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Blue Ink Blue Ink
  • Google opens store, more may be coming

    @Bass: That's interesting, and puzzling. Apparently it should be all about the ChromeBook which, as far as I know, is the only Google branded product with a price tag, but I'd say that opening up a retail chain for a single device is a little bizarre, even by Google's standards.

    We shall see...

  • Website maxs out the cpus

    @sysrpl: it's hard to help without having all the facts, but the fact that the problem materializes as soon as a you reach a small number of users might indicate the presence of a deadlock or some kind of contention. If you have some code that needs resources that other threads generate or could be using, take a close look at how they get synchronized.

  • Glad to be off the Microsoft API treadmill

    @vesuvius: Yes, it could be simpler: some of the classes in the BCL look like they were designed for generality and minimalism, not for convenience. But without knowing what kind of guidelines and restrictions the BCL designers are subject to it's hard to judge.

    Off topic: if all you need is to zip one file, the ZipPackage class is probably overkill; I would try a simple DefalteStream first.

  • The Speed of Light

    , Sven Groot wrote

    @Maddus Mattus: I guess you insist Pi should be 3, too? Tongue Out

    Why not... it would have the obvious side effect of turning circles into hexagons, but the convenience would be enourmous. Oh, and let's also make sure that the square root of prime numbers is rational this time.

  • Neal Gafter talks about Java vs. C#

    @BitFlipper: yep, that issue about INumeric has been one of the most voted issues in connect, if I remember correctly. Personally, I'd be more than happy being able to write something like:

    class SomeType<T> where T : double | float | int {

    and get the code compiled separately for all the constraint in the list (that's what happens anyway for native types, if I understand correctly). Actually I'd prefer this to INumeric as the sheer fact that some type supports all the operations doesn't mean that an algorithm is suitable for that data type (which is what I don't like about C++ templates).

  • Neal Gafter talks about Java vs. C#

    ,fanbaby wrote

    Several things (this is a religious war, isn't it Smiley):

    1) I think c# proponents overestimate those many useful additions to the language (compared to Java). For example, operator overloading. I once heard the following debate. Operator overloading is very important especially in math-related calculations (matrices, vector etc.), check this:

    a++  vs.  a.set(a.get().add(1))

    The counter argument is: well, you just need this method:



    2) Isn't C# getting close to being a black hole, mass-wise? I mean, they've thrown everything in there (a la Perl 6). It's the best in every paradigm.

    Java isn't that different in this sense, it has less features but is slowly piling them. But compare these to Google Go please. (Which is far more open in licence and development, i think). Explicit design goals are: Minimize verbosity, compile time, keywords. Support multiprocessing, GC, and is a (semi) systems language. When it was designed it was targeted mainly at web-servers and networking, but was found to excellent general purpose language.

    Since it's quite radical (multiple self-growing stacks for example), not everything is ironed out yet, like interface to other languages (i'm not totally sure bout this, it may have been fixed by now), but it's getting there fast. I think it's  important (sorry, no IDE yet Smiley)http://golang.org.

    Disclaimer: I chose C#, years ago, as it made it easier to develop Windows applications that integrate seamlessly with the OS, and that's what my customers require. The specific features of the two languages never entered into the equation as I think they were (and are) both good enough for general purpose development.

    As for the specifics:

    1) Operator overloading is not a feature that everybody gets to use, but in the few cases where it makes sense, it's invaluable. A more meaningful example would be:

    a =  f / (b + c - d * e);


    a = f.divideBy (b.add (c.subtract (d.multiplyBy (e))));

    I know which one I prefer to read and write. Unfortunately, generic support in C# doesn't provide features (INumeric, operator constraints, partial generics, whatever) that would allow the development of truly generic math libraries, so C# doesn't really shine in that area.

    2) Success of a language depends on several factors, among which libraries, adoption, and most importantly IDE support. As things stand right now, Go has a lot of potential as a language, but it's just not ready for prime time; we shall see how it goes.

  • First Build tablets show up on eBay

    @cbae: if he was true to his word, one of those might well be from our resident fermented beverage. If so, he finally succeeded in making a profit at the expenses of MS.

  • Oh my God, add a start menu!

    I must admit that I suck at UI design, but I'd rather try and be constructive in the hope that someone listens and comes up with a good idea.

    Complaint #1: The experience going back and forth between Aero and Metro is too distracting.

    Would a glassy background in the Metro Start menu work better? Not a big fan of fully glassy windows (like the gadget menu in Win7), but the tiles provide a crisp contrast anyway and if the glass is "blurry" enough, it would only let the basic colors of the desktop background shine through. Metro doesn't mandate a solid background, after all. Of course the single Metro apps would still take over the whole screen with their own background.

    Complaint #2: The start menu taking up the whole screen is alien to every previous Windows experience,

    I realize that unless users are exposed to the Metro start screen, the notion of apps and the store would be defeated, so a direct replacement of the Windows Start Menu is not an option.

    A possible alternative, IMHO, would be to have an expanded charms menu while in desktop mode, so that it takes up - say - 1/3 of the screen (in landscape mode, maybe 1/2 in portrait), has a glassy background (to be more similar to Windows start menu) and includes the charms at the bottom, and some of the tiles in the Metro Start screen (the first group, or another specfic group, or even a filtered view with only desktop apps listed in there).

    In a sense, it would be a "minified" version of the Metro start screen plus charms, possibly with an easy way to expand it to the full Metro start, for instance the little animated arrow from WP7 (and/or support swiping it out with a finger), and/or an easy keyboard shortcut (press and hold the Win key, maybe?).


    Again, UI design is not my thing, so all of this might be an utter disaster. But I'm interested in your comments, to see if there are alternatives that don't call for going back to Win7.

  • Microsoft have outdone Apple. Period!

    @Bass: Yes, it's cheaper to buy pre-built computers. The irony is that this is because they have Windows preinstalled, so people buy them by the cartload and this is what allows manufacturers to get low production prices. Arguably, you saved money by getting those Windows licenses you don't use...

  • Windows 8 - First Impressions (that you didnt ask for!)

    +1 for the need of a better task switcher. Even Mango is light years ahead.

    On a side note, it seems that Win8 tablets won't have the mandatory hardware buttons of WP, so the experience between phone and tablet won't be that seamless. No big deal, but I think they missed an opportunity here.

    As for the desktop, I don't think we will have an MS sanctioned start menu replacement, or even just an option. I'm only guessing, of course, but if they introduced that, everybody would just end up living entrenched in the desktop environment (like everybody wanted to turn off the UAC in Vista) and Metro would become a lonely place like Media Center. Goodbye Metro apps, goodbye store, goodbye developer opportunities. I don't think they'll let this happen.