[funsec] Re: crazy asm coders [was: efficient ASM code]

Paul Vixie paul at vix.com
Sat Sep 17 12:00:10 CDT 2005

# > How about thinking up new algorithms that run an order of magnitude faster
# > than the one you first thought of?

that's what kernighan and plaugher had to say in their classic
"the elements of programming style" (2nd ed, 1978).


though the examples were mostly in fortran, the concepts are timeless.
for $11.50 (used, from amazon), it's a hell of a deal for anyone here
who hasn't got a copy.

# yep!  Bram Cohen's BitTorrent is a good example. A pure networking
# algorithm, written in Python -- an interpreted language.  But still a
# significant improvement on traditional TCP/IP transfers in certain aspects.

network applications will almost always be network-performance limited.
python or perl or other scripting MIGHT slow down a number crunching app
that had no network or filesystem dependencies, but even in that case
it's likely that (a) some use or misuse of the scripting language's special
features will make reasonable performance possible, and (b) by the time
moore's law works its magic, you'll have saved more time from being able
to debug the app and execute more-working code than you'll have lost from
whatever extra cpu cycles you spent.

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