[self-interest] Re: Self ported to Linux

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at merlintec.com
Wed Jan 30 21:45:17 UTC 2002

On Tuesday 29 January 2002 20:30, Samantha Atkins wrote:
> Jecel Assumpcao Jr wrote:
> > [Self 2.0 compiler features]
> The really nice option would be to have the uber-compiler
> available for streamlining production code but not turned on
> during normal development cycles.

You would think so. After all, the runtime compilers probably make lots 
of bad decisions due to the need to get the job done in a fraction of a 
second. With minutes or hours to work on the sources (and let's be 
generous and add some profiling information gathered from running the 
code under typical conditions) it seems obvious that the results would 
be significantly better.

I am not sure that this would be the case in practice, however. The 
uber-compiler might have to generate a very large executable. 
Applications normally go through several "execution phases" with very 
different characteristics and the generated code would have to deal 
with all of them. Given that processor speed has been improving faster 
than disk speed, it is possible that the time spent loading super 
optimized code from the disk (probably due to swapping in the virtual 
memory) could negate any gains relative to compiling and running lower 
quality code with the NIC/SIC.

This seems like an interesting research question. The answer probably 
varies from application to application.

-- Jecel

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