Silver Searcher: ack but faster

As a frequent user of grep/ack for the codebase, ag seems to be a silver bullet, especially for the projects with large codebase. Available in rpm repositories.

What’s so great about Ag?

  • It is an order of magnitude faster than ack.
  • It ignores file patterns from your .gitignore and .hgignore.
  • If there are files in your source repo you don’t want to search, just add their patterns to a .ignore file. (*cough* *.min.js *cough*)
  • The command name is 33% shorter than ack, and all keys are on the home row!

PHP: Array vs ArrayObject benchmarking

Some measurements on Arrays vs ArrayObjects found among gist users. Just going to bring it here, in case gist dissappears.

# php -v
PHP 5.3.6 (cli) (built: Mar 17 2011 20:58:15)
Copyright (c) 1997-2011 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2011 Zend Technologies

# echo '<?php $s = array(); for($x=0;$x<1000;$x++){ $s[] = array("name"=>"Adam","age"=>35); }; echo memory_get_peak_usage(); ' | php
655040

# echo '<?php $s = array(); for($x=0;$x<1000;$x++){ $o = new ArrayObject; $o->name = "Adam";  $o->age = 35;  $s[] = $o;} echo memory_get_peak_usage(); ' | php
887984

# time echo '<?php $s = array(); for($x=0;$x<100000;$x++){ $o = new ArrayObject; $o->name = "Adam";  $o->age = 35;  $s[] = $o;} echo memory_get_peak_usage(); ' | php
61010784
real    0m1.448s
user    0m1.208s
sys     0m0.231s

# time echo '<?php $s = array(); for($x=0;$x<100000;$x++){ $s[] = array("name"=>"Adam","age"=>35); }; echo memory_get_peak_usage(); ' | php
33647944
real    0m0.525s
user    0m0.429s
sys     0m0.092s

We can conclude the following at least in PHP 5.6:

  • Winner for Speed: Arrays are faster than objects (with undefined or defined properties)
  • Winner for Memory: Objects with defined properties use less memory, 50%+ less than objects with undefined properties, only slightly less than Arrays

Ordered Fastest to Slowest in Speed for 100,000 items:

  • 0.107s – Arrays
  • 0.163s – Objects with undefined properties
  • 1.190s – Objects with defined properties

Ordered Least to Most Memory Usage for 1,000 items:

  • ~583kb – Objects with defined properties
  • ~807kb – Arrays
  • ~1.1mb – Objects with undefined properties

From hardware to software: key points

Absolutely great article by Seth Godin on hardware/software perspectives looking at the giants, like Apple. Few points need to be quoted:

  • Software can change faster than hardware, which means that in changing markets, bet on software.
  • It’s tempting to treat the user interface as a piece of fashion, some bling, a sort of jewelry. It’s not. It’s the way your user controls the tool you build. Change it when it stops working, not when you’re bored with it. Every time you change the interface, you better have a really good reason.
  • Hardware always gets cheaper. If you can’t win that race, don’t run it.
  • Getting users is far more expensive than keeping users, which means that investing in keeping users is the smartest way to maintain your position and then grow.
  • Software can create connection, and connection is the engine of our future economy.

JavaScript function call vs arrow functions

“…the ratio of time spent reading versus writing is well over 10 to 1. We are constantly reading old code as part of the effort to write new code.Because this ratio is so high, we want the reading of code to be easy even if it makes the writing harder.”

— Robert C. Martin
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Why arrow functions are still not used everywhere in the code.

Quotes: Technical Dept

Great article on software development sins from Ionel Cristian and great quote on technical dept:

Management fear risks. Juniors fear getting in intractable situations or just don’t know how to solve it better. Seniors with cozy positions fear embarrassment – it’s already cozy enough and the golden shackles are so shiny. Why risk looking like a fool and give management reasons for downgrade or lose that minuscule 1% salary upgrade.

But you, yes you, you can take it in your own hands. Fight for change or you’ll remain miserable and deal with “legacy” code forever. How to convince management to change and fix the damn debt? Depends on the situation, but it’s mostly a matter of ruthless politics. Make campaigns, invent reasons, gather support.