2002-03: Optimising Accessibility


True in a Nutshell
/bin/true is a funny little program. When we looked at some of our systems at work, the Solaris implementation was up to version 1.6 and the HP-UX implementation was at revision 64.1! How many goes does it take to get a do-nothing script to work? The Solaris version even has a copyright notice in it!


C and C++: Wedding Bells?
"For several years now, C and C++ have been following roughly parallel but slightly divergent evolutionary paths. Even if you program in only one of C or C++, you should care about this. This article is a summary of what's going on, why you should care, and what might just happen in the future."

Web Development

Dive into Accessibility
We all know it's a good idea to make sure our web sites are accessible, don't we? But what does that actually mean, and how do you go about doing it? This web site guides you through the process in an easy-to-follow 30-day course.


Optimizing Java
The authors of this article show the steps they took in optimising a java program to solve a puzzle. Initially, it took around 60,422,400 seconds (2 years!) to solve the puzzle. After some algorithm tuning, solution time came down to 157 seconds. When caching was used to minimise the impact of the garbage collector, execution time came down to 25 seconds. The authors estimate that further low-level java optimisations would shave another 10% off the total execution time. The conclusion they arrive at is that performance tuning should primarily focus on algorithm improvements, then technical performance improvements (object caches etc), and only once both of those areas have been exhausted consider low-level programming optimisations.


Related Articles
- 2002-01: Mailing List Revival
- 2002-02: Nygaard and Dijkstra
- 2002-03: Optimising Accessibility
- 2002-04: Naked Chef
- 2002-05: User Interface
- 2002-06: Painless Bug Tracking
- 2002-07: Secure Secret
- 2003 Issues

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