Rant

a fractal problem

[…] a fractal problem.

Fractal problems are those that look really simple from 100,000 feet up (like a dot) and reach unimaginable complexity as you get closer (like a fractal). There are a lot of problems of this nature (like email, transportation, ecommerce, taxation, etc.) and solving them is worth a lot of money but requires a LOT of work.

Source: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6657087

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Another IE 9 bug: Search box

If you try to search for a .NET topic with the new IE 9 you might run into some problems:

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If you put “.net” as the first keyword, IE9 thinks it’s supposed to open an url instead of querying you configured search engine for it.

If you change the order of the query terms, e.g., from “.net unity” to “unity .net” it’ll work just fine:

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Internet Explorer 9 Taskbar Pin Bug

Internet Explorer 9 Beta has been released and includes a cool feature which allows you to ‘Pin’ websites to the taskbar just like regular programs:

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You could, for example, pin Facebook to the taskbar to use Jumplists to quickly access you News or Messages:

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However, with all these widescreen displays around today I like to have my taskbar on the right hand side of the screen in order to maximize my vertical screen estate.

When you drag a webpage to the taskbar with this setup it only triggers AeroSnap which makes it impossible to pin websites this way:

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😦

Telefonat Teil 1

“spreche ich dort mit der firma impera?”
“keine firma, aber ich betreibe diese seite, ja”
“haben sie etwas mit geldspielgeraeten zu tun?”
“aeh nein.”
“also keine geldspielgeraete?”
“NEIN.”
“dann entschuldigen sie die stoerung, tschuess”

So eine oeffentliche Telefonnummer ist wahrlich ein endloser Quell der Erheiterung!

Concepts won’t be in C++0x

On Monday I heard a talk given by Michael Wong (IBM Canada) and he told us – and he also wrote in his blog – about the last C++0x Standard Committee meeting in Frankfurt, Germany:

At this meeting, Concepts, the major feature of C++ 0x, which enables constrained genericity, or template argument prototyping, has been removed from the C++0x draft.

So at this point another major feature of C++0x won’t be included in the final release of the standard (and the ETA was shifted to 2010/2011 instead of 2009/2010). While C++0x has many features I’m very anxious about (think lambda functions, the auto keyword, double angle brackets in template declarations, etc.) I really wanted concepts in the new standard.

Over the past year I have been – and I still do – writing a linear algebra template library in order to try out new methods to exploit parallelization in an object oriented environment (my bachelor’s thesis titled “Exploiting Object Orientation to Parallelize and Optimize C++ Applications” will include a more detailed explanation and evaluation). It would have been really great to be able to specify certain contraints for the generic types the way, for example, C# allows you to limit the usage of parameters in Generics. With the removal of concepts, the only way is to use the STL convention of specifying Concepts, which types must adhere to, but with no real representation in the code and especially no checking through the compiler.

However, even though I was looking forward to this feature I understand the reasons for not including them (see N2906 by Bjarne Stroustrup), C++ is already a very difficult language to teach to beginners. In my opinion the real value and great advantage of C++ lies in the various usage possibilities of template (see template expressions, or general template metaprogramming) and when explaining these concepts to new C++ programmers you nearly always make their head spin..

UPDATE

There are now two new blog posts by Herb Sutter and Bjarne Stroustrup himself about this topic:

Herb Sutter – Trip Report: Exit Concepts

and Bjarne Stroustrup The C++0x “Remove Concepts” decision