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Re: st: 100% Faster Graphics


From   vwiggins@stata.com (Vince Wiggins, StataCorp)
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: 100% Faster Graphics
Date   Fri, 11 Apr 2003 09:00:34 -0500

Ernest Berkhout <ernestb@seo.fee.uva.nl> chides us a bit over how we described
the graphics speedup in -help whatsnew-,

> Funny how Stata describes the update: "graphs are 100% faster".  Do
> they come out infinitely fast now? :-)

Fair enough.  We puzzled over whether to say 50% faster, as in the sale price
is 50% of the regular price, or 100% faster, as in a car that can cover twice
the distance in the same time is 100% faster.  We went with the latter, though
there is at least one person down the hall from me who think 50% was better.

To be fair (but where's the fun in that), in -help whatsnew-, we immediately
defined what we meant by 100% faster,

        Graphics are now approximately 100% faster -- they run in about half
        the time.

We considered "twice as fast", and that seemed less equivocal to some, though
to my mind it raises the same issues.

In the end, most of us preferred the very computerish definition of speed --
instructions per second (or graphs per fortnight if you prefer).  That means
you need to consider the reciprocal of run-times.  This measure has the nice
meaning that at a 100% speedup you can draw twice as many (100% more) graphs
in the same amount of time.

 
-- Vince 
   vwiggins@stata.com

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