GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

Ramblings of a compiler geek

  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Source code control (RCS, VSS, etc.)

    • 34 Comments
    So as part of professional development, I assume everybody uses some form of source code control and revision tracking. This allows multiple developers to work together, and also a way of tracking changes. Sometimes they're also used as a way of 'branching...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    The problem with being second

    • 28 Comments
    First, hats off to the Mono team . I think they've done a great job at writing some great software, but also at proving that evil MS really does know how to produce a truly common language runtime that can be properly standardized and ported to other...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Compiler Error Messages

    • 19 Comments
    I've spent a fair amount of time lately tweaking the C# compiler's error messages. At some point I begin to wonder, how clearly do we have to spell things out for end users? There are at least 2 dozen different error messages that could be summarized...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Command-line Trivia

    • 13 Comments
    So many people have wondered why the C# compiler isn't smarter about some of it's command-line arguments. Here's a summary of the type of questions I hope to answer in this post: Why doesn't the C# compiler accept /reference:*.dll? Why doesn...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    The death of multi-file assemblies (hopefully)

    • 12 Comments
    Now that Whidbey features can be freely talked about, I can mention my personal not-directly-C# feature: netmodule linking. Basically due to some hard work by the C/C++ compiler and linker team, any tool that can produce managed netmodules(/target:module...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    NIH Syndrome

    • 11 Comments
    NIH = Not Invented Here So here at Microsoft we have a lot of really smart people. Unfortunately that seems to lead to a lot of NIH syndrome. That really wouldn't be so bad if we had a broad enough definition of 'here'. For me as an individual developer...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    64bit versus 32bit

    • 11 Comments
    Please don't start a flame war over this. It is meant as more of a Dilbert-style post with just the slightest bit of real technical content. 64-bit machines are twice as fast as 32-bit machines because they have more bits. Believe it or not there are...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    What do you want to hear about

    • 10 Comments
    I'm a developer on the C# compiler. I've been with the team since before we shipped 7.0. I worked on some of the XML doc comment stuff, fixing up the sources so they could cross-compile for rotor, ia64 and amd64, and also now in Whidbey I am responsible...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Anonymous Methods, Part 2 of ?

    • 9 Comments
    A lot of people seem to have trouble grasping how anonymous methods affect the lifetimes of locals. SO hopefuly I can clarify that a little. Previous to anonymous methods, the lifetime and the visibility of a local were identical for all practical purposes...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    I've run out of ideas again

    • 9 Comments
    In case you haven't noticed, I've run out of ideas to write about. I'm sure there's still a few things I know that I haven't explained, btu I can't remember them... If you've been dying to know something about the C# compiler, ALink, CLR file formats...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Why can't I do XYZ in C#?

    • 7 Comments
    First off I'm not a language lawyer, or an expert. I am only sharing some of the impressions I've gotten from working with the real language designers. Eric Wilson asked why C# doesn't allow you to call static methods using instance pointers . My answer...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    I'm out of ideas

    • 7 Comments
    Well in case you haven't noticed, I've run out of ideas for thigns to write about. This is you're queue to send me questions or suggestions. My best guess as to why I've run out of ideas is because of my recent change in jobs. I am no longer dealing...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Anonymous Methods, Part 1 of ?

    • 7 Comments
    Although I was involved in many of the language design meetings, I don't think I can claim much of the credit for the actual design of the feature in the language spec. There were a few technical gotchas that I discovered and proposed solutions to, and...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Happy (Belated) Easter

    • 7 Comments
    So a while back there was big news about some secret code in IE that used “Netscape engineers are weenies”. I only know what I read in the newspapers about this, and the fact that internally MS outlawed any and all 'Easter Eggs'. We were given...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Some Cool New Features

    • 6 Comments
    I've been looking over some of my last few posts and they could easily come across as if I thought iterators and anonymous methods were the worst language features every added, and will never serve a good purpose. If anything I think the opposite (or...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Alignment

    • 6 Comments
    I've seen this come up in conversations a few times so I thought others might be interested in it too. First off, I think since the large majority of us use x86-based processors we forget that one day in our CS or EE class where they talked about alignment...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Not-so-new C# Compiler Features

    • 6 Comments
    So a while back somebody asked what new compiler features were coming out for Whidbey that weren't part of new language features. Well you've already heard about Edit and Continue . There's also the really cool Refactoring built into the IDE and built...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Some of my opinions on Generics

    • 5 Comments
    Disclaimer: These are all my opinions, so don't take them to mean anything more than the futile thoughts of an insignificant bystander who happened to be fortunate enough to listen to a few of the C# language design meetings and occasionally interact...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    More on 64-vs-32

    • 5 Comments
    OK, this isn't a really meaty post, it's more of a collection of a few ideas that have been rattling around in my head for a while. I kept hoping they'd develop into something bigger, or I'd have time to research/investigate them more, but nothings happened...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Iterator Usage

    • 5 Comments
    OK, a few days ago I asked about how you used anonymous methods . Thanks for the very few who responded. I'm hoping that more people have used them than chose to respond. Now it's time to ask about my other pet feature: Iterators. How an possibly more...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Multi-file Assemblies: What and How

    • 5 Comments
    I intentionally left out the 'why' because only you as developer on your own product can decide why a given programming feature should or shouldn't be used. First the easy part: What Multi-file assemblies are simply assemblies that consist of more...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Trade-offs

    • 5 Comments
    It seems like a lot of the time we (as software developers) are forced to make trade-offs. Choosing between 2 algorithms that solve the same problem, but with different characteristics. Sometimes it's an easy choice: option #1 is O(1) and option #2 is...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Anonymous Method Usage

    • 5 Comments
    So now that Beta 1 has been out and fairly widely availible for a while, how do you use anonymous methods? When I was working on them I saw several contrived examples. I saw several that seemed more like abuses than legitimate uses. In my earlier posts...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    Replacing al.exe with csc.exe

    • 5 Comments
    I've seen a awful lot of comments lately about all the cool stuff that can be done with al.exe. I'd just like to point out that with very few exceptions csc.exe can do almost everything that al.exe can do. One of those exceptions deals with the /template...
  • GrantRi's WebLog [MS]

    First Day Jitters

    • 5 Comments
    Almost 5 years ago, I started full time at my first real job. I came straight out of college with nothing more than a BS in Computer Science to work on the C# compiler. Yes, I'd done a few odd ball jobs programming here and there, but nothing with real...
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