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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and relevant
This is an excellent book for those interested in writing fast, efficient code. Another reviewer criticised the author for not covering scripting and VM-based languages in more depth, but missed the point that they are unsuitable for writing performance-critical code. To be fair, "Write Fast Code" might have been a more representative title. Most of the software I use in...
Published on 4 July 2009 by A Reader

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7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very informative but over a decade too late
This book provides comprehensive, in-depth information about how the compiler for a 'C' like language generates assembly code and organizes the runtime structure of an executable. For a reader seeking this information I would recommend the text unreservedly.

However the book ignores the needs of contemporary software developers by continuously referencing C,...
Published on 10 Aug 2006 by G. Gilmour


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and relevant, 4 July 2009
This review is from: Write Great Code, Volume 2: Thinking Low-Level, Writing High-Level: Thinking Low-level, Writing High-level v. 2 (Paperback)
This is an excellent book for those interested in writing fast, efficient code. Another reviewer criticised the author for not covering scripting and VM-based languages in more depth, but missed the point that they are unsuitable for writing performance-critical code. To be fair, "Write Fast Code" might have been a more representative title. Most of the software I use in my work (audio engineering) is written in C or C++, with critical sections in assembly code. The techniques discussed in this book are very useful for this type of programming. It is well written and the author knows his subject in depth. Ideally I would have liked to see a discussion of the x86_64 architecture, but don't regard its omission as a serious problem. Few programming books warrant five stars in my opinion, but this one hits the mark.
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7 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very informative but over a decade too late, 10 Aug 2006
By 
G. Gilmour (Belfast N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Write Great Code, Volume 2: Thinking Low-Level, Writing High-Level: Thinking Low-level, Writing High-level v. 2 (Paperback)
This book provides comprehensive, in-depth information about how the compiler for a 'C' like language generates assembly code and organizes the runtime structure of an executable. For a reader seeking this information I would recommend the text unreservedly.

However the book ignores the needs of contemporary software developers by continuously referencing C, C++, Pascal and Delphi as if they were still the dominant programming languages used in industry.

Java is dismissed out of hand as inefficient and there is no mention whatsoever of C# or VB .NET, desipte the fact that these are the languages being used by the overwhelming majority of developers today.

The author provides no coverage of over a decade of research into virtual machine design, dynamic compilation and runtime optimisation. This would be fine if the book was being marketed at a specialist audience but this is not the case.

As a course text on a college computer science course this book would be excellent. But an application developer using J2EE or .NET will not become a better programmer by learning how to reverse engineer 80x86 assembly.
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