|programmer optimizations? email@example.com (Afsal C. Majeed) (1994-12-28)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? davidm@Rational.COM (1994-12-31)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? firstname.lastname@example.org.OZ.AU (1995-01-01)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? email@example.com (1995-01-02)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? jbuck@Synopsys.COM (1995-01-02)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? firstname.lastname@example.org (Erkki Ruohtula) (1995-01-11)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? email@example.com.OZ.AU (1995-01-05)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? firstname.lastname@example.org (1995-01-05)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? email@example.com (1995-01-12)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? firstname.lastname@example.org (Stefan Monnier) (1995-01-21)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? email@example.com (Dave Gillespie) (1995-01-11)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? firstname.lastname@example.org (David Toland) (1995-01-11)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? email@example.com (1995-01-23)|
|Re: programmer optimizations? firstname.lastname@example.org (1995-01-27)|
|[6 later articles]|
|From:||email@example.com (Bill Leonard)|
|Organization:||Harris Computer Systems, Ft. Lauderdale FL|
|Date:||Thu, 5 Jan 1995 16:54:47 GMT|
"Afsal C. Majeed" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> We are having small debate here as to the use of some of the
> code optimizations by the programmer himself.
> replacing (n / 4)
> by (n >> 2)
> replacing if ((i < 0) || (j < 0) || (k < 0))
> by if ((i | j | k) < 0)
> as you can well imagine, the list is endless
> Since this produces somewhat non portable code, the view is that
> such optimizations should be discouraged.
> [One reason that such optimizations are discouraged is that they're often
> wrong. Turning n/4 into n>>2 is only correct if n is unsigned.
Not only are such optimizations often wrong, they often are not optimal!
For instance, I remember a machine I worked on not too long ago in which
shift was exceptionally slow, whereas integer divide was pretty fair.
Turns out that dividing by small powers of 2 (e.g., 4) was better done by
shifting, but larger powers of 2 were not.
The best advice is to express the operation you actually want performed,
and let the compiler do the optimizing. Unfortunately, some programmers
write "n / 4" when what they actually meant was "shift n right by 2", and
vice versa. This can often result in sub-optimal code because the compiler
must maintain the semantics of the language, regardless of what you
*meant*, and because the compiler has less knowledge about the data than
the programmer (sometimes).
Harris Computer Systems Corporation
2101 W. Cypress Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
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