Offloading fast operations in Ruby by data structure

Noteflakes: A Compositional Approach to Optimizing the Performance of Ruby Apps — the idea is to offload “inner-loop”-type operations from Ruby to C-extensions. The clever twist is this happens via data-structure-as-language. Ruby being Ruby, you can wrap a DSL around the data structure generation to reduce the context switch from Ruby to offloaded operations.

There’s precedent to the approach: if you squint, it’s not unlike offloading the math for computer graphics or machine learning to a GPU. That said, the speed-up is unlikely to be as dramatic.

I hope to hear more of this approach in the future!

Adjacent: “it’s wild how much of the 2021 programming ecosystem is declarative data structures evaluated by recursive functions.”

By Adam Keys

Telling a joke. Typing.