Write great code: understanding the machine / Randall Hyde. p. cm. ISBN 1- 1. Computer programming. 2. Computer architecture. I. Title. QA 6. Hyde, Randall. Write great code: understanding the machine / Randall Hyde. 9 This document is available in PDF format on IBM's website (bestthing.info). Learn how to write code that everybody thinks is great. This book covers topics relevant to writing great code at a personal level: craftsmanship, art.

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How to Write Better Essays. Bryan Greetham. Key Concepts in Politics. Andrew Heywood. Linguistic Terms and Concepts. Ge. Learn how to write code that everybody thinks is great. This book covers topics relevant to writing great code at a personal level: craftsmanship, art, and pride in . Ebook (PDF, Mobi, and ePub), $ A solid foundation in software engineering, The Write Great Code series will help programmers make wiser choices.

Ensuring data is well-aligned in memory, and walking arrays in the proper order to maximize cache coherence, are worthwhile everyday optimizations. Other advice in Volume 2 was probably silly when Hyde gave it in , and is certainly silly now, only ten years later. For example, Hyde recommends that frequently-used local variables be declared before those used less frequently, to ensure that the most common accesses use smaller offsets.

The smaller offsets potentially allow addressing modes that use shorter machine instructions.

This may be true in the limit, but in my recent experience maintaining C code, I find that programmers who focus on such micro-optimizations would be better off taking a step back from the code—one can usually see greater inefficiencies when looking through a wider lens. Whether this optimization advice is obsolete is a matter for debate, but much of the two volumes is indisputably outdated. Like Saint John's, the unfinished work of Randall Hyde needs revisions in its ground floors, even as the upper stories remain forever interrupted mid-sentence.

He even cites Modula-2, which was already ancient Greek when Hyde published Volume 1 in The material's dustiness suggests it was already years old when it was finally printed.

Worse, the instruction set architectures that are the book's focus are bit Intel assembly and bit PowerPC. Those architectures were like the Byzantine style of their day: about to go out of fashion. Had Randall Hyde never promised a four-volume monument, and instead set his sights on the smaller project he could finish, it would better endure. A merely competent pair of books does not benefit from the awesome hubris of the Cathedral of Saint John, or Joe Gould's pathos.

Hyde would have been better off under-promising and over-delivering, like the rest of us mere craftspeople. Indeed, I hazard that he and his publishers might have invested in updating Volumes 1 and 2, if the unfinished volumes hadn't loomed over them.

Knuth began by writing a book about compiler design, completing a page handwritten manuscript over the years In the fifty years since, the original monolith has been split into a seven-volume project, treating comprehensively not only compiler design but nearly every aspect of computer science, computational linguistics, and discrete mathematics. Only the first three volumes are finished, and changes in technology have required several overhauls of the work so far. The example assembly code in the published volumes is now long obsolete and will be eventually replaced with a bit modern assembly language, if it is still modern by the time that effort comes to fruition.

Between the first and second publishings of Volume 2, the original typesetting technology became obsolete. In a notorious digression, Knuth spent ten years writing a new typesetting system called TeX. Knuth's typesetter introduced novel algorithms for the layout of figures, lines, and paragraphs.

The scope of the work expanded to include a Turing-complete programming language, and TeX eventually became self-documenting: it is written in a style Knuth invented called "literate programming.

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The explanation is typeset in TeX. In the years Knuth spent developing TeX, its original implementation language "SAIL" became obsolete and he had to completely rewrite the typesetter in Pascal.

The system was declared finished in and closed to enhancements. Because its rendering of equations is still unexcelled, it remains the standard for typesetting mathematics papers.


The algorithms Knuth invented discover the most beautiful layout of a complex page, by considering all its aspects at once—its figures and equations, its many fonts, the rules of hyphenation and the desire to eliminate widows and orphans. His brilliant solutions are the basis of all publishing today. Yet, completion of The Art of Computer Programming was only farther off. Maybe Douglas Adams was thinking of Knuth, as much as he was thinking of himself, when he wrote in "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish": One of the greatest benefactors of all lifekind was a man who couldn't keep his mind on the job at hand.

The problem was that he was far too interested in things which he shouldn't be interested in, at least, as people would tell him, not now. So when his world was threatened by terrible invaders from a distant star, who were still a fair way off but traveling fast, he was sent into guarded seclusion by the masters of his race with instructions to design a breed of fanatical superwarriors to resist and vanquish the feared invaders, do it quickly and, they told him, "Concentrate!

Knuth, too, is one of our greatest benefactors. Possible Minds. John Brockman.

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High-performance computer systems allow programmers to get away with writing sloppy code and still achieve an acceptable performance level. Focusing on the languages used in X The official history says that the bell tower cuts off "in mid-sentence," at about two-thirds of its intended height.

JANEY from Fairfield
See my other posts. I am highly influenced by charreada. I do fancy exploring ePub and PDF books ferociously .