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More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency (without necessarily achieving it) than for any other single reason - including blind stupidity.
Wulf, W. A. "A Case Against the GOTO," Proceedings of the 25th National ACM Conference, August 1972, pp. 791-97.

I came across this quote this morning and had to throw it back out into the wild. 

I have run into people who, when given a choice between making their code more readable vs. shaving a millisecond off the running time of a particular process are confused by anyone who would go for readability.

Now to their credit, these same people are used to working deep in the bowels of production loops, where shaving a millisecond off of a process will compound to a point of saving hours of processing time a day.  It really is a big thing where they come from, but when they enter my world, that of business software, they go insane at my complete and utter lack of care for their milliseconds.  Granted, my users don't want to wait any longer than they have to for the response to their query, but when response time is measured in seconds, a millisecond here or there really isn't going to make any difference.

Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:52 AM Contracting , Agile Development , Con Livus , Stupid Code Tricks | Back to top

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