Subject: Re: Optimization Opportunities 1 [long]
From: Ben Hall (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Feb 05 2001 - 08:57:05 CST
If you're serious about the slow machine I've got a siz year old Alpha
and enough parts to build a 486 with ~16MB RAM. The Alpha (233 w/ 64MB
RAM) took about 2 hours to compile Abi 0.7.12 and is VERY slow.
On Mon, 5 Feb 2001, Sam TH wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 05, 2001 at 09:26:44AM -0500, Thomas Fletcher wrote:
> > On Mon, 5 Feb 2001, Sam TH wrote:
> > > Well, I've been playing with the wonderful gcov program (which has now
> > > tripled the size of my source tree), and I have some interesting
> > > data. This is just on startup time, one of the key measures that
> > > users will judge the speed of AbiWord by. More on other aspects
> > > later. =20
> > Just out of curiosity ... gcov is a code coverage tool (for example
> > checking test case coverage) and really has nothing to do with
> > execution time performance profiling. The output from gprof is
> > really what you want here. You might think that you can profile
> > code and then highlight the problem areas and look at the coverage,
> > but this may provide you with some very mis-leading results showing
> > that a highly travelled path (ie high coverage numbers) might need
> > to be sped up ... when in fact it is the low coverage path that is
> > only incidentally executed that is consuming CPU resources.
> Yes, all you say is true. However, I did what I did for a number of
> 1) gcov and gprof are all I have, and gprof on a startup showed 4 or 5
> functions taking any time at all. Therefore, to understand *why* the
> functions were slow, I had to turn to something else. Thus, gcov.
> 2) AbiWord starts *really* fast. With ispell, it takes about 0.05
> seconds, according to gprof. With aspell, that drops to 0.02
> seconds. Now, those numbers are *way* too low, but they do mean that
> I get very little useful data out of gprof. I guess the solution is a
> slower computer. :-)
> 3) In those functions, no single line of code outside of those loops
> was executed 100 times. Those loops were executed 30,000+ times. I
> thus feel at least somewhat confident that they had something to do
> with the speed.
> I admit that this isn't the best data. But it's really all I've got.
> If someone want to give me an account on a 386, I'll get more
> interesting gprof data.
> > My first suggestion to anyone that is interested in doing any sort
> > of profiling and performance improvements is to walk through the
> > entire code from startup -> Screen on page through the debugger.
> > This will benefit for several reasons:
> > 1) You get to become comfortable with the current execution path
> > and the code that is associated with it.
> > 2) You get an immediate feel for where loops occur and how long
> > any of those loops might take (ie next, next, next ... god
> > why are we doing all of this work, next, next, next ... )
> > 3) Often using a combination of function step into and a function
> > step over you can find out where the slow spots are in the
> > code (gee that function took a long time to return ... this
> > one took no time at all).
> > Having done this you are now in a pretty good position to understand
> > the result from the profiler and to think about how code might be
> > re-factored to be more efficient since lots of times that is the
> > work that has to be done to get performance improvements.
> > Just a couple of thoughts from someone who has been there before.
> Sounds fun. Right after I rewrite the Makefiles.
> sam th
> GnuPG Key:
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