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The software optimisation misnomer

It’s not difficult (if you go looking) to read lots about software optimisation these days. Vendors in this space will reel off copious (and possibly spurious) reams of information at you to detail how their optimsation compiler can help take an application from one form to another – often to spawn variants for different devices in different form factors for different uses.
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Written by Adrian Bridgwater on

It’s not difficult (if you go looking) to read lots about software optimisation these days. Vendors in this space will reel off copious (and possibly spurious) reams of information at you to detail how their optimsation compiler can help take an application from one form to another – often to spawn variants for different devices in different form factors for different uses.

But sometimes (in mobile development for example) this process involves scaling an application back so that it can work with a more limited set of resources such as memory, processing power or screen size etc…

SPEEDO '

OK sure, optimisation comes from the word “optimal” – but there’s not very much optimality about scaling something back is there?

So shouldn’t these vendors be forced to call it “software reconfiguration” for greater clarity?

Software optimisation as a pure bred process should always be concerned with making the application’s runtime execute faster for the particular environment that it works within. Surely writing code without memory leaks with more efficient algorithms for an application that works like it is designed to is what should define optimisation.

After all – those sparkling wine producers (USA excepted) had to stop labelling their plonk with the word Champagne didn’t they?

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