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• LettersEditor +

Letters to the Editor(s)
by Ray Poynter (aka Dr Ray Poynter CEng CPhys MBCS MInstP)
Category: [ Overload Journal #60 - Apr 2004 | Project Management | Letters to the Editor ]
Writing Maintainable Code
Description :

Recently, I've been thinking hard about what makes code maintainable, and how to write code to be maintainable. This interest has partly been driven by the mentoring of those starting out in C++ that I've been doing, both through the ACCU mentored developers program, and for work.

The principles I've identified have not really been hidden; since they've been widely documented for years, and they're actually things that most good developers do as a matter of course. However, as with many things, you don't necessarily realize their benefits until you rediscover them yourself.

by Anthony Williams
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #2 - Apr 2004 | Programming Topics ]
I_mean_something_to_somebody, Part Two
Description :

This is the second of a two part article describing an experiment carried out during the 2003 ACCU conference. The first part was published in a previous issue of C Vu (15.6, December 2003) and discussed the background to the experiment and some of the applicable characteristics of the subjects taking part; this one, the second, discusses the results of the experiment.

by Derek Jones
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #2 - Apr 2004 | Programming Topics ]
Francis' Scribbles
Description :

Look at the following code and decide what is wrong with it. When you have done so, decide what it has to do with the previous section in particular and this section of C Vu in general - well actually the whole of your life.

by Francis Glassborow
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #2 - Apr 2004 | Programming Topics | Francis' Scribbles from CVu journal ]
C++/CLI, Ecma TC39/TG5,and SC22/WG21
Description :

There have been many languages for writing applications, but relatively few foundation platforms which support applications that are written in various different languages. We've had assembler (proprietary), then C (an ISO standard), and now we have the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI). The CLI standard is ISO/IEC 23271; the same content is also available online at

by Thomas Plum
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #2 - Apr 2004 | Programming Topics ]
A Python Script to Relocate Source Trees
Description :

Files form the raw ingredients of a software system - source files, build files, configuration files, resource files, scripts etc. These files are organised into directories.

by Thomas Guest
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #2 - Apr 2004 | Programming Topics ]
Letter to the Editor
Description :


I thought it was about time I wrote and introduced myself to ACCU members – it’s probably long overdue given that I’ve been production editor for the journals for a couple of years now (just over two years for Overload and eighteen months for C Vu, to be exact).

by Pippa Hennessy
Source : Entered by hand
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #1 - Feb 2004 | Letters to the Editor ]
Professionalism in Programming #24
Description :

There is more to life than increasing its speed” - Mahatma Gandhi

We live in a fast food culture. Not only must our dinner arrive yesterday, our car should be fast, and our entertainment instant. Our code should also run like lightning. I want my result. And I want it now.

Ironically, writing fast programs takes a long time.

Optimisation is a spectre hanging over software development, as W.A. Wulf observed. “More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency (without necessarily achieving it) than for any other single reason – including blind stupidity”.

It’s a well-worn subject, with plenty of trite soundbites bounding around, and the same advice being served time and time again. But despite this, a lot of code is still not developed sensibly. Programmers get sidetracked by the lure of efficiency and write bad code in the name of performance.

In these articles we’ll address this. We’ll tread some familiar ground and wander well-worn paths, but look out for some new views on the way. Don’t worry – if the subject’s optimisation it shouldn’t take too long...

by Pete Goodliffe
Source : Entered by hand
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #1 - Feb 2004 | Programming Topics | Professionalism in Programming, from CVu journal ]
Description :

What can be said about C’s everyday do...while loop? It just does something while some condition holds. End of story, right?

No, of course not. That would make the title of this small article silly, so let’s cover two topics.

by James Dennett
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #1 - Feb 2004 | Programming Topics ]
Code in Comments
Description :

We have all seen comments in source files which look more like executable code than documentation.

The first line in the body of the for loop below is such a comment: you might expect to be able to remove the leading slashes and have code which compiles and runs, but functions slightly differently.

What did the author of this comment intend?

Example 0

for (Surfaces::iterator sf = surfaces.begin();
     sf != surfaces.end();
     ++sf) {
  // std::cout << "Drawing: " << *sf << "\n";

OK, I’m being disingenuous. I’m aware that the comment isn’t really a comment, it’s commented-out code. And, like any tolerant and capable programmer, by examining the surrounding context I can guess why this code has been commented out.

This article examines how to comment out code, then describes various problems which lead to code being commented out, before finally arguing that there’s often a better solution to these problems.

by Thomas Guest
Source : Hand entered.
Category: [ CVu Journal Vol 16, #1 - Feb 2004 | Programming Topics ]
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