Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Interesting and valid points. My point is that the SkipList algorithms are, using the assumed primitives, logarithmic. Your point is that in Python the assumptions about the primitives may not be valid and need to be tested.

It's especially interesting to me that the standard large body of work on algorithmic complexity is assumed by many to be getting less and less relevant as other issues come into play. Issues such as memory access time, where it now matters if something is in cache or not, and if so, which cache. Issues such as whether your machine will stop completely at some inconvenient moment to perform a GC when you least expect or desire it. Issues such as whether your language is in fact caching stuff in hash tables, and so what appears in your code to be linear, isn't.

And so on.

More and more it seems necessary to resort to experiment and tests to see what happens, rather than being able to determine things for sure and definite via analysis.

Exciting times, but slightly disappointing.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact