Improve Linux performance

Tuesday, 15 April 2003, 12:58 AM EST

Cameron Laird presents a collection of useful examples that are apt models for the sorts of performance problems likely to arise in your own application development.

Performance breakthroughs seem to come in two varieties: easy and hard. That's no platitude; the boundary between the two is surprisingly clear.

When you hear about some -- the easy ones -- you clap your hands and say, "wow" or "of course" or "slick." Although in some cases it has taken considerable genius to realize their first application, they're easy to understand.

The other kind involve careful measurement, specific knowledge, and a fair amount of tuning. These are often both frustratingly and rewardingly contingent on "local conditions" such as hardware specifics.

Good programmers can operate in either the "hard" or "easy" mode. As performance is an important topic for Linux programmers, I offer a paired collection of four hard and easy tales from real (programming) life.

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