Hey Jim,

On 3/27/07, Jim Fulton <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> After
> that I thought we were actually going somewhere with this discussion,
> but you now strengthen this impression by apparently giving up in
> exasparation. That is what is making *me* slightly exasparated. :)

Fine. I gave up because you dismiss literature and theory. You seem
to imply that "in practice" there is some kind of magic that will
somehow make sorts go fast despite any theoretical basis. This
convinced me that further discussion was a waste of time.

I can see how you interpreted my statements that way. My apologies; I
did not intend to dismiss literature and theory nor did I wish to give
the impression that I do.

All I tried to express is that algorithmic scalability is just one
aspect of scalability issues, and lower-level design choices and
constant factors do matter in the final execution. I don't know how
much - getting a rough idea requires the comparisons we talked about,
and I intend to do this at some point. :) And theory clearly puts
upper limits on what is possible, and the upper limits (which are not
as high as people would naively expect). I was assuming you understood
that I understood the fact that theory provides a limit as a given. :)

I realize that there is no way to improve things fundamentally in all
cases, and I realize that writing an easy-enough API that helps
matters in at least some cases will be a challenge.


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