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Performance Tuning for Linux Servers

© July 2005 Tony Lawrence

I'm trying hard to like this more than I do. It's not that there isn't good stuff in here; there is. But I just can't get excited about it. Maybe it's the fact that there are so many different contributors. The editors have done a more than reasonable job of tying it all together to try to make it more monolithic, but..

It just doesn't work for me. The shifting styles and the lack of one directed voice bothers me and prevents me from seeing this as a whole. I see that other reviewers at Amazon disagree with me, but I can't get by it.

I also can't quite see this as a Performance Tuning book. Yes, there is some definite tuning material here, but most of it feels like something different, more like a kernel internals book. That's OK, I like internals too, but I just feel like the focus is slightly off here, that it doesn't quite stay on target. Perhaps again that comes from disparate authors. I wouldn't call it muddled, but it's certainly a bit muddied.

So, do you want this? As I said, there's a lot of good stuff here and, taken individually, each chapter is very good in and of itself. The parts are high quality, but taken as a whole, it just doesn't entrance me. The Amazon reviewers seem much more positive about this than I am, so you too may like it much more than I do. It's a big book, it covers a lot of ground, and the authors and editors know their stuff. I find no technical fault here, and while I could carp at individual writing styles, there's no point in that. It's just not my cup of tea, and we'll leave it at that.

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The real problem is that programmers have spent far too much time worrying about efficiency in the wrong places and at the wrong times; premature optimization is the root of all evil (or at least most of it) in programming. (Donald Knuth)

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