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  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Shadowcasting in C#, Part Three

    • 8 Comments
    Before we get started, thanks for all the great comments to the previous couple of posts. I'll be updating the algorithm to try to make even better-looking circles of light based on the comments. Like I said, there's a lot of subtleties to these algorithms...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Shadowcasting in C#, Part Two

    • 15 Comments
    I hope the basic idea of the shadow casting algorithm is now clear. Let's start to implement the thing. There are two main concerns to deal with. The easy one is "what should the interface to the computation look like?" The second is "how to implement...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Shadowcasting in C#, Part One

    • 15 Comments
    I've always loved the "roguelike" games; perhaps you've played some of them. Those are the games where you get a top-down view of a tile-based world, and have as much real time as you like to make a choice of action. The canonical plot is to enter a dungeon...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Roguelike people

    • 41 Comments
    No technology today. Rather, some advice. I don't know if there's some sort of grifter convention going on, but I have seen four different short-con artists operating in Wallingford, the neighbourhood of Seattle where I live, in the last three days. Though...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    So many interfaces, part two

    • 11 Comments
    In my earlier article from April 2011 on interface implementation I noted that C# supports a seldom-used feature called "interface re-implementation". This feature is useful when you need it but unfortunately is one of those features that can bite you...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    What's the difference? Remainder vs Modulus

    • 38 Comments
    Today, another episode of my ongoing series " What's the difference? " Today, what's the difference between a remainder and a modulus, and which, if either, does the % operator represent in C#? A powerful idea that you see come up in mathematics...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Why have a stack?

    • 25 Comments
    Last time I discussed why it is that we have all the .NET compilers target an "intermediate language", or "IL", and then have jitters that translate IL to machine code: because doing so ultimately reduces the costs of building a multi-language, multi...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Why IL?

    • 17 Comments
    One of the earliest and most frequently-asked questions we got when we announced the Roslyn project was "is this like LLVM for .NET?" No, Roslyn is not anything like LLVM for .NET. LLVM stands for Low-Level Virtual Machine ; as I understand it (admittedly...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    A C# Reading List

    • 10 Comments
    Just a couple of quick links today. First: One of the questions I get most frequently is " can you recommend some good books about learning to program better in C#? " The question is usually asked by a developer; the other day I was surprised to get...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Breaking changes and named arguments

    • 29 Comments
    Before I get into the subject of today's post, thanks so much to all of you who have given us great feedback on the Roslyn CTP. Please keep it coming . I'm definitely going to do some articles on Roslyn in the future; the past few weeks I have been too...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    The Roslyn Preview Is Now Available

    • 37 Comments
    I am super excited to announce that the Roslyn project code is now sufficiently coherent that we can start showing it to customers! But I am getting ahead of myself somewhat. What is this "Roslyn" project? Here's the deal. We've got these great...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Insanely great

    • 8 Comments
    I've never owned an Apple product; I haven't written Mac software professionally since working on the Mac version of Visual Basic briefly in 1994. Nevertheless, Steve Jobs inspired me every day . Wanting to make "insanely great" technology is one thing...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Async articles

    • 8 Comments
    I am pleased to announce that MSDN Magazine is doing a special issue this month on the new "async-await" feature that we are working on for the next versions of C# and Visual Basic. If this subject interests you, see my introductory article for beginners...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Keep it secret, keep it safe

    • 20 Comments
    A lot of people really love the idea of cryptography. To computer geeks like us there is nothing cooler than the idea that computing relatively simple arithmetic on a message can enable you to communicate secretly with anyone in the world, even if there...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Inheritance and Representation

    • 12 Comments
    (Note: Not to be confused with Representation and Identity ) Here's a question I got this morning: class Alpha<X> where X : class {} class Bravo<T, U> where T : class where U : T { Alpha<U> alpha; } This gives a compilation error stating...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    What is this thing you call a "type"? Part Two

    • 25 Comments
    Well that was entirely predictable; as I said last time , if you ask ten developers for a definition of "type", you get ten different answers. The comments to the previous article make for fascinating reading! Here's my attempt at describing what ...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    What is this thing you call a "type"? Part one

    • 34 Comments
    (Eric is out camping; this posting is prerecorded. I'll be back in the office after Labour Day.) The word "type" appears almost five thousand times in the C# 4 specification, and there is an entire chapter, chapter 4, dedicated to nothing but describing...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Funniest Hungarian Joke Ever

    • 21 Comments
    I'm back from my fabulous adventures in Austria, Romania and Canada and I had a fabulous time, as you might imagine. We were in Romania for a wedding of some close personal friends who live here in Seattle; much of the groom's family escaped from Romania...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    I'm glad and sad that that's over

    • 12 Comments
    No computers; high technology of a different sort today. Shuttle Atlantis has safely returned to earth for the last time ; the Space Shuttle Program is over. Which both makes me sad, and makes me breathe a huge sigh of relief. Thank goodness that is finally...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Strings, immutability and persistence

    • 32 Comments
    Todays post is based on a question from StackOverflow ; I liked it so much I figured hey, let's just blog it today. When you look at a string in C#, it looks to you like a collection of characters, end of story. But of course, behind the scenes there...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    The curious property revealed

    • 17 Comments
    Today is the fifteenth anniversary of my first day of full time work here at Microsoft. Hard to believe it has been a decade and a half of writing developer tools. I am tremendously fortunate to be able to work with such a great team on such a great toolset...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    What curious property does this string have?

    • 33 Comments
    There are all kinds of interesting things in the Unicode standard. For example, the block of characters from U+A000 to U+A48F is for representing syllables in the "Yi script". Apparently it is a Chinese language writing system developed during the Tang...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    My Buddy Neil Totally Agrees With Me

    • 12 Comments
    [No computer stuff today; just some fun for a Friday.] British fantasy author Neil Gaiman was in Seattle recently. I was so disappointed that I did not find out about it until it was too late to attend his event. It's a pity I missed it because I've been...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Following the pattern

    • 8 Comments
    Here's a question I got from a user recently: The foreach loop in C# uses a pattern-based approach to semantic analysis. LINQ in C# also uses a pattern-based approach. Why don't other features, such as the "using" statement, also use a pattern-based approach...
  • Fabulous Adventures In Coding

    Ref returns and ref locals

    • 60 Comments
    "Ref returns" are the subject of another great question from StackOverflow that I thought I might share with a larger audience. Ever since C# 1.0 you've been able to create an "alias" to a variable by passing a "ref to a variable" to certain methods...
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