LA.pm: ANNOUNCE: Optimize Your Perl Code - June 1, 2002
rspier at pobox.com
Wed May 22 00:27:18 CDT 2002
I am proud to announce the following
Los Angeles Perl Mongers (http://la.pm.org)
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OPTIMIZE YOUR PERL - A Tutorial
Saturday June 1st
1:00pm - 5:00pm
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Ticketmaster/CitySearch Corporate Headquarters
3731 Wilshire Blvd, (Between Oxford & Serrano)
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Learn how to optimize perl code to make it run faster, by
choosing the right algorithms, data structures and code
organization. This is not about speeding up Perl -- but speeding
up the code you write
This tutorial is an introduction to optimizing perl
applications. It's important knowledge for anyone writing
time-sensitive applications, from a CGI script to a large
1. A brief introduction to complexity theory
Just enough complexity theory to have a basic language to talk
about runtimes of functions. O(1), O(n), O(n^2), etc. Complexity
of common perl idioms like map, sort, nested loops, etc. Why is
some code slow? (And it's not perl's fault!)
2. Real world / real code examples and how to make them faster
Examples of O(n^2) or worse functions and how they can be
improved by an order of magnitude by rewriting the algorithm,
and possibly changing the data structures used to store
3. Some simple Benchmarking
Devel::DProf and Benchmark.pm can help to isolate problem spots
in your code. Learn how to properly interpret data and how to
pick the "important" pieces.
4. Is it worth it?
Not all time spent optimizing the code is worth it. There are
trade-offs of time, readability, speed. Discuss development
strategies, pre-optimization, and over-optimization. O(n) can be
faster than O(1) for small n.
I'll will be presenting this tutorial at The Perl Conference 6,
part of O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, in San Diego at the
end of July. (http://conferences.oreillynet.com/os2002.) If you
were to attend the session, you'd pay about $320.
But, you can come to my practice session for less than that,
almost nothing, comparatively. I ask for two things in return.
1. Please provide me with honest feedback. I want to know what
sucks about the tutorial, what you think might be better,
and what parts you liked.
2. I may ask for a (voluntary) donation of $5 to cover
I want to thank Ticketmaster/CitySearch, Todd Cranston-Cuebas,
and Ask Bjorn Hansen for agreeing to host this talk. I know
they had to pull a bunch of strings, but I'm sure it will be
Because this talk is hosted in a building designed for working,
and not necessarily public traffic, Ticketmaster will be asking
us to be mindful of some security requirements.
For the safety of everyone involved, they will ask you to sign
in, so that in the case of an emergency, they know who is in the
To protect their intellectual property, there are portions of
the building that will require an escort to pass through. Also,
they will be asking you to sign a short document that says
(paraphrased): "If you steal anything while you are here, we
will sue you and press charges". I've looked over the document,
and it is very reasonable and safe.
Directions to Ticketmaster - Corporate Office
3731 Wilshire Blvd, (Between Oxford & Serrano)
Los Angeles CA 90010
From 10 Fwy W and 10 Fwy E, exit Western Ave; proceed
North. Make a right onto Wilshire Blvd. Make a left onto
Oxford. Make a right to the parking lot behind the building.
From 110 Fwy N and 110 Fwy S, transition to the 10 Fwy W, exit
Western; proceed North. Make a right onto Wilshire Blvd. Make a
right to the parking lot behind the building.
From 101 Fwy S, exit Western, and make a right. Turn left on
Wilshire. Make an immediate left on Oxford. Make a right to the
parking lot behind the building.
From Hwy 2 S. Exit Glendale Blvd., turn left. Make a slight
right on Alvarado St. Continue straight on Alvarado St. Turn
right on Wilshire Blvd. Turn right on Serrano. Make a right to
the parking lot behind the building.
You can park in the parking lot behind the two towers. You can
enter the outside lot from either Serrano or Oxford. Note that
parking below the building (Valet parking) is closed on the
weekends, so be sure to use the outside lot. We have arranged
for a parking attendant to be there throughout the
presentation. You will be requested to sign a parking sign-in
sheet by the arrival. Please put "LA.pm" next to your name so
that we will be properly billed for your parking.
Proceed to the Western tower (3731) main lobby. There will be
someone there to meet & greet you.
* The Wilshire Colonnade Building has two white towers. 3731 is
the Western-most tower with a Washington Mutual Bank branch
located on the bottom floor.
* Building is located on the North side of the street.
* Sav-On Drug store and 24 Hour Fitness are nearby so you'll
know you're in the right general area!
 Potential expenses involve copying costs for outlines or
handouts. Any remaining funds after expenses will be donated to
either Yet Another Society (http://www.yetanother.org) or the German
Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles (http://www.gsrescue.org). Employees
of the Walt Disney Company or Ticketmaster/CitySearch will not be
asked to donate. (And I'm not sure if there will be expenses or
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