On 6/12/05, Steven Jenkins <steven.jenkins / ieee.org> wrote:
> Austin Ziegler wrote:
> What's more amazing is that these fools why buy into this "crap" have
> made fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of digital
> communications, image processing, and numerical analysis, practically
> invented systems engineering, found volcanoes on Io and landslides on
> Venus, communicated with spacecraft beyond the edge of the solar system,
> put three rovers on the surface of Mars, and a whole bunch of other
> stuff that will go into history books.

Huh. They didn't do it with benchmarks. (And I could very easily point
out that those same people have screwed up massively -- forgetting to
convert between English units and Metric units?) Look closely at the
people who espouse benchmarks. They're mostly marketers or fools who
can't tell the difference.

There are *real* measures to deal with; they're not benchmarks. They
aren't and never have been.

For a first person shooter, the real measure is "is the game fun?" The
answer will be different for everyone, but there are some objective
things that will break the "fun" factor for just about everyone.
Frames Per Second. Load Time. These things should be as fast as they
possibly can. Gigaflops never enters the question here. Nor does
specmark or anything else like that.

For image manipulations, they need to be quick. But not once does the
Ackermann function ever enter the question.

> But of course, you know better. You have A Blog and have written Some
> Software.

I do know better. It's not because I have a blog (I do, but I haven't
updated it in months, because I've been busy writing Real Software for
Real People). And I've written a LOT of software. No, I've never
worked for NASA. But I have real world experience, and I know what I
speak of.

Never *once* have I needed to implement an Ackermann function. Not
once. In my entire career. I look at the crap that is on alioth and
there's very little that represents common use. There's some neat
things -- the new DNA transformation ones -- but exactly how many
people will actually be using that in their work?

I won't. Wouldn't have my entire career. Measures that mattered to me
at my last job were "how many bills can I generate in an hour?" At my
current job "what's the average backup speed throughput for this?"

If we're not getting the performance we need, we fix the damn problem.
We don't rely on "benchmarks" -- we rely on real world measurements of
our real problems. Not on pseudo-crap like gigaflops or specmark or
the speed of an airborne swallow. Actually, strike that. The last is
useful.

-austin
-- 
Austin Ziegler * halostatue / gmail.com
               * Alternate: austin / halostatue.ca