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  • Ideas for reducing storage needs and/or costs (lots of images)

    - by James P.
    Hi, I'm the webmaster for a small social network and have noticed that images uploaded by users are taking a big portion of the capacity available. These are mostly JPEGs. What solutions could I apply to reduce storage needs? Is there a way to reduce the size of images without affecting quality too much? Is there a service out there that could be used to store static files at a cheaper price (< 1GB/0.04 eurocents)? Edit: Updated the question.

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  • One-line command to download Ubuntu ISO?

    - by James Mitch
    I want to download an Ubuntu ISO, preferably over bittorrent, and verify its integrity. Currently, the following steps are required: start web browser, go to ubuntu.com, find download link find gpg signature for the checksums get the gpg key to check gpg signature of the checksums wait until download finished gpg verifiy checksum verification Isn't there a simpler way? Just like apt-get install 12.04-64bit-ubuntu-iso apt-get install 12.04-32bit-server-iso etc.? Of course, apt-get (or whatever it would be called) should download over bittorrent to remove load from the servers. If it doesn't exist, it should probable post that at ubuntu brainstorm? Is there already such a tool? I wanted to ask before posting to brainstorm.

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  • SEO Keyword Research

    - by James
    Hi Everyone, I'm new at SEO and keyword research. I am using Market Samurai as my research tool, and I was wondering if I could ask for your help to identify the best key word to target for my niche. I do plan on incorporating all of them into my site, but I wanted to start with one. If you could give me your input on these keywords, I would appreciate it. This is all new to me :) I'm too new to post pictures, but here are my keywords (Searches, SEO Traffic, and SEO Value / Day): Searches | SEO Traffic | PBR | SEO Value | Average PR/Backlinks of Current Top 10 1: 730 | 307 | 20% | 2311.33 | 1.9 / 7k-60k 2: 325 | 137 | 24% | 822.94 | 2.3 / 7k-60k 3: 398 | 167 | 82% | 589.79 | 1.6 / 7k-60k I'm wondering if the PBR (Phrase-to-broad) value of #1 is too low. It seems like the best value because the SEOV is crazy high. That is like $70k a month. #3 has the highest PBR, but also the lowest SEOV. #2 doesn't seem worth it because of the PR competetion. Might be a little too hard to get into the top page of Google. I'm wondering which keywords to target, and if I should be looking at any other metric to see if this is a profitable niche to jump into. Thanks.

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  • Any valid reason to Nest Master Pages in ASP.Net rather than Inherit?

    - by James P. Wright
    Currently in a debate at work and I cannot fathom why someone would intentionally avoid Inheritance with Master Pages. For reference here is the project setup: BaseProject MainMasterPage SomeEvent SiteProject SiteMasterPage nested MainMasterPage OtherSiteProject MainMasterPage (from BaseProject) The debate came up because some code in BaseProject needs to know about "SomeEvent". With the setup above, the code in BaseProject needs to call this.Master.Master. That same code in BaseProject also applies to OtherSiteProject which is just accessed as this.Master. SiteMasterPage has no code differences, only HTML differences. If SiteMasterPage Inherits MainMasterPage rather than Nests it, then all code is valid as this.Master. Can anyone think of a reason why to use a Nested Master Page here instead of an Inherited one?

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  • hplip tries to print from photo tray

    - by James Bradbury
    I have hplip-3.14.4 with an HP Photosmart b210a and recently it has stopped printing properly. The issue is that it tries to print from the photo tray (which we don't use). I've tried setting this manually via the Settings page, but it makes no difference. My wife has the same issue (also using Ubuntu 12.04). EDIT: I've just set the printer up in Windows 7 and it works. So this is not a hardware fault and likely due to hplip or some Ubuntu software issue. Rolling back the driver to 3.13.8 does not make any difference. What else can I try

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  • ubuntu 13.04 - wireless settings help

    - by James Ellis
    Im having problems connecting my wifi in Ubuntu 13.04 So i was wondering if filling in the data manually ie: the IPv4, IPv6, the SSID and BSSID info etc. I did try this before but maybe i put in the wrong data or maybe not enough Would that make it work?? I just dont know how to find out some of the data you need to put in or if im putting the wrong stuff in??? Im new and its confusing. does anyone know the solution?

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  • Broadcom WiFi drivers conflict

    - by james
    $ sudo dpkg -i wireless-bcm43142-dkms-6.20.55.19_amd64.deb dpkg: acerca de wireless-bcm43142-dkms-6.20.55.19_amd64.deb que contiene wireless-bcm43142-oneiric-dkms: wireless-bcm43142-oneiric-dkms entra en conflicto con bcmwl-kernel-source bcmwl-kernel-source (versión 6.20.155.1+bdcom-0ubuntu0.0.2) está presente y instalado. dpkg: error al procesar wireless-bcm43142-dkms-6.20.55.19_amd64.deb (--install): paquetes en conflicto - no se instalará wireless-bcm43142-oneiric-dkms Se encontraron errores al procesar: wireless-bcm43142-dkms-6.20.55.19_amd64.deb Help me find a solution to install this .deb package.

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  • C#/.NET Little Wonders: Skip() and Take()

    - by James Michael Hare
    Once again, in this series of posts I look at the parts of the .NET Framework that may seem trivial, but can help improve your code by making it easier to write and maintain. The index of all my past little wonders posts can be found here. I’ve covered many valuable methods from System.Linq class library before, so you already know it’s packed with extension-method goodness.  Today I’d like to cover two small families I’ve neglected to mention before: Skip() and Take().  While these methods seem so simple, they are an easy way to create sub-sequences for IEnumerable<T>, much the way GetRange() creates sub-lists for List<T>. Skip() and SkipWhile() The Skip() family of methods is used to ignore items in a sequence until either a certain number are passed, or until a certain condition becomes false.  This makes the methods great for starting a sequence at a point possibly other than the first item of the original sequence.   The Skip() family of methods contains the following methods (shown below in extension method syntax): Skip(int count) Ignores the specified number of items and returns a sequence starting at the item after the last skipped item (if any).  SkipWhile(Func<T, bool> predicate) Ignores items as long as the predicate returns true and returns a sequence starting with the first item to invalidate the predicate (if any).  SkipWhile(Func<T, int, bool> predicate) Same as above, but passes not only the item itself to the predicate, but also the index of the item.  For example: 1: var list = new[] { 3.14, 2.72, 42.0, 9.9, 13.0, 101.0 }; 2:  3: // sequence contains { 2.72, 42.0, 9.9, 13.0, 101.0 } 4: var afterSecond = list.Skip(1); 5: Console.WriteLine(string.Join(", ", afterSecond)); 6:  7: // sequence contains { 42.0, 9.9, 13.0, 101.0 } 8: var afterFirstDoubleDigit = list.SkipWhile(v => v < 10.0); 9: Console.WriteLine(string.Join(", ", afterFirstDoubleDigit)); Note that the SkipWhile() stops skipping at the first item that returns false and returns from there to the rest of the sequence, even if further items in that sequence also would satisfy the predicate (otherwise, you’d probably be using Where() instead, of course). If you do use the form of SkipWhile() which also passes an index into the predicate, then you should keep in mind that this is the index of the item in the sequence you are calling SkipWhile() from, not the index in the original collection.  That is, consider the following: 1: var list = new[] { 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 }; 2:  3: // Get all items < 10, then 4: var whatAmI = list 5: .Skip(2) 6: .SkipWhile((i, x) => i > x); For this example the result above is 2.4, and not 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 as some might expect.  The key is knowing what the index is that’s passed to the predicate in SkipWhile().  In the code above, because Skip(2) skips 1.0 and 1.1, the sequence passed to SkipWhile() begins at 1.2 and thus it considers the “index” of 1.2 to be 0 and not 2.  This same logic applies when using any of the extension methods that have an overload that allows you to pass an index into the delegate, such as SkipWhile(), TakeWhile(), Select(), Where(), etc.  It should also be noted, that it’s fine to Skip() more items than exist in the sequence (an empty sequence is the result), or even to Skip(0) which results in the full sequence.  So why would it ever be useful to return Skip(0) deliberately?  One reason might be to return a List<T> as an immutable sequence.  Consider this class: 1: public class MyClass 2: { 3: private List<int> _myList = new List<int>(); 4:  5: // works on surface, but one can cast back to List<int> and mutate the original... 6: public IEnumerable<int> OneWay 7: { 8: get { return _myList; } 9: } 10:  11: // works, but still has Add() etc which throw at runtime if accidentally called 12: public ReadOnlyCollection<int> AnotherWay 13: { 14: get { return new ReadOnlyCollection<int>(_myList); } 15: } 16:  17: // immutable, can't be cast back to List<int>, doesn't have methods that throw at runtime 18: public IEnumerable<int> YetAnotherWay 19: { 20: get { return _myList.Skip(0); } 21: } 22: } This code snippet shows three (among many) ways to return an internal sequence in varying levels of immutability.  Obviously if you just try to return as IEnumerable<T> without doing anything more, there’s always the danger the caller could cast back to List<T> and mutate your internal structure.  You could also return a ReadOnlyCollection<T>, but this still has the mutating methods, they just throw at runtime when called instead of giving compiler errors.  Finally, you can return the internal list as a sequence using Skip(0) which skips no items and just runs an iterator through the list.  The result is an iterator, which cannot be cast back to List<T>.  Of course, there’s many ways to do this (including just cloning the list, etc.) but the point is it illustrates a potential use of using an explicit Skip(0). Take() and TakeWhile() The Take() and TakeWhile() methods can be though of as somewhat of the inverse of Skip() and SkipWhile().  That is, while Skip() ignores the first X items and returns the rest, Take() returns a sequence of the first X items and ignores the rest.  Since they are somewhat of an inverse of each other, it makes sense that their calling signatures are identical (beyond the method name obviously): Take(int count) Returns a sequence containing up to the specified number of items. Anything after the count is ignored. TakeWhile(Func<T, bool> predicate) Returns a sequence containing items as long as the predicate returns true.  Anything from the point the predicate returns false and beyond is ignored. TakeWhile(Func<T, int, bool> predicate) Same as above, but passes not only the item itself to the predicate, but also the index of the item. So, for example, we could do the following: 1: var list = new[] { 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 }; 2:  3: // sequence contains 1.0 and 1.1 4: var firstTwo = list.Take(2); 5:  6: // sequence contains 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 7: var underTwo = list.TakeWhile(i => i < 2.0); The same considerations for SkipWhile() with index apply to TakeWhile() with index, of course.  Using Skip() and Take() for sub-sequences A few weeks back, I talked about The List<T> Range Methods and showed how they could be used to get a sub-list of a List<T>.  This works well if you’re dealing with List<T>, or don’t mind converting to List<T>.  But if you have a simple IEnumerable<T> sequence and want to get a sub-sequence, you can also use Skip() and Take() to much the same effect: 1: var list = new List<double> { 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 }; 2:  3: // results in List<T> containing { 1.2, 2.2, 2.3 } 4: var subList = list.GetRange(2, 3); 5:  6: // results in sequence containing { 1.2, 2.2, 2.3 } 7: var subSequence = list.Skip(2).Take(3); I say “much the same effect” because there are some differences.  First of all GetRange() will throw if the starting index or the count are greater than the number of items in the list, but Skip() and Take() do not.  Also GetRange() is a method off of List<T>, thus it can use direct indexing to get to the items much more efficiently, whereas Skip() and Take() operate on sequences and may actually have to walk through the items they skip to create the resulting sequence.  So each has their pros and cons.  My general rule of thumb is if I’m already working with a List<T> I’ll use GetRange(), but for any plain IEnumerable<T> sequence I’ll tend to prefer Skip() and Take() instead. Summary The Skip() and Take() families of LINQ extension methods are handy for producing sub-sequences from any IEnumerable<T> sequence.  Skip() will ignore the specified number of items and return the rest of the sequence, whereas Take() will return the specified number of items and ignore the rest of the sequence.  Similarly, the SkipWhile() and TakeWhile() methods can be used to skip or take items, respectively, until a given predicate returns false.    Technorati Tags: C#, CSharp, .NET, LINQ, IEnumerable<T>, Skip, Take, SkipWhile, TakeWhile

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  • PHP questions and answers

    - by Daniel James Clarke
    Hi guys I'm a web designer and front end developer, however our only back end developer has quit and left the company. The head of development(who is a desktop developer) has asked me to find a set of Questions and Answers that are of OOP level for a LAMP developer so we can see if new candidates for the job are up to scratch. As a designer I'm out of my depth and he's unfamiliar with LAMP development. Dan

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  • C#/.NET Little Wonders: Constraining Generics with Where Clause

    - by James Michael Hare
    Back when I was primarily a C++ developer, I loved C++ templates.  The power of writing very reusable generic classes brought the art of programming to a brand new level.  Unfortunately, when .NET 1.0 came about, they didn’t have a template equivalent.  With .NET 2.0 however, we finally got generics, which once again let us spread our wings and program more generically in the world of .NET However, C# generics behave in some ways very differently from their C++ template cousins.  There is a handy clause, however, that helps you navigate these waters to make your generics more powerful. The Problem – C# Assumes Lowest Common Denominator In C++, you can create a template and do nearly anything syntactically possible on the template parameter, and C++ will not check if the method/fields/operations invoked are valid until you declare a realization of the type.  Let me illustrate with a C++ example: 1: // compiles fine, C++ makes no assumptions as to T 2: template <typename T> 3: class ReverseComparer 4: { 5: public: 6: int Compare(const T& lhs, const T& rhs) 7: { 8: return rhs.CompareTo(lhs); 9: } 10: }; Notice that we are invoking a method CompareTo() off of template type T.  Because we don’t know at this point what type T is, C++ makes no assumptions and there are no errors. C++ tends to take the path of not checking the template type usage until the method is actually invoked with a specific type, which differs from the behavior of C#: 1: // this will NOT compile! C# assumes lowest common denominator. 2: public class ReverseComparer<T> 3: { 4: public int Compare(T lhs, T rhs) 5: { 6: return lhs.CompareTo(rhs); 7: } 8: } So why does C# give us a compiler error even when we don’t yet know what type T is?  This is because C# took a different path in how they made generics.  Unless you specify otherwise, for the purposes of the code inside the generic method, T is basically treated like an object (notice I didn’t say T is an object). That means that any operations, fields, methods, properties, etc that you attempt to use of type T must be available at the lowest common denominator type: object.  Now, while object has the broadest applicability, it also has the fewest specific.  So how do we allow our generic type placeholder to do things more than just what object can do? Solution: Constraint the Type With Where Clause So how do we get around this in C#?  The answer is to constrain the generic type placeholder with the where clause.  Basically, the where clause allows you to specify additional constraints on what the actual type used to fill the generic type placeholder must support. You might think that narrowing the scope of a generic means a weaker generic.  In reality, though it limits the number of types that can be used with the generic, it also gives the generic more power to deal with those types.  In effect these constraints says that if the type meets the given constraint, you can perform the activities that pertain to that constraint with the generic placeholders. Constraining Generic Type to Interface or Superclass One of the handiest where clause constraints is the ability to specify the type generic type must implement a certain interface or be inherited from a certain base class. For example, you can’t call CompareTo() in our first C# generic without constraints, but if we constrain T to IComparable<T>, we can: 1: public class ReverseComparer<T> 2: where T : IComparable<T> 3: { 4: public int Compare(T lhs, T rhs) 5: { 6: return lhs.CompareTo(rhs); 7: } 8: } Now that we’ve constrained T to an implementation of IComparable<T>, this means that our variables of generic type T may now call any members specified in IComparable<T> as well.  This means that the call to CompareTo() is now legal. If you constrain your type, also, you will get compiler warnings if you attempt to use a type that doesn’t meet the constraint.  This is much better than the syntax error you would get within C++ template code itself when you used a type not supported by a C++ template. Constraining Generic Type to Only Reference Types Sometimes, you want to assign an instance of a generic type to null, but you can’t do this without constraints, because you have no guarantee that the type used to realize the generic is not a value type, where null is meaningless. Well, we can fix this by specifying the class constraint in the where clause.  By declaring that a generic type must be a class, we are saying that it is a reference type, and this allows us to assign null to instances of that type: 1: public static class ObjectExtensions 2: { 3: public static TOut Maybe<TIn, TOut>(this TIn value, Func<TIn, TOut> accessor) 4: where TOut : class 5: where TIn : class 6: { 7: return (value != null) ? accessor(value) : null; 8: } 9: } In the example above, we want to be able to access a property off of a reference, and if that reference is null, pass the null on down the line.  To do this, both the input type and the output type must be reference types (yes, nullable value types could also be considered applicable at a logical level, but there’s not a direct constraint for those). Constraining Generic Type to only Value Types Similarly to constraining a generic type to be a reference type, you can also constrain a generic type to be a value type.  To do this you use the struct constraint which specifies that the generic type must be a value type (primitive, struct, enum, etc). Consider the following method, that will convert anything that is IConvertible (int, double, string, etc) to the value type you specify, or null if the instance is null. 1: public static T? ConvertToNullable<T>(IConvertible value) 2: where T : struct 3: { 4: T? result = null; 5:  6: if (value != null) 7: { 8: result = (T)Convert.ChangeType(value, typeof(T)); 9: } 10:  11: return result; 12: } Because T was constrained to be a value type, we can use T? (System.Nullable<T>) where we could not do this if T was a reference type. Constraining Generic Type to Require Default Constructor You can also constrain a type to require existence of a default constructor.  Because by default C# doesn’t know what constructors a generic type placeholder does or does not have available, it can’t typically allow you to call one.  That said, if you give it the new() constraint, it will mean that the type used to realize the generic type must have a default (no argument) constructor. Let’s assume you have a generic adapter class that, given some mappings, will adapt an item from type TFrom to type TTo.  Because it must create a new instance of type TTo in the process, we need to specify that TTo has a default constructor: 1: // Given a set of Action<TFrom,TTo> mappings will map TFrom to TTo 2: public class Adapter<TFrom, TTo> : IEnumerable<Action<TFrom, TTo>> 3: where TTo : class, new() 4: { 5: // The list of translations from TFrom to TTo 6: public List<Action<TFrom, TTo>> Translations { get; private set; } 7:  8: // Construct with empty translation and reverse translation sets. 9: public Adapter() 10: { 11: // did this instead of auto-properties to allow simple use of initializers 12: Translations = new List<Action<TFrom, TTo>>(); 13: } 14:  15: // Add a translator to the collection, useful for initializer list 16: public void Add(Action<TFrom, TTo> translation) 17: { 18: Translations.Add(translation); 19: } 20:  21: // Add a translator that first checks a predicate to determine if the translation 22: // should be performed, then translates if the predicate returns true 23: public void Add(Predicate<TFrom> conditional, Action<TFrom, TTo> translation) 24: { 25: Translations.Add((from, to) => 26: { 27: if (conditional(from)) 28: { 29: translation(from, to); 30: } 31: }); 32: } 33:  34: // Translates an object forward from TFrom object to TTo object. 35: public TTo Adapt(TFrom sourceObject) 36: { 37: var resultObject = new TTo(); 38:  39: // Process each translation 40: Translations.ForEach(t => t(sourceObject, resultObject)); 41:  42: return resultObject; 43: } 44:  45: // Returns an enumerator that iterates through the collection. 46: public IEnumerator<Action<TFrom, TTo>> GetEnumerator() 47: { 48: return Translations.GetEnumerator(); 49: } 50:  51: // Returns an enumerator that iterates through a collection. 52: IEnumerator IEnumerable.GetEnumerator() 53: { 54: return GetEnumerator(); 55: } 56: } Notice, however, you can’t specify any other constructor, you can only specify that the type has a default (no argument) constructor. Summary The where clause is an excellent tool that gives your .NET generics even more power to perform tasks higher than just the base "object level" behavior.  There are a few things you cannot specify with constraints (currently) though: Cannot specify the generic type must be an enum. Cannot specify the generic type must have a certain property or method without specifying a base class or interface – that is, you can’t say that the generic must have a Start() method. Cannot specify that the generic type allows arithmetic operations. Cannot specify that the generic type requires a specific non-default constructor. In addition, you cannot overload a template definition with different, opposing constraints.  For example you can’t define a Adapter<T> where T : struct and Adapter<T> where T : class.  Hopefully, in the future we will get some of these things to make the where clause even more useful, but until then what we have is extremely valuable in making our generics more user friendly and more powerful!   Technorati Tags: C#,.NET,Little Wonders,BlackRabbitCoder,where,generics

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  • Community Programming

    - by James Hill
    Background I just began working for a religious non-profit organization. As with most non-profits, the organization is resource-poor and has no IT department to speak of. In my two months here I've received 20 requests for websites, apps, and internal automation. Many of these 20 requests have merit and would benefit the organization. I'm a .net web developer and as such the open source community is relatively foreign to me... Question For the sake of this question, lets say I'm talking about building a single, large, website. Does software (web based, hopefully) exist that would allow me to post requirements and assets (graphics and CSS) for a site, and then invite programmers to participate in the sites development? As a simple example, I could post the requirements and data for the about us page and an individual would indicate that they could/would fulfill the requirement. Upon completion, they could upload the new source code to the shared repository (github).

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  • Pre-built Oracle VirtualBox Images

    - by james.bayer
    I’m thrilled to see that Justin Kestelyn has a post that pre-built Oracle VirtualBox images are now available on OTN.  There are VMs for various Oracle software stacks including one for Database, one for Java with Glassfish, and one for SOA and BPM products that includes WebLogic Server. This is just one example of the synergy of a combined Oracle and Sun delivering improvements for customers.  These VMs make it even more straight-forward to get started with Oracle software in a development environment without having to worry about initial software installation and configuration. I’ve been a bit quiet lately on the blogging front, but I’m currently working on another area leveraging the best of Oracle and Sun.  Oracle is uniquely positioned to deliver engineered systems that optimize the entire stack of software and hardware.  You’ve probably seen the announcements about Exalogic and I’m excited about the potential to deliver major advancements for middleware.  More to come…

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  • C#/.NET Little Wonders: Comparer&lt;T&gt;.Default

    - by James Michael Hare
    I’ve been working with a wonderful team on a major release where I work, which has had the side-effect of occupying most of my spare time preparing, testing, and monitoring.  However, I do have this Little Wonder tidbit to offer today. Introduction The IComparable<T> interface is great for implementing a natural order for a data type.  It’s a very simple interface with a single method: 1: public interface IComparer<in T> 2: { 3: // Compare two instances of same type. 4: int Compare(T x, T y); 5: }  So what do we expect for the integer return value?  It’s a pseudo-relative measure of the ordering of x and y, which returns an integer value in much the same way C++ returns an integer result from the strcmp() c-style string comparison function: If x == y, returns 0. If x > y, returns > 0 (often +1, but not guaranteed) If x < y, returns < 0 (often –1, but not guaranteed) Notice that the comparison operator used to evaluate against zero should be the same comparison operator you’d use as the comparison operator between x and y.  That is, if you want to see if x > y you’d see if the result > 0. The Problem: Comparing With null Can Be Messy This gets tricky though when you have null arguments.  According to the MSDN, a null value should be considered equal to a null value, and a null value should be less than a non-null value.  So taking this into account we’d expect this instead: If x == y (or both null), return 0. If x > y (or y only is null), return > 0. If x < y (or x only is null), return < 0. But here’s the problem – if x is null, what happens when we attempt to call CompareTo() off of x? 1: // what happens if x is null? 2: x.CompareTo(y); It’s pretty obvious we’ll get a NullReferenceException here.  Now, we could guard against this before calling CompareTo(): 1: int result; 2:  3: // first check to see if lhs is null. 4: if (x == null) 5: { 6: // if lhs null, check rhs to decide on return value. 7: if (y == null) 8: { 9: result = 0; 10: } 11: else 12: { 13: result = -1; 14: } 15: } 16: else 17: { 18: // CompareTo() should handle a null y correctly and return > 0 if so. 19: result = x.CompareTo(y); 20: } Of course, we could shorten this with the ternary operator (?:), but even then it’s ugly repetitive code: 1: int result = (x == null) 2: ? ((y == null) ? 0 : -1) 3: : x.CompareTo(y); Fortunately, the null issues can be cleaned up by drafting in an external Comparer.  The Soltuion: Comparer<T>.Default You can always develop your own instance of IComparer<T> for the job of comparing two items of the same type.  The nice thing about a IComparer is its is independent of the things you are comparing, so this makes it great for comparing in an alternative order to the natural order of items, or when one or both of the items may be null. 1: public class NullableIntComparer : IComparer<int?> 2: { 3: public int Compare(int? x, int? y) 4: { 5: return (x == null) 6: ? ((y == null) ? 0 : -1) 7: : x.Value.CompareTo(y); 8: } 9: }  Now, if you want a custom sort -- especially on large-grained objects with different possible sort fields -- this is the best option you have.  But if you just want to take advantage of the natural ordering of the type, there is an easier way.  If the type you want to compare already implements IComparable<T> or if the type is System.Nullable<T> where T implements IComparable, there is a class in the System.Collections.Generic namespace called Comparer<T> which exposes a property called Default that will create a singleton that represents the default comparer for items of that type.  For example: 1: // compares integers 2: var intComparer = Comparer<int>.Default; 3:  4: // compares DateTime values 5: var dateTimeComparer = Comparer<DateTime>.Default; 6:  7: // compares nullable doubles using the null rules! 8: var nullableDoubleComparer = Comparer<double?>.Default;  This helps you avoid having to remember the messy null logic and makes it to compare objects where you don’t know if one or more of the values is null. This works especially well when creating say an IComparer<T> implementation for a large-grained class that may or may not contain a field.  For example, let’s say you want to create a sorting comparer for a stock open price, but if the market the stock is trading in hasn’t opened yet, the open price will be null.  We could handle this (assuming a reasonable Quote definition) like: 1: public class Quote 2: { 3: // the opening price of the symbol quoted 4: public double? Open { get; set; } 5:  6: // ticker symbol 7: public string Symbol { get; set; } 8:  9: // etc. 10: } 11:  12: public class OpenPriceQuoteComparer : IComparer<Quote> 13: { 14: // Compares two quotes by opening price 15: public int Compare(Quote x, Quote y) 16: { 17: return Comparer<double?>.Default.Compare(x.Open, y.Open); 18: } 19: } Summary Defining a custom comparer is often needed for non-natural ordering or defining alternative orderings, but when you just want to compare two items that are IComparable<T> and account for null behavior, you can use the Comparer<T>.Default comparer generator and you’ll never have to worry about correct null value sorting again.     Technorati Tags: C#,.NET,Little Wonders,BlackRabbitCoder,IComparable,Comparer

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  • Making profit from a social network

    - by James P.
    This follows similar questions but I'd like to see if anything particular comes out of it due to the nature of site. In short, I've taken up the role of webmaster for a small social network site and wish to make it profitable to at least cover the running costs. The site is linked to a commerce and presents are offered to members according to the number of points they've accumulated through various actions. The site is running on shared hosting so it's probably dirt cheap but the presents can be expensive as a whole and some money has already been invested into the project. One idea I have is to seek some sponsors that would be willing to offer presents or special offers in return for publicity. I don't know if this will be easy or not. I'm also looking into adapting hosting to perhaps move static files to a cheaper online storage medium (see Ideas for reducing storage needs and/or costs (lots of images)). Other suggestions are welcome.

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  • C#/.NET Little Wonders: Static Char Methods

    - by James Michael Hare
    Once again, in this series of posts I look at the parts of the .NET Framework that may seem trivial, but can help improve your code by making it easier to write and maintain. The index of all my past little wonders posts can be found here. Often times in our code we deal with the bigger classes and types in the BCL, and occasionally forgot that there are some nice methods on the primitive types as well.  Today we will discuss some of the handy static methods that exist on the char (the C# alias of System.Char) type. The Background I was examining a piece of code this week where I saw the following: 1: // need to get the 5th (offset 4) character in upper case 2: var type = symbol.Substring(4, 1).ToUpper(); 3:  4: // test to see if the type is P 5: if (type == "P") 6: { 7: // ... do something with P type... 8: } Is there really any error in this code?  No, but it still struck me wrong because it is allocating two very short-lived throw-away strings, just to store and manipulate a single char: The call to Substring() generates a new string of length 1 The call to ToUpper() generates a new upper-case version of the string from Step 1. In my mind this is similar to using ToUpper() to do a case-insensitive compare: it isn’t wrong, it’s just much heavier than it needs to be (for more info on case-insensitive compares, see #2 in 5 More Little Wonders). One of my favorite books is the C++ Coding Standards: 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices by Sutter and Alexandrescu.  True, it’s about C++ standards, but there’s also some great general programming advice in there, including two rules I love:         8. Don’t Optimize Prematurely         9. Don’t Pessimize Prematurely We all know what #8 means: don’t optimize when there is no immediate need, especially at the expense of readability and maintainability.  I firmly believe this and in the axiom: it’s easier to make correct code fast than to make fast code correct.  Optimizing code to the point that it becomes difficult to maintain often gains little and often gives you little bang for the buck. But what about #9?  Well, for that they state: “All other things being equal, notably code complexity and readability, certain efficient design patterns and coding idioms should just flow naturally from your fingertips and are no harder to write then the pessimized alternatives. This is not premature optimization; it is avoiding gratuitous pessimization.” Or, if I may paraphrase: “where it doesn’t increase the code complexity and readability, prefer the more efficient option”. The example code above was one of those times I feel where we are violating a tacit C# coding idiom: avoid creating unnecessary temporary strings.  The code creates temporary strings to hold one char, which is just unnecessary.  I think the original coder thought he had to do this because ToUpper() is an instance method on string but not on char.  What he didn’t know, however, is that ToUpper() does exist on char, it’s just a static method instead (though you could write an extension method to make it look instance-ish). This leads me (in a long-winded way) to my Little Wonders for the day… Static Methods of System.Char So let’s look at some of these handy, and often overlooked, static methods on the char type: IsDigit(), IsLetter(), IsLetterOrDigit(), IsPunctuation(), IsWhiteSpace() Methods to tell you whether a char (or position in a string) belongs to a category of characters. IsLower(), IsUpper() Methods that check if a char (or position in a string) is lower or upper case ToLower(), ToUpper() Methods that convert a single char to the lower or upper equivalent. For example, if you wanted to see if a string contained any lower case characters, you could do the following: 1: if (symbol.Any(c => char.IsLower(c))) 2: { 3: // ... 4: } Which, incidentally, we could use a method group to shorten the expression to: 1: if (symbol.Any(char.IsLower)) 2: { 3: // ... 4: } Or, if you wanted to verify that all of the characters in a string are digits: 1: if (symbol.All(char.IsDigit)) 2: { 3: // ... 4: } Also, for the IsXxx() methods, there are overloads that take either a char, or a string and an index, this means that these two calls are logically identical: 1: // check given a character 2: if (char.IsUpper(symbol[0])) { ... } 3:  4: // check given a string and index 5: if (char.IsUpper(symbol, 0)) { ... } Obviously, if you just have a char, then you’d just use the first form.  But if you have a string you can use either form equally well. As a side note, care should be taken when examining all the available static methods on the System.Char type, as some seem to be redundant but actually have very different purposes.  For example, there are IsDigit() and IsNumeric() methods, which sound the same on the surface, but give you different results. IsDigit() returns true if it is a base-10 digit character (‘0’, ‘1’, … ‘9’) where IsNumeric() returns true if it’s any numeric character including the characters for ½, ¼, etc. Summary To come full circle back to our opening example, I would have preferred the code be written like this: 1: // grab 5th char and take upper case version of it 2: var type = char.ToUpper(symbol[4]); 3:  4: if (type == 'P') 5: { 6: // ... do something with P type... 7: } Not only is it just as readable (if not more so), but it performs over 3x faster on my machine:    1,000,000 iterations of char method took: 30 ms, 0.000050 ms/item.    1,000,000 iterations of string method took: 101 ms, 0.000101 ms/item. It’s not only immediately faster because we don’t allocate temporary strings, but as an added bonus there less garbage to collect later as well.  To me this qualifies as a case where we are using a common C# performance idiom (don’t create unnecessary temporary strings) to make our code better. Technorati Tags: C#,CSharp,.NET,Little Wonders,char,string

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  • How can I cull non-visible isometric tiles?

    - by james
    I have a problem which I am struggling to solve. I have a large map of around 100x100 tiles which form an isometric map. The user is able to move the map around by dragging the mouse. I am trying to optimize my game only to draw the visible tiles. So far my code is like this. It appears to be ok in the x direction, but as soon as one tile goes completely above the top of the screen, the entire column disappears. I am not sure how to detect that all of the tiles in a particular column are outside the visible region. double maxTilesX = widthOfScreen/ halfTileWidth + 4; double maxTilesY = heightOfScreen/ halfTileHeight + 4; int rowStart = Math.max(0,( -xOffset / halfTileWidth)) ; int colStart = Math.max(0,( -yOffset / halfTileHeight)); rowEnd = (int) Math.min(mapSize, rowStart + maxTilesX); colEnd = (int) Math.min(mapSize, colStart + maxTilesY); EDIT - I think I have solved my problem, but perhaps not in a very efficient way. I have taken the center of the screen coordinates, determined which tile this corresponds to by converting the coordinates into cartesian format. I then update the entire box around the screen.

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  • The requested resource is not available

    - by James Pj
    I have written a Java servlet program and run it through local Tomcat 7, But it was showing following error : HTTP Status 404 - /skypark/registration type Status report message /skypark/registration description The requested resource is not available. Apache Tomcat/7.0.33 I don't know what was the reason for it my Html page is <html> <head> <title> User registration </title> </head> <body> <form action="registration" method="post"> <center> <h2><b>Skypark User Registration</b></h2> <table border="0"> <tr><td> First Name </td><td> <input type="text" name="fname"/></br> </td></tr><tr><td> Last Name </td><td> <input type="text" name="lname"/></br> </td></tr><tr><td> UserName </td><td> <input type="text" name="uname"></br> </td></tr><tr><td> Enter Password </td><td> <input type="password" name="pass"></br> </td></tr><tr><td> Re-Type Password </td><td> <input type="password" name="pass1"></br> </td></tr><tr><td> Enter Email ID </td><td> <input type="email" name="email1"></br> </td></tr><tr><td> Phone Number </td><td> <input type="number" name="phone"> </td></tr><tr><td> Gender<br> </td></tr><tr><td> <input type="radio" name="gender" value="Male">Male</input></br> </td></tr><tr><td> <input type="radio" name="gender" value="Female">Female</input></br> </td></tr><tr><td> Enter Your Date of Birth<br> </td><td> <Table Border=0> <tr> <td> Date </td> <td>Month</td> <td>Year</td> </tr><tr> <td> <select name="date"> <option value="1">1</option> <option value="2">2</option> <option value="3">3</option> <option value="4">4</option> <option value="5">5</option> . . . have some code . . . </table> <input type="submit" value="Submit"></br> </center> </form> </body> </html> My servlet is : package skypark; import skypark.*; import java.io.*; import javax.servlet.*; import javax.servlet.http.*; import java.sql.*; public class Registration extends HttpServlet { public static Connection prepareConnection()throws ClassNotFoundException,SQLException { String dcn="oracle.jdbc.driver.OracleDriver"; String url="jdbc:oracle:thin:@JamesPJ-PC:1521:skypark"; String usname="system"; String pass="tiger"; Class.forName(dcn); return DriverManager.getConnection(url,usname,pass); } public void doPost(HttpServletRequest req,HttpServletResponse resp)throws ServletException,IOException { resp.setContentType("text/html"); PrintWriter out=resp.getWriter(); try { String phone1,uname,fname,lname,dob,address,city,state,country,pin,email,password,gender,lang,qual,relegion,privacy,hobbies,fav; uname=req.getParameter("uname"); fname=req.getParameter("fname"); lname=req.getParameter("lname"); dob=req.getParameter("date"); address=req.getParameter("address"); city=req.getParameter("city"); state=req.getParameter("state"); country=req.getParameter("country"); pin=req.getParameter("pin"); email=req.getParameter("email1"); password=req.getParameter("password"); gender=req.getParameter("gender"); phone1=req.getParameter("phone"); lang=""; qual=""; relegion=""; privacy=""; hobbies=""; fav=""; int phone=Integer.parseInt(phone1); Connection con=prepareConnection(); String Query="Insert into regdetails values(?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?,?)"; PreparedStatement ps=con.prepareStatement(Query); ps.setString(1,uname); ps.setString(2,fname); ps.setString(3,lname); ps.setString(4,dob); ps.setString(5,address); ps.setString(6,city); ps.setString(7,state); ps.setString(8,country); ps.setString(9,pin); ps.setString(10,lang); ps.setString(11,qual); ps.setString(12,relegion); ps.setString(13,privacy); ps.setString(14,hobbies); ps.setString(15,fav); ps.setString(16,gender); int c=ps.executeUpdate(); String query="insert into passmanager values(?,?,?,?)"; PreparedStatement ps1=con.prepareStatement(query); ps1.setString(1,uname); ps1.setString(2,password); ps1.setString(3,email); ps1.setInt(4,phone); int i=ps1.executeUpdate(); if(c==1||c==Statement.SUCCESS_NO_INFO && i==1||i==Statement.SUCCESS_NO_INFO) { out.println("<html><head><title>Login</title></head><body>"); out.println("<center><h2>Skypark.com</h2>"); out.println("<table border=0><tr>"); out.println("<td>UserName/E-Mail</td>"); out.println("<form action=login method=post"); out.println("<td><input type=text name=uname></td>"); out.println("</tr><tr><td>Password</td>"); out.println("<td><input type=password name=pass></td></tr></table>"); out.println("<input type=submit value=Login>"); out.println("</form></body></html>"); } else { out.println("<html><head><title>Error!</title></head><body>"); out.println("<center><b>Given details are incorrect</b>"); out.println(" Please try again</center></body></html>"); RequestDispatcher rd=req.getRequestDispatcher("registration.html"); rd.include(req,resp); return; } } catch(Exception e) { out.println("<html><head><title>Error!</title><body>"); out.println("<b><i>Unable to process try after some time</i></b>"); out.println("</body></html>"); RequestDispatcher rd=req.getRequestDispatcher("registration.html"); rd.include(req,resp); return; } out.flush(); out.close(); } } And the web.xml file is <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <web-app xmlns="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee http://java.sun.com/xml/ns/javaee/web-app_3_0.xsd" version="3.0" metadata-complete="true"> <servlet> <servlet-name>reg</servlet-name> <servlet-class>skypark.Registration</servlet-class> </servlet> <servlet-mapping> <servlet-name>reg</servlet-name> <url-pattern>/registration</url-pattern> </servlet-mapping> This i kept in C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 7.0\webapps\skypark\WEB_INF\web.xml and servlet class in C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 7.0\webapps\skypark\WEB_INF\classes\skypark and registration.html in C:\Program Files\Apache Software Foundation\Tomcat 7.0\webapps\skypark\ if any mistake in this makes above error means please help me.Thanks in advance....

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  • How to Kill and Alternate X session via cli

    - by L. D. James
    Can someone tell me how to remove dormant X sessions. This question is similar to Logging out other users from the command line, but more specific to controlling X displays which I find hard to kill. I used the command "who -u" to get the session of the other screens: $ who -u Which gave me: user1 :0 2014-08-18 12:08 ? 2891 (:0) user1 pts/26 2014-08-18 16:11 17:18 3984 (:0) user2 :1 2014-08-18 18:21 ? 25745 (:1) user1 pts/27 2014-08-18 23:10 00:27 3984 (:0) user1 pts/32 2014-08-18 23:10 10:42 3984 (:0) user1 pts/46 2014-08-18 23:14 00:04 3984 (:0) user1 pts/48 2014-08-19 04:10 . 3984 (:0) The kill -9 25745 doesn't appear to do anything. I have a workshop where a number of users will use the computer under their own login. After the workshop is over there are a number of logins that are left open. I would prefer to kill the open sessions rather than try to log into each users' screen. Again, this question isn't just about logging users' out. I'm hoping to get clarity also for killing/removing stuck processes that are hard to kill. New Info While still pondering how to kill the process I wrote the following script, which did it: #!/bin/bash results=1 while [[ $results > 0 ]] do sudo kill -9 25745 results=$? echo -ne "Response:$results..." sleep 20 done After a graceful waiting period, if there isn't a better answer I'll mark this as answered with this resolution. This may resolve the problem with other stuck processes I have had in the past.

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  • UEFI Boot Failure - Hang after Printing USB Information

    - by James
    I'm experiencing a really weird boot problem. With both 12.10 and 12.04LTS, the vast majority of kernels (and initrds) that I've tried boot, but hang immediately after printing out information about USB devices. This isn't exactly a full "hang" so to speak, as if I plug in a flash drive, I see information and a /dev/sd* entry printed to the screen. Post/pre-init scripts are not run, there is no handoff, nor busybox or VT prompt. Virtual terminals can't be changed (with Ctrl-Alt-Fx). For what I can see, init may have not been executed yet. With certain kernel and OS combinations however, (specifically 3.2.0-29), I get a full boot and am able to use the OS as if there is no problem. After 3.2.0-29, I've been hard pressed to find a kernel that works. Any idea what's happening or how to fix this? Or even a road to take? I've exhausted the first five pages of Google for every search term I can think of. This is a Lenovo Z580 (i5-3210M) with Phoenix SecureCore Tiano firmware, if that helps any.

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  • What exactly is "Web API" in ASP.Net MVC4?

    - by James P. Wright
    I know what a Web API is. I've written API's in multiple languages (including in MVC3). I'm also well practiced in ASP.Net. I just discovered that MVC4 has "Web API" and without going through the video examples I can't find a good explanation of what exactly it IS. From my past experience, Microsoft technologies (especially ASP.Net) have a tendency to take a simple concept and wrap it in a bunch of useless overhead that is meant to make everything "easier". Can someone please explain to me what Web API in MVC4 is exactly? Why do I need it? Why can't I just write my own API?

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  • Do programmers need a union? [closed]

    - by James A. Rosen
    In light of the acrid responses to the intellectual property clause discussed in my previous question, I have to ask: why don't we have a programmers' union? There are many issues we face as employees, and we have very little ability to organize and negotiate. Could we band together with the writers', directors', or musicians' guilds, or are our needs unique? Has anyone ever tried to start one? If so, why did it fail? (Or, alternatively, why have I never heard of it, despite its success?) later: Keith has my idea basically right. I would also imagine the union being involved in many other topics, including: legal liability for others' use/misuse of our work, especially unintended uses evaluating the quality of computer science and software engineering higher education programs -- unlike many other engineering disciplines, we are not required to be certified on receiving our Bachelor's degrees evangelism and outreach -- especially to elementary school students certification -- not doing it, but working with the companies like ISC(2) and others to make certifications meaningful and useful continuing education -- similar to previous conferences -- maintain a go-to list of organizers and other resources our members can use I would see it less so as a traditional trade union, with little emphasis on: pay -- we tend to command fairly good salaries outsourcing and free trade -- most of use tend to be pretty free-market oriented working conditions -- we're the only industry with Aeron chairs being considered anything like "standard"

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  • Multi option step-by-step walkthrough? [closed]

    - by James Simpson
    I'm looking for a service ideally (but script maybe) that would allow me to create a step-by-step walkthrough, customised by options users choose in earlier steps. It is difficult to describe and if there is a better description I could Google for, please let me know! Basically, I want to start with a few options for a user to click on and then change what comes next based on that click and be able to do this through a whole walk through (explaining how to set a service up). As mentioned earlier, if it was a SAAS I could use (in the vein of desk.com) that would be perfect. Thank you and please ask questions if I've described it poorly!

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  • Oracle Applications Guidance for Exalogic

    - by james.bayer
    Exalogic is continuing to help Oracle deliver on the tagline “Hardware and Software – Engineered to Work Together”.  My Oracle Support article ID 1302529.1 was just posted and enumerates various Oracle Applications versions that are recommended for deployment on Exalogic.  Please access the note via My Oracle Support for the details.  These applications currently include: Oracle Applications such as E-Business Suite, Siebel, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Utilities Applications including Mobile Workforce Management, Meter Data Management, and Customer Care and Billing Oracle Retail Applications Merchandising Operations Management and Merchandising Planning & Optimization modules The reference video below offers a great explanation for how Exalogic can be an ideal platform for Oracle software including Oracle Applications.

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  • Saint Louis Days of .NET 2012

    - by James Michael Hare
    Hey all, just a quick note to let you know I'll be one of the speakers at the St. Louis Days of .NET this year.  I'll be giving a revamped version of my Little Wonders (going to add some new ones to keep it fresh) -- and hopefully other presentations as well, the session selection process is ongoing.St. Louis Days of .NET is a wonderful conference in the midwest and a bargain to boot (only $175 if you register before July 1st!  Hope to see you there.For more information, visit: http://www.stlouisdayofdotnet.com/2012

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  • Setting up collision using a tilemap and cocos2d

    - by James
    I'm building my first platformer using cocos2d and a tilemap. I'm having trouble coming up with a decent way of determining if the character is colliding with an object. More specifically, in which direction is the character colliding with an object. Following the tutorial here, I have made a separate "meta" layer of collidable tiles. The problem is that unless the character is in the tile, you can't detect the collision. Also, there's no way of telling WHERE the collision is occurring. The best solution would be one that could tell me if a character is up against a wall, or walking on top of a platform. However, I can't seem to figure out a good technique for this.

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