Two important things in running a benchmark are:
1) Make sure your subroutines are doing the same thing with the same data. I made the mistake once of setting up the data outside the subroutine and then editing it in place, so that the second routine to run was working with different data than the first. Make sure each one starts with the same thing and has the same result.
2) Avoid anything that adds overhead which could overshadow the time used by the function that you're actually trying to benchmark. If you're comparing for and map, just include them and as little else as possible. Especially avoid any system calls, IO like printing, etc. Print the results once to make sure your outputs match, but then remove those statements. A difference of nanoseconds won't show through the random noise if you're calling functions that take milliseconds.
Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.
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