Computers and heat density

Don THX1138 at dakotacom.net
Sun Aug 13 21:20:17 CDT 2006


Bill Sudbrink wrote:
> Don wrote:
>> And, in languages like C++, all of the machinery going
>> on "behind the scenes" (automatic type conversion,
>> constructor invocations, etc.) is so far out of the
>> typical "programmer's" mind/scope of knowledge that
>> it's a wonder *anything* works!   :-(

> That's exactly the kind of stuff I have to deal with on a
> regular basis.  We have a large database manipulation application
> full of classes with accessor methods that return instances of
> string classes.  Copy constructors executing all over the place.
> Memory being uselessly copied from place to place accounts for

Exactly.  "X = Y" can consume a sh*tload of cycles
depending on what X is, etc.

> over 30 percent of the app's CPU usage.  Programmer's response
> to the suggestion that maybe some of the accessors return
> (const char *) insead?
> 
> "That's just wrong."  "My classes are bullet proof."  "Someone
> could recast the pointer and sabotage my classes."  "Modern
> computers have plenty of CPU capacity."
> 
> This code does not go out of our shop...  We all regularly
> review each other's code but he spouts all of the "patterns"
> nonsense.

I suspect the code was never "engineered", either.
Just slapped together until it worked and then kept
that way as a "fait accompli".



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