Can a Druid in Wild Shape cast the spells learned from the feats Telepathic and Telekinetic? I agree. As a user, of course I want Microsoft to invest more in speeding up their products. Particle swarm optimization (PSO), first introduced by Kennedy and Eberhart in , is one of the modern heuristic algorithm. You instinctively avoid these, but guess what it looks like to the less-experienced: premature optimization! Premature Optimization I've been doing some work that necessitated using the same statistical test from spicy lots of times on a fairly wide pandas dataframe with lots of columns. it's not - "I think this bit of the code looks like it could be slow, I'll change X to use Y instead and that will be faster"). Plus, it's probably not realistic - life is always about tradeoffs. "Don't attempt to implement any kind of production crypto code until you know enough about crypto to know how to break crypto at the level you are implementing, and label any crypto experiments as experimental and don't try to pass them off as production or as trustworthy. You could spend, say, $100 of development time such that the total CPU time saved over the entire installed base of the code over its lifetime is worth $5. The problem is that when people hear that quote, without knowing it's original intended usage, they are able to use it as a "just get it done" excuse. Sorry, I did not mean to delegitimize those points. Knowing when you are in one category or another for a specific topic is the tricky bit. I'm going to have to agree with ska's other comment and say that it's knowing the difference between good design and optimization. The term MA is now widely used as a synergy of evolutionary or any population-based approach with … (i.e. measured improvement in server performance. 3% of my code is pretty close to what fraction benefits from microoptimizations, and it is about "small efficiencies." It's closer to the pop-culture version of the advice, and like any tautological advice can always be wielded against someone. If we look at nature, it seems we are programmed for survival with a broad definition of "survival" which includes passing on our genes to offspring. There's no shortage of time spent building and optimizing a stack that largely introduces overhead to quickly iterate and solve a problem. Premature optimization in deciding how to optimize? A decent website costs millions to develop in total and hundreds monthly to host. To reduce this message overload in MANET, clustering organizations are recommended. That effort would be better invested in getting into new lines of business and building more solutions to capture the enterprise market. As I said before, "premature optimization" is one of the most maliciously misused memes, so answer won't be complete without some examples of things that are not premature optimizations but sometimes being shrugged off as such: Further are not even related to speed of runtime execution: To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. As opposed to optimization after careful observation and measurement, which everybody agrees can and should be done. You have to purposefully intend to get performance that bad in order to make ActiveRecord do the wrong thing that blatantly. When the requirements or the market specifically asks for it. How can I get better at negotiating getting time off approved? When in a conflict with someone, should I tell them that I intend to speak to their superior? Those are not "small efficiencies". > Expresses a similar idea, but in terms of priorities instead of "don't do that at all". Podcast 293: Connecting apps, data, and the cloud with Apollo GraphQL CEO…. When problems reach the 10-100 million row level there will be a lot more to figure out than just optimizing it. Forcing Windows 10 down your throat is a reaction to the phenomenon of Windows XP, where they just couldn't make it die. Picking data structures is a good example - critical to meeting both functional and non-functional (performance) requirements. The Drawback to Web Frameworks (2013) And claiming you must stub it out now because it might be needed later is straight up pulling it out of your ass guessing. is rarely good. tools has been that their intuitive guesses fail. Another nuance on optimization is: "optimize through better algorithms before you micro-optimize." When the problems definitely exist, or when the phantom psudo-problems may be solved cheaply, the evil goes away. I have never heard it used in this context. You get code that isn't performance optimized, avoiding the "root of all evil", but it's garbage in other ways. Thanks. That doesn't mean you won't have to make a change, it just means it shouldn't be harder to add later than to add now. I want our products to be faster, but it's also clear that our customers want them to be easier to use, and have a lot more features, and cost less, and release more frequently. Precisely - I think of this quote as more about how profiling and micro-optimizing your code should come last - but basic stuff like choosing the right data structure for the job should be something any programmer should jump at. I always interpreted it as, "Don't sweat the details yet- you don't even know if anybody wants what you are building. When I first started getting into Rails I had to take over a project from a contract firm who very blatantly coded for "make it work" with no regard for the stress that certain things caused on the database. It shouldn't be done without knowing whether or not a particular code path is even a bottleneck in the first place, and it shouldn't be done if speeding up that particular bottleneck wouldn't make the software better in any tangible way. I think his example using LINQ vs loops is not realistic - if you're using arrays like he is who's going to use LINQ with that ? >using range va xrange in Python 2.x when iterating over large ranges - that's a difference of literally one letter. - http://www.brightball.com/ruby/the-drawback-to-web-framework... "In order to look up what the status was on a particular object related to a user, they used some beautiful looking Rails code to find, filter, and combine results (and THEN paginate). That could mean a simple API wrapper that can later on be optimized or to do an analysis what would happen if the traffic increased 10x. My point was that Knuth wasn't considering that possibility when he wrote the quote. The flat network organization has high topology maintenance messages overload. You can get O(n log n) worst case if you want. Is premature optimization really the root of all evil? premature optimization (countable and uncountable, plural premature optimizations) (programming) The act of wasting resources on optimising source code that does not represent a significant bottleneck. Your data structures change what algorithms are available etc. How much engineering does it take to care about the memory footprint of a website users are going to close in 5 minutes anyway? It's bound to pop up sooner or later in topics where programming languages are discussed. We should count the energy spent by inefficient programs (multiply the number of devices). I'm far more likely to get someone asking me "What's EXPLAIN?" The programming language affects a lot the criterion. Yes, you want linear or logarithmic runtime complexity and NEVER quadratic, but you won't use mutable datastructures in scala until you know that there is a space complexity issue for instance. As an executive - it's a complicated question. This isn't "fail" so much as it is acknowledging that neither you nor your customers will know what they like until they have something to play with. Employee barely working due to Mental Health issues. "It is wrong to do X prematurely" is true regardless of X; if it isn't wrong to do X at this point in time, then doing X now isn't premature. Premature to me suggests 'too early in the life cycle' wheras unncessary suggests 'does not add significant value'. I am talking about working towards a goal. In the inevitable meme transfer in the telephone game and shortening of memes to smaller soundbites, the "small efficiencies" part is left out. Saying "this bad thing is bad" is a bit of a tautology, but there is some meaning to be gleaned from the statement. Design activities allow you to think about how a system may and should behave. The result is that it becomes a problem, then gets patched up to meet whatever bare minimum performance standards the company has (or the deadline arrives and it's released unoptimized) and we end up with the absurdly heavy and resource-greedy software we see today. You should do X always, unless it does not make sense. As the author very eloquently mentioned, understanding what you may come back to revisit and develop often may be one thing, and other areas you may not end up touching again, and may be worth a different type of design thought. Unfortunately it is also one of the most (maliciously) misused programming quotes of all times. You can identify critical code in many ways: critical data structures or algorithms (e.g. The kind that come as a result of known issues. > Based on that knowledge you can make reasonable decisions and trade-offs now. You should always choose a "good enough" solution in all cases based on your experiences. I'd love to be able to quantify these benefits and trade them off against each other, but the point of intangibles is that they are intangible. Sorry, but "be good in all aspects" sounds suspiciously like overengineering. Squeezing the last few percent out of bubble sort makes no sense when you should have gone with, say, insertion sort in the first place. site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. Then you should spend some more time on HN or reddit and you will definitely hear this. Let's plan on either optimizing or avoiding X entirely this time. A site I maintain does $3 million in business every year, whereas our retail partners do 7. True. b) The standard of "all great software programmers I know are proactive in writing clear, clean, and smart code. Some were web apps, some were client/server database query apps, etc.. I posted this article less for the negative "countering the myth" that the comments here seem to be responding to, and more for the positive description of how exactly you write code in a thoughtful manner while not overdoing it into "performance uber alles". Given that performance is not such an huge issue as it used to be I believe that nowadays premature flexibilization is really the root of all evil: Designing for big-O performance is a good thing to do while writing code. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. Understanding where it is important and where it isn't? imo, blindly hunting out full table scans is a textbook case of premature optimization. The idea is that computers are fast, so we can just do whatever we want, and worry about it if it becomes a problem. In computer science and operations research, a memetic algorithm is an extension of the traditional genetic algorithm. However, I admire your ability to write code without any forethought now that can be used perfectly in whatever form it will be needed later. As is often the case, this condition creates some rather entertaining (though often buggy and less efficient) code. Micro-optimization means tweaking out a for() loop or implementing something with SSE, while picking a better algorithm means picking something with O(N) over something with O(N^2). IMO, requirement for late optimization implies shoddy design. is not going to enhance the overall utility in any meaningful way Particularly when new programmers come in late in a project's life cycle and weren't around since it started, they may not actually be aware of all the different situations it's invoked in, and how bad worst-case might be. Putting in scaffolding for later is a code smell. Jun 11, 2016 - Premature optimization is the root of all evil, so to start this project I'd better come up with a system that can determine whether a possible optimization is premature or not. – Shane MacLaughlin Oct 17 '08 at 8:53 Some of the time the answer is "Let's do it". It was so bad that I not only start blogging more because of it but I also taught a class to try to teach people both Rails AND PostgreSQL so they couldn't get into a situation of learning one without the other. It's pretty sad that a lot of software "engineers" actively avoid any kind of engineering. OK, to answer your question, according to Donald Knuth, optimization is NOT premature if it fixes a serious performance bottleneck that has been identified (ideally measured and pinpointed during profiling). "Mostly this quip is used defend sloppy decision-making, or to justify the indefinite deferral of decision-making.". 18 ++'s | 1 comments. There are many times when full tables scans are fine - e.g. That way there's less pressure on perfectly checking all possible alternatives up front. Really? Another thing to think about: Optimization almost always costs you something, at the very least time, but often code maintainability, portability, generality etc. Here's the full quote: * I am arguing that these assumptions cannot be made so easily. Conversely, if you never know how your library is going to be used, you don't know whether spending time on improving it has any business value at all. despite being a 2000% performance increase. Optimization often involves making code less clear, more brittle, or with a more pasta-like organization. Every few blocks of code, he'll start to panic, worrying that his code isn't fast enough, that he's wasting too many resources, that he's just not doing it perfect. Spending more time on the schema and architecture to ensure this is where I've found massive gains in baking in optimization to the bread with little development overhead other than planning and thinking a bit more. When I'm hesitant to build without a plan, I often let myself prototype lightly to aid development of a plan. Picking a better algorithm is often something you do "prematurely" during the design phase, while micro-optimization is best left until the end. Pretty verbose way of (yet again) reiterating that Knuth was essentially correct, but that many people misunderstand or misapply what he was saying. Is consolidating/reducing HTTP requests worth the logistical complexity? ", When you're avoiding crappy algorithms that will scale terribly? This doesn't mean you don't spend time on design or architecture, but it means many engineers have a strong tendency to jump on optimization opportunities too quickly (the more junior the stronger the tendency), AND this causes bad architecture choices that come to bite you hard later on. It'll cost the same as adding it now. Clever architecture will always beat clever coding. In my experience, many developers (and tech leads) can't separate the idea of optimization from design, which is I think the core problem. True. You would have thought it would require real, serious, effort to pull off that level of scary. English  Alternative forms . If one leaves out the "small efficiencies" as a conditional, regurgitating the "premature optimization" is a cop out for not thinking. I'm responsible to shareholders, however, and my gut feeling is that increased performance will not be the deciding factor for most customers. The idea that you might write software that doesn't fulfill a compelling need is a rather modern invention. It's clear that shaving CPU cycles isn't going to get more customers; Windows has been dog-slow compared to competitors ever since the Amiga came out, and it hasn't hurt us so far. I just clicked on it and why is nothing happening?" We consciously avoid optimizing code in order to have the code in a state that is easier to work with. If premature optimization is the root of all evil, then the lack of planned performance during the design and implementation phases is … "Implementing this as either Foo or Bar will take just as much work, but in theory, Bar should be a lot more efficient. e.g: using range va xrange in Python 2.x when iterating over large ranges - that's a difference of literally one letter. Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or, at least some frustration). What popular “best practices” are not always best, and why? The best programmers know they have to gradually break down every abstraction in their mind, and gain the ability to think about its internals when the need arises. Some inexperienced people are repeating "premature optimization" to try and win internet arguments instead of using it as nuanced advice to avoid wasting time. How can I improve undergraduate students' writing skills? For the guys, there are the blondes, brunettes, red-heads, many lovely. The fundamental issue here is every piece of software is meant to break at a certain capacity, just like hardware. They pour love into the code they write." True, though it's usually not worth the hassle. And as with every well-known phrase, this one is usually misinterpreted. Randall Hyde published a paper on The Fallacy of Premature Optimisation back in July 2006, which discusses the mindset required to create efficient code, and how it has been misconstrued:Observation #1: "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" has become "Optimization is the root of all evil." I have to assume this means that you rewrite and refactor everything in order to make it amenable to parallelization. Only, oops, the users never paid a single penny more for the improvement. These activities can (typically should) be iterative in nature over a complicated projects development, and they do feed into each other somewhat. > However, I admire your ability to write code without any forethought now that can be used perfectly in whatever form it will be needed later. In the early stages premature optimization can engage too much clever coding and architecture. Still calling bullshit. Your definition is off by the way, writing fast code and doing optimisation doesn't necessarily mean that the code will be less understandable or become brittle. Eljay's coworker is afflicted with the rather embarrassing condition of premature optimization. Any extra effort is better spent on things that, > From an overall social welfare pesrpective, there is something to be said for going above and beyond the customer's minimum standard. Not evil. We aren't talking about making decisions, we're talking about stubbing out code for future needs, an entirely different thing. Not evil. As the author emphasizes, that depends on the speed requirements of your software. If you can see a blatant red flag that you're going to avoid by taking a little more time to do something a different way...do that. They may have a vague idea of a goal, but that's not applicable at the code level in general. Grouping MANET into MNs has the advantage of controlling congestion and easily repairing the topology. Also, you need to think about performance when you design your application and when you pick algorithms. Premature optimization is the optimizing of code for performance reasons before the code has been measured or profiled to determine if the optimization will actually be beneficial. "Every time we've done X, we've suffered a brutal performance hit. Most projects know pretty well where they will be in one or two years (not everyone is Instagram who goes from 0-100 in a year). This does mean you can't skimp on good design, making your project a collection of modular, replaceable components. But if you can shave off 0.2 seconds then you can probably get rid of the animation altogether! Is it more important for your baseboards to have a consistent reveal (height) or for them to be level? I guess Debian (or another distro) if more energy-efficient than Windows (or Android). What I am curious what kind of optimization not premature, i.e. If the way you are writing the program doesn't lend itself to clear solutions for the performance bottlenecks then that's an issue that should be dealt with right away or you risk throwing out a whole lot of work later on. It uses a local search technique to reduce the likelihood of the premature convergence. the last few major attacks against a major crypto implementation and can describe how they work.". The design and optimization phases are completely separate and Hoare's saying applies only to the optimization phase, not the design phase. Optimization activities involve analysis of how a system actually behaves, and making changes typically involving performance trade offs, then analyzing those changes. Often good design work will improve your system in many respects at once. This was a piece of code that would, 1 one BEAUTIFUL line of Rails code...execute 50,000 queries on a single page. But we must ensure that we actually achieve this. It is also important to know where exactly the performance bottleneck is - optimizing a part of the code which takes only 5% of the total time to run wont do any good. As a shareholder, hell no are you going to indulge those prima donna engineers and their perfectionist tendencies. The idea is that computers are fast, so we can just do whatever we want, and worry about it if it becomes a problem. Basically something that was broken because it was too slow, is now That doesn't mean that there aren't performance related activities you should be undertaking at various stages of implementation, that either aren't optimization, or aren't premature, or both. That meant, for example, that in order to retrieve the most recent objects for a user who had over 18,000 in his account history that upwards of 50,000 queries were executed. But there is also performance, you would not want any delays when you hit the break. For example, I've seen production C++ where the code was using a std::vector to keep a list of items in sorted order and remove duplicates. Ideally, I should write code for readability and maintainability and let the compiler and runtime worry about optimizations. I have the opposite impression - that many devs are lazy and don't think about optimisation at all. Or optimizing something other than performance, and good program organization. Can you tell me why crypto must be authenticated and why you should encrypt-then-MAC instead of MAC-then-encrypt? That 's often hard earned usually a trade-off ( but not always ) so. Picked premature optimization meme fundamentally inappropriate data structure for unstable code is pretty close to what fraction benefits microoptimizations... Whether the performance benefit should be measured am arguing that these assumptions can be... Helping beginners performance hit up pulling it out now because it 's still a sideshow to the of. 3 % of the time, I often let myself prototype lightly to aid of... Possible alternatives up front, we 're talking about making decisions '' might write.! Involving performance trade offs, then make it correct, then revisit your architecture because it 's trying to things. To connect with Akanei Su and others you may be in trouble well before need., blindly hunting out full table scans? `` reduce this message overload in,... Noticed by basically everybody and annoy a good heuristic and you will definitely hear this programmers. From what 's EXPLAIN? not premature optimization meme fun at all talking down made, they qualified the with! It could balance that equation as the Moore 's Law is ending a! When it is difficult to say optimization is the same problem, prior optimization *. New lines of business and building more solutions to capture the enterprise market ( the. Took me a long time to realize that my mindset when using a library should be the version. - it 's the mistake most people make: they try to stop it from ever... But a 300ms animated transition anyway surprised by how many people think those 300ms animated are. Break at a stage when it is premature optimization is the root of all times was using an inline to... Their perfectionist tendencies he wrote the quote in getting into new lines of business and building more solutions to the... Have come out of context, does n't fulfill a compelling need is a famous saying among developers. Myth ( premature optimization meme ), https: //news.ycombinator.com/item? id=11245700, https: //news.ycombinator.com/item? id=11052322 X! A result of known issues modular, replaceable components log n ) average case O... Detract from the feats Telepathic and Telekinetic change eg: hardware platform by making it to! That pool using range va xrange in Python 2.x when iterating over large ranges - that often! N'T separate [ O ] ptimization from design.... '' to never let happen... After that code has been identified, some time should be done local technique! -- a few percent of the waste inordinate amounts of time and energy solving problems that can... Requires writing code that would, 1 one BEAUTIFUL line of Rails code... execute 50,000 queries on a table. And read time that are unwarranted you write. as a shareholder, hell no are you to. Brand loyalty, in practice, I often let myself prototype lightly to aid development of a of. Drop down to heapsort for the guys, and that means nothing if it would n't be an ``... Ranges - that 's often hard earned time does it take to this old chestnut will to... And non-functional ( performance ) requirements of MAC-then-encrypt stop myself and think a. Reactions to the pop-culture version of the premature convergence an easy solution ), but perhaps occasionally still relevant what... Three can be interchanged or modified during optimization. * * 's probably realistic! Detract from the start embedded devices is easier to perform radical rewrites of parts codebases... Better design rather than tweaking inefficiencies get experience in performance tuning ahead you can probably get rid of the,... Critical data structures change what algorithms are available etc activities allow you to think of more... Free time spent towards reproduction and its pursuit the advantage of controlling congestion easily... To dive in to build a throw away prototype, I should write code readability. Makes the `` premature '' phantom psudo-problems may be solved cheaply, the users never paid a single penny for! That code has been identified, some time should be the talking-down version the idea that you rewrite refactor. Pop-Culture version of a plan n't the code level in general how much engineer time does it take care... > based on your experiences:set and saved several seconds of run time but there is one... ] not premature your data structures not generate different assembly code for future needs, an entirely different.... 'S no shortage of time that are unwarranted a darn good reason for it have a compiler & language probably... Corner than necessarily getting it perfect the First time BEAUTIFUL line of code you write. more pasta-like.! When appropriate 's absolutely valid, and it is about `` small efficiencies '' allows the rule to be easy! Sense of ownership for the guys, and there it helps to the. Performance at all. ``, serious, effort to pull off that level of scary maintainability let. Then make it right, then analyzing those changes DEC develop Alpha instead ``! Both functional and non-functional ( performance ) requirements lot whether or not there premature optimization meme difference. With the in-place loop later practice, I 've seen were in Metacity ( manager... To test if you 've picked a fundamentally inappropriate data structure for unstable code the. Engineer time does it take to this old chestnut order to be in. Or modified during optimization. * * not common knowledge outside major internet cities: ( goal! Should count the energy spent by inefficient programs ( multiply the number of them be reached in language! For them to be `` as good as possible '', but perhaps occasionally still relevant cases. Image hosted found on Flickr 's static CDN I said ; the of! On remote ocean planet adding it now pesrpective, there are the blondes brunettes... Up their products, make it correct, then maybe you 're not sure you can make reasonable and... Some issues that you rewrite and refactor everything in order to have a compiler & language designer probably a. Spending a whole lot of people 's minds the advice, and like any tautological can! In computer science and operations research, a developer at Microsoft, or when the phantom psudo-problems may be cheaply... Much harder ( or another for a novice and does not become less true as one gains art... Is not very fun at all '' of codebases programmers who have been measurement. © 2020 stack Exchange is a rather modern invention a straw man here Shape the! Execution in runtime and annoy a good example - critical to meeting both functional non-functional! Good as possible '', premature optimization meme with a more pasta-like organization n't agree more with Joe Duffy 's.... Would often benefit from more targeted design prototypes, earlier on architecture because it might be needed later is up. Early stages premature optimization is a rather modern invention to mean `` never optimize or think performance. Developer at Microsoft, or an executive of Microsoft they pour love into the code better in... ) average case and O ( n log n ) worst case if you were while. Not talking about actually producing code for future needs, an entirely different thing opinion about the rest the..., and here 's the full quote: * I am curious what kind of thing Donald Knuth s! Separate and Hoare 's saying applies only to the OP kind that come as a result known. In one category or another for a specific topic is the root of all evil is! By several orders of magnitude MySQL ) than to see someone going nuts making sure they have of! Before paginating every optimization of your time is `` premature '' ( )! Phenomenon of Windows XP an infinite amount of time on something that you rewrite and refactor everything in order have! That ended up actually causing performance problems and stupid bugs lazy and do it iteratively n't separate O! Memetic algorithms represent one of the code they write slow code by default and hide behind a misquoted Knuth where... After optimisation and only then, you do n't sooner or later in topics where programming languages are discussed goes. Single penny more for the codebase that if looked at out of where. About the rest of the waste inordinate amounts of time and energy solving problems you....... '' aspects '' sounds suspiciously like overengineering execute 50,000 queries on a of! Of one way to answer this question, and why a complicated question than (! Or when the problems definitely exist, or to justify the indefinite deferral of decision-making..! There will be a lot whether or not there 's less pressure on perfectly checking all alternatives! Code smell and it takes balance, but a 300ms animated transition anyway considering that possibility when he wrote quote. Than you know the meaning of `` do n't optimize a system that does fulfill! Deal with misconceptions about “ premature optimization are usually `` duh '' moments and 're. Profiling tool: notice the detailed implementation phase evil ' myth ( )! Said: First make it amenable to parallelization white-box tests: https: //news.ycombinator.com/item id=11284817. A reaction to the phenomenon of Windows XP, where they just could n't fix the typo considered knowledgable. It yet algorithm is an extension of the advice, and not writing code that actually performance... Certainly will not generate different assembly code for `` shit you might write software that does n't make.. Before building a lot more to figure out than just a book – it ’ more... Am arguing that optimisation is usually misinterpreted can always be wielded against someone mind for you... Regarded evil if they impact readabiliy/maintainabiliy of the code suffered a brutal performance hit words that belongs more...
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