Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Software blues.

Just done a little light reading for relaxation - a guide to optimising x86 assembler code... it is both amazing and appalling how much hardware there is inside these poor processors to try to deal with the awful code they're given to run by compilers.

It's insane. Rather than have programmers write competent code - which, I keep having to remind myself, is actually quite easy - we've ended up in a world where nearly all programmers write complete garbage that includes masses of other complete garbage that other equally-incompetent garbage-mongers have gathered together, and all this offensively incompetent shite gets compiled to a vast swamp of instructions that are then examined by the hardware, broken up into smaller micro instructions and re-ordered into some kind of sense before actually getting executed... but no matter how impressive that hardware is - there are typically tens of billions of examples of this happening in each and every computer in every second - it doesn't make the whole ridiculous process any less inefficient... and all this hardware and furious activity burns electricity and generates waste heat.

Feel your computer - is it warm? hot? Unless you're doing something that actually needs lots of computation (3D games count) that heat is almost entirely generated by programmers being stupid.

Why is this all so inefficient? Mainly because the languages and tools programmers prefer to use are chosen *not* by any logical, rational process but by the whims of fucking fashion by programmers with no idea of what is actually going on under the hood and no interest in finding out.

And they'll tell you this doesn't matter - hell! they tell *me* it doesn't matter and I know exactly how full of shit they are - but it matters to the extent that at the present moment the IT industry accounts for about 2% of all the energy used in the world. That's about the same as the entire aviation industry.

Think about that for a second... it should be such a small fraction that it can't be bloody measured easily. Instead it's a major source of wasted energy and pollution... and this energy isn't used because it needs to be used; not at all. This energy is almost entirely wasted, and it's wasted because programmers are so fucking useless. And they're not getting more efficient either, quite the reverse. All the time they find new ways to add layers of inefficiency to everything.

Programming constantly moves away from energy efficiency towards less efficient languages and tools. Programmers actively choose not to use efficient languages and expect everyone to buy faster and faster computers to keep up with the growth of their inefficiency. But this is hardly new, it was old news thirty years ago... for most of my life I've watched them at it with a kind of shocked disbelief... knowing how to write efficient software easily leaves you wondering what the hell it is about getting things wrong that other programmers find so appealing. It's harder to do it badly.

Reading this status has probably used about a million times as much energy as it should have done, and would have done if all the programmers involved in writing the code involved were skilled... the sad fact is most programmers aren't just bad but completely fucking clueless. So monumentally incompetent that there is no way anyone outside the IT industry will ever understand how fucking thick and clueless they are - most of you just don't have any experience of anything being done as badly as programmers do things. They make cowboy builders look like paragons of efficient competence. Saying they build structures like Heath-Robinson contraptions is ridiculously understating the absurdity of their habits.

Ah, fuck it. This is pointless... It's our energy and money they're wasting, and it's our planet they're raping, but nothing I say is going to stop that or make even a single one of the lazy bastards change their ways or admit to their crimes. And make no mistake - they are crimes. I just hope that one day they're recognised as such and the software industry becomes accountable for the energy they waste.

Now, programmers will be reading this and bursting with asinine remarks in defence of bloat and crud - understand clearly that I don't give a shit what miserable justifications you present; I've heard them all, and shown them all as the tripe they are countless times... what I'm left with is the sense of utter shame that people outside the IT industry confuse what I do with what you do.