Tuesday, January 6, 2015

On Programming

From The Master himself:
Premature optimization is the root of all evil. – D.E. Knuth
Oh man, is that ever true.  I've been making intermittent efforts for about three months to modify/re-purpose a program I wrote about eight years ago.  Essentially it's just an averaging and re-binning code, nothing outlandish, but it's thoroughly bedded down with several other models for its I/O, and it has all been heavily optimized.  I mean, the original is as tight of code as I've ever written, and now eight years later... some of the subtleties escape me.  Only a small mod was now needed, just a slightly different averaging algorithm, and several of the other types of averaging had to be omitted.  But things had finally gotten to the point where I was about to pitch it all and start over on a fresh copy yesterday when I found the loose end of the yarnball and started gently pulling, and by early afternoon today I had a working program.

So for the next couple of days I'll bask in the glow of Having Made It Work Yet Again, before it's back to the gray salt mines of sorting out the next problem.  Pfft.  It's why they pay me the big bucks.

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