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I am currently working towards a PhD in microbial genetics. Before that I spent a bit over a decade working as a programmer, with most of that time spent writing computer games. I have degrees in Mathematics (MMath), Life Sciences (BSc) and Molecular Genetics (MSc).


Sep
6
awarded  Great Answer
Aug
6
answered Quantifying the advantages of a modern version control system
Jul
22
comment When I test out the difference in time between shifting and multiplying in C, there is no difference. Why?
@NicholasFolk: I don't know whether they've got round to sorting them but it wasn't very long ago that all the major games platform compilers failed to perform this simple optimisation. I'd be kind of surprised if the 3DS compiler does to this day.
Jun
19
comment Why was C# made with “new” and “virtual+override” keywords unlike Java?
@SztupY: And you can see why they thought it would be an improvement but the experience of Java is part of the reason why C#'s designers decided to do it. Language design is always a bit of learning process. I don't think anyone would design C++ quite how it's designed if they were starting from scratch today, for example.
Jun
18
comment Are error variables an anti-pattern or good design?
@jhr: Quite so, which is one reason why exceptions are, as I said, generally preferable. However there are use cases where they don't behave in the desired fashion.
Jun
18
comment Why was C# made with “new” and “virtual+override” keywords unlike Java?
It's worth noting that the designers of C# has Java to look at, whereas the designers of Java didn't have C# to look at so, to some extent, the differences between Java and C# are down to learning from problems in Java and trying to solve them.
Jun
18
comment Are error variables an anti-pattern or good design?
No, I mean reporting it to the caller. It's the caller's responsibility to decide whether the user needs to know about the error or not, just as with an exception.
Jun
18
answered Are error variables an anti-pattern or good design?
Jun
12
answered Is it customary for software companies to forbid code authors from taking credit for their work? do code authors have a say?
May
30
revised Origins of code indentation
Updated answer with information from a comment above.
May
30
awarded  Nice Answer
May
26
answered Why should main() be short?
May
23
comment Origins of code indentation
Thinking about this overnight, it occurs to me that to a meaningful degree indentation probably predates programming. Indentation was likely used in instruction lists prior to anyone writing computer programs. I'm trying to hunt down an example.
May
22
revised Origins of code indentation
deleted 3 characters in body
May
22
comment Origins of code indentation
I'm not sure it has a single point of origin. Also, for some early code, the space taken up by the spaces themselves would have been an issue.
May
22
answered Origins of code indentation
May
21
awarded  Mortarboard
May
21
awarded  Good Answer
May
20
revised Should I follow the normal path or fail early?
Fixed embarassing grammatical error
May
20
awarded  Nice Answer