Posts Tagged operator

Calling Functions

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There are actually three ways to call a function in AS3. Can you name all three? Do you know which is fastest? Does the type of function being called matter? Today I’ll tackle these questions and find some surprising facts about the three ways to call a function in AS3.

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Accessing Objects

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There are three main ways to access the contents of objects in AS3: the dot (.) operator, the index ([]) operator, and the in operator. The first two are well known and functionally-equivalent because obj.property evaluates to the same value as obj["property"]. The in operator is different as I’ve described before: it returns a Boolean indicating whether or not the object has the given property. There are a lot of cases—error checking, for example—where we only care if an object has a property and not what that property is. So, can we improve performance by using the is operator rather than the index or dot operators? (UPDATE: hasOwnProperty results added)

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Operator Speed

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Today’s article is about the basic operators that make up most languages, and in particular AS3. Without them there wouldn’t be much of a language. So it would seem vitally important that we know how they perform relative to each other. Is shifting faster than adding? Adding faster than multiplying? Multiplying faster than dividing? Does the type of the operands matter? Read on for the results in high detail. Update: see my comment below for an important change to the results.

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Logical Operator Performance

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An absolute fundamental of programming is the concept of logical operators like && and ||. In a recent comment, Chris H pointed out that MXMLC doesn’t do a particularly good job generating bytecode for these operators. Today I’ll look further into the subject and see just how much this impacts performance.

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Object Creation

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A comment posted before the Flash Player 10.1 series of articles asked about the performance differences between creating an object with o = new Object() and with o = {}. Below I’ll look into the generated bytecode for these two approaches and test their relative performance to see if either approach is faster than the other.

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Declaring Vectors

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The differences between Vector and Array have been quite interesting since Vector was introduced in Flash Player 10. Until just recently I didn’t know that there was special syntax for declaring a Vector akin to Array's special a = [1,2,3,4,5] trick. This got me thinking about the various ways one can declare a Vector and, of course, how they’re implemented in bytecode and what the speed differences, if any, are. Read on for some nitty gritty about how you declare Vectors in AS3.

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Increment and Decrement

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This is a quick article to discuss a point brought up in a recent comment. Which is the fastest way to increment: j++, ++j, or j+=1? Likewise, which is the fastest way to decrement? Below I will dispel the myth that there is any difference between them at all.

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Flexible If Syntax

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This article is sort of a follow-up to my article on Flexible Loop Syntax. This was reported to my by a coworker who spotted the anomaly. I guess he had done with if the same sort of thing that I had done with for. Read on for a little insight into how the comma operator interacts with the if statement.

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Case Statements

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The lowly switch statement and its attendant case statements is a basic element of most C-style languages. Still, I was surprised by it recently when it seemingly ate one of my functions. Read on to see how.

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Dynamic Access: Part 1 (Indexing Arrays and Vectors)

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Many classes in AS3 are dynamic, meaning that you can add and remove their fields at runtime. This is powerful, but extraordinarily slow. This series will cover some common ways you might be inadvertently using dynamic access or using it too much. This will help you make your code faster. In the first installation of the series, I’m going to talk about the simple act of indexing an array or vector.

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