Premature optimization is the root of all evil.--C. I wouldn't necessarily consider this premature. It’s important to remember that avoiding premature optimization doesn’t mean that you should avoid optimization entirely. Reminds me that good design and efficiency in design, is never premature. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is a famous saying among software developers. Optimization can fine-tune the performance of a system, but it can rarely deliver a miracle. The returned value is the index to the pivot after the partition.) Although the quote is often attributed to Donald Knuth, who popularized it, it was Tony Hoare who originally said, “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.” To avoid optimizing things prematurely, before getting started you should make sure to ask yourself why you want to optimize, what are the costs and benefits of doing so, what are the possible negative consequences of this optimization, what are the advantages and disadvantages of waiting, and what else you could be working on. Premature optimization is problematic because it can cause you to waste resources, to get discouraged, to act when you don’t have enough information, or to get locked into a sub-optimal course of action. The bloat and unresponsiveness found in many modern applications compels software engineers to reconsider how they apply Hoare's comments to their projects. Just do what you need at a time ... Everything else is just bullshit. It is widely attributed to Donald Knuth, who apparently used it in Structured Program with goto Statements but later credits Tony Hoare.. Hoare, however, did not claim it when I … Also, you make the design and the code very hard to modify later, when requirements change. Inspirational Entrepreneurship Quotes. ��� Bharathi Gonala, Wed, 21 May 2014 14:44:05 UTC. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" has long been the rallying cry by software engineers to avoid any thought of application performance until the very end of the software development cycle (at which point the optimization phase is typically ignored for economic/time-to-market reasons). There are two quicksort partition methods mentioned in Cormen: (the argument A is the array, and [p, r] is the range, inclusive, to perform the partition on. Tony Hoare was born in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to British parents; his father was a colonial civil servant and his mother was the daughter of a tea planter. As you can probably tell, this article is not "yet another article warning beginning programmers to avoid premature optimization." If the CPU will be twice as fast by then, why bother to shave some running time from a program? A typical premature optimization I encountered a lot of times is doing everything in the same function because of "function call overhead". The problem with premature optimization is that you never know in advance where the bottlenecks will be. Premature optimization is spending a lot of time on something that you may not actually need. In other words, why bother to optimize programs? For example, a common guiding principle is the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle), which in this case suggests that 80% of the positive outcomes that you experience will come from 20% of the work that you do. Something to remember in discussions like this is priorities will differ according to your domain (see Joel Spolsky's "Five Worlds"). For example, that means not using spin-loops polling for data to change. It is not a premature optimization to avoid fragile, interpreter-dependant optimizations. firmware for a high volume network switch), and domains where it really is not necessary for the programmer to ever think about performance (e.g. Born in Colombo (Ceylon, now Sri Lanka) to British parents, he received his Bachelor's degree in Classics from the University of Oxford (Merton College) in 1956. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. A. R. Hoare. This seems to be the source of the popular attribution to Hoare — a short-circuit of Knuth’s original (uncited) attribution. Hoare was educated in England at the Dragon School in Oxford and the King's School in Canterbury. 7 wallpapers. And that bad design can be even worse than optimisation because it often requires a complete rewrite. 100 WALLPAPERS 841464 POINTS. It is better to sleep for a millisecond. Great Article! A google search for "premature optimization" turns up tens of thousands of hits, most of them quoting Hoare's maxim that premature optimization is the root of all evil.. Its source is credited to Donald Knuth. Very good article. This is going to be a very short chapter, because the main thing Unix experience teaches us about optimizing for performance is how to know when not to do it. ENTREPRENEURSHIP BUSINESS INSPIRATIONAL. He specifically said premature optimization; and optimization meant something considerably different back in the days when he made that statement. Having said that, I agree that most in most domains people should give some thought to performance during the design and throughout development, rather than saving it all of the end. This is my research area, I think the writer did a great job in drawing the line between what could be avoided and what should never be avoided. There are several reasons why premature optimization is problematic: There are various reasons why people optimize things prematurely: Note: a related concept which has similar roots is called bikeshedding; this represents a phenomenon where people spend a disproportionate amount of resources dealing with relatively minor issues. - C. A. R. Hoare - often misattributed to D. E. Knuth,who was himself quoting Hoare I was eventually persuaded of the need to design programming notations so as to maximize the number of errors which cannot be made, or if made, can be reliably detected at compile time. And if you take the 3% as a percentage of your coding hours then it might be about an hour every week. Tony Hoare Quotes. It can hinder your progress in situations where you feel locked into a sub-optimal course of action, because you want to benefit from your premature optimization. Moore's Law makes it seem as if resource limitations are always a minor consideration. If you ever want to port to PyPy or risk hitting one of the many subtle failure cases for the optimization, do things the right way. He then studied Classics and Philosophy ("Greats") at Merton College, Oxford. Hoare-Partition(A, p, r) x = A[p] i = p - 1 j = r + 1 while true repeat j = j - 1 until A[j] <= x repeat i = i + 1 until A[i] >= x if i < j swap( A[i], A[j] ) else return j One reason is that it's easier to optimise that 3% of code that is proven to be a performance bottleneck without breaking it. This means that it can be entirely reasonable to assess a situation and decide that you should optimize something, even if it’s at a relatively early stage. Next, you will see what you can do in order to avoid optimizing things prematurely. Yes, requirements DO change. A selection from Glenn Vanderburg’s curated collection of quotations. However, Hoare was not saying, "concern about application performance during the early stages of an application's development is evil." This is especially true if a certain ask is relatively minor, since it might take you less time and effort to simply get a trivial 2-minute task done than it is to evaluate it using all of these criteria. In 1960, he left the Soviet Union and began working at Elli… http://www.cookcomputing.com/blog/archives/000084.html), part of which I've reproduced below, describes the problem with reading too much into Hoare's statement: Coarse grained optimization - Allow for caching of all kinds, including connection pooling, memoization and even response caching to avoid unnecessary runtime rework. Spending a lot of resources incorporating a company legally, before you’ve even finished developing your product or checking whether anyone wants it. Any coding practice that makes your code harder to understand in the name of performance is a premature optimization. It can discourage or frustrate you, especially if your hard work ends up going to waste later. Premature optimization is the root of all evil in programming. クイックソート(一般的な場合には最も性能の良い実装ができるとされるソートアルゴリズム)の考案でも … This famous quote by Sir Tony Hoare (popularized by Donald Knuth) has become a best Just be careful not to micharacterise the more subtle argument that many people would make against premature optimisation: Making good architecture and clean, de-coupled code a first priority can lead to more performance gains in the long term for multiple reasons, without necessarily sacrificing maintainability or correctness, which is *usually* the primary concern above all others. Trying to do the optimization too early can be a futile time-waster. Sir Tony Hoare's statement "We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil" has been responsible for a fundamental change in the way software engineers develop applications. Isn't it better to just get them running and let Moore's Law take us off the hook when resources are constrained? We help our readers make sense of it, find meaning in it, learn what to trust, and prepare for the future that may show up.Ubiquity and Your Future Motivational Quotes. He remained an extra year at Oxford studying graduate-level statistics, and following his National Service in the Royal Navy (1956–1958). But I also knew, and forgot, Hoare’s dictum that premature optimization is the root of all evil in programming. Certain idioms that were introduced in the name of optimization have become so popular that everyone understands them and they have become expected, not premature. Three extracts from the above page: Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming. Funny, you don't hear too many computer application users making such statements. Ubiquity, Volume 2009 Issue February | BY Randall Hyde, Full citation in the ACM Digital Library Anyhow, I moved the quote to attributed. Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the speed of noncritical parts of their programs, and these attempts at efficiency actually have a strong negative impact when debugging and maintenance are considered. Quote due to Donald Knuth , "Structured Programming with Goto Statements" , Computing Surveys 6 :4 (December 1974), pp. This includes, for example: As noted above, there are some situations where optimizing things early on might be necessary, and in such situations this sort of optimizations are considered appropriate, rather than premature. However I would argue there is one optimization which, if it is to be done at all, should be enabled at the very start of the project. $ $ Premature optimization is the root of all evil. However I would argue there is one optimization which, if it is to be done at all, should be enabled at the very start of the project. This presents the argument against trying to make premature optimizations, while at the same time acknowledging that it’s nevertheless important to identify areas where optimizations can be necessary, and to then implement those optimizations. That's called maintenance and even for systems that are still in analysis, design and construction, that holds. I don't think I'm wrong in saying there is a distinction in selecting the right tool for the job versus premature optimization. Another reason is that using higher level abstractions that might seem very inefficient at first glance can sometimes lead to major optimisations elsewhere. Today, it is not at all uncommon for software engineers to extend this maxim to "you should never optimize your code!" INSPIRATIONAL SUCCESS MOTIVATIONAL. People make the mistake of trying to optimize things prematurely in many areas of life. Comment (Required - HTML syntax is not allowed and will be removed). This article is very useful for me I learned so many things Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%. You appear to be correct, although many folks attribute Knuth, perhaps because his restatement adds more authority. But I also knew, and forgot, Hoare’s dictum that premature optimization is the root of all evil in programming. Indeed, a short essay by Charles Cook ( As such, in the following article you will learn more about this concept, and see some beneficial guidelines that will help you figure out when a certain optimization is needed, and when it is premature. Premature optimization can often end up backfiring, and cause you to waste a lot of resources, such as time, money, and effort, while also increasing the likelihood that you will create future problems. Hoare C. A. R. quotes I agree | disagree [About Pascal] That is the great strength of PASCAL, that there are so few unnecessary features and almost no need for subsets. This might happen for a variety of reasons, such as because you believe that a small modification could give you a significant benefit, or because the optimization will allow you to deal with a bottleneck in your work, or because avoiding the optimization might lead to significant technical debt later on. The concept of premature optimization was first made prominent in the field of software engineering. —C.A.R. ��� David Kra, Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:05:45 UTC. It can cause you to waste resources, such as time, money, and effort, which could be better spent elsewhere. ~ Stevesliva The origin of premature optimization The concept of premature optimization was first made prominent in the field of software engineering. The fact is: you don't know where the code is slow until you actually run a profiler. Premature optimization is the act of trying to make things more efficient at a stage when it is too early to do so. チャールズ・アントニー・リチャード・ホーア(Charles Antony Richard Hoare、1934å¹´ 1月11日 - ) は、イギリスの計算機科学者。 通称はトニー・ホーア(Tony Hoare)またはC・A・R・ホーア。. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%”. 16 WALLPAPERS 41 POINTS. Knuth refers to it as "Hoare's Dictum" 15 years later in "The Errors of TeX", Software—Practice & Experience 19 :7 (July 1989), pp. "Premature optimization" is a phrase used to describe a situation where a programmer lets performance considerations affect the design of a piece of code. Premature optimization is the root of all evil in programming. I had a 20k rep user today tell me that using a HashSet instead of a List was premature optimization. While he studied Russian, he also studied computer translation of human languages at Moscow State University in the Soviet Union in the school of Kolmogorov. Spending a lot of resources picking out the best gear possible for a hobby, before you’ve actually started taking part in it. And look a model like that of React.js, which adds a layer of abstraction, the virtual DOM, which ends up paying massive dividends in performance (especially when combined with immutable data structures). The result is an insanely huge function which is difficult to maintain. A good programmer will not be lulled into complacency by such reasoning, he will be wise to look carefully at the critical code; but only after that code has been identified.”, — Structured Programming with go to Statements (1974). Hoare “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is the root of evil. The larger a task appears to be, based on the resources that it will require or the effects that it will have, the warier you should be, and the more you should use these criteria to evaluate it. An example of this is in using immutable data structures, which you might do mainly to make code easier to reason about, but can end up allowing much more parallelism and other optimisations. Remember that this doesn’t mean that you should avoid optimization entirely, but rather that you should think carefully and assess the situation before deciding to move through with a certain optimization. 261–301, §1. Social rather than selfish optimization - Design for many-user throughput at a target response time, rather than optimizing low-load response time for one user. However, this approach shouldn’t become an excuse to avoid optimization entirely, but should rather serve as a way to prioritize tasks as effectively as possible. Unfortunately, as with many ideas that grow to legendary status, the original meaning of this statement has been all but lost and today's software engineers apply this saying differently from its original intent. This is not the type of coding you want to do during initial program design, when the code base is rather fluid. So Hoare's comments were on the mark. So no one should be making generalised recommendations and they should be stating their assumptions about which domains they are talking about. Rather, it simply means that you should think carefully before you decide to spend your resources optimizing something. The most common reasons why people optimize things prematurely are that they fail to prioritize their tasks properly, or that the premature optimization represents an easy problem for them to handle, which makes it appealing to take it on even if it’s unnecessary. In Agile context premature optimization still root of evil. it is great article for all software engineers. In the original quote on the topic, this concept was said to apply to roughly 3% of cases, but your cutoff for what a valid optimization is can be higher or lower than that. Spending a lot of resources trying to optimize certain functions in a codebase early on, despite the fact that those optimizations are likely to be rendered irrelevant later, due to changes in the code. a small company's internal web-app written in 2 weeks and used by 10 people). However, make that invisible to the calling/client program, or at least trivial to add-in later where necessary. We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. However, note that you don’t have to ask yourself all of these questions each time you evaluate a potential task. A google search for "premature optimization" turns up tens of thousands of hits, most of them quoting Hoare's maxim that premature optimization is the root of all evil.. This is crucial, since people often repeat the idea that “premature optimization is the root of all evil”, without acknowledging the full quote, which states that “we should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. It can cause you to make mistakes, if you make decisions at a stage where you don’t have enough information. 607–685. Essentially, when figuring out whether or not you should optimize something, there are several factors you should consider, and several important questions that you should ask yourself: Based on these criteria, you can prioritize the different tasks that you have to complete, and figure out which ones you should work on at which stage, in order to ensure that you avoid making any premature optimizations. As computer systems increased in performance from MHz, to hundreds of MHz, to GHz, the performance of computer software has taken a back seat to other concerns. Thinking Low-Level, Writing High-Level, the second volume in the landmark Write Great Code series by Randall Hyde, covers high-level programming languages (such as Swift and Java) as well as code generation on 64-bit CPUsARM, the Java Virtual Machine, and the Microsoft Common Runtime. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%. However, in most cases, the optimizations described in these examples are premature, and it would be preferable to postpone them until a later stage. It is attributed to Sir Tony Hoare, though it was popularized by Donald E. Knuth, who said that: “There is no doubt that the holy grail of efficiency leads to abuse. “ Premature optimization is the root of all evil in programming. Overall, to make sure that you avoid optimizing things prematurely, you should always assess the situation first, and determine whether or not the intended optimization is necessary at that point in time. Here is the full quote from his book The Art of Computer Programming: "Premature optimization" is a phrase used to describe a situation where a programmer lets performance considerations affect the design of a piece of code. In SQL Server 2008 yes - you can convert to date type from datetime.  | PDF. The Factors that Determine Your Success at Learning, Bikeshedding and the Law of Triviality: Why People Focus on Minor Issues, Good Enough is Good Enough: Let Go of Perfectionism to Get Things Done, Remember that not all optimization is premature, Structured Programming with go to Statements, How to Make Decisions: A Guide for When You Can’t Choose, Why It’s Hard to Make Decisions (Especially Good, Fast Ones), Tempus Fugit: Time Flies, So Use It Wisely, Reverse Psychology: Getting People to Do Things By Asking for the Opposite, The Napoleon Technique: Postponing Things to Increase Productivity. The quote is a paraphrase of a Donald Knuth quote, one which he has himself attributed to Hoare. Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Every programmer with a few years' experience or education has heard the phrase "premature optimization is the root of all evil." If there will be twice as much memory for the same price in 18 months, why bother to squeeze a factor of 2 from an application's memory requirements? Back then, "optimization" often consisted of activities such as counting cycles and instructions in assembly language code. So far, we saw what premature optimization is, why it’s an issue, and why people are prone to it. Rather, the important thing is to be aware of these considerations, and use them, at least to some degree, to evaluate tasks when necessary. The digitally connected world has become a large, swirling sea of information stripped of context. This seems to be the source of the popular attribution to Hoare — a short-circuit of Knuth’s original (uncited) attribution. “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.” is a popular quote with mysterious origins. The use case in question was a statically initialized collection thats sole purpose was to serve as a look-up table. It is attributed to Sir Tony Hoare, though it was popularized by Donald E. Knuth, who said that: “There is no doubt that the holy grail of efficiency leads to abuse.
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