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Issue 9.5


Adventures in Optimization

Haste Makes Waste

Issue: 9.5 (July/August 2011)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 28,124
Starting Page Number: 33
Article Number: 9507
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Download Icon 9507.zip Updated: 2011-07-05 10:42:02

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Excerpt of article text...

This is a story about optimization. While most articles on optimization tell you what you should do, this is an example of what you shouldn't do. I learned this the hard way; you can learn from my mistakes.

Generally I find Real Studio more than sufficiently fast for my modest needs. Even my bad "quick-and-dirty" code runs fast enough for my in-house or rarely used programs. Occasionally, however, I run into a situation where the code is just too slow to be usable. When that happens, it's time to optimize.

There are numerous approaches to optimizing code, but the bottom line is that you're wanting efficiency. So you look for code that's doing more than it needs to do, extra variables or steps, poor algorithms, and so on, and then you try to make that code more efficient.

Case Study: NameDB

As you might be aware, my grand ambition is be a full-time novelist and in that quest I have written two novels (http://zeedar.com/novels/). Novel writing is not easy and I've written various software tools to help. Some of these are publicly available, such as my Z-Write word processor (http://z-write.com), while others are tools I just wrote for myself.

One of these private tools is a program I called NameDB. It helps solve a problem many authors have, which is finding the right name for a character.

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