Following on the update to the binary search piece, I am in receipt of multiple emails, and the target of multiple web links, all saying, in a superior kind of tone, “The poor boy, that primitive Java stuff broke because he doesn’t have auto-magical big numbers like Lisp-n-Smalltalk had back in the day.” Thank you for raising my consciousness. If you’ll grant that the trade-off between fixed-size hard-wired datatypes and more abstract ones has been under discussion since Turing was a tot, I’ll grant that many attempts to pack the data in tight are symptoms of premature optimization. But space-vs-time trade-offs are just not gonna go away; deal with it. And I’ve had my working set blown to hell more than once trying to build the parse tree for what seemed like a moderately-sized incoming message, in a language that turned out to be just a little too high level. And the “My thought-experiment language solved that in 1976” mantra is boring.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
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June 07, 2006
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