Timing trials, or the trials of timing: Experiments with scripting and user-interface languages

Brian W. Kernighan, Christopher J. Van Wyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experiments are described to see how fast various popular scripting and user-interface languages run on a spectrum of representative tasks. Variations are found in performance, depending on many factors, some uncontrollable and even unknowable. A few general principles hold: compiled code usually runs faster than interpreted code; memory-related issues and the effects of memory hierarchies are pervasive; and the timing services provided by programs and operating systems are woefully inadequate. Although each language shines in some situations, there are visible and sometimes surprising deficiencies even in what should be mainstream applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-843
Number of pages25
JournalSoftware - Practice and Experience
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

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