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On Mon, 23 Oct 2000, Tobias Ringstrom wrote:

> On 23 Oct 2000, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> > Either
> >
> > (a) Solaris has solved the faster-than-light problem, and Sun engineers
> > should get a Nobel price in physics or something.
> >
> > (b) Solaris "scales" by being optimized for 10000 entries, and not
> > speeding up sufficiently for a small number of entries.
> >
> > You make the call.
> You will probably get the 6.5 factor because you have some (big) contant
> setup time. For example
> t = 1700 + n
> This gives you an increase of 6.5 from 100 to 10000, although it is of
> course is O(n). No magic there... :-)


NOTE! I'm not saying that this is necessarily bad. It may well be that the
setup time means that the Solaris code actually _does_ perform really well
for the 10000 entry case.

I hope nobody took my rant against "scalability" to mean that I consider
the Solaris case to necessarily be bad engineering. My rant was more about
people often thinking that "scalability == performance", which it isn't.
It may be that Solaris simply wants to do 10000 entries really fast and
that they actually do really well, but it is clear that if so they have a
huge performance hit for the small cases, and people should realize that.

It's basically a matter of making the proper trade-offs. I think that the
"few file descriptors" case is actually arguably a very important one. Sun
(who has long since given up on the desktop) probably have a different
tradeoff, and maybe their big constant setup-time is worth it.


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