Archive for April, 2008

Ada

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

Ian sent me this slashdot link the other day (since I can’t bring myself to read slashdot for any length of time):

The Return of Ada

Allow me some nostalgic reminiscing:

Most of my college buddies are fondly aware of Ada, having it being forced down them in their first couple years of school.  Cal Poly’s CS dept was very pro-Ada, my guess is that it was because they wanted to cater to government recruiting.  Perhaps this was why most professors laughed when I told them I wanted to go into the games industry.   Just like my dad, “nobody’s going to pay you to play videogames”.

So anyway, we were forced to use Ada for the intro data structures courses.  This bugged me to no end.  It wasn’t so much the language, although it is unnecessarily wordy IMO.  But the lack of any serious tools was its shortcomings.  We’re talking: No code editor, No IDE, No Debugger.  Syntax highlighting?  Ya right.

Even the Ada compiler wasn’t natively Ada, it simply converted the Ada code to C++ and then called g++ on it.

And this is the time when Microsoft had Visual C++ 5, leading up to Visual Studio 6, which many hard-core C++ programmers still believe as their best IDE (but poor standards compiler).  Every version after has added more latency, and no useful features.  VS.NET 2002 was a huge step backwards and they’ve been playing catch up ever since.  I think you’d find many people who would be more than happy if they scrapped their entire .NET trunk, rolled back to version 6 of the IDE and hooked it up to the latest compiler.

Anyways, working with Ada was such a chore, it was a breath of relief when you got past the data structures courses and could use any language of your choice.  In fact, it was always my first question on the first day of class.

Ironically, the year after I graduated, the school introduced a new curriculum, starting with Java for the intro courses, then moving to C++.   No more Ada.  And they got a brand new computer lab to top it off.  Sigh…

Of course, this probably degenerated the school into one of those JavaSchools, but that’s a debate for another time.

Engineers and Cats

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Everyone like cats!  Oh, maybe it’s just us geeks.

http://www.videosift.com/video/An-Engineers-Guide-to-Cats

My Christmas List?

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Reasons why it’s worth to be a PCgamer in 2008

Wow, there are a lot of games released in one year.  Granted, there are probably more than half on this list that don’t look all that great.  But still, that leaves like 20 or 30 that I would at least like to check out.

How many games did I play last year?  Just one.  I really have to break my WoW addiction.

But seriously, there’s no way I have time to play all of these…  But I would like to…

Vote on VS2008 bug

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Do me a favor and vote on this bug. All that requires is that you have a MS passport ID. It’s a bug in Visual Studio 2008 that I get, and suposedly they won’t offer a full patch until Octobor. Here’s hoping a few more votes in the issue tracker will speed things up:

C2471 error