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Vesuvius vesuvius Count Orlock
  • Accepted for Computer Science Degree

    evildictaitor said:
    Make sure you know how to program before you start reading books. Your course will undoubtably teach you Java upto a sensible level and will almost certainly have one or two semesters and projects in C, so get these done before you try and read books.

    1. Make sure you know Java. Really know. Make sure you could do the following:
      a) Make a function that given a character, returns the character as lower case (if between 'A' and 'Z', or returns the original character).
      b) Can implement a linked list in Java
      c) Can implement an interface for a hypothetical button
    d) Could implement (using Swing or just the console) and implementation of the "Game of Life"

    Make sure you know C. You don't need to know a lot of C, but enough to at the very least:
      a) Implement a vector structure and a function add_to_vector(struct vector v, void* elem) where the vector expands to allow more elements in. Make sure it doesn't memory leak.
      b) Implement a self-sorting binary tree structure and a function add_to_tree(struct tree, struct elem) that adds the element to the binary tree and a function delete_from_tree(struct tree, struct elem) that finds the element and removes it correctly without memory leaks

    Now you are ready to learn from books. Don't try and learn programming from books (it doesn't work) and don't try and read the books before you can program - if you can't program you'll struggle on your course regardless of how much theory you know. With good programming experience you'll learn the theory faster anyway.

    Here's my suggestions:

    The New Turing Omnibus
    is a really good intro into lots of the theory behind programming, and will give you a massive head start in your theory classes.

    The Mythical Man Month is another particularly brilliant book - it's not so much concerned with programming per se, but gives a lot of insight into how programmers (and their managers) think, and thus is a great way to start to understand the thought processes behind many of the decisions you'll be faced with at University and beyond.

    Goedel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid is somewhat more maths-y but is once again a brilliant book that will help you understand the subtleties of the limitations of computer science (and math)
    A fantastic encapsulation. If you inherit this wisdom you will by polymorphism become a type of developer - cheesy, isn't it?

    In my experience, you're not a developer until you leave university. You have a bunch of modules at uni, that allow you to ascertain the slant that is compatible with your nature. Intertwined with the above, will be course work and research on the internet, evaluating a customers requirements, database structure and schemas, gaming, graphics,  security and so forth. At Leeds uni you get to learn Python, C and Java. Most students I've met really struggle with C as they are usually taught Python first.

    All in all it is a very big pond you are jumping into - some would say ocean - and Silverlight and Ajax may not be as prominent until your departure. It is important that you learn computing and not anything as specific as .NET which however popular, is all but a minutiae in the world of computing.

    I have learnt the most from writing code. Write write and write some more. Otherwise you are as Eric Meijers puts it "a vegetarian butcher", i.e. you know all the theory but don't know how to actually write anything.

  • Is Mega-​Microsoft going to destroy .NET?

    littleguru said:
    vesuvius said:
    The Sync Framework is part of the SQL Server Group. We are not associated with the VB.NET team in any ways! The Sync Framework in it's core is build as an unmanaged component where the managed layer sits on top of it. You can use the framework from C/C++ or any managed language.

    This here is a short post about what the Sync Framework is and does. The idea is basically the following: you write providers for your endpoints (lets say one for your file system and one for Smugmug). Then you set both up (select a directory holding pictures on your file system and give a username, password and album to the Smugmug provider). Next you can synchronize the album with the pictures on disk and vice versa.

    You can even add a third provider or n smugmug or file system providers and they will synchronize the data.

    The framework, of course, provides also ways to deal with conflicts.
    That clears things up then. Basically, the sync stuff in .NET is another managed wrapper. Obviously the biggest thing at the moment is cloud computing, and LiveMesh. Does the sync framework sit beneath all of this as well and they add the ability to add devices etc. On you local machine to the cloud using it? If so, as some niners say, that is hawt!

  • Moving for life

    wisemx said:
    They used to spell it like this: Massachusetts Big Smile
    I thought he was trying to say mass-a-chew-sets, in a nonchalant but emphatic manner. You're better placed to decide though!

  • Silverlight 2 - Half Baked?

    Bas said:
    I'm kind of perplexed about this too. I realise that what with Silverlight being a subset of the WPF features, things change, stuff like the difference between Labels and TextBlocks baffle me. I had hoped that by just copying the XAML you could easily recreate a WPF interface in Silverlight most of the time, but apparently not.

    Maybe we can get a going deep video about the various reasons for this? Maybe to commemorate Silverlight 2.0's release, which surely must be any day now?
    People just need to be realistic and realise that they will get an anaemic version of WPF, and most of the decisions are based around keeping the Silverlight runtime as minute as possible. Why for example have they elected to use the winforms or should that be base class library background worker component, instead of the WPF dispatcher for multi-threading? That begs the question why they even bothered creating the dispatcher library in the first place?

    Most WPF gurus are very vocal about the lack of triggers - they are a trigger happy bunch. What I think the solution is, is to have a two tier Silverlight application. If the .NET client profile is installed on the machine, then it will run the Silverligh application is the most rich representation possible for the appplication. If not, a trimmed down version is run.

    The emerging difference between WPF and WPF/E is down to libraries available - or should that be unavailable.

  • Is Mega-​Microsoft going to destroy .NET?

    littleguru said:
    vesuvius said:
    We use it for the MetadataStore that comes with the Sync Framework but I don't know if there is a provider for it... At least I can't remember seeing a provider for the Sync Frameworkt hat works for the SQL Compact Edition; but I might be wrong since I'm fairly new to the team and everythign Smiley
    I'm just trying to figure out what the sync framework is?

     I recently watched this Visual Basic Vid about synchronising SQL Server and SQL compact. Is this a part of it and are you involved in some way with it? As a C# MVP (or former), I'm under the impression that this, like the dataset designer etc. is owned by the Visual Basic team (which is why most C#'ers dislike them - datasets that is)

  • Fate Assignment Day 2008


     It will soon be "eff" a "freshers" week, with loads of people away from home for the first time, especially those lovely things called 'gherlz'. What I'd do to be in your shoes.

  • Stuff we'd love to see in the next version of Visual Studio

    Yggdrasil said:
    One of the greatest features of Resharper is its ability to mark unused code and usings on the fly (greyed out), as well as rearranging using statements intelligently (seperating by root namespace, for instance).
    Blowdart "carries on" about resharper as well (if I remember correctly) so it may need to be looked into.

    Foolishly speaking, I think Visual Studio should leave a bit of a mess behind. When learning to use the IDE, and you application is slow, you learn to know all the libraries that you application is referencing. If you are a novice and start with a sparse reference set, Visual Studio isn't too much help in letting you know which library to reference. In fact that is probably VS's weakest point, i.e. libraries, and it is a hard problem to fix.

    I'm sure the seasoned developers (espescially those from a #include <iostream.h> background) will tell you that you're being plain lazy.

  • Stuff we'd love to see in the next version of Visual Studio

    Spec# will get rid of most of these

  • Miffed .NET Framework Client Profile

    AndyC said:
    vesuvius said:
    The Add/Remove figures is based on very, very, very bad heuristics*. If you go look in C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET you'll see there is nothing like that much installed. Installing the full 3.5 framework here on even an old 1GHz machine from a CD is a few minutes max.

    *If the figure on mine was even nearly true .NET 1.1 alone would be over 1GB.
    Well I have leanet something there - that I knew already. No wonder you were so nonchalant. I wrote an XML splitter for a chap somewhere because they were limited to transferring 5MB XML files of orders using the electronic data transfer system (I cannot remember what it was called), and after writing the application, I learnt to always right click the application for the correct number of bytes. I passed this information onto him, and he soon found he had a far smaller problem than he initially thought.

    Anyway the .NET client profile size is approx 53 MB

    .NET 3.5 on XP is 110MB

    and the full .NET 3.5 on SP1 is 159MB

    I seem to remember having heater discussions on .NET and the fact that it is bloated, but 160MB of code covering web, client, WCF, WPF etc. does not seem like a lot

  • Miffed .NET Framework Client Profile

    AndyC said:
    vesuvius said:

    Ah, now I see the problem.

    You don't need the .NET 2.0 or 3.0 redistributables at all. The 3.5 full file one (197MB) installs all of them. There presuambly is, or will soon be, a 3.5 SP1 version that integrates the whole lot into one package.

    If you doing all three individually, no wonder it's taking ages and seems massive.
    I happen to have copies of a test XP virtual machine that just has XPSP3.

    I downloaded the .NET 3.5 bootstrapper

    Guess what it installed?

    That's 455MB of framework code, not including the new SP1. I cannot compare speed with my PC but a CD that installs 55MB of client profile is by far and away better than one that installs 500+MB of framework code.