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Steve Maughan

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Everything posted by Steve Maughan

  1. Hi David, I'm certainly not an expert in this field. Over the years I've seen various speed benchmarks that suggest Delphi's Windows compiler produces executables that are significantly slower than those produced by the top C++ compilers (e.g. Intel). In the chess world (where I am an expert) the rule of thumb is a Delphi version of a chess engine will run about 30% slower than the C++ equivalent code bases (Critter is the engine that was developed in two parallel code bases). Let's face it, there doesn't seem to have been any work done on optimizing the code created by the Delphi compiler in the last 20 years. I'm just hoping the new backend will be better. Thanks, Steve
  2. Steve Maughan

    Delphi 10.3 Update 2 available

    Apparently the new macOS Delphi compiler is based on the LLVM compiler. I wonder if future Delphi compilers for Win32 / Win64 will also be build on top of LLVM? Would this improve the speed of the final executables? Steve
  3. Are you sure? As I said above, in AlignMix I render a TBitmap.Canvas for each layer of a map using one worker thread per layer. It's rock solid, no crashes or resource issues when rendering. Steve
  4. I'm considering ways of speeding up an algorithm. One option is to add parallel "for loops". I can certainly add a single parallel "for loop" and get a speedup. The algorithms effectively has nested "for loops" and I could also make the inner "for loops" parallel. Is this a advisable or are nested parallel "for loops" a big no-no? Or does it depend on the number of levels of nesting e.g. one inner parallel loop may be ok, but more would be bad? Thanks, Steve
  5. Hi Stefan & Peter, Thanks! I'm assuming most users will have a two or four core system. But power users may have 64 cores; it was really them I was thinking about. Truth is, I need to stop optimizing at this stage and focus on the actual algorithm. Thanks again, Steve
  6. In my app (AlignMix - a mapping package) we draw the map in layers (e.g. one layer may be road, another towns). Each layer is rendered by its own thread. We then "smush" all the layers together to get the final image. It works well, so clearly it is possible to draw on a TCanvas in a thread as long as no other thread is drawing on the same canvas. Steve
  7. Steve Maughan

    CDATA CSV Component

    FlexCel also read / writes CSV files
  8. I have a small list of 200 items. Each item has a value. Over time, and with every iteration of my algorithm, each item's value is changed, but only slightly (e.g. ±2%). At any given time I'd like to quickly know the item with the smallest value (I don't care about any other value). What's the best data structure to accomplish this is a speedy manner? I initially thought of a priority queue, but I'm changing the value of each item in the list. Thanks, Steve
  9. HI Stefan, You may well be right. I need to test. Thanks, Steve
  10. Thanks everyone. It looks like a modified priority queue is the best solution. This keeps track of the minimum value and self balances when an internal node's value changes. Cheers, Steve
  11. Hi Dany, Because the min before may change and not be the min before. I don't want to have to it's through to find a new minimum value. Thanks, Steve
  12. Hi Stefan, Each item's value changes slightly on each iteration. Note also, finding the min item may take more than one comparison per change (if the min item's value changes such that it's not now the min item). Thanks, Steve
  13. Thanks Tim, The algorithm updates the items' values 100k to 1 million times a second, so speed is important. Nevertheless, you might be right; I should probably keep it simple. Steve
  14. Hi Everyone, This could well be a complete "noob" question as I'm not that experienced with the parallel library. My objective is to utilize a parallel "for loop" in my optimization algorithm. Here's the code: TParallel.&For(0, fCriteria.Population - 1, procedure(i: integer) var xNode: TOptNode; begin //-- Get the latest node TThread.Synchronize(nil, procedure begin xNode := PopNode; end); //-- Get the new centers xNode.GenerateNewCenters; //-- Evaluate new centers xNode.Evaluate; //-- Push the node back onto the stack TThread.Synchronize(nil, procedure begin PushNode(xNode); end); end); Each iteration of the loop tests a new scenario (xNode.GenerateNewCenters) and stores the best one found (xNode.Evaluate). The TOptNode holds all the data that needs to be optimized. It's a large object and takes significant time to be created. So I've created a TStack of TOptNode object, and only create them when needed. I need to be able to "pop" the xNode objects off the stack and "push" them back on in a thread safe way. I would have thought the code above would work, instead it just freezes when it comes to the "for" loop. What's the best way to "push" and "pop" in a thread safe manner inside of a parallel "for loop"? Thanks, Steve
  15. I think I've solved it by using a TThreadList object as pseudo stack (FooList in the code below). This was something new for me. Previously I mistakenly thought "TThreadList" was a list of threads, whereas it's really a generic thread-safe list. The thread-safe pop and push procedures are as follows: function TForm1.PopFoo: TFoo; var xList: TList<TFoo>; begin xList := FooList.LockList; try if xList.Count > 0 then begin result := xList.Last; xList.Delete(xList.Count - 1); end else result := TFoo.Create; finally FooList.UnlockList; end; end; procedure TForm1.PushFoo(xFoo: TFoo); begin FooList.Add(xFoo); end; In case anyone is interested I've attached the full source of the example project. Thanks for the help, Steve Synchronize2.zip
  16. Hi David, Thanks for the input but I've just provided a complete example. See attached above. You have all the code. Based on your comment are you suggesting I mark the push and pop as Critical Sections? I haven't locked code before so please excuse my ignorance. Thank again, Steve
  17. See attached for a simplified example . The procedure "ProcessSingleThreaded" works as expected, but the procedure "ProcessMultiThreaded" freezes the system: procedure TForm1.ProcessMultiThreaded; var xBest: integer; i: integer; begin Screen.Cursor := crHourGlass; TParallel.&For(0, LoopSize - 1, procedure(j: integer) var xFoo: TFoo; begin //-- Get the Foo Object TThread.Synchronize(nil, procedure() begin xFoo := PopFoo; end); //-- Evaluate xFoo.Evaluate; //-- Push Back to the Stack TThread.Synchronize(nil, procedure() begin PushFoo(xFoo); end); end); xBest := 0; for i := 0 to FooList.Count - 1 do xBest := Max(xBest, FooList[i].BestValue); Form1.Caption := IntToStr(xBest); Screen.Cursor := crDefault; end; Why is the TThread.Synchronize freezing the application? All help appreciated, Thanks, Steve Synchronize.zip
  18. Hi David, PopNode and PushNode don't do anything special. I've listed the code below: function TOptimizer.PopNode: TOptNode; begin if fNodeStack.Count > 0 then result := fNodeStack.Pop else begin result := TOptNode.Clone(fMasterNode); fNodeList.Add(result); end; end; procedure TOptimizer.PushNode(xNode: TOptNode); begin fNodeStack.Push(xNode); end; All they do is either pop the Node if one already exists on the stack, or create a new node if the stack is empty. Clearly I don't want multiple threads popping and pushing at the same time. That's why the main thread should do all of the popping and pushing. Thanks, Steve
  19. Steve Maughan


    I had the same problem. Here's the fix: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/28363917/delphi-2010-is-file-in-use/54138875?noredirect=1#comment99036951_54138875
  20. Has anyone had any success using Direct2D with multiple threads (i.e. multiple threads attempting to draw to the canvas at the same time)? It seems possible according to this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/direct2d/multi-threaded-direct2d-apps But I can't find anything Delphi specific information. Any links or sample code appreciated. Thanks - Steve
  21. Steve Maughan

    How to Export a PowerPoint PPTX File?

    Thanks - it's news to me!
  22. I'm looking to implement high-definition printing and exporting for our mapping application. I'm planning to do this by creating a PDF. The solution will need to be able to create PDFs with custom polygons at a desired resolution. I've done a brief search and Gnostice's eDocEngine seems to fit the bill. Before I dive in I thought I'd ask if anyone had any other suggestions or any feedback about Gnostice's solution, Thanks, Steve
  23. Steve Maughan

    Advice Needed: PDF Graphics Rendering Suite??

    It's one of Joe Hecht's sites. He has a few and they all look the same. I gave him some similar honest feedback over on Google+ a few years' ago. He agreed, but nothing seems to have changed. It's a pity since I'm sure the components are decent. It would take no more than two days to replace these sites with a good WordPress theme.
  24. Steve Maughan

    Advice Needed: PDF Graphics Rendering Suite??

    Interesting!! I'll take a closer look. Thanks, Steve