Monday, September 4, 2006

3 types of tuning practitioners.

1) A 3-year "experienced coder" may know how to produce solid functionalities with good enough performance most of the time, but knows close to nothing about why his code has this performance. He has less than 1% of the written knowledge on tuning.

2) A "bookish tuning professional" may not know the limits of the written theory. Her theoretical knowledge could be non-trivial, based on many tuning books and online articles.

3) A "questioning practitioner" knows only the essential theory but relies heavily on utilities to /interrogate/ the target system and verify the tuning theories. As a questioning practitioner, he questions the tuning utilities as well. Profiling helps u pinpoint bottlenecks and calculates tcost (processing time) at each stage.

Look at an abstract/generic transation processing system. For each one of millions of transactions, the totol processing time is a simple sum total of the processing times at each stage. This is an extremely simple, well-understood and powerful truth. Every tuning approach relies on this truth. This is one basis of profiling. Common tuning utilities:

EXPLAIN, showplan...
Perl profiling
JVM profiling jconsole, JRA
GC monitor
PHP @@ apache benchmark and P316 [[ programming php ]]

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin