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Re: Thoughts on bug 15884

On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 10:37:37AM -0700, Paul Eggert wrote:
> Thanks, Leonhard, for taking this on.  Carlos's suggestions are good
> ones.  One other idea is to see how GNU sort's performance is
> affected, as strcoll has long been a bottleneck in its performance.
> The fun part is that GNU sort is multithreaded, and perhaps that'll
> give you some ideas for your microbenchmark.
> Quick war story: I once tried to optimize GNU sort by using strxfrm
> instead of strcoll.  It made performance waaayy worse.  Oops.  To
> this day I don't know what strxfrm is good for in practice.

Obviously the case where it matters is where each of your strings is
in the form of a common large prefix and a tiny difference at the end.
Here strcoll will perform pathologically bad (at least without some
kind of memoization) and strxfrm solves the problem. Of course strxfrm
pessimizes the case where each string is long but they all differ in
the first few characters, since strcoll then never has to inspect or
convert anything but the first few characters, and strxfrom performs
huge useless conversions.


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