• Yet Another Language Geek

    In Case You Haven't Heard

    • 93 Comments
    It has been a while since I have posted. We have been working hard to get Orcas beta 1 and beta 2 done. So I apologize for the long interlude between posts but I hope that you are enjoying beta 1 and that you are looking forward to beta 2. Now that beta...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Linq to ASCII Art

    • 44 Comments
    Last night I was searching for an audio version of Painters and Hackers by Paul Graham . Pretty soon I had completely forgotten about the book and found myself reading the Wikipedia article about Hackers . Isn't Internet search great? Of all of the things...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    The Marvels of Monads

    • 36 Comments
    If the word "continuation" causes eyes to glaze over, then the word "monad" induces mental paralysis.  Perhaps, this is why some have begun inventing more benign names for monads. These days, monads are the celebrities of programming...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Anonymous Recursion in C#

    • 34 Comments
    Recursion is beautiful and lambdas are the ultimate abstraction. But how can they be used together? Lambdas are anonymous functions and recursion requires names. Let's try to define a lambda that computes the nth fibonacci number. Func<int, int>...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Immutability, Purity, and Referential Transparency

    • 32 Comments
    How often do you write code that just works? It seems to happen so rarely that I find myself suspicious if code does just work. When was the last time that you wrote a non-trivial program that had no compile errors on the first try and then ran fine as...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    A Brief Introduction to the Reactive Extensions for .NET, Rx

    • 28 Comments
    Wow, it has been a long time since I have blogged.  Yesterday, we made the first official public release of Rx on devlabs .  And that means that I can now talk about what has been on my mind for the past while: Rx.  What is Rx?  Rx...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Extending the World

    • 26 Comments
    When people think of C# 3.0 and Linq, they commonly think of queries and databases. The phenomenal work of the Linq to SQL guys provides ample reason to think of it this way; nevertheless, C# 3.0 and Linq are really much much more. I have discussed a...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Volta: Redefining Web Development

    • 26 Comments
    Anyone who writes web applications knows that web development is not easy.  Developers wrangle with a soup of technologies distributed across multiple tiers.  We live in a world where programmers accept the fact that they need to know four or...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    The Virtues of Laziness

    • 22 Comments
    It seems that I riled some people up with my blog post yesterday. After some thought, I think the primary reason that there was some backlash is because some people feel that I violated one of the sacred principles of FP: lists are *the* data structure...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Baby Names, Nameless Keys, and Mumbling

    • 20 Comments
    Baby Names I recently finished reading Freakonomics . It is a fascinating book about a number of strange phenomena. Its topics range from the economics of dealing crack to cheating in sumo wrestling. Among the sundry topics is a discussion concerning...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Function Memoization

    • 20 Comments
    One of my favorite pastimes is playing games. No not XBox 360, PS3, or Wii games nor other computer games, but board games, card games, and other such games. It's probably because I'm from a large family - I have 8 siblings - and we would often spend...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Volta and You

    • 19 Comments
    Yesterday, Volta was made publicly available for the first time.  It is an experimental project in the early stages of development.  The team decided to release an early technology preview so that developers everywhere can help guide the project...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    All About Iterators

    • 17 Comments
    Design patterns have been all of the rage for a number of years now. We have design patterns for concurrency, user interfaces, data access, object creation, and so many other things. The seminal work on the topic is the Gang of Four 's book, Design Patterns...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Musings on Software Testing

    • 16 Comments
    It was spring 2003, I had just finished a weekend camping in the southern Arizona desert.  I was dusty and physically exhausted from hours of playing paintball.  For those who have never been in those parts, imagine long straight roads with...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    More on Partial Methods

    • 16 Comments
    Thank you everyone for the feedback. If you have any more to say then please do express your opinion (and yes it is valued ;). I think there has been a bit of misunderstanding about what partial methods really are. So let's set the matter straight. Here...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Why all the love for lists?

    • 15 Comments
    One of the things that I have noticed when participating in interviews with potential candidates is that most candidates have a favorite data structure. Presumably this is the data structure that they feel the most comfortable with. The problem is that...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Types of confusion

    • 15 Comments
    When I began programming in my early teens, I was very excited to learn about programming and also excited to become a "real" programmer . I remember picking up a book from the library that purported to teach what real programmers were like. I absorbed...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    A Model for Query Interpretation

    • 14 Comments
    Evaluating Query Expressions After writing the code to translate query expressions and remove transparent identifiers, one of my first desires was to write a tool that would generate query expressions to test the correctness of the code. Of course...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    How Linq to Objects Queries Work

    • 12 Comments
    If you have ever tried to step through a Linq to Objects query in the debugger, you may have been mildly surprised at the results. It may have seemed as if the program had a mind of its own and ran certain expressions when it wanted to and not when it...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Why Functional Programming is Important in a Mixed Environment

    • 12 Comments
    While my last post addressed how to go about learning to think functionally, it did not address why a programmer should embark on the journey in the first place. Why is learning to think functionally important, especially in a mixed environment like C#...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Video on Linq Queries and Delayed Evaluation

    • 11 Comments
    I recently recorded a video with Charlie Calvert about Linq queries and delayed evaluation . You can find it here (streaming video). Download it here.
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Memoization and Anonymous Recursion

    • 11 Comments
    Keith Farmer brought it to my attention that there is at least a little confusion about how closures work. Hopefully, I can help shed a little light on the subject. The question is why doesn't the following code actually memoize fib in the call to Test...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Having Trouble with Queries

    • 10 Comments
    A Funny Joke and a Sad Joke There is a joke that goes something like this: Two men are hopelessly lost in hot air balloon. Their condition is aggravated by the fact that they are enshrouded by a thicket of fog. When it seems all is lost, suddenly the...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Transparent Identifiers

    • 9 Comments
    My last post described in detail how query expressions in C# are translated, but I have a confession to make. I did a little bit of hand waving through one part of the translation rules. The astute reader (whomever that is, whenever I read such things...
  • Yet Another Language Geek

    Continuation-Passing Style

    • 9 Comments
    There are some technical words that cause quite a stir even amongst geeks.  When someone says the word "continuation" , people's eyes glaze over and they seek the first opportunity to change the subject.  The stir is caused because...
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