2,385 reputation
11137
bio website darenscotwilson.com
location Southern California
age 54
visits member for 4 years, 2 months
seen 2 days ago

Physicist/Artist who fools around with electrons, photons, pixels and bits. Currently in San Diego, formerly of Socorro NM, Orlando FL, Boulder CO, Ann Arbor and other places in Michigan.

Mainly, I've been making 2D and 3D illustrations and animations, writing explanations for things in physics, astronomy and electronics, writing software for image processing and science number-crunching, and teaching the cats to do my work for me. Regrettably, the latter endeavor has been a total failure.


Dec
1
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
What about something like Rect(xrange(x1,x2), yrange(y1,y2))? That seems the ultimate in API usage safety and elegance.
Dec
1
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
Or call 'em y1 and y2, and use min(y1,y2) and max(y1,y2) - of course that would be clumsier even than access through two points p1, p2.
Dec
1
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
This too appears in real life. I find it tricky as one of the most common things I do with rectangles is test if a point is contained within. Drawing is also common. In both cases addition needs to be performed, which bothers high performance clock cycle counters like me.
Dec
1
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
I wonder if it might be informative to have a short list of several graphics APIs, GUI toolkits etc and which type of rectangle structs they use?
Dec
1
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
@Dean Harding: Well then, Windows it is all the way! Goodbye Linux and the others! :P
Dec
1
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
@Nick T: Though I dumbly didn't state it explicitly, I meant for only straight X-Y aligned rectangles, such as in a windows manager or for plotting data, not full arbitrary shapes that one might twirl around and create drawings with.
Nov
30
comment Identifying programming languages by a piece of code
This is a good questions. Sometimes I find code snippets I stuck in my tiddly wiki, some text file of notes and "temporary" junk, or sent to my by email or something. A "field guide" to identifying C-ish languages would be useful.
Nov
30
comment Identifying programming languages by a piece of code
I'd be interested in including D, Vala and Haxe.
Nov
30
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
But it seems like playing with half a deck, to keep only two points to define a four-cornered shape. If you happen to need top-left, cool, but if you need top-right, you have to do some fancy data grabbing, relatively speaking.
Nov
30
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
While it's true the two different structs both boil down to four coordinates, the two-points version introduces an extraneous level that gathers one x and one y, with no particular rationale to which x goes with which y. I do not see this extra level as providing any utility whatsoever, after many years of graphics programming.
Nov
30
comment What's the idea behind defining rectangles with two points?
A rectangle is more naturally defined as a range of x values and a range of y values.
Nov
19
comment At which point do you “know” a technology enough to list it on a resume
@Kramii - excellent summary of why years of experience are worthless. Point 3 especially is why I have so much trouble writing resumes and filling in applications. Too many occasional uses of certain tools or skills.
Nov
16
comment What's a nice explanation for pointers?
That's good in a way, but somewhat misleading, as the cards don't actually say where the book is. You still need to execute a sneaker-oriented search algorithm. Maybe this better models a database - refering to a stored object by a key (call number).
Nov
16
comment What's a nice explanation for pointers?
Reminds me of a "computer" I used before I could get my hands on one that actually used electrons - the cardboard "CARDIAC" I think it was called. Literally, writing numbers in numbered boxes to get numbers from other numbered boxes. It was educational and I never had trouble understanding pointers on real microprocessors.
Nov
16
comment Is paper indispensable in a programmer's everyday work?
And add to Jun Purdy's comment - if someone just wants to make a sketchy diagram, or make a quick little list of reminders - it would take a longer time, far from an equivalent period, to do so on a computer. Someone has yet to invent a way to make quick scribbles on a computer. Without everyone needing an artist's digitizing pad, that is. So paper is here to stay.
Nov
16
comment Is paper indispensable in a programmer's everyday work?
LOL - I remember reading about the "paperless office" in a magazine from the 1970s - and we are not there yet! Good luck to that company. BTW, I hate getting paper cuts.
Nov
13
comment How can a Right-Brainer Deal with Massive Left-Brainer Code?
Ugh! That kind of stuff makes me cringe! Maybe my style of thinking is too low-level, i.e. "opcode oriented programming", to be comfortable with this.
Nov
13
comment FizzBuzz - really?
Grade inflation sucks, wastes time for everyone!
Nov
13
comment FizzBuzz - really?
About the 2nd point... having spent a lot of time contemplating my next career move, studying various industries, and job-hunting, it was a major difficulty trying to assess my own level of competence at many different things. Apparently this is a big, big problem for (nearly) everyone.
Nov
13
comment I am in a rather difficult work situation. Should I stay or should I go?
Agreement! The only case in which excessive hours/week make sense is if you're the founder or owner of a startup, or you're dealing with some sort of big disaster like a forest fire. Otherwise it's just insane.