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  • Constructor parameter validation in C# - Best practices

    - by MPelletier
    What is the best practice for constructor parameter validation? Suppose a simple bit of C#: public class MyClass { public MyClass(string text) { if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(text)) throw new ArgumentException("Text cannot be empty"); // continue with normal construction } } Would it be acceptable to throw an exception? The alternative I encountered was pre-validation, before instantiating: public class CallingClass { public MyClass MakeMyClass(string text) { if (String.IsNullOrEmpty(text)) { MessageBox.Show("Text cannot be empty"); return null; } else { return new MyClass(text); } } }

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  • On the frontier between work and home

    - by MPelletier
    I think we've all been there: You hear of someone say "hey, wouldn't it be nice if platform X had feature Y?" You look around (on SO!), the feature really doesn't exist, even though it probably would be useful in many contexts. So it's pretty generic. Your mind wanders for a bit. "How tough would it be? Well, it'd probably be just a snippet. And an ad-hoc function. And maybe a wrapper." And boom, before you know it, you've spent a dozen hours of your free time implementing a FooFeature that's really neat and generic. The kind of code you might not even have the time to spit and shine at work, that would be a bit rushed and not so documented. So now you wonder "wouldn't this be useful to others?" And you've got your blog, maybe a CodeProject account, and your colleague who asked if FooFeature exists might, haphazardly, come accross that blog entry, had it existed before they told you. On the otherhand, the NDA agreement. It's sort of vague and general. It doesn't forbid you from coding at home, but it's clear on sharing company code, that's a big NO. But this isn't company code. Or is it? Or will it be? So, what do you do with code (that's more than just a snippet) you wrote in your off time with universality in mind but an idea that came from work, and that will most likely be used at work? Can it be published?

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  • Keeping an enum and a table in sync

    - by MPelletier
    I'm making a program that will post data to a database, and I've run into a pattern that I'm sure is familiar: A short table of most-likely (very strongly likely) fixed values that serve as an enum. So suppose the following table called Status: Status Id Description -------------- 0 Unprocessed 1 Pending 2 Processed 3 Error In my program I need to determine a status Id for another table, or possibly update a record with a new status Id. I could hardcode the status Id's in an enum and hope no one ever changes the database. Or I could pre-fetch the values based on the description (thus hardcoding that instead). What would be the correct approach to keep these two, enum and table, synced?

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  • Design pattern for an ASP.NET project using Entity Framework

    - by MPelletier
    I'm building a website in ASP.NET (Web Forms) on top of an engine with business rules (which basically resides in a separate DLL), connected to a database mapped with Entity Framework (in a 3rd, separate project). I designed the Engine first, which has an Entity Framework context, and then went on to work on the website, which presents various reports. I believe I made a terrible design mistake in that the website has its own context (which sounded normal at first). I present this mockup of the engine and a report page's code behind: Engine (in separate DLL): public Engine { DatabaseEntities _engineContext; public Engine() { // Connection string and procedure managed in DB layer _engineContext = DatabaseEntities.Connect(); } public ChangeSomeEntity(SomeEntity someEntity, int newValue) { //Suppose there's some validation too, non trivial stuff SomeEntity.Value = newValue; _engineContext.SaveChanges(); } } And report: public partial class MyReport : Page { Engine _engine; DatabaseEntities _webpageContext; public MyReport() { _engine = new Engine(); _databaseContext = DatabaseEntities.Connect(); } public void ChangeSomeEntityButton_Clicked(object sender, EventArgs e) { SomeEntity someEntity; //Wrong way: //Get the entity from the webpage context someEntity = _webpageContext.SomeEntities.Single(s => s.Id == SomeEntityId); //Send the entity from _webpageContext to the engine _engine.ChangeSomeEntity(someEntity, SomeEntityNewValue); // <- oops, conflict of context //Right(?) way: //Get the entity from the engine context someEntity = _engine.GetSomeEntity(SomeEntityId); //undefined above //Send the entity from the engine's context to the engine _engine.ChangeSomeEntity(someEntity, SomeEntityNewValue); // <- oops, conflict of context } } Because the webpage has its own context, giving the Engine an entity from a different context will cause an error. I happen to know not to do that, to only give the Engine entities from its own context. But this is a very error-prone design. I see the error of my ways now. I just don't know the right path. I'm considering: Creating the connection in the Engine and passing it off to the webpage. Always instantiate an Engine, make its context accessible from a property, sharing it. Possible problems: other conflicts? Slow? Concurrency issues if I want to expand to AJAX? Creating the connection from the webpage and passing it off to the Engine (I believe that's dependency injection?) Only talking through ID's. Creates redundancy, not always practical, sounds archaic. But at the same time, I already recuperate stuff from the page as ID's that I need to fetch anyways. What would be best compromise here for safety, ease-of-use and understanding, stability, and speed?

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  • Large svn external

    - by MPelletier
    I have a project which uses a large library residing in its own repository. Using: Tortoise-SVN, the server is running an enterprise edition of VisualSVN The project itself has the "standard" structure: trunk tags branches In each branch, tag, and trunk is the library, set as an external (svn:external property). If I get the entire tree, I get the library several times, which is just getting too ridiculously repetitive. Is there a recommended structure for this? Or perhaps a way not to get all externals (because other externals are much smaller, easier to manipulate)?

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  • Are there alternatives to UltraWinGrid (for C#)?

    - by MPelletier
    I've been using the Infragistics UltraWinGrid for a while in a C# project, and while it's very spiffy, it is sometimes a bit heavy to run (and editing it in Visual Studio can be hazardous). I'm looking for a lighter alternative. Looks (always a big plus with Infragistics) are not as important as functionality. Namely, I'm looking for a beefed up DataGridView which: has data binding (duh!) has lock control over editing allows for sub-tables on opening a row can have multiple headers to group columns together (say header 1 is composed of "Group A" and "Group B", and header 2 has various columns under each group) has sorting by column (and can sort numbers properly, even if it does not have a stock method at first) has filtering by column (perhaps the most demanding spec) à la UltraWinGrid/Excel (text field with a way to specify if the filter is equal, not equal, greater, lesser, starts with, ends with, etc). supports check box, text box or data bound list/combo box cells allows cells to be merged (not the control cells of course!) can have events bound to each row (say double click)

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  • Large svn external

    - by MPelletier
    I have a project which uses a large library residing in its own repository. Using: Tortoise-SVN, the server is running an enterprise edition of VisualSVN The project itself has the "standard" structure: trunk tags branches In each branch, tag, and trunk is the library, set as an external (svn:external property). If I get the entire tree, I get the library several times, which is just getting too ridiculously repetitive. Is there a recommended structure for this? Or perhaps a way not to get all externals (because other externals are much smaller, easier to manipulate)?

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  • Help improving a simple assembly function

    - by MPelletier
    I just handed in this function in an assignment. It is done (hence no homework tag). But I would like to see how this can be improved. Essentially, the function sums the squares of all the integers between 1 and the given number, using the following formula: n(n+1)(2n+1)/6 Where n is the maximum number. The function below is made to catch any overflow and return 0 should any occur. UInt32 sumSquares(const UInt32 number) { int result = 0; __asm { mov eax, number //move number in eax mov edx, 2 //move 2 in edx mul edx //multiply (2n) jo end //jump to end if overflow add eax, 1 //addition (2n+1) jo end //jump to end if overflow mov ecx, eax //move (2n+1) in ecx mov ebx, number //move number in ebx add ebx, 1 //addition (n+1) jo end //jump to end if overflow mov eax, number //move number in eax for multiplication mul ebx //multiply n(n+1) jo end //jump to end if overflow mul ecx //multiply n(n+1)(2n+1) jo end //jump to end if overflow mov ebx, 6 //move 6 in ebx div ebx //divide by 6, the result will be in eax mov result, eax //move eax in result end: } return result; } Basically, I want to know what I can improve in there. In terms of best-practices mostly. One thing sounds obvious: smarter overflow check (with a single check for whatever maximum input would cause an overflow).

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  • What was your most useful/inspiring computer science course?

    - by MPelletier
    I'm currently taking one course per semester, remotely, in a short 5 year program. My aim is to get better at my trade (programming and analysis, not surprisingly). However, I find that I'm not inspired by my choice of classes for next semester. Maybe I'm being too judgmental. I'd like to know what positive experience was gained from a course in particular. Have ou had a course that turned out to be an idea catalyst?

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  • Best practice for controlling a busy GUI

    - by MPelletier
    Suppose a GUI (C#, WinForms) that performs work and is busy for several seconds. It will still have buttons that need to remain accessible, labels that will change, progress bars, etc. I'm using this approach currently to change the GUI when busy: //Generic delegates private delegate void SetControlValue<T>(T newValue); //... public void SetStatusLabelMessage(string message) { if (StatusLabel.InvokeRequired) StatusLabel.BeginInvoke(new SetControlValue<string>(SetStatusLabelMessage, object[] { message }); else StatusLabel.Text = message; } I've been using this like it's going out of style, yet I'm not quite certain this is proper. Creating the delegate (and reusing it) makes the whole thing cleaner (for me, at least), but I must know that I'm not creating a monster...

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  • The "first past the post election" query problem

    - by MPelletier
    This problem may seem like school work, but it isn't. At best it is self-imposed school work. I encourage any teachers to take is as an example if they wish. "First past the post" elections are single-round, meaning that whoever gets the most votes win, no second rounds. Suppose a table for an election. CREATE TABLE ElectionResults ( DistrictHnd INTEGER NOT NULL, PartyHnd INTEGER NOT NULL, CandidateName VARCHAR2(100) NOT NULL, TotalVotes INTEGER NOT NULL, PRIMARY KEY DistrictHnd, PartyHnd); The table has two foreign keys: DistrictHnd points to a District table (lists all the different electoral districts) and PartyHnd points to a Party table (lists all the different political parties). I won't bother with other tables here, joining them is trivial. This is just a wee bit of context. The question: What SQL query will return a table listing the DistrictHnd, PartyHnd, CandidateName and TotalVotes of the winners (max votes) in each District? This does not suppose any particular database system. If you wish to stick to a particular implementation of SQL, go the way of SQLite and MySQL. If you can devise a better schema (or an easier one), that is acceptable too. Criteria: simplicity, portability to other databases.

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  • How to list the code of a verb in J

    - by MPelletier
    In the console, typing a single verb without parameters will print its content: tolower 3 : 0 x=. I. 26 > n=. ((65+i.26){a.) i. t=. ,y ($y) $ ((x{n) { (97+i.26){a.) x}t ) That's nice for development, but unexploitable during execution. Is there a way to do that dynamically? Is there a verb that can return the contents of another verb? For example: showverb 'tolower' or showverb tolower

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  • ADD COLUMN to sqlite db IF NOT EXISTS - flex/air sqlite?

    - by Adam
    I've got a flex/air app I've been working on, it uses a local sqlite database that is created on the initial application start. I've added some features to the application and in the process I had to add a new field to one of the database tables. My questions is how to I go about getting the application to create one new field that is located in a table that already exists? this is a the line that creates the table stmt.text = "CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS tbl_status ("+"status_id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT,"+" status_status TEXT)"; And now I'd like to add a status_default field. thanks! Thanks - MPelletier I've add the code you provided and it does add the field, but now the next time I restart my app I get an error - 'status_default' already exists'. So how can I go about adding some sort of a IF NOT EXISTS statement to the line you provided?

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  • Create new field in a table that already exists - flex/air sqlite?

    - by Adam
    I've got a flex/air app I've been working on, it uses a local sqlite database that is created on the initial application start. I've added some features to the application and in the process I had to add a new field to one of the database tables. My questions is how to I go about getting the application to create one new field that is located in a table that already exists? this is a the line that creates the table stmt.text = "CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS tbl_status ("+"status_id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY AUTOINCREMENT,"+" status_status TEXT)"; And now I'd like to add a status_default field. thanks! Thanks - MPelletier I've add the code you provided and it does add the field, but now the next time I restart my app I get an error - 'status_default' already exists'. So how can I go about adding some sort of a IF NOT EXISTS statement to the line you provided?

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