When Perl is not quite fast enough

By Nicholas Clark from London.pm
Date: Wednesday, 31 August 2005 14:30
Duration: 180 minutes

This is a tutorial on how make Perl run faster, without having to use C or XS. In it you will learn ways I've found to make your troublesome slow scripts go faster, and how you can try to avoid some problems in the first place.

The tutorial starts with ways to cheat and duck the whole optimising problem, as that's usually a much better solution. I present a systematic approach to optimising in general, and show the Perl tools available to help you carry it out. By explaining why the cause of slowness in perl programs often differs from your experience of compiled languages, you will gain a better feel for the right types of trade-offs to make to gain speed.

The second half presents a smogsabord of optimising ideas to try out, and speed traps to locate and avoid. From clean grand plans to messy micro-optimising hacks, there is something for everyone, and bound to be at least one you've never seen before that will set your mind racing, thinking about your own code will benefit.

The tutorial will demonstrate the techniques using specific real code as examples, showing code before and after. Running this interactively will give a feel for what sort of results can be achieved.

Health warning - after attending this tutorial you may have trouble sleeping as you brain explores how to apply these ideas to your own code.

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