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  • Can I implement the readers and writers algorithm in OpenMP by replacing counting semaphores with another feature?

    - by DeveloperDon
    After reading about OpenMP and not finding functions to support semaphores, I did an internet search for OpenMP and the readers and writers problem, but found no suitable matches. Is there a general method for replacing counting semaphores in OpenMP with something that it supports? Or is there just a gap in the environment where it does not permit things that are asymmetrical like the third readers and writers problem shown on the following page? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readers-writers_problem#The_third_readers-writers_problem

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  • Are CK Metrics still considered useful? Is there an open source tool to help?

    - by DeveloperDon
    Chidamber & Kemerer proposed several metrics for object oriented code. Among them, depth of inheritance tree, weighted number of methods, number of member functions, number of children, and coupling between objects. Using a base of code, they tried to correlated these metrics to the defect density and maintenance effort using covariant analysis. Are these metrics actionable in projects? Perhaps they can guide refactoring. For example weighted number of methods might show which God classes needed to be broken into more cohesive classes that address a single concern. Is there approach superseded by a better method, and is there a tool that can identify problem code, particularly in moderately large project being handed off to a new developer or team?

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  • Is there a tool to do round trip software engineering between a sequence diagram and a group of objects that message back and forth?

    - by DeveloperDon
    Is there a tool to do round trip software engineering between a sequence diagram and a group of objects that message back and forth? Perhaps this seems a little exotic, but it seems like a function that includes message calls or even method invocations on other objects could be automatically converted to a sequence diagram given that it is not hard to do manually. Similarly, when a sequence diagram is modified, based on the message name and type of message, should it not be possible to add a message or method to the calling object?

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  • How can I best manage making open source code releases from my company's confidential research code?

    - by DeveloperDon
    My company (let's call them Acme Technology) has a library of approximately one thousand source files that originally came from its Acme Labs research group, incubated in a development group for a couple years, and has more recently been provided to a handful of customers under non-disclosure. Acme is getting ready to release perhaps 75% of the code to the open source community. The other 25% would be released later, but for now, is either not ready for customer use or contains code related to future innovations they need to keep out of the hands of competitors. The code is presently formatted with #ifdefs that permit the same code base to work with the pre-production platforms that will be available to university researchers and a much wider range of commercial customers once it goes to open source, while at the same time being available for experimentation and prototyping and forward compatibility testing with the future platform. Keeping a single code base is considered essential for the economics (and sanity) of my group who would have a tough time maintaining two copies in parallel. Files in our current base look something like this: > // Copyright 2012 (C) Acme Technology, All Rights Reserved. > // Very large, often varied and restrictive copyright license in English and French, > // sometimes also embedded in make files and shell scripts with varied > // comment styles. > > > ... Usual header stuff... > > void initTechnologyLibrary() { > nuiInterface(on); > #ifdef UNDER_RESEARCH > holographicVisualization(on); > #endif > } And we would like to convert them to something like: > // GPL Copyright (C) Acme Technology Labs 2012, Some rights reserved. > // Acme appreciates your interest in its technology, please contact [email protected] > // for technical support, and www.acme.com/emergingTech for updates and RSS feed. > > ... Usual header stuff... > > void initTechnologyLibrary() { > nuiInterface(on); > } Is there a tool, parse library, or popular script that can replace the copyright and strip out not just #ifdefs, but variations like #if defined(UNDER_RESEARCH), etc.? The code is presently in Git and would likely be hosted somewhere that uses Git. Would there be a way to safely link repositories together so we can efficiently reintegrate our improvements with the open source versions? Advice about other pitfalls is welcome.

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  • Are there deprecated practices for multithread and multiprocessor programming that I should no longer use?

    - by DeveloperDon
    In the early days of FORTRAN and BASIC, essentially all programs were written with GOTO statements. The result was spaghetti code and the solution was structured programming. Similarly, pointers can have difficult to control characteristics in our programs. C++ started with plenty of pointers, but use of references are recommended. Libraries like STL can reduce some of our dependency. There are also idioms to create smart pointers that have better characteristics, and some version of C++ permit references and managed code. Programming practices like inheritance and polymorphism use a lot of pointers behind the scenes (just as for, while, do structured programming generates code filled with branch instructions). Languages like Java eliminate pointers and use garbage collection to manage dynamically allocated data instead of depending on programmers to match all their new and delete statements. In my reading, I have seen examples of multi-process and multi-thread programming that don't seem to use semaphores. Do they use the same thing with different names or do they have new ways of structuring protection of resources from concurrent use? For example, a specific example of a system for multithread programming with multicore processors is OpenMP. It represents a critical region as follows, without the use of semaphores, which seem not to be included in the environment. th_id = omp_get_thread_num(); #pragma omp critical { cout << "Hello World from thread " << th_id << '\n'; } This example is an excerpt from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenMP Alternatively, similar protection of threads from each other using semaphores with functions wait() and signal() might look like this: wait(sem); th_id = get_thread_num(); cout << "Hello World from thread " << th_id << '\n'; signal(sem); In this example, things are pretty simple, and just a simple review is enough to show the wait() and signal() calls are matched and even with a lot of concurrency, thread safety is provided. But other algorithms are more complicated and use multiple semaphores (both binary and counting) spread across multiple functions with complex conditions that can be called by many threads. The consequences of creating deadlock or failing to make things thread safe can be hard to manage. Do these systems like OpenMP eliminate the problems with semaphores? Do they move the problem somewhere else? How do I transform my favorite semaphore using algorithm to not use semaphores anymore?

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  • What is the basic loadout for an open source web developer?

    - by DeveloperDon
    Thus far, I have mainly been an embedded developer, but I am interested in having the flexibility to do mobile and web development as well. I think my tools should include the following, but probably a lot more. LAMP stack. Java IDEs like Eclipse and IntelliJ. JS frameworks like Dojo, Node.JS, AngularJS, (is it better to mix or commit to one?). Cloud solutions like EC2 and Azure (again, ok to mix or better to commit to one?). Google APIs. Continuous integration server. Source control tools with Git for new work, SVN, CVS, +others for imports. FTP server. Unit test runners. Bug trackers. OOAD modeling tools or plug-ins? Graphic design tools? Hosting services. XML / JSON / other markup? Content management, SEO? I am also interested to know if there are tools where it might be better to mix, match, or support all available (maybe for source control) and others where the full focus should be on one (maybe Java vs. C# or Windows vs. Linux vs. MacOS). Perhaps some of these questions need context of whether the projects will be greenfield (just pick favorite) or maintenance (no choice, each project continues legacy, sometimes with a poor tools).

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  • How should I select continuous integration tool?

    - by DeveloperDon
    I found this cool comparison table for integration servers on Wikipedia, but I am a little uncertain how to rank the tools vs. my needs and interests. The chart itself seems to have a lot of boxes marked unknown, so if you are comfortable updating it on Wikipedia, that could be great too. Are there a few top performing products so I can quickly narrow down to four or five options? Which products seems to have the largest user communities and most ongoing enhancements and integration with new tools? Are the open source offerings best, or are there high quality tools that can be a great deal for a single user at home? Will use of multiple systems (primary desktop, local only home network server, personal and work notebooks, multiple virtual machines spread across all) create problems and how can they be managed?

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  • What relationship do software Scrum or Lean have to industrial engineering concepts like theory of constraints?

    - by DeveloperDon
    In Scrum, work is delivered to customers through a series of sprints in which project work is time boxed to a fixed number of days or weeks, usually 30 days. In lean software development, the goal is to deliver as soon as possible, permitting early feedback for the next iteration. Both techniques stress the importance of workflow in which software work product does not accumulate in development awaiting release at some future date. Both permit new or refined requirements and feedback from QA and customers to be acted on with as little delay as possible based on priority. A few years ago I heard a lecture where the speaker talked briefly about a family of concepts from industrial engineering called theory of constraints. In the factory, they use an operations model based on three components: drum, buffer, and rope. The drum synchronizes work product as it flows through the system. Buffers that protect the system by holding output from one stage as it waits to be consumed by the next. The rope pulls product from one work station to the next. Historically, are these ideas part of the heritage of Scrum and Lean, or are they on a separate track? It we wanted to think about Scrum and Lean in terms of drum-buffer-rope, what are the parts? Drum = {daily scrum meeting, monthly release)? Buffer = {burn down list, source control system)? Rope = { daily meeting, constant integration server, monthly releases}? Industrial engineers define work flow in terms of different kinds of factories. I-Factories: straight pipeline. One input, one output. A-Factories: many inputs and one output. V-Factories: one input, many output products. T-Plants: many inputs, many outputs. If it applies, what kind of factory is most like Scrum or Lean and why?

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  • When creating a library for a simple program, what must I do to protect others from its lack of thread safety?

    - by DeveloperDon
    When creating a library for a simple program, is it more cost effective to make it thread safe or is there a way to detect the program's use in a multithreaded program and ASSERT() or otherwise determine (preferably at compile or link time) that it may create problems. Related help for this question would be automated tool support for finding potential problems with thread safety, programming language features that enforce it,

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  • In C and C++, what methods can prevent accidental use of the assignment(=) where equivalence(==) is needed?

    - by DeveloperDon
    In C and C++, it is very easy to write the following code with a serious error. char responseChar = getchar(); int confirmExit = 'y' == tolower(responseChar); if (confirmExit = 1) { exit(0); } The error is that the if statement should have been: if (confirmExit == 1) As coded, it will exit every time, because the assignment of the confirmExit variable occurs, then confirmExit is used as the result of the expression. Are there good ways to prevent this kind of error?

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  • Productivity strategies for one developer using many PCs

    - by DeveloperDon
    In a talk about time management, a famous computer scientist said: "One machine in your life is the right number." He recommended a laptop with a docking station. After trying this approach for about a month, I miss my more powerful desktop (i7 quad core hyperthread), but it is not in my technology road map (or budget) to upgrade from my old Intel Core 2 Duo (2006) notebook this year. What strategies can help me use the desktop while at my desk and without much manual effort the notebook when I am on the go?

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