Assembly ‘programmers’ suck

Some programmers claim writing assembly is the solution to every single programming issue, for it would be great for being down to the basics, or it creates small programs, or even be fast. For all I care they are just trying to brag for not a lot of people know how to program in assembly and it is generally seen as difficult to do.

Programming in assembly is almost everytime a bad idea.

So first, what exactly is assembly?
Assembly is a text language with which you can write opcodes and arguments of machine code processed by the processor by hand. This gives you a very high amount of control of what the processor does. Whereas higher languages generate the machine code for you as they deem it to fit you can choose which machine code would fit.

Assembly isn’t difficult to learn. Assembly is very straight forward. It just is hard to program for you don’t have functions, you don’t have high level structures, you don’t have all the aid of a high level languages.

The reason programmers claim that assembly is superior is for with assembly you can write faster and smaller code. This is only partially true.

When you know all opcodes and tricks you can pull on all different architectures you can beat a compiler.. The problem here is that there are tens of architectures with totally different opcodes and even more subarchitectures with each a slightly different implementation and different performance characteristics of each opcode or way to do something.

So to truely beat a compiler which compiles one piece of code to assembly, you have to create for each different architecture a seperate piece of assembly source.

You’d also have to learn all the opcodes of one cpu, that aren’t just a few hundred which would suffice to get it working, but thousands which are required to get it working as fast as possible.

Compilers know all these extra opcodes and tricks for each architecture and would therefore a higher level programmer would do a better job on creating an executable than an experienced assembly programmer in the same amount of time. If the assembly programmer would want to beat the higher level programmer he would require not just 2 times more time but at least 10 times.

Also assembly isn’t very portable. If you want to change one little thing you got to change it for all optimalizations for all different processors. I haven’t seen a big application written in assembly. And that has got a reason.

Most programmers that claim to be able to write quick assembly don’t have got an idea how everything works exactly and are just thrilled that they made a little program work in assembly.

Assembly though can be usefull. An example is an arbitrary length integer class like GMP which uses optimized assembly for certain operations. It aren’t a lot of operations done in assembly, but it certainly has got a lot of assembly. And it is worth it.

Sticking with a good compiler and a high low level language like C is always the best option for good applications.