January 2005

17 posts

Affecting the World through Blogging

I like to think that I was somehow responsible via blogging for a number of changes that occured at Microsoft or elsewhere.Collections. I had previous blogged about poor collection support in .NET and the lack of scalable list class. Very soon afterwords, the PowerCollections effort began; and I know, for
Read more » Jan 30, 2005, 6:39PM

Language Oriented Programming

About eight months ago, I wrote about a major paradigm shift in programming within the next three years. This shift would mark the emergence of graphical source code editors and allow developers to manipulate the deep structure of code directly. There’s been major discussion in the blogosphere recently on this
Read more » Jan 29, 2005, 4:23PM

NYT Review of Collapse

The New York Times has, coincidentally a book review of Jared Diamond’s new book Collapse. There’s also a first chapter excerpt included. (My last post was on a lecture yesterday at Microsoft by the author of Collapse, promoting his book.)
Read more » Jan 29, 2005, 8:30AM


I attended a lecture at the Microsoft campus yesterday, given by the professor Jared Diamond, who wrote the Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies as well as the The Third Chimpanzee : The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal . I read the book
Read more » Jan 29, 2005, 3:39AM

Second Most Powerful Wizard

In a poll of the most powerful wizards in the world, Slashdot currently has me as the second most powerful wizard in the world.  Gandalf received 1/3 of the votes in the poll, and I received one-fifth of the votes (under the title of “Excel PivotTable Creator”). On second thought,
Read more » Jan 25, 2005, 8:18PM

Floating Point Arithmetic, II

Some answers from the last post... Math.Round(2.5) = 3. False.Math.Round uses banker's rounding, which rounds the fraction .5 to the nearest even number. Traditional arithmetic rounding introduces an upward bias, whereas the heuristic used in banker's rounding cancels out the bias. When aggregating several random rounded numbers, banker's rounding is
Read more » Jan 20, 2005, 11:08PM
.NET , Math

Floating Point Arithmetic

Eric Lippert has a serious of recent blog posts on Floating Point Arithmetic, if you were interested in or following any of my prior math quiz posts.  Also, Eric Gunnerson talks about floating point arithmetic in a December 2003 post, and posts to a canonical discussion of floating point arithmetic
Read more » Jan 18, 2005, 6:36AM
.NET , Math

GDI+ in PocketPC

In response to my earlier post about the limitations of the PocketPC API, one of the developers of the PocketPC emailed me that the new Compact Framework for Whidbey is very much improved over the original version and believes that these improvements will drive many more developers for that platforms.
Read more » Jan 17, 2005, 5:34PM

Pointers in VB

One of my issues with VB was its lack of support for pointers, which are still very useful for such tasks as working with unmanaged code, manipulating image data, constructing a specialized memory manager, and using memory-mapped files. I just learned that there is an alternative available for the semicolon-challenged
Read more » Jan 12, 2005, 2:45PM

Numbers in .NET

Working in Excel, I encountered all sorts of issues with floating point numbers. Excel had to deal with NaNs (of which there are many), +/- infinity, negative zeros (1/NegativeInfinity), and denormalized numbers (numbers smaller than 1/double.MaxValue but larger than zero). In addition, there were also a number of rounding issues,
Read more » Jan 10, 2005, 4:17PM
.NET , Math

Math Quiz II

Just before I give any answers, here are some more .NET math questions: If x and y are double and x = y,  then 1/x = 1/y. If x is an int, then x >> 1  = x / 2. If x and y are decimal and x = y, 
Read more » Jan 10, 2005, 9:10AM
.NET , Math

.NET Math Quiz

I have decided to test how numerate (mathematically literate) my readership is.  These are questions that one might find in a high school test... except I substituted the set of ints or longs for that of integers and the set of doubles for that of reals. For each statement, answer
Read more » Jan 9, 2005, 12:20PM
.NET , Math

Google - Extension of the Brain

I was just reading a Slashdot post on the top 25 innovations of the past twenty-five years. CNET has been counting down each invention for some time now and plans on announcing the #1 invention on Sunday. I think their obvious pick will be the World Wide Web. One poster
Read more » Jan 8, 2005, 11:29AM


A little less than a year ago I talked about in my post "The Power of 3D" the future emergence of 3D in the user interfaces of standard applications, not just video games. While we see some of this already here in the Macintosh with its three-dimensional "fast user switching"
Read more » Jan 7, 2005, 2:20AM
.NET , Technology

.NET Compact Framework

.NET Compact Framework and Runtime is shaping up to be a very different and weaker beast from the regular .NET Framework. The Compact Framework supports a very small subset of the methods and types available in the Base Class Library and WinForms... Lack of GDI+ also impacts the available methods
Read more » Jan 6, 2005, 7:07PM





Net Undocumented is a blog about the internals of .NET including Xamarin implementations. Other topics include managed and web languages (C#, C++, Javascript), computer science theory, software engineering and software entrepreneurship.

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