Re: [dwm] improve

From: Ville Koskinen <>
Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 19:46:08 +0300

> > On Sep 7, 2006, at 4:13 AM, Sander van Dijk wrote:
> > >Optimization is far overrated,

I remember Andrew S. Tanenbaum describing a student that spent several
months optimizing the filesystem initialization (or formatting) program
for the Minix file system in 1980s. He got it to run from one minute to
a few seconds on a given disk. Tanenbaum said (paraphrasing) that the
whole work was pretty useless, as the disk is usually initialized once
per operating system install, and it is irrelevant if it takes a minute
or a second at the installation phase. This incident may be in his book
Modern Operating Systems, although I'm not sure if I read it from there
or somewhere else.

I'd like to point out that although optimization is overrated, it is
wise to create systems that are optimal or semi-optimal by design.
Most often those solutions are also the shortest and most elegant ones.
I wouldn't call that optimizing, because the verb "to optimize" tends
to have a negative flavor in some sense, but it's a similar process.

Ville Koskinen
Received on Thu Sep 07 2006 - 18:46:39 UTC

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