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Q&A #29 (2023-10-02)

Answers to questions from the last Q&A thread.

In each Q&A video, I answer questions from the comments on the previous Q&A video, which can be from any part of the course. Transcripts are not available for Q&A videos due to length. I do produce closed captions for them, but Substack still has not enabled closed captions on videos :(

Questions addressed in this video:

  • [00:03] “I have a question regarding what you said at 14:44 about data locality in light of the problem of TLB cache misses:

    Is this usually a problem in practice? Meaning is it something that most people need to worry about?”

  • [05:33] “I have been reading about Undefined Behavior recently and it seems that some pointer manipulation (even pointer comparisons if they dont point to elements of the same array or struct) causes UB. Should be be concerned about it in case the compiler optimizes them away and we get an unexpected result?”

  • [14:35] “Regarding your answer to the Unity question, towards the end you mention Swift as a bad choice for a programming language as it being unproven. Do you mean this in the context of game programming or as a language in general? And if you regard Swift as an inferior language I'm curious to why?”

  • [19:44] “I always wondered why more applications don't use 32 bit pointers on 64 bit systems (-mx32 under gcc), outside the obvious problems like needing more memory and needing to be a self contained executable. It seems to me it like it has great advantages, like reducing the size of data so it fits better in cache, while retaining all the good things that come with amd64 like more registers.”

  • [29:17] “I've tried to make the homework on macOS and linux but I can't see any staircase patterns. No prefetching, or extra page faults (PF) happening. My PF count is the same as touched pages + some fixed constant.”

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