The Microsoft Visual C++ Development System is often the language of choice for producing small, fast programs. Visual C++ 6.0 is the leading
C++ compiler for 32-bit Microsoft Windows® and has a number of features that aid in producing fast programs. In this article, we explore those
features—optimization settings, profiling, and delayed loading—and discuss how to use them effectively.
This article assumes that the reader is familiar with C++.
In an ideal world, software would design itself to your specifications, automatically reduce itself to the smallest possible memory footprint,
compile instantly, and always run at the fastest possible speed. In the real world, developers still have to write programs in some sort of
programming language. To get the absolutely smallest, fastest code, a programmer can work in assembly language, but that can be prohibitively
labor-intensive for all but the most time-critical code.
Most programmers do most of their coding in a high-level language, which is then compiled to an assembly language and linked into an
executable program image. During the development process, programmers are quite sensitive to build speed and ease of debugging; when it comes
time to release the code for production, run-time speed and size become of paramount importance. Throughout this paper, we'll be concentrating
on production code run-time size and speed concerns.