Reply to post: Re: Software has to pay attention

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Software has to pay attention

"It is also a boon for old-school programmers, who were brought up to think in clock cycles and who actually know how a processor works, and therefore how best to optimize code."

Trying to beat the slowdown by converting some of my Excel VBA to a VB.Net DLL

The VBA conversion application COM module available on the web failed to be recognised by Excel - so after several attempts I did the conversion myself in Visual Studio 2012.

Conversion of a function that was a known cpu hogger was surprisingly easy. First tests showed it ran 20 times faster than its VBA original and produced identical results. Over the full run that alone would save several hours.

That was nearly a week ago. Since then I have been chasing my tail trying to pass a parameter to the DLL function. It consists of a user type which also contains other user data types. I keep trying to imagine how the underlying type libraries, marshalling, and data structures work at the code level.

It is times like this when you find that the available Google information is basically recipes about what to type - with examples that use the simplest cases. Deep understanding seems to be considered unnecessary. I can see a bodge circumvention to get the data through piecemeal - but it will not satisfy my soul.

I am reminded yet again of E.M.Forster's "The Machine Stops". Technological towers of Babel with foundations of shifting sand - on which we have come to depend.

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