Sunday, March 13, 2011

Does a Smaller EXE size equates to Better Execution Speed ?

Recently, I had discovered that an EXE created by Minigui+Harbour 2.1 was 800K smaller than an EXE created with HMG+Harbour 2.0. A series of discussion with Viktor and Grigory Filatov confirmed that the smaller EXE was due to the usage of Borland C Compiler by Minigui as compared with MingW32. But it does not end here :-)

Viktor as well as Gustavo of the Minigui forum convinced me that a smaller EXE does not mean faster execution.

1) Gustavo Asborno
Hi Chee Chong Hwa, The size difference between HMG and Miniguide be only the compiler, HMG uses Mingw, which creates larger exes, but is superior in speed, while loading windows.

2) Gustavo Asborno
Hi CCH, I mean in the execution, for example if we have a window with many controls in an ABM my case, there are 98 in a Textbox Tab, at the beginningof the ABM and the controls are going dabdole Enabled: =. F. Borland is avisual effect of this work with Mingw this is not reflected, the load is instantaneous.

3) Viktor
Yes, bcc produces smaller but much slower exes. bcc is by far the slowest of all Windows C compilers.

4)CCH: BTW, don't you think that is a paradox that a smaller EXE executes slower  than a bigger EXE ;-)

Viktor :
It may be surprising at first, but this is a classic optimization problem. In most C compilers you
must chose between size and speed (and there is usually some balanced optimum in between).

 FOR tmp := 1 TO 5
    ? tmp
is smaller, but slower than this:
 ? 1
 ? 2
 ? 3
 ? 4
 ? 5

This is called loop unrolling optimization, and just one of the many possibilities.

5. CCH :So it is not only a launch time issue but execution throughout the app ?

Viktor : 
It's execution speed.

[ Raw launch time is mainly influenced by other things, like storage
medium, number of .dll dependencies, exe compression. Plus of
course any application level init code, which is affected by execution
speed. ]

So, it would appear that it may be worthwhile to try recompiling the mingui.lib using MIngW32 :-)

So the next article would be to let Walter Formigoni to teach us how to do so

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Welcome to Clipper... Clipper... Clipper

In 1997, then using Delphi 3, I had already created 32-bits Windows applications for HRIS, ERP and CRM. In 2007, using Ruby on Rails, an AJAX powered CRM site running on Apache & MySQL was created and I am now using Visual Studio .Net 2008 to create web-based projects and Delphi 7 for Win32 applications using SQL2005 & DBFCDX.

So, why then am I reviving the Original Clipper... Clipper... Clipper via a Blog as CA-Clipper is a programming language for the DOS world ? Believe it or not, there are still some clients using my mission-critical CA-Clipper applications for DOS installed in the late 80's and up to the mid 90's. This is testimony to CA-Clipper's robustness as a language :-)

With the widespread introduction of Windows 7 64-bits as the standard O/S for new Windows based PCs & Notebooks, CA-Clipper EXE simply will not work and it has become imperative for Clipper programmers to migrate immediately to Harbour to build 32/64 bits EXEs

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This site started out as a teeny-weeny section of Who the heck is Chee Chong Hwa ? and has graduated into a full blown web site of more than 140 pages (actually hundreds of A4 size pages) ! This is due to its growing popularity and tremendous encouragements from visiting Clipperheads from 100 countries worldwide, from North America, Central America, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Thanx Clipperheads, you all made this happen !

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You may ask, what is this Clipper stuff ? Could Clipper be something to do with sailing as it is the name of a very fast sailing American ship in the 19th century ?

Well, Clipper or to be precise, CA-Clipper is the premier PC-Software development tool for DOS. It was first developed by Nantucket Corporation initially as a compiler for dBase3+ programs. Since then, CA-Clipper has evolved away from its x-base roots with the introduction of lexical scoping & pre-defined objects like TBrowse. As at today, the most stable version ofClipper is 5.2e while the latest version, 5.3a was introduced on 21 May 1996.

As at 11th November, 1996, an unofficial 5.3a fixes file was made available by Jo French. See the About CA-Clipper 5.3a section for more details. BTW, Jo French uploaded the revised 5.3a fixes file on 20th November, 1996.

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The latest news is that CA has finally released the long-awaited 5.3b patch on 21 May, 1997.

For 5.3b users, you must a take a look at Jo French's comments on unfixed bugs in 5.3b.

BTW, have you used Click ? If you're a serious Clipperprogrammer and need an excellent code formatter, Click is a natural choice. How to get it ? Simple, access Phil Barnett's site via my Cool Clipper Sites.

32-bits Clipper for Windows ?

Have you tried Xbase ++ ? Well, I have and compared to Delphi (my current Windows programming tool of choice), I'm still sticking to Delphi.

Anyway, you should visit the Alaska Home Page. Give it a chance and then draw your own conclusions !.

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