Jeff Cooper

The Branch Not Taken

17 Oct 2013

Control flow branched in my program there,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be single-threaded, long I stared
And looked down one (prefetched with care)
To where it led in the current scope;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
For it was paged out and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that cycle equally lay
Instructions yet to fill the cache,
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing typical control-flow paths,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
In some debugger minutes hence;
Control flow branched in code, and I --
I took the one not in the pipeline,
And that has made all the difference.

(Based on The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost and inspired by the class currently eating my life )

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