Golfing and Sprintingby kvale (Monsignor)
|on Mar 15, 2004 at 23:54 UTC||Need Help??|
Recently in Matching First Character of Strings Efficiently there was a controversy about the utility of optimizing some bit of code for speed.
On one hand, playing with code optimization is fun and others' code can display enlightening and potentially useful techniques.
On the other hand, Knuth, among others, claim that "premature optimization is the root of all evil", for a few reasons:
How can we reconcile these two points of view?
Well, perl golf has a lot of the same issues that speed optimization does. The nice thing about calling some attempt at keystroke optimization 'golf' is that it at once gives a sporting flavor to the challenge, and reminds others that it is only a game, not a production technique.
I propose that we prepend speed optimization games with something like 'sprint', so that we can have fun without the regret of leading others down the path of darkness.