Source Code

8/22/2007 12:29:21 AM

Source Code

Scott Hanselman's post on Weekly Source Code 2 reminded me of my desire to post some of my source code. I'll probably do just that, but, with me and my short-term memory loss, I often forget to follow up until after a few years go by.

A couple of my classes come to mind:

  • Rational number class. This is an implementation of a general-purpose 16-byte data type that can precisely represent rational numbers (up to a certain precision), long (both signed and unsigned), and doubles. The code is written in IL to take advantage of extended-precision floating point. More info...
  • Fast, persistent hash-tables and array. This is one of my two sets of persistent collection classes. Similar to persistent arrays used by the COQ theorem prover for fast, functional union-find data structures, these data types are as fast as their imperative cousins and are ideal for backtracking. Unfortunately, my implementation is not thread-safe. My second set of persistent data structures is fully "functional" and thread-safe, but is more connected to my code-base.

If I haven't posted any source code by the end of September, give me a ring.


I have been meaning to post some regular expression matching implementations from my post in December: one using closures and another less efficient implementation using iterators. Both are functional, but imperative implementations can be compact too. I won't get around to doing it until after I ship NStatic, though.

Several years ago, I wrote a fast pattern-matcher and a slower unification engine (bidirectional pattern-matching) for expressions. Both algorithms provided a superset of regular-expression capabilities including wildcards and disjunctions.  (For unification, one regular expression pattern might be matched against another pattern.) They also handled other phenomena such as associativity and commutativity. By going completely functional, I was able to merge both algorithms into one, fast algorithm and dramatically reduce the total number of lines down to about 500.

I had written a regular expression engine for a college class based on NDFAs, the code for which was substantial. I also know that Microsoft's Rotor implementation includes a large number of files, so I was surprised by the compactness and directness of my functional pattern matcher implementation.

Since then, I have been (re-)writing most of my code in the functional style with the same consistent results. Programming in a functional manner entails heavy use of closures (anonymous methods), which is only really practical in C# 2.0+, and greatly eliminates the need for temporary or accidental classes.

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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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