The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Perhaps an 80M script isn't that excessive …

Around three months ago, I found a bug in Lua (and yes, it's silly to run an 80M script, but then, I tend to do silly things with programs). I reported the error to the Lua mailing list, and a few days later it was posted as a known bug with a one line patch to fix it.

And yes, I just got around to retesting Lua (with a version that has every patch applied, including the patch for the bug I found) with my 80M script:

[spc]lucy:/tmp/lua>time lua -i show.lua
Lua 5.1.4  Copyright (C) 1994-2008, PUC-Rio
> dofile("default.lua")
> os.exit()

real    0m10.964s
user    0m5.880s
sys     0m0.376s

Much better.

Lua just in time

Playing around with Lua is fun, but I've been hearing some good things about LuaJIT, a “just in time” compiler for Lua for the x86 platform (written by a single guy, no less!). Even more amazing, it's literally a drop in replacement for Lua (both the command line interpreter and library).

Okay, I'm willing to give this a try. I download, compile and install it. I then decide to test it using jumble program I wrote in Lua. All I need to do is change one line:


to read:


and rerun the program.

Lua version of Jumble program
versiontime in seconds
pure Lua 7.74
pure LuaJIT3.57
Lua + C 2.06
LuaJIT + C 1.70

LuaJIT easily trounces the Lua interpreter without any code changes (other than specifying a different “interpreter”). The versions with C use a C function to sort the letters in the word and while LuaJIT was faster than the Lua + C version, the very fact that I didn't have to modify any code is fantastic! LuaJIT used the very same C code as the Lua version—no changes or recompilations required!

Very neat!

I just relinked my Lua daemon against LuaJIT, just to test it out, and yes, it worked without any changes. I could even reload the scripts on the fly. And incredibly, it's only about 50% bigger than Lua itself.

LuaJIT is one sweet piece of technology.

I can't remember the last time I used a printer …

I hate printers.

All I wanted to do was print out a 13 page file using both sides of the paper. It was easy enough to select the odd pages, then the even pages in the printer software. The hard part? Knowing which way to orientate the papers for printing on the second side.

It took me four attempts to get it correct.


So much for saving paper …

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