903 reputation
713
bio website google.com/+DanielPryden
location Silicon Valley
age 31
visits member for 4 years, 1 month
seen 13 hours ago

I started tinkering with computers at the age of 6. These days, I'm a senior software engineer at Google, currently working on Java application server infrastructure.

Besides being fluent in English and American Sign Language, I know too many programming languages to count. Lately I've primarily been using Java, plus some odds and ends of Python, C++, and JavaScript. I enjoy C#, even though nowadays I don't get many chances to use it. I'm also a big fan of Haskell and Scala, although I haven't had a chance to use either of them in a large-scale project yet.

In my spare time, I play guitar and read voraciously, including science fiction and books on computing. I'm also a volunteer minister for the deaf, teaching Bible studies in American Sign Language.

Standard disclaimer: my opinions are my own, and not necessarily those of my employer.


Oct
21
answered Why are floating point numbers used often in Science/Engineering?
Oct
15
awarded  Yearling
Jul
2
comment Why is the finalize method included in Java?
@rwong: Indeed. There are very few environments where (a) native leaks are a serious problem, (b) there is insufficient redundancy to tolerate JVM restarts, (c) there is no practical way to structure or audit the codebase to ensure that close() methods or similar are actually called, and (d) a sometime-later best-effort cleanup process is actually sufficient. In a case where all of those are true, then finalizers are perhaps a good solution. However, I think the advice to Read Effective Java first is sound: unless you fully understand finalizers, you're probably not competent to use them.
Jun
26
comment Why is the finalize method included in Java?
Even in the native peer case, I think PhantomReference is a better solution. Finalizers are a wart left over from the early days of Java, and like Object.clone() and raw types, are a part of the language best forgotten.
Jun
26
comment Why is the finalize method included in Java?
I guess I didn't spell it out well in my answer, but (IMO) the answer to "why does it exist?" is "it shouldn't". For those rare cases where you really need a finalization operation, you probably want to build it yourself with PhantomReference and ReferenceQueue instead.
Jun
26
answered Why is the finalize method included in Java?
Apr
29
awarded  Nice Answer
Oct
15
awarded  Yearling
Sep
13
awarded  Nice Answer
Aug
18
comment Java Heap Allocation Faster than C++
You may find my answer to a similar question over on SO useful/relevant.
Aug
18
answered Is “pass by value” synonymous with “functional programming”
Aug
14
awarded  Nice Answer
Aug
14
revised Why are reference-counting smart pointers so popular?
added link
Aug
14
answered Why are reference-counting smart pointers so popular?
Apr
21
comment How common is it for a team to write everything in-house?
@tp1: I categorically disagree. On the contrary, if it is possible to reuse someone else's work, it is nearly always better to not do it yourself. Reusing the research, analysis, development, and debugging efforts of another team means that you can devote more resources to delivering increased value for your project. To argue otherwise is sheer hubris.
Apr
20
comment How common is it for a team to write everything in-house?
@tp1: I work for Google and I can assure you that Google very much does use third-party libraries when they meet our needs. Many times Google has needs that are unique or at a different scale from many other software companies, so for one reason or another Google will often develop things in house. But Google also uses a large number of open-source libraries, and/or open-sources lots of internal libraries, so not everything is in-house. Most of your points no longer apply for open-source software, since by having the source you ensure that you can always debug it and fix it if necessary.
Mar
6
comment Why isn't Java used for modern web application development?
@Basic: Backwards from what? In the year and a half since I first wrote this answer, I've moved on and am currently working at Google, and I can assure you that Java is used very heavily for web application development at Google. Of course, Google's needs are very different from the needs of many other companies, but Java is a different beast entirely when you use the right libraries and frameworks -- just check out some of the things Google has open-sourced (Guava, Guice, GWT, Protocol Buffers, etc.).
Mar
6
comment Why isn't Java used for modern web application development?
@Basic: What is your point? There are lots of broken libraries and frameworks for any language. Yes, there is lots of crufty and out of date documentation -- but that's hardly unusual either. Conversely, there are some fantastic libraries, frameworks, and tools for Java. Are you seriously trying to suggest that there should be one end-to-end framework for every application ever?
Nov
20
comment Why is it called Just In Time?
@kevincline: I agree, in the Java world it isn't very interactive. But that's a problem with the Java implementation, not with the approach of JIT compiling in general. For example, Visual Studio allows you to edit C# code while it's running and it re-JITs on the fly, so it can be done.
Nov
19
comment Why is it called Just In Time?
@kevincline: It is possible to get more real-time feedback, even with Java; most Java debuggers allow you to execute small bits of code while at a breakpoint. But other languages do this much better: F# for example has an interactive REPL implemented with a JIT compiler.