[FoRK] The rise of the stupid?

zuzu sean.zuzu at gmail.com
Sun Feb 27 09:34:04 PST 2005


On Wed, 16 Feb 2005 16:15:31 -0500, zuzu <sean.zuzu at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> i disagree; there always was a difference.  in very short very simple
> code, it just gets appreciated less (or easier to ignore).
> 
> i believe the "no difference" approach confuses algorithms (abstract
> models / math) with design (language semantics / code) with
> implementation (compiler / virtual machine).
> 
[snip]
>
> > In fact all I'm really doing is looking at the youngsters
> > trying to work it out for themselves and laughing at their attempts
> > when I should be helping. I must be in a mean mood today.
> 
> this is still a good opportunity to learn, particularly w/r/t this
> "culture clash".  (i used to be with it, but then they changed what
> "it" was.  now what i'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and
> scary to me!)  if i had to make a guess, i'd say you're one of many
> many people who grew up with C (and thus probably unix), and never
> really had the opportunity or inclination to really understand
> objects* (as in dynamic message passing / alan kay) or why
> pre-compiling (as opposed to just-in-time compile / interpretation)
> cripples programmer feedback and thinking (another way of railing
> against people who encourage "close to the metal" programming --
> that's a job for the compiler / interpreter and its programmers only).

slashdot goons bring up this debate...

again, my opinion, the compiler is solely responsible for
optimization; code represents _design_ for a _rational abstraction_.

http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/22/1319204&tid=156&tid=4

Optimizations - Programmer vs. Compiler?
Posted by Cliff on Friday February 25, @03:46PM
from the who-can-obfuscate-better dept.
Saravana Kannan asks: "I have been coding in C for a while (10 yrs or
so) and tend to use short code snippets. As a simple example, take 'if
(!ptr)' instead of 'if (ptr==NULL)'. The reason someone might use the
former code snippet is because they believe it would result in smaller
machine code if the compiler does not do optimizations or is not smart
enough to optimize the particular code snippet. IMHO the latter code
snippet is clearer than the former, and I would use it in my code if I
know for sure that the compiler will optimize it and produce machine
code equivalent to the former code snippet. The previous example was
easy. What about code that is more complex? Now that compilers have
matured over years and have had many improvements, I ask the Slashdot
crowd, what they believe the compiler can be trusted to optimize and
what must be hand optimized?"


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