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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Project Helium: MIT, Adobe Aim To End 'Code Rot'

MIT, Adobe Aim to End ‘Code Rot’ by Letting Software Auto-Optimize

Graham Templeton | December 29, 2015

In a job market absolutely stuffed with computer programming positions, few in the general population care, or should, about the complaints of pampered coders. “Oh, is PHP disorganized and difficult to bug-check? Boo-hoo, you’ll just have to bill some more over-priced hours, I guess.” But that sort of schadenfreude is self-defeating, since coders create the tools we use to interact with our world. Even minor frustrations for them can trickle down to major frustrations for the end user. One of the biggest such shared frustrations is the phenomenon of “code rot,” in which quickly advancing standards in hardware and foundational software leads to more and more conflicts and inefficiencies in existing programs. Code rot is why programs seem to run worse and worse over time — because, in reality, they do.

...we show how to automatically lift performance-critical stencil kernels from a stripped x86 binary and generate the corresponding code in the high-level domain-specific language Halide. Using Halide's state-of-the-art optimizations targeting current hardware, we show that new optimized versions of these kernels can replace the originals to rejuvenate the application for newer hardware.

<more at; related links: (Helium. A tool for lifting stencil code from stripped x86 binaries to Halide DSL code) and (Project Helium: Modernizing Software in Minutes. December 28, 2015)>

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