Worth Watching

   The following two videos are worth watching and I do not regret turning Flash on in my browser for a while just to watch them. They are relatively long but no one that I know has regreted spending the time.

   The first video is a speech given by Apple's founder Steve Jobs at Stanford University. You can watch it here. If you prefer version with Bulgarian subtitles you can see that here.

   The second speech is the last lecture of Randy Pausch. To be honest I had not heard of him before but it seems like he was quite famous in the field of computer science education and virtual reality research. The speech in question was given after Randy knew that he was ill from an incurable cancer. I was sitting alone at home in front of the computer and was surprised to find out that I was applauding at the end of the lecture. You can see it here. Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008 at the age of 47.
Posted by:   Stilgar
16:19 13.08.2008

.NET 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 released

   Service Pack 1 for .NET 3.5 and Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008 have been released.

Some downloads for .NET Framework:

online installer
full package - 237MB includes several versions of the framework for several operatin systems and architectures

Some downloads for Visual Studio 2008:

online installer
iso image - 851MB contains SP1 for all versions of VS

   The Express Editions are not patched but installed over the old versions. Online and offline installers can be found here.

   These releses add MANY features. Most of them are listed here. Enjoy!
Posted by:   Stilgar
02:18 13.08.2008

Upgrade 1.0.5

   I bet my legions of readers will be happy to know about yet another upgrade. First of all I am aligning these posts with my internal version number (that can be seen in a hidden field in the about page with id "version"). This update adds the cool (Pseudo)"Random Quote" feature. I have already put some quotes in there so you can start pressing F5. For those of you who like to look into my (GPL) source code (judging by the statistics the actual number is 0) it is worth noting that I have replaced all Response.Redirect to the error page with Server.Transfer.
Posted by:   Stilgar
09:15 10.08.2008

F# - First Impressions

   It seems like it is time to inform my multimillion reader base about my impressions about the F# programming language.  As I mentioned in my previous post I picked F# over IronPython because Python uses indentation to define scope. The first thing that got me annoyed about F# is that there is an option to turn on indentation based syntax like in Python and everyone uses it. At least it is an option and unlike Python when this option is turned on the F# compiler forces the use of spaces instead of tabs. On the other hand

let wordCount text =
   let words = String.split [' '] text
   let wordSet = Set.of_list words
   let nWords = words.Length
   let nDups = words.Length - wordSet.Count
   (nWords,nDups)

really looks better than

let wordCount text =
   let words = String.split [' '] text in
   let wordSet = Set.of_list words in
   let nWords = words.Length in
   let nDups = words.Length - wordSet.Count in
   (nWords,nDups);;

   Right now when I am trying the examples from the "Expert F#" book I am always rewriting them with the heavy syntax. That way I am learning both types of syntax and what is more writing these keywords helps understand how expressions are composed. However when you get used to it these tokens are just messing around. Maybe with time I will get used to indentation based syntax and will give IronPython a try.

  Otherwise F# looks cool but strange. It is not even lispish. The first thing one needs to do is let go of type declarations which is not so simple because F# is as strongly typed as C#. It takes time to get used to type inference even if one has experience with C#'s way of doing it. Another thing that seems strange at first is that functions can return more than one value by automatically forming a tuple.  Tuples are then decomposed back to variables using pattern matching i.e. placing the first element of the tuple in the first variable, the second element in the second variable and so on. However this can get more complicated because an element in a tuple can itself be a tuple. Worth noting is that one can switch to C# style programming at any time. I hope I will not get tempted to program in F# like I do in C# when I try to do something myself because there will be no point in using F# if I write it like C#. What is more C# is better at being C# than F# is.

   Overall I think F# is fun but I have to wait to see what happens when I get into the deep waters.
Posted by:   Stilgar
14:55 05.08.2008

I'm Going Functional

   You may have noticed that I did not post any programming related articles lately. The main reason for this is that after I played with C# 3.0 and LINQ I have not learned anything really interesting. That is why I am beginning to study F#. To quote the "Expert F#" book review:

   "Expert F# is about practical programming in a beautiful language that puts the power and elegance of functional programming into the hands of .NET developers."

   Why learning F#?
   ...
Posted by:   Stilgar
16:54 29.07.2008
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