Tuning Class Libraries and Beans

Most code can be categorized into one of two general types:

  • Application -specific code, normally used for one particular application. If this code is reused, it usually provides only a skeleton that needs reimplementing. Occasionally, application-specific code is generic enough to reuse in another application, but even then it usually needs some rewriting to make it more generic.

  • Classes written specifically with reusability in mind. This type of code is usually referred to as class libraries, frameworks, components, and beans. I refer to all of these together as reusable code.

The first type of code, application-specific code, is considerably easier to tune. You can run the application as it is intended to be used, determine any bottlenecks, and successively tune away those bottlenecks. Typically, 80% of the application time is spent in less than 20% of the code, and only 5% of the application code actually needs to be changed during the tuning process.

The second type of code, reusable code, is much more difficult to tune. This code may be used in many situations that could never be foreseen by the developers. Without knowing how the code will be used, it is very difficult to create tests that appropriately determine the performance of reusable code. There is no truly valid technique that can be applied. Even exhaustively testing every method is of little use (not to mention generally impractical), since you almost certainly cannot identify ...

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