1,798 reputation
916
bio website MarkDontBlog
location United Kingdom
age 43
visits member for 4 years, 2 months
seen Dec 3 at 13:25

Developer in scientific fields.

  • My world is vertical market shrinkwrap. Do you know your world?
  • VB6, VB.NET, C, Fortran, Perl, PHP...
  • User interfaces, graphics, data manipulation, numerical models.
  • Database stuff with Access/MySQL/SQL Server.
  • Physics degree, little formal training in development

In my young days I used to write things like compilers and chess programs for fun - but that was last millenium :)


Nov
28
comment Do I have to make source code open, if I use GPLv2 licensed software to derive data
They report they have done considerable extra work, for example they say "In addition to the astronomical planets as contained in the JPL integration, we have included all other bodies and hypothetical factors which are of interest... We have used our own numerical integration program to provide ephemerides for all known asteroids, once they are officially numbered."
Nov
28
comment It is safe to accept money for open source software that you've written?
+1. Also in the contracts make sure you are not providing any warranty that the code actually works. (To avoid potentially being sued later.)
Nov
28
comment It is safe to accept money for open source software that you've written?
Did you write all the code, or are there libraries or code from elsewhere? In which case you need to check the license terms of those things too.
Oct
29
awarded  Yearling
Sep
5
awarded  Good Answer
Aug
6
comment When would you want two references to the same object?
Is this ideal of only one reference due to reference-counting memory management? If so, it would be worth mentioning that the motivation isn't relevant to other languages with different garbage collectors (e.g. C#, Java, Python)
Jun
25
comment Is there a benefit in compiling your code as you go along?
@CaptainCodeman In that scenario, I would do the same thing you did - read the code. "Immediately getting the code to compile" sounds to me like the interviewer was a quick-and-dirty programmer. I mean the type who hacks code together really fast, compiles & runs it to "find out what it does", and fixes bugs. The coding process ends up being slow-and-dirty rather than quick-and-clean.
Jun
24
comment Is there a benefit in compiling your code as you go along?
Sounds like the first interviewer was basically impressed with your skills, and was just giving you a little tip. That second interview question was rather weird - why give someone an incomplete codebase, that doesn't even compile, presumably with no real explanation of in what ways it is incomplete? When does that happen in the real world? I don't think I would start by getting it to compile, I would read it to try to figure out what had been omitted - just like you did.
May
12
comment Dealing with technical debt and nearing release
+1 but do make sure you really are 1 week from release. Sometimes the schedule says you are 1 week from release but actually you have a long way to go yet, with many bugs to fix.
Mar
22
comment Why is Global State so Evil?
@giorgio The question makes it clear that the variables in question get their values at startup and never change afterwards during program execution (system folders, database credentials). I.e. immutable, it does not change once it has been given a value. Personally I also use the word "state" because it can be different from one execution to another, or on a different machine. There may be better words.
Feb
23
comment What are the key points of Working Effectively with Legacy Code?
@peter, thanks, changed the link.
Feb
23
revised What are the key points of Working Effectively with Legacy Code?
deleted 17 characters in body
Nov
21
comment Visual Studio versions and Team Etiquette
What did he say when you asked him politely?
Nov
15
comment How should we develop the project with different members with different skill level?
+1 "Your first step is to talk with your manager. Objectively explain the issue." Definitely. Also, understand the contractor's viewpoint. He probably thinks he was hired to generate lots of code quickly, and if he's too slow he could be fired without warning. That does happen to contractors sometimes - they have no job security. This could explain why he gets angry when (the way he sees it) he's interrupted from coding. So he may need reassurance from his manager that knowledge transfer is important, and that it's OK to develop a little slower.
Nov
15
comment Visual Studio 2012 - Express vs Professional
If you are a startup - a small, new company - you can get Visual Studio Professional free through Microsoft's BizSpark program. And lots of other software and goodies too.
Nov
6
comment How can architects work with self-organizing Scrum teams?
@erik And when three separate teams arrive at their three, separate, consensus decisions you might get a mixture of Rails, Java and .Net.
Nov
4
comment What are the most common ways used to migrate a Delphi application incrementally to .NET?
@Aaronaught I was responding to your comment, not the question, and your comment says "rewrite" (twice!). And I was trying to say "rewriting several million lines of working code is almost always a bad idea", not "rewriting is always a bad idea". That's why I said, erm, "rewriting several million lines of working code is almost always a bad idea".
Nov
3
comment What are the most common ways used to migrate a Delphi application incrementally to .NET?
@Aaronaught Rewriting several million lines of working code is always an expensive idea and almost always a bad idea.
Nov
1
answered How does the new google maps make buildings and cityscapes 3D?
Oct
30
comment Did the developers of Java consciously abandon RAII?
+1 Here's an MSDN link from 2003 explaining why a deliberate decision was made to move away from the COM reference-counting model, so that the garbage collector could cope with circular references and also for performance reasons. "If a group of objects contain references to each other, but none of these object are referenced directly or indirectly from stack or shared variables, then garbage collection will automatically reclaim the memory."