itoa'd you so?

Steve smorrey at
Fri Sep 21 15:03:54 MDT 2007

/me drools
I have GOT to see this code Dave!

On 9/21/07, Dave Smith <dave at> wrote:
> Steve wrote:
> > Since the sprintf function is slowing down on the log10 due to
> > floating point arithmetic, I wonder if a further optimization could be
> > made by rewriting the log10 function in assembler to take advantage of
> > the floating point registers?
> >
> I found that writing an integer-based log10 function sped up my itoa
> function considerably. I don't think you could do anything faster in
> ASM, especially since floating point math is not strictly required anyway.
> Anyway, I revised my implementation today to not *need* a log10 function
> by writing the ascii value into the *end* of the buffer, right-to-left,
> least-significant to most-significant, and then it returns a pointer to
> the beginning of the ascii string it creates. That way, I didn't need to
> calculate the length of the string up front (or ever), and it cut my
> runtime in half.
> I did, however, find another special case (in addition to zero), and
> that is INT_MIN. If you can figure out why INT_MIN is a special case,
> you get bonus Plug Karma points. The answer lies in the result of the
> following C expression:
>     abs( INT_MIN ); // What does this return? :)
>     (Note: you'll need to include <limits.h> and <stdlib.h>)
> I found this special case by running 2^32 test cases for every 32 bit
> integer, and 48 minutes later, it reported that it passes (ie, returns
> the same as sprintf()) for all 2^32 values. Also, my code performed
> about 3.3 million itoa()'s per second. Not too shabby. :)
> I wonder how Java would do, and Qt's QString::number() for that matter.
> --Dave
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