Tag | Programming Posts

Too Many cooks in the kitchen. When is too many developers one project a bad idea? So I had the chance to meet with some friends the other day. Of course they work as developers like me. They work for one of those companies with allot of money to throw at a web site (a == 1). I found it interesting having 20 developers writing code for a web site. They called it Agile programming or Extreme Programming (Developer Humping). The reason I called it this was as they (my friends) described agile as two ...
See www.visug.be ALT.NET Overview on Thursday, September 11, 2008 18:30 Compuware Zaventemby Yves Goeleven For the past year the alt.net movement has been stirring up the Microsoft community around the globe. Now it's getting hold of the Belgian community as well.In this session I would like to present to you what the core values of the alt.net movement are, what principles, concepts and tools we hope to promote and to booth I would like to introduce the brand new 'Dutch alt.net user group'. ASP.NET ...
I met Lisa through my interaction with Microsoft as a VB MVP. We got a chance to hang out some at Tech Ed 2008 and via the VB mailing list. She's got a great sense of humor and is also one of the smartest people I've met. She's also incredibly busy, so I've been chasing her via email to bring you these NINE Questions with Lisa Feigenbaum: 1. Where are you from? Los Angeles, in the Encino area. (Yes, like the movie Encino Man.) It’s part of the San Fernando Valley. I’ve toned down the accent a bit ...
ToString() and the underestimated IFormattable Everyone knows you always should override the ToString() function on you custom objects. But most programmers (including me until yesterday) leave it there. I ran into a problem these days where I wanted a specific xml representation and a tap separated representation of the same custom object. The "experienced" programmer would just write their own format function. But it felt more old fashion and not quite OO like. And then I read the Tip 5 in the ...
After reading the comments on my previous post mentioning I liked C# regions and got the general concensus is that these are very bad and evil inventions. I typed "C# Regions" into google and sure enough the first result was titled "C# Regions Considered Harmful" So my next question was why can this little handy things be considered harmful. I have come to a conclusion and answer is over use. A lingering voice tells me this might open a horrible debate about whether they should or should not be used. ...
A Crash Course in HLSL (September 11th, 2008) Microsoft’s High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) is a shading language developed to give graphics programmers complete control over the graphics in their applications. This talk starts at the very basics explaining what a shader is, how it works, how to write one, and why they’re so important in the future of next-gen graphics. Speaker Matt Christian is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Stout studying Applied Mathematics and Computer Science with ...
Sometime in the past, a friend asked me how to update a control to show status while his code is doing a loop of stuff. Essentially changing the text of a label (or sophisticatedly we can say a text-based progress bar). In my past coding with MFC and WinForms, it's fairly easy enough, you just invalidate and do an update (Invalidate / UpdateWindow in MFC or Invalidate / Update in WinForms). This approach also coincides with how Windows UI operate, where you specify the region that needs to be redrawn ...
One of the main things you should consider if you believe in good coding is error or exception handling. When it come to programming languages, now all popular object oriented languages have try, catch method to handle an exception. We can put our code (which might gives errors or exceptions) inside the try block and error handling code in the catch block. This has become the de-facto of error or exception handling now. But when it comes to T-SQL we hadn’t got that luxury. Error handling in T-SQL ...
I've got some ideas that I'll hopefully implement on this blog to get you guys more active. To 'keep you one your programming toes'. Starting tomorrow (hopefuly) I'll be starting something called the Thursday Challenge. The Thursday Challenge is basically a simple programming challenge that I'll post a problem and you'll need to code up a solution to the problem. I'll provide a basic application that simply needs code behind for those who don't want to spend the time designing the layout. All you ...
The Sins of Our Education System As we all know, Agilists tend to frown on specialization. I am no exception. I tend to think that I take that sentiment a bit further though. I believe that designers should program and that programmers should draw wireframes. Before you dismiss me out of hand as a crackpot, hear me out. Hopefully by now, most UX designers (and hopefully some developers) have read The Design of Everyday Things. Hopefully those same designers have accepted that their difficulty with ...

Before I blogged a lot about random junk that was just on my mind on a day to day basis, often non-technical.  Now I've stopped and want to continue to blog about technical game programming but I'm not sure what to talk about.  So, what do you want to see?

I just finished up an interview about programming at whohub.  Check it out here!
Recently I pulled a very bad mistake while programming/testing. Here's the description, maybe you'll learn a thing or two. While at work, I created an automated process that would be started when a button on a form is clicked and would then run to dynamically generate numerous text files, build an Excel file from the data in several pre-made text files, and compare that data to database values which would then populate the database. I built the programming and got it running a few times to put the ...
One of the cooler people I know, Lee Brandt, tagged me in this blog post: http://www.codebucket.org/a... So here goes... How old were you when you started programming? That is questionable...I started building Websites in HTML on AOLPress, HotDog, and Notepad when I was 15 years old. If you don't count HTML, then I was 16. I wrote a "Hello World" Program on my TI-82 Graphing Calculator in 10th grade. What was your first language? HTML/Graphing Calculator ...
I got tagged by Rob Reynolds && Doug Butscher with the "How I Got Started Programming" blog meme, so here is my story. How old were you when you started programming? I wrote my first BASIC program when I was 10. It was a program that scrolled test from the bottom to the top of the screen. I think it was on a Trash-80. What was your first language? Basic. I did it with the Trash-80 and spent a summer taking a Basic programming class for Apple IIe. (I'm such a geek). What was the first real ...
I have always wondered why you can't have an "empty" date in VB and C#. I had some good feedback on my recent post on nullable dates and I wanted to clarify why I think nullables are great for dates. The point I am trying to get across is that with dates, in a business sense, you either have a date or you don't. You never really have a 01/01/0001. Using 01/01/0001 or 01/01/1753 is a hack for lack of being able to say that you have an empty date. I am going to make a quick comment on strings. Strings ...
It is important to note that the adaptability of interfaces is only one facet that dynamic systems must deal with. Wherever possible I wish to illustrate the use of functional programming in the web domain. In this domain, expressions that involve mirrors of HTML and XML elements are the key constituents. Microsoft has confirmed that socket support and a rich control set will be added in a future release of Silverlight. Software reverse engineering is done to retrieve the source code of a program ...
As a developer of single board computers, we at Eurotech Inc, have some single board computers lying around the office, and a few LCD panels. I thought that it might be fun to put one to use as an electronic picture frame. My goal is to hang it on the wall to show picture of some of the work that we do. This is also an opportunity to work on my C# skills. I am not an application developer, so of course I am no expert on the .NET Compact Framework or C#. I have been working with C# to maintain an ...
How old were you when you started programming? Well, most people don't know that I am still kind of new to computers. I grew up poor and my first experience with computers was in high school (Apple IIs and Craptastic Macs). I almost failed keyboarding class in 7th grade (required a minimum of 27 WPM with less than 4 errors/minute). I actually didn't own a computer until I was in my second semester of college. It was a Gateway and it broke so much I got good at fixing computers. That was 1998. I have ...
Inversion of Control means that objects get the objects that they need from an outside source. SSRS is just one of the components in the Microsoft Business Intelligence (BI) platform, read more at Influential Leadership. Multithreading comes with a resource and CPU cost in allocating and switching threads if used excessively. In the "Test Driven Testing" phase testers can do efficient testing without any interruptions by frequent defect fixes of the development team, check Web 3.0 and prestigious ...
improve my => 'code' One of the interesting features of Agile development is the regular feedback created by the methodology. Continuous builds, especially when they show graphically when they are broken or have failing unit tests, give Agile teams a sort of self awareness about the health of their project. Many Agile projects even give visual cues regarding the health of the project for instance showing the health of the build through the use of traffic lights (green for good, red for broken). ...
Advanced Transact-SQL Querying, Programming and Tuning for SQL Server 2000 & 2005 When: November 3-7, 2008 Where: New Horizons of MN located in Edina MN (www.nhmn.com) Course Outline: http://www.nhmn.com/Courses... This course was developed by Itzik Ben-Gan, a mentor and one of the founders of Solid Quality Learning, and the author of Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying (MSPress, 2006) and Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Programming (MSPress, 2006). ...
New Horizons of MN, located in Edina MN, has the following classes running next week. Most classes are offered either as a public class here at our facility or as a remote class, which is the same instructor led class, but instead of coming in to our office, you take the class from anywhere. For more information on what remote learning is, please visit http://www.nhmn.com/Service... . Class list: 2273 Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment http://www.nhmn.com/Courses... ...
I was hoping to get this out earlier in the week, but real life, work and that annoying sleep habit I can't seem to kick all got in the way. Randy is a fellow VB MVP and "Carl & Gary's" alumni, but I'll let him tell you about that. Here are my NINE Questions with Randy Walker: 1. Where are you from? Born in South Korea, adopted and lived all over the U.S. While I consider myself an Arkansas Razorback by heart (Go Hogs!), I’m a Texan through and through. I currently live and work in Northwest ...
So XNA epic failed/pwned me last night. So I wrote my great Pong game and am building an installer (which is essentially an HTML page with links to the other installs) when I learn, via Creators.XNA, that since I use the GUID namespace to create new saved games the player is required to install Visual C# Express 2005 or have full VS 2005 pre-installed. This means, over the 3-4 already required redistributable packages, you also need to install 2 quite large components that basically install a whole ...
How old were you when you started programming? I was probably in high school or middle school and was waaaay into role playing. There was a particular engine (Role Master) that was ridiculously complex in maintaining character stats and skills. Tired of constantly rewriting stuff, i decided to make a massive excel spreadsheet that would do all of the calculations for me. It blew away the group with its awesomeness. :) What was your first language? Excel? ;) HTML -> CSS -> MacroMedia -> ASP ...
1) http://blogs.msdn.com/visio... 1a) http://office.microsoft.com... 2) http://www.microsoft.com/co... Hi, I am trying to programatically automate the Org Chart Wizard(Visio 2003) in C#. But when I attempt to connect to a SQL Server 2005, ...
I've alluded in the past that I got my start in computers because of games; I also ended up getting started in programming because of games. I happen to be a big fan of the WarCraft and StarCraft series produced by Blizzard Entertainment, and it was my association with (and desire to make a good website for!) a group of people on their gaming service called Battle.net that got me involved with programming, and that's where the "Fun" part of this comes from. I'm not sure where "Profit" comes into ...
Time to cap off the week with another interview. I spent some time with Jim at TechEd (Developers) 2008 and was quite impressed with not only his VB knowledge, but also his enthusiasm for sharing it. If you've ever worked with LINQ, you've probably been to his website (www.thinqlinq.com) at some point. So without further introduction on my part, I give you NINE Questions with Jim Wooley... 1. Where are you from? I've been living around Atlanta, GA for the last 9 years. Most of my formative years ...

In case you haven't heard, there's a programming contest going on. It's the Silverlight Control Builder Contest and you've still got time to play for fabulous prizes and the awe of your fellow geeks!

I'm gonna enter. Are you? Wait, you haven't had the chance to mess around with Silverlight? Neither have I!

Won't it be fun?

The 'first do this, next do that' is a short phrase which really in a nutshell describes the spirit of the imperative paradigm. Web services are the killer application for XML, with reference to Implicit Anticipation over Empty Techniques. Using environments to emulate references limits the granularity of references to fields. The paradigm originates from a purely mathematical discipline: the theory of functions. If a method does not contain non-transportable types, it can be offered in the interface ...
I've tried Use Cases and seen them not work. The main reason? They are really heavy handed and developers hate updating them. Customers don't even want to see them. A manager telling me to update the use cases or the functional spec is akin in my mind to someone I don't know telling me to take my medicine. I am one of those annoying developers who is going to ask, "Why am I doing this?" And bad news, if you don't have a good answer, I am going to look at you cross-eyed. Developers in general (especially ...
Welcome back after the chaos of last week. This time around, I'm talking to my very good friend Alan Jamieson (also known as Ripark in the gaming community.) Alan and I met back during my Reality Check Games days in Greenville, SC, where he was instrumental in helping to build a very strong gaming community. We've both moved on since then, but we'd both still rather be running a game store. Ahh memories... Anyway, without further delay, I give you NINE Questions with Dr. Alan C. Jamieson: 1. Where ...
improve my => 'code' On weekends, I tend to go off tangent, and this weekend is no exception. I started to read some of the works of Levi-Strauss, the structural anthropologist, and it occurred to me that many of the positive changes from Agile Development are not merely the result of greater business focus. Agile also develops culture in a field that is generally devoid of culture. This can be a stabilizing factor for companies by - Reducing turnover by empowering team members. - Creating rituals, ...
It has been a long time since my last post, but I have good reason. I have been terribly busy trying to complete a really cool project for one of my clients. I will post more about it in a later entry, but to say the least it has been quite an adventure. Anyway that is not the point to this blog. I thought I would put a little ditty together about a course that I am going to be teaching at AmeriTeach here in Denver coming up in September. It is the 50064 Advanced SharePoint Developer course. You ...
Last night I went out and bought Unreal Tournament 3 for PC. I used to have the game for PS3 but sold it because I really didn't play it after I beat the single player (multiplayer was hardly rewarding). But, with the PC version, I get all the development tools as well so I can make my own levels and script my own stuff (very cool). Plus, considering Best Buy has the game for $30, total steal. Thinking about the project I was starting, I wasn't really excited by the kind of game it was turning into. ...
Approximate strong classification behaves identical to strong classification restricted to a subset of all classes. Considering the fact that A way to get some of the features of dynamic layout from a layout that was created in absolute coordinates is to scale the UI. In retrospect, sometimes business components need to retrieve information from external sources in order to do their work. The internal mechanisms of what allows user-mode debugging to work have rarely ever been fully explained. Approximate ...
This past weekend was the Ann Arbor GiveCamp 2008. The idea is Geeks Giving Back. The GiveCamp organized a number of charities(15) and a number of developers (over a hundred signed up and 90ish showed - I don't have exact numbers). We showed up on Friday night at 5:00 and started work. At 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, we showed what we had accomplished. In many cases, the charities just needed a web site or a better web site. In some cases, they needed real programming work done. Lots more on my blog ...
My friend Todd Kitta and I were having a discussion on GUIDs. He said that one day he compared the number of possible GUIDs to the number of grains of sand estimated to be on all the beaches on the earth. Number of GUIDs 340,282,366,920,938,463,463... * Grains of sand 75,000,000,000,000,000,000 * I guess that's why we don't typically put in error checking to detect duplicate GUIDs. It hasn't yet, but if it can happen, it'll happen to me. Technorati Tags: Programming * Numbers ...
Nowadays program and hardware adaptation to take advantage of dynamic changes in behavior is becoming increasingly important as a result of technological trends. The requirement for co-existence is essential for any language claiming to be general purpose. Subsequently, the service agent manages communication between a business assembly and an external Web service. Consequently, A composite service is atomic in nature, but orchestrates the invocation of component services into a business level process. ...
New Horizons of MN, located in Edina MN, has the following classes running next week. Most classes are offered either as a public class here at our facility or as a remote class, which is the same instructor led class, but instead of coming in to our office, you take the class from anywhere. For more information on what remote learning is, please visit http://www.nhmn.com/Service... Class list: 2793 Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services http://www.nhmn.com/Courses... ...
I rely heavily on descriptive programming (DP) in my scripting. QTP's object recognition (OR) can be a little quirky sometimes, and I find that using DP minimizes those quirks....usually. I upgraded one of our test machines from 9.2 to 9.5 recently, and promptly discovered a problem: You can no longer use the Windows handle to reliably refer to Browsers (possibly all objects). I have a function that opens browsers for me and logs the hwnd of the browser so that when I need to clean up after an error ...
I recently upgraded one of my lab machines to 9.5 to check out the new Delphi plug-in for QTP. I created a test in 9.5, and tried to open it in 9.2 later. I got the following: I've already run the patch to enable 9.2 to read 9.5 files (available on Hp site), so that's not likely the problem. I like my checkpoints to be in code rather than rely on QTP to manage them. If this test was crucial and you'd upgraded, you'd be in for some painful re-work to get it going. It's also why I prefer to use descriptive ...
At the Marriott Hotel in San Antonio, TX, there were close to 200 teachers from across the world attending the annual Computer Science Teachers Association Symposium. I have been fortunate to attend this event in the past as an attendee and as a speaker and I always look forward to it every year. I enjoy meeting new teachers and talking to them about what they are doing in the class. I also enjoy seeing old friends and the opportunity to learn something new at this event. My presentation was on Web ...
How embarassing is it when your own game starts kicking your ass? Especially when the AI isn't that great. Pong is getting super fun to play now though. Maybe it's just because I'm making it, but there's so much incentive to get certain things and when the computer beats you and you don't get them it gets frustrating to play over and over. I would make a bad tester. There are loads of items I got working tonight, in fact I finished one major additive design element of the 4 main that were left. I'm ...
I've been working on a WPF program (which once again, as expected, justified my belief that I will never find enjoyment in programming any UI)... Luckily, my program is just one-way... it is used for reporting, no input needed here besides just moving around. So, I implemented most of it in labels. Later I realized, however, that some of these labels have contents that a user of the program might want to copy and paste in another program. By default, you cannot highlight text on WPF labels, and I ...
Twin Cities Languages User Group My colleague, language geek and Twin Cities Code Camp leader, Jason Bock has recently formed a new Dev Languages focused user group. As leader of the Twin Cities Developers Guild, I have already extended him an invitation to join as one of our first affiliate groups. Here is Jason's description of the group: As developers, we use a number of languages throughout the lifecycle of a project and our careers in general. Learning core aspects and features from other langauges ...
Twin Cities Languages User Group Website: http://www.twincitieslangua... Meeting Details: Meetings are the Second Thursday of the Month from 5:30 - 7:00 Description of the User Group: As developers, we use a number of languages throughout the lifecycle of a project and our careers in general. Learning core aspects and features from other langauges can help a developer apply new techniques and designs to their own projects. This group is open to anyone who has a deep appreciation for ...
One of my fellow Coders 4 Charity Groupmates, Lee Brandt, will be speaking about Test Driven Development using C# tonight. If you are in town you must come. If you are not in town and you want to come. Well hop on a flight? Anyway, here is the official information *commenses brainwashing tactics*: Topic: TDD Using C# Test-Driven development is a methodology that can help developers write solid, well-designed code. Very few developers practice it because very few understand how it works and how to ...
I was thinking about the level of programming abilities lately, as we are starting to interview for an open position. I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice if programmers came in version numbers like software?" This would make it easy to say, I need a version 3 programmer with abilities in languages A, B and C. It's so difficult to say Mid-Level developer, because mid-level is so subjective. Mid between WHO? So here are my thoughts of what the versions for a web programmer might be: Alpha: Has read some ...