April 24, 2003
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Faster

One of the guiding policies for Tinderbox -- and an uncharacteristic policy for Eastgate -- has been to favor clean implementation over speed. Tinderbox can stay simple, we hope, because machines continue to double in speed and capacity every eighteen months. So, though your Tinderbox files will grow every year, we expect your computer will grow even faster.

Old habits are hard to break, and Tinderbox is already a small and swift application.

Still, we just couldn't resist a few experimental tweaks in the new release. I'm working right now with a daredevil build, one that takes all sorts of crazy risks to improve performance. The release version will probably be slower, but right now my weblog file updates its agent in 433 msec (instead of 4500 msec) and loads in 13 sec (instead of 43 sec). Cool.

In other words, today I'm experiencing the Tinderbox performance I'd expect in a year or two. That's interesting in itself. Sometimes, speed transforms your entire perception of the program. Sometimes, speed is incidental. Finding a good way to decide which applies here is an interesting puzzle.