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Donald Ervin Knuth > Quotes > Quotable Quote “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.” ― Donald Ervin Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms ~ Stevesliva Donald Ervin Knuth is an American computer scientist, mathematician, and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. Knuth’s famous quote about premature optimization was never meant to be a stick to beat people over the head with. 261–301, §1. 1977, Donald Ervin Knuth (1997). I occasionally carry flash memory drives between this machine and the Macs that I use for network surfing and graphics; but I trust my family jewels only to Linux. If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy. Knuth has been called the "father of the analysis of algorithms".. A language will not succeed without a good name. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil. " If you love something you can put beauty into it. Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. 25 Donald Knuth Quotes - Inspirational Quotes at BrainyQuote. You appear to be correct, although many folks attribute Knuth, perhaps because his restatement adds more authority. AI has by now succeeded in doing essentially everything that requires 'thinking' but has failed to do most of what people and animals do 'without thinking'-that, somehow, is much harder. Origin of "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" Note: It was Tony Hoare who said "Premature optimization is the root of all evil." Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. As a result, optimization or performance tuning is often performed at the end of the development stage. Computers are good at following instructions, but not at reading your mind. There's ways to amuse yourself while doing things and thats how I look at efficency. The more effective you are at making your program readable, the more effective it's going to be: You'll understand it today, you'll understand it next week, and your successors who are going to maintain and modify it will understand it. My general working style is to write everything first with pencil and paper, sitting beside a big wastebasket. Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to do, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a computer to do. Donald Knuth The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming. Ask Question Asked 2 years, 8 months ago. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in … To me, it looks more or less like the hardware designers have run out of ideas and that they're trying to pass the blame for the future demise of Moore's Law to the software writers by giving us machines that work faster only on a few key benchmarks. Donald E. Knuth (), Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, welcomes you to his home page. You're trying to write something that human beings are going to read. In the very same article from which the “evil quote” is taken, Knuth also published actual results for the case of such optimizations: The improvement in speed from Example 2 to Example 2a … I occasionally carry flash memory drives between this machine and the Macs that I use for network surfing and graphics; but I trust my family jewels only to Linux. February 10, 2015. Theoretical Computer Science, 1991. This may complicate programs or systems, making them harder to maintain and debug. I decry the current tendency to seek patents on algorithms. Follow AzQuotes on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The most important thing in the kitchen is the waste paper basket and it needs to be centrally located. A programmer who subconsciously views himself as an artist will enjoy what he does and will do it better. That's why I am curious to know whether knuth optimization reduces a n factor or a k factor from the original O(n^2 * k) solution, since a O(n*k) solution should have definitely passed. The manuals we got from IBM would show examples of programs and I knew I could do a heck of a lot better than that. We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Donald Knuth made the following two statements on optimization: Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of programs. Donald Knuth. I have a hunch that the unknown sequences of DNA will decode into copyright notices and patent protections. Donald Knuth Quotes and Sayings - Page 1. “The texbook”, Addison-Wesley Professional. Knuths optimization works for optimization over substrings for which optimal middle point depends monotonously on the end points. - Donald E. Knuth - Quoted in The C++ Programming Language, 11.3.7: Efficiency. Article on a personal home page at Stanford University, www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu. Premature Optimization 14 March 2013 7 Comments Written by Christian Antognini Premature optimization, (probably) because of Donald Knuth’s famous line “premature optimization is the root of all evil,” (see Structured Programming with go to Statements) is, at the very least, a controversial topic. Here is the full quote from his book The Art of Computer Programming: “The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming.” Optimization can reduce readability and add code that is used only to improve the performance. It is rumored that someone once asked Dr. Bellman how to tell the exercises apart from the research problems, and he replied: "If you can solve it, it is an exercise; otherwise it's a research problem.". Always remember, however, that there’s usually a simpler and better way to do something than the … “An algorithm must be seen to be believed.”. “The Art of Computer Programming: Fundamental algorithms”, Addison-Wesley Professional. Everyday life is like programming, I guess. It started out that computer scientists were worried nobody was listening to us. Proof for Knuth Optimization. Donald Knuth — p. 671 Premature optimization is the root of all evil.Variant in Knuth, "Structured Programming with Goto Statements". The best programs are written so that computing machines can perform them quickly and so that human beings can understand them clearly. I've never been a good estimator of how long things are going to take. Foreword to the book "A=B" by Marko Petkovsek, Herbert S. Wilf and Doron Zeilberger, 1996. Sometimes it quoted in a longer form: "We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." Donald Knuth. Everyday life is like programming, I guess. 61 wallpapers ... “We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Update this biography » Trying to do the optimization too early can be a futile time-waster. Donald Knuth Quotes. 261–301, §1. quotes and sayings of Donald Knuth: Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Email is a wonderful thing for those people whose role in life is to be on top of things, but not for me: my role is to be on the bottom of things. " Premature optimization is the root of all evil. " Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. Knuth had observed that root[i, j - 1] <= root[i, j] <= root[i + 1, j], so Exercise 15.5-4 asks to implement an O(n 2) algorithm by doing some modification to the original algorithm. Otherwise the programs they write will be pretty weird. Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Donald Knuth You Everything Always Will Blitzscaling is always managerially inefficient - and it burns through a lot of capital quickly. But you have to be willing to take on these inefficiencies in order to … But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. If you love something you can put beauty into it. ... $\begingroup$ Maybe you should put scare-quotes around the words "We all know." Quote from the first of the references above: ... using Knuth optimization, but passed comfortably using divide & conquer optimization in O(n k log n). Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in that critical 3%. BrainyQuote has been providing inspirational quotes since 2001 to our worldwide community. Donald Ervin Knuth (1986). Every programmer with a few years' experience or education has heard the phrase "premature optimization is the root of all evil." Premature optimization is the root of all evil. “Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.”. A few times, I've tried supplying the complete quote from Donald Knuth in order to explain that "premature optimization is bad" ↛ "all optimization is bad": We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. “TEX: The Program”, Addison-Wesley Professional. Then I use Emacs to enter the text into my machine. Computing Surveys 6:4 (December 1974), pp. Lets start by looking at the entire quote from his 1974 paper Structured Programming with go to Statements: “We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. Knuth’s famous quote about premature optimization was never meant to be a stick to beat people over the head with. "Theory and Practice". Memorandum to Peter van Emde Boas, 29 Mar. There is a famous saying that "Premature optimization is the root of all evil". In fact, this very amenability to optimization in general and late-in-the-game optimization in particular is a large part of what makes this language popular with expert programmers: you really can leave the “small efficiencies,” a few of which we’ve shown, for later. I currently use Ubuntu Linux, on a standalone laptop - it has no Internet connection. Art is everything else we do. The longer Knuth quote is “We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time; premature optimization is the root of all evil”. It’s a witty remark he tossed off in the middle of a keen observation about leverage, which itself is embedded in a nuanced, evenhanded passage about, of all things, using gotos for fast and readable code. An algorithm must be seen to be believed. Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming. First, lets get back to Knuth – I mentioned before that Knuth is being quoted out of context. Programs are meant to be read by humans and only incidentally for computers to execute. If you want to know more or withdraw your consent to all or some of the cookies, please refer to the. Computing Surveys 6:4 (December 1974), pp. “Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms”, p.398, Addison-Wesley Professional, There is a mistake in the text of this quote. This famous quote by Sir Tony Hoare (popularized by Donald Knuth) has become a … Random numbers should not be generated with a method chosen at random. The quote is a paraphrase of a Donald Knuth quote, one which he has himself attributed to Hoare. Let mid [l,r] be the first middle point for (l,r) substring which gives optimal result. People who are more than casually interested in computers should have at least some idea of what the underlying hardware is like. Both are usually attributed to Donald Knuth, but … I'll never know everything. So I thought I might have some talent. God is a challenge because there is no proof of his existence and therefore the search must continue. Art is everything else we do. There are better ways to earn a living than to prevent other people from making use of one's contributions to computer science. December 1974. If you optimize everything, you will always be unhappy. An algorithm must be seen to be believed. $ $ Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Anyhow, I moved the quote to attributed. That's what really advances the field. A huge gap exists between what we know is possible with today's machines and what we have so far been able to finish. It is much more rewarding to do more with less. “Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer; art is everything else.” ― … Every day we present the best quotes! Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it. Programming is the art of telling another human being what one wants the computer to do. Yet we should not pass up our opportunities in … Frequently Asked Questions Infrequently Asked Questions Recent News Computer Musings Known Errors in My Books Help Wanted Diamond Signs Preprints of Recent Papers I currently use Ubuntu Linux, on a standalone laptop - it has no Internet connection. Donald Ervin Knuth (1986). A list is only as strong as its weakest link. Now I'm worried that too many people are listening. Improve yourself, find your inspiration, share with friends, This website or its third-party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy. Its source is credited to Donald Knuth. People think that computer science is the art of geniuses but the actual reality is the opposite, just many people doing things that build on each other, like a wall of mini stones. The term premature optimization was originally coined by Stanford University professor Donald E. Knuth. People think that computer science is the art of geniuses but the actual reality is the opposite, just many people doing things that build on eachother, like a wall of mini stones. doi:10.1145/356635.356640 If you find that you're spending almost all your time on theory, start turning some attention to practical things; it will improve your theories. If Knuth’s quote is true, and premature optimization is a bad choice 97% of the time, that still means that there are valuable optimizations to be done 3% of the time. Oleksandr Kaleniuk, “Premature optimization is the root of all evil” is the root of evil, September 2016. When you write a program, think of it primarily as a work of literature. “Everyday life is like programming, I guess. He argued that software developers “should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.” Although the above quote is frequently cited, it is often taken out of context. Computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty. It’s a witty remark he tossed off in the middle of a keen observation about leverage, which itself is embedded in a nuanced, evenhanded passage about, of … “The METAFONTbook”, Addison-Wesley Professional, Donald Ervin Knuth (1984). What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil. I am worried that algorithms are getting too prominent in the world. Tried Only Beware Above. Donald E. Knuth (2014). If you find that you're spending almost all your time on practice, start turning some attention to theoretical things; it will improve your practice. “Art of Computer Programming, Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms”, p.25, Addison-Wesley Professional, Donald E. Knuth (2014). The enjoyment of one's tools is an essential ingredient of successful work. Three extracts from the above page: Premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming. Donald Knuth. "Email (let's drop the hyphen)". Communications of the ACM, Volume 17, Issue 12, dl.acm.org. Well after some effort I have figured this out: in the innermost loop, replace the line The hardest thing is to go to sleep at night, when there are so many urgent things needing to be done. Always remember, however, that there’s usually a simpler and better way to do something than the first way that pops into your head. In fact what I would like to see is thousands of computer scientists let loose to do whatever they want. I have recently invented a very good name and now I am looking for a suitable language. Art is everything else we do. The book Dynamic Programming by Richard Bellman is an important, pioneering work in which a group of problems is collected together at the end of some chapters under the heading "Exercises and Research Problems," with extremely trivial questions appearing in the midst of deep, unsolved problems. My life would be a lot worse if there was nothing I knew the answers about - and if there was nothing I didn't know the answers about. Don't think of it primarily as something a computer is going to follow. It can be proven that mid [l,r-1] <= mid [l,r] <= mid [l+1,r] - … - Donald E. Knuth - Quoted in The C++ Programming Language, 11.3.7: Efficiency. A programmer is ideally an essayist who works with traditional aesthetic and literary forms as well as mathematical concepts, to communicate the way that an algorithm works and to convince a reader that the results will be correct. "Computer Programming as an Art". Randall Hyde, The Fallacy of Premature Optimization, ACM Ubiquity Magazine, February 2009 — Hyde and a few other authors mistakenly attribute the Knuth quote to Tony Hoare, but it is Knuth’s statement. The most important thing in the programming language is the name. Donald Ervin Knuth (/ k ə ˈ n uː θ / kə-NOOTH; born January 10, 1938) is an American computer scientist, mathematician, and professor emeritus at Stanford University.He is the 1974 recipient of the ACM Turing Award, informally considered the Nobel Prize of computer science. Variant in Knuth, "Structured Programming with Goto Statements". "The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence" by Tim Urban, www.huffingtonpost.com.

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