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Sunday, August 6, 2006

Joel Spolsky on MapReduce

Joel Spolsky argues that “By abstracting away the very concept of looping, you can implement looping any way you want, including implementing it in a way that scales nicely with extra hardware”... similar to Google’s MapReduce approach. He writes:

When you need to do something to every element in an array in turn, the truth is, it probably doesn’t matter what order you do them in. You can run through the array forward or backwards and get the same result, right? In fact, if you have two CPUs handy, maybe you could write some code to have each CPU do half of the elements, and suddenly map is twice as fast.

Also see PHP’s array mapping functions. Unfortunately, as ever so often with PHP, parameter orders vary to add confusion.


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