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Re: cygwin performance

Christopher Faylor wrote:

On Tue, Oct 21, 2003 at 11:42:21AM -0700, Linda W. wrote:

Has anyone done any testing on performance of cygwin utils over their
native win counterparts?

Cygwin is slower. Cygwin is known to be slower. And, if you give it a few minutes of thought it is obvious why Cygwin has to be slower.

I assume that anyone who doesn't understand why cygwin programs have to
be slower than normal windows programs also complains bitterly about the
loss of power in their VW Bug since they started pulling a trailer
around everywhere they go. What's up with that? That's the real

Well, it's more like I have a 6-cyl van and add in a 5gallon (~40lbs) to haul around
but having the van accelerate like you've added 400lbs rather than 40.

Yes, there is going to be some obvious overhead in emulating the calls, but by
just saying "emulation causes overhead. Expect it. Case closed.", you dissuade
discussion about the _amount_ of overhead and whether or not it's really necessary
to be as slow as it is.

If it's the best that can be done -- fine. But has anyone given the issue any
thought? _I_ don't know.

I'm just relating a noticable experience with slowdown that might put off Window's users
from "trying" gnu-based utils: "Gee why would I want to use gnu/linux like utils...they're about
10x slower than doing it with native tools".... Not the best "PR". It's hard for me to "sell"
or "recommend" the Cyg-utils as an superior (even if they are) alternative to he win-utils when
I might get my hand slapped at the first performance comparison they do. So I'm just
asking the questions....didn't mean to touch a 'nerve' and it wasn't meant as a criticism --
it's just an engineering question -- why would a simple file-name search using find need to
do 2 opens/file? Is there a way to 'cache' recently opened files to optimize situations where
someone does a stat or two in a row? Perhaps Cygwin could maintain a cache of opened win
file descriptors and time them out after a second or two. I don't know. Maybe it's not technically

But resorting to comparing me to someone who doesn't know why a VW bug slows down
pulling a 4-ton trailer (assuming the engine didn't burn out) is a _slightly_ "tinged" insult. One
might think that to elicit such a response, one might have had to have hit a 'nerve'. It wasn't
intended that way. Code is code. There are only problems waiting to be solved. What was
good code 20 years ago might be considered terrible today. Hindsight is often '20/20'. And
usually, people make the best decisions they can at the time with the resources and knowledge
available to them. I know there are many things I might do differently had I known what I know
now (stock investments might be familiar examples of that category to many people :-)), if only
we could jump back in time and 'redo' that girl on Andromeda...or that one
ST:NG episode where they got stuck in a timeloop getting destroyed each time...a beneficent
timeloop -- that doesn't let them go until they are not destroyed (so we can continue the
episodes, of course! :-)).


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