Posts tagged programming
I’ve learned a number of programming languages since I began programming 25 years ago. Earlier in my career, my choice of which programming language to learn was largely driven by external factors such as a class or job requirement, or the expectation of job demand in the future.
I recently installed the software that came with a LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit onto a Mac Mini running OSX 10.4. I was somewhat concerned when the install program prompted me for an admin password, so I attempted to install the software into a directory in my home directory instead of the main Applications directory, but it still prompted for an admin password. Since LEGO is a large reputable company, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and figured the admin password may have been necessary to install Bluetooth drivers or some other feature. I should’ve learned a lesson from the Sony root kit debacle with respect to blindly trusting large corporations. In the Sony case, maliciousness was involved, in the LEGO Mindstorms case, I think only incompetence is to blame.
Someone posted a question on comp.lang.ruby recently asking for help with solving anagrams. The poster originally asked about ways of generating permutations and several people pointed him to the facets library which has some permutation utility functions. As it turns out, I benchmarked the following naive permutation generator as 3 times faster than the facets library code:
I came across a little programming puzzle on comp.lang.ruby.
The author blogged about the original paper that got things started, but I haven’t had time to read it in depth yet.
I’ve been teaching my eldest daughter to program in Logo over the summer. Brian Harvey has posted PDF files for a set of excellent books on learning to program in Logo on his web site. The Berkeley version of Logo he’s produced is really excellent. It’s not just your typical turtle graphics language; it has arrays, macros, file processing, graphics, etc.
Rails provides some nice helper functions (numbers, dates, etc.) that are available to views, but they’re not automatically available to controllers. I found a number of ways to accomplish this on the web, but I wasn’t satisfied with any of them.