would be
> so much better than all those separate operations the silly compiler
> was doing! Roughly an hour of fiddling later, making sure it all still
> worked correctly, I discover that... hmm, it's not actually any
> faster. Turns out the 80x86 string opcodes are really inefficient;
> they're short (a one-byte command that says "read a
> byte/word/doubleword from DS:SI, write it to ES:DI, and increment or
> decrement SI and DI"), but not fast. In my defense, I at least did
> measure before-and-after, and learned that I should back out that
> change :)

Better to have tried and failed though than to have simply accepted
what the compiler was doing with no verification at all.

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