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Programming Perl, 3rd Edition by Jon Orwant, Tom Christiansen, Larry Wall

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The Perl Profiler

Do you want to make your program faster? Well, of course you do. But first you should stop and ask yourself, "Do I really need to spend time making this program faster?" Recreational optimization can be fun,[2] but normally there are better uses for your time. Sometimes you just need to plan ahead and start the program when you're going on a coffee break. (Or use it as an excuse for one.) But if your program absolutely must run faster, you should begin by profiling it. A profiler can tell you which parts of your program take the most time to execute, so you won't waste time optimizing a subroutine that has an insignificant effect on the overall execution time.

Perl comes with a profiler, the Devel::DProf module. You can use it to profile the Perl program in mycode.pl by typing:

perl -d:DProf mycode.pl

Even though we've called it a profiler--since that's what it does--the mechanism DProf employs is the very same one we discussed earlier in this chapter. DProf is just a debugger that records the time Perl entered and left each subroutine.

When your profiled script terminates, DProf will dump the timing information to a file called tmon.out. The dprofpp program that came with Perl knows how to analyze tmon.out and produce a report. You may also use dprofpp as a frontend for the whole process with the -p switch (see described later).

Given this program:

outer(); sub outer { for (my $i=0; $i < 100; $i++) { inner() } } sub inner { my $total = 0; for (my $i=0; $i ...

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