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lomateron

making a program, all code in one file

10 posts in this topic

Lets say I have made a c++ windows application and I have all the code in just one .cpp file

with no use of classes, that means lots of global variables and functions

 

What are the good things and bad things about this, in performance?

Edited by lomateron
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Good things:

- Marginally faster compile and link times compared to normal approaches (much faster compared to non-PCH approaches).

Bad things:

- Visual Studio Intellisense and syntax highlighting will start becoming painfully slow (potentially true for other IDEs depending on how they implement their equivalents).
- The performance of humans maintaining the code will suffer.
- Diff tools and some source control systems will start becoming much slower eventually when dealing with the file as well (though this typically has to be over a hundred thousand lines before you'll care).

Neutral things:

- Runtime performance will not change at all.

(edit) damn, ninja'd Edited by Nypyren
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what about only one file and no use of classes, that means lots of global variables and functions

Edited by lomateron
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You will see almost no difference in compile or runtime performance, but maintainability will become much, much worse the more global variables you have. Edited by Nypyren
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what about only one file and no use of classes, that means lots of global variables and functions

 

Not neccasarilly .  Using a lot of the features of C++11 you could approach your program in a more functional style and try to avoid the use of mutable state .

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Using a lot of the features of C++11 you could approach your program in a more functional style and try to avoid the use of mutable state .


While this is true, given the nature of the questions above I believe functional style might be too complex of a topic to add to the conversation... smile.png
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what about only one file and no use of classes, that means lots of global variables and functions


This is an interesting question. I've never thought of it before. As was mentioned you may be able to speed up your compile time, but the code will be harder to maintain.

Also, keeping everything in one file, using classes, and using globals aren't related. You can put everything in one file, not use classes and still not use globals. When it comes to classes, you can right fast code that uses classes and slow code that uses classes. This is in the graphics forum so I'm assuming you want to speed up some graphics code. By the question you seem to just be starting out. If you're looking for ways to speed up your code, i'd look for better ways like analyzing code that gets called multiple times in a frame. Writing clean maintainable code will be more beneficial than trying to make the code faster by putting it in one file or using globals.

BTW, when I want to quickly prototype something I kind a put everything in one file, but even in these cases, I have a prototyping framework that I link with it that's not in the same file and linked in. I put things in one file in these situations because I just want to test out something quickly and one file makes sense. Other than in testing situations or when writing small console programs, the benefits of keeping it in one file don't out weigh the cost.
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Which are the advantages of a giant single room apartment over a more traditional one? Sure, you gain some space (no walls), but you loose privacy, rational furnishing, comfort ... biggrin.png

 

Honestly, I don't see any real reason to write a (non trivial) application in a single file (I'm scared by the maintainance nightmare I would eventually address)

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Right. Regardless of any supposed benefits that keeping your code in a single file might have--or staying away from classes (in C++)--all will be swamped by the substantial decrease in productivity. What is it, specifically, that you are trying to achieve by making things "simple" in these ways? We might be better able to help if you ask directly how to achieve your goal, rather than asking for us to comment on your own suppositions on how you might get there.

 

If you use all of the tools that C++ offers you judiciously, then the end-result is almost certainly safer, more-robust, and faster than alternatives you would implement yourself, or work-around without. If you are concerned about clarity of codebase, organizing concepts into distinct files tends to be a benefit; if you are concerned about run-time performance, effective use of custom objects and of the standard library yields fast code--there are times you may need to step away to gain that last 10-20% of performance, but you shouldn't step away from the beginning if practical matters concern you. In short, I can't think that this would be a particularly fruitful endeavor.

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