Assembly language programming in unix environment

Odd iodine at
Mon Sep 21 18:33:54 UTC 2009

Kipton Moravec wrote:
> On Mon, 2009-09-21 at 12:20 -0400, Dick Dowdell wrote:
>> Freeburn,
>> At one time, your assertion that learning assembly language helps one
>> to understand processors, was useful and true---I once made a good
>> living writing IBM 360/370 BAL code.  I question whether it is of use
>> to 99% of the people programming today.  Software development
>> productivity has risen in proportion to the increase in the level of
>> abstraction at which the programmer works.  Higher development
>> productivity means lower development costs and shortened time to
>> market---both very important in business.
>> Most of the systems I've worked on in the last 10 years have been
>> written in Java.  Not because Java is the most machine-efficient
>> language, but because, when written properly, it can maximize code
>> reusability and maximize portability among operating systems and
>> database management systems.  Computers used to be expensive and labor
>> cheap.  Now the reverse is true.  My advice to a new programmer is to
>> focus on software engineering skills not specific programming
>> languages.  If one is a good software engineer, one can pick up new
>> languages quickly.  If one is a poor software engineer, one will write
>> poor code, no matter what the language.
> Unfortunately reuse of code and not code efficiency is being done in
> operating systems more and more too. That is why Vista is such big and
> heavy operating system. They do not care about performance, but ease of
> coding, so machines that run fine with XP choke under Vista. 

Microsoft used 6 years to complete Vista. That's more than enough
time to optimize code. The result was not impressive. I understand
that Win7 is what Vista could have been if Microsoft cared about
speed and efficiency. And that is solely because of netbooks,
that are too puny to run Vista. Must have been embarrasing for
them that they had to use XP to compete with Linux.

> The tendency is the same direction in Linux, however there are more
> people working to make it work faster, so the code bloat is more
> restrained. It is there, but the rate of increase is much lower than
> with Microsoft.
> An example is the difference between Ubuntu and Xubuntu. Xubuntu was
> supposed to be a lighter weight version of Ubuntu, for older machines.
> It used X windows instead of Gnome. Turns out Xubuntu takes more RAM
> than Ubuntu.

That's interesting.

> Probably because there are more people working on Ubuntu to
> make it more efficient. And not so many people are working on Xubuntu,
> so they worry about just getting something to work and code reuse.  

Could be, but Xubuntu inherits code from mainstream Ubuntu, no?
So the only difference between the two is the window manager?
If so, what could be taking up the extra RAM?


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list