Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Enduring Importance of Understanding Principles

This Performance Quiz #3 by Rico Mariani, as well as the accompanying solution, ought to prove a revelation to those who imagine that in this day of 3Ghz CPUs and point-and-click coding wizards, time spent profiling code or slogging through a copy of Knuth's Art of Computer Programming is so much time wasted.

Ours is a field in which products and technologies come and go at an often dizzying speed, but the fundamentals of computer science undergo little change with the passage of time, and it's unlikely there will ever come a time when the need to understand these deeper principles will cease to exist. There's a lot more to programming than putting up sites in PHP!

The funny thing about managed code is that sometimes people forget that just because we offer an easy/convenient way to do things if you're doing a quick RAD application doesn't mean that the RAD way is in fact the right way. In fact, the good old fashioned way is very likely still available and may be an excellent choice. So that brings us to Performance Quiz #3.

The question: Characterize the difference in space and speed between RadParser and ClassicParser, consider the given test input to be typical.
The C# code for the RadParser and ClassicParser he mentions are to be found on the problem page.

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