Linux-Kongress 2009 Tuning Gathering
The Linux-Kongress is traditionally where kernel developers exchange honors and advice about new features and enhancements. This year a number of speakers presented performance improvement data and discussed what aspects of Linux can be drawn out even more.
The annual gathering organized by the German Unix Users Group (GUUG) took place this year in Dresden, the German city on the river Elbe, October 27-30. Around 100 participates took part in the steadily more familiar event. After two days of tutorials another two days of technical sessions included 25 talks on two parallel tracks. Linux Foundation's Ted Ts'o, in his keynote, preached a bit to the choir in listing the good reasons behind the Linux free development model. Felix "Fefe" von Leitner, on the other hand, provided some fascinating research results after examining a number of compilers for what they can produce in machine code from typical code fragments. He was surprized to find that the oft derided GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) in many cases does some clever optimization.
Specialized compilers such as Intel's Compiler Suite (ICC) may effectively bring in such architecturally typical properties as vectorization, but can't do the same tricks in the details.