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  • Software for formatting / web-publishing tutorial-type, technical articles

    - by gojira
    I want to put some of my own technical writing on the web: tutorials, how-to's, conceptual articles about programming etc. I write mostly for myself yet, but think others can benefit from it so I want to put it online, and I also have plans of making everything more coherent and turning it into a book. My articles are not meant as a blog, they're just meant as a collection of tutorials and how-to's, but I think a blog-type software would probably be the most appropriate mode of formatting that kind of stuff. Right now I am using the blog feature of cite u like, which is very low tech and I really need something better. On my wish list is, among other things: code snippets in scrollable boxes syntax highlighting for source code snippets tagging articles with graphical icons according to topic, like in slashdot of course users (i.e. readers) should be able to comment on articles Also, just more options than a super-simple blog should look slick! should not look wikipedia-like Is there any software you can recommend for this purpose?

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  • Interesting articles and blogs on SPARC T4

    - by mv
    Interesting articles and blogs on SPARC T4 processor   I have consolidated all the interesting information I could get on SPARC T4 processor and its hardware cryptographic capabilities.  Hope its useful. 1. Advantages of SPARC T4 processor  Most important points in this T4 announcement are : "The SPARC T4 processor was designed from the ground up for high speed security and has a cryptographic stream processing unit (SPU) integrated directly into each processor core. These accelerators support 16 industry standard security ciphers and enable high speed encryption at rates 3 to 5 times that of competing processors. By integrating encryption capabilities directly inside the instruction pipeline, the SPARC T4 processor eliminates the performance and cost barriers typically associated with secure computing and makes it possible to deliver high security levels without impacting the user experience." Data Sheet has more details on these  : "New on-chip Encryption Instruction Accelerators with direct non-privileged support for 16 industry-standard cryptographic algorithms plus random number generation in each of the eight cores: AES, Camellia, CRC32c, DES, 3DES, DH, DSA, ECC, Kasumi, MD5, RSA, SHA-1, SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA-512" I ran "isainfo -v" command on Solaris 11 Sparc T4-1 system. It shows the new instructions as expected  : $ isainfo -v 64-bit sparcv9 applications crc32c cbcond pause mont mpmul sha512 sha256 sha1 md5 camellia kasumi des aes ima hpc vis3 fmaf asi_blk_init vis2 vis popc 32-bit sparc applications crc32c cbcond pause mont mpmul sha512 sha256 sha1 md5 camellia kasumi des aes ima hpc vis3 fmaf asi_blk_init vis2 vis popc v8plus div32 mul32  2.  Dan Anderson's Blog have some interesting points about how these can be used : "New T4 crypto instructions include: aes_kexpand0, aes_kexpand1, aes_kexpand2,         aes_eround01, aes_eround23, aes_eround01_l, aes_eround_23_l, aes_dround01, aes_dround23, aes_dround01_l, aes_dround_23_l.       Having SPARC T4 hardware crypto instructions is all well and good, but how do we access it ?      The software is available with Solaris 11 and is used automatically if you are running Solaris a SPARC T4.  It is used internally in the kernel through kernel crypto modules.  It is available in user space through the PKCS#11 library." 3.   Dans' Blog on Where's the Crypto Libraries? Although this was written in 2009 but still is very useful  "Here's a brief tour of the major crypto libraries shown in the digraph:   The libpkcs11 library contains the PKCS#11 API (C_\*() functions, such as C_Initialize()). That in turn calls library pkcs11_softtoken or pkcs11_kernel, for userland or kernel crypto providers. The latter is used mostly for hardware-assisted cryptography (such as n2cp for Niagara2 SPARC processors), as that is performed more efficiently in kernel space with the "kCF" module (Kernel Crypto Framework). Additionally, for Solaris 10, strong crypto algorithms were split off in separate libraries, pkcs11_softtoken_extra libcryptoutil contains low-level utility functions to help implement cryptography. libsoftcrypto (OpenSolaris and Solaris Nevada only) implements several symmetric-key crypto algorithms in software, such as AES, RC4, and DES3, and the bignum library (used for RSA). libmd implements MD5, SHA, and SHA2 message digest algorithms" 4. Difference in T3 and T4 Diagram in this blog is good and self explanatory. Jeff's blog also highlights the differences  "The T4 servers have improved crypto acceleration, described at https://blogs.oracle.com/DanX/entry/sparc_t4_openssl_engine. It is "just built in" so administrators no longer have to assign crypto accelerator units to domains - it "just happens". Every physical or virtual CPU on a SPARC-T4 has full access to hardware based crypto acceleration at all times. .... For completeness sake, it's worth noting that the T4 adds more crypto algorithms, and accelerates Camelia, CRC32c, and more SHA-x." 5. About performance counters In this blog, performance counters are explained : "Note that unlike T3 and before, T4 crypto doesn't require kernel modules like ncp or n2cp, there is no visibility of crypto hardware with kstats or cryptoadm. T4 does provide hardware counters for crypto operations.  You can see these using cpustat: cpustat -c pic0=Instr_FGU_crypto 5 You can check the general crypto support of the hardware and OS with the command "isainfo -v". Since T4 crypto's implementation now allows direct userland access, there are no "crypto units" visible to cryptoadm.  " For more details refer Martin's blog as well. 6. How to turn off  SPARC T4 or Intel AES-NI crypto acceleration  I found this interesting blog from Darren about how to turn off  SPARC T4 or Intel AES-NI crypto acceleration. "One of the new Solaris 11 features of the linker/loader is the ability to have a single ELF object that has multiple different implementations of the same functions that are selected at runtime based on the capabilities of the machine.   The alternate to this is having the application coded to call getisax(2) system call and make the choice itself.  We use this functionality of the linker/loader when we build the userland libraries for the Solaris Cryptographic Framework (specifically libmd.so and libsoftcrypto.so) The Solaris linker/loader allows control of a lot of its functionality via environment variables, we can use that to control the version of the cryptographic functions we run.  To do this we simply export the LD_HWCAP environment variable with values that tell ld.so.1 to not select the HWCAP section matching certain features even if isainfo says they are present.  This will work for consumers of the Solaris Cryptographic Framework that use the Solaris PKCS#11 libraries or use libmd.so interfaces directly.  For SPARC T4 : export LD_HWCAP="-aes -des -md5 -sha256 -sha512 -mont -mpul" .. For Intel systems with AES-NI support: export LD_HWCAP="-aes"" Note that LD_HWCAP is explained in  http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23823_01/html/816-5165/ld.so.1-1.html "LD_HWCAP, LD_HWCAP_32, and LD_HWCAP_64 -  Identifies an alternative hardware capabilities value... A “-” prefix results in the capabilities that follow being removed from the alternative capabilities." 7. Whitepaper on SPARC T4 Servers—Optimized for End-to-End Data Center Computing This Whitepaper on SPARC T4 Servers—Optimized for End-to-End Data Center Computing explains more details.  It has DTrace scripts which may come in handy : "To ensure the hardware-assisted cryptographic acceleration is configured to use and working with the security scenarios, it is recommended to use the following Solaris DTrace script. #!/usr/sbin/dtrace -s pid$1:libsoftcrypto:yf*:entry, pid$target:libsoftcrypto:rsa*:entry, pid$1:libmd:yf*:entry { @[probefunc] = count(); } tick-1sec { printa(@ops); trunc(@ops); }" Note that I have slightly modified the D Script to have RSA "libsoftcrypto:rsa*:entry" as well as per recommendations from Chi-Chang Lin. 8. References http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/features/sparc-t4-announcement-494846.html http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/servers/sparc-enterprise/t-series/sparc-t4-1-ds-487858.pdf https://blogs.oracle.com/DanX/entry/sparc_t4_openssl_engine https://blogs.oracle.com/DanX/entry/where_s_the_crypto_libraries https://blogs.oracle.com/darren/entry/howto_turn_off_sparc_t4 http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23823_01/html/816-5165/ld.so.1-1.html   https://blogs.oracle.com/hardware/entry/unleash_the_power_of_cryptography https://blogs.oracle.com/cmt/entry/t4_crypto_cheat_sheet https://blogs.oracle.com/martinm/entry/t4_performance_counters_explained  https://blogs.oracle.com/jsavit/entry/no_mau_required_on_a http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/servers/sparc-enterprise/t-series/sparc-t4-business-wp-524472.pdf

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  • Wordpress : display all articles of a month on one page

    - by Jérôme
    I would like to change the default behavior of Wordpress regarding the number of articles displayed on a same page to be the following : when displaying the home page, the 10 most recent articles should be displayed, 10 being the setting which can be changed through the admin panel (posts_per_page) when displaying the articles of a specific month (given through the URL like this : ?m=200906&order=ASC, I'd like to display on the same page all articles of this month (in other words, I don't want to have to browse through articles using previous entries or next entries. EDIT : I forgot something else I'd like to change : On the page where all articles of the specified month are displayed, I would like to display the comments for each article. Is this possible to do ? How ?

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  • Catch Up on Your Reading

    - by [email protected]
    AutoVue 20.0 was a major release which included many new features and enhancements. We eagerly shared the news with members of the media, who in turn wrote about AutoVue enterprise visualization in various online articles. Here is a summary of the articles featuring AutoVue 20.0. Happy reading! Oracle Unveils AutoVue 20.0 Desktop Engineering; April 5, 2010 Oracle Upgrades Document Visualization Tool Managing Automation; April 5, 2010 Oracle's AutoVue 20.0 Enhances Visual Document Collaboration CMS Wire; April 6, 2010 Oracle Turns Attention to Project and Document Management Channel Insider; April 7, 2010 Oracle Unveils AutoVue 20.0 Database Trends and Applications; April 7, 2010

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  • Most important research article for software development [closed]

    - by Fabian Fagerholm
    Researchers all over the world collectively publish thousands of articles on software development topics every year, hoping to benefit practical software development in the long run. (Of course, some of them only publish to increase their publication count, but hopefully most still aim to advance the field.) But what is really useful for practical software development? Of all the research articles you have read, what do you consider being the most important one for the software development field? What is it about that article that makes it stand out as especially important in your view? Note: I deliberately chose the term "software development", but you can freely interpret it as "programming" or "software engineering", or anything else that fits into the "software development" category.

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  • Articles of x386 and later CPU based systems

    - by user32569
    Hi there. I know this is hard question, and possibly not to be answered here, but if there is some article, or more you know about, please post a link. About books, its sad but many great computer books cannot be bought in my country. So, you can find many articles online, which says how memory was mapped back in pre x386 CPU. How there was explicit holes ready for MMIO BIOS, Video BIOS, etc. How there was A20 line for allowing higher memory access etc. Problem is, time changed. Today BIOSes are many times larger, and pure x86 16bit mode is used for booting and ROM flashing only. OS ignore BIOS as they access everything using drivers. And I just want to know, how it works today. I know not so specific question, but I read OS dev wiki, many articles, but all refering to days before massive usage of pure 32bit CPUs.

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  • [News] L'?dition de Mars de l'Architecture Journal

    L'?dition Mars 2010 de l'Architecture Journal se d?marque des ?ditions pr?c?dentes en affichant des articles de plus en plus proches des sujets en vogue dans la communaut? Alt.NET. Dans le sommaire de cette ?dition, un article sur le DDD (Domain Driven Design) mais aussi "UML ou DSL?" suivi d'un long papier sur la mod?lisation dans un contexte agile. A lire.

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  • Oracle Linux Newsletter, March Edition is Here...

    - by Monica Kumar
    The March 2012 edition of Oracle Linux Newsletter is now available. It is chock full of new content including: 30-day free trial of Ksplice for Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers Oracle Linux Online Forum, March 27, 2012 Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 details Why and how Dell IT migrated from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux Technical articles Events, and more Read it here. Subscribe to it now. 

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  • Rapid Application Development Articles

    - by Micheal
    I'm writing a project and I need to use a certain number of journal articles. I'm having real trouble finding journal articles on RAD though. It seems to be mostly books that I can find. Can anyone recommend any good articles to get me started?

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  • New Article on OTN: Tips for Securing an Oracle Linux Environment

    - by Lenz Grimmer
    Some time ago, we published Tips for Hardening an Oracle Linux Server on the Oracle Technology Network. This article focused on hardening an Oracle Linux system right after the initial installation, exploring administrative approaches that help to minimize vulnerabilities. This week we issued a second part,Tips for Securing an Oracle Linux Environment, which focuses on the operational part: detecting intrusion attempts, auditing and keeping systems up-to date and protected. If you manage Oracle Linux systems in your environment, check out these articles for some invaluable hints and suggestions on how to improve and maintain security of these servers!

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  • [News] Coup de pouce ? la communaut? .NET belge

    Petit coup de pouce ? un nouveau venu dans la communaut? .NET, le site DotNetHub. Un site .NET qui cible principalement la Belgique francophone, le Luxembourg, la France et la Suisse. Pour Steve Degosserie co-cr?ateur du site : "DotNetHub est un endroit o? vous pourrez trouver toute une s?rie d?informations via des news, blogging, articles, des supports de conf?rences ou encore des podcasts". Longue vie ? DotNetHub !

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  • How to write a network game?

    - by TomWij
    Based on Why is so hard to develop a MMO?: Networked game development is not trivial; there are large obstacles to overcome in not only latency, but cheat prevention, state management and load balancing. If you're not experienced with writing a networked game, this is going to be a difficult learning exercise. I know the theory about sockets, servers, clients, protocols, connections and such things. Now I wonder how one can learn to write a network game: How to balance load problems? How to manage the game state? How to keep things synchronized? How to protect the communication and client from reverse engineering? How to work around latency problems? Which things should be computed local and which things on the server? ... Are there any good books, tutorials, sites, interesting articles or other questions regarding this? I'm looking for broad answers, but specific ones are fine too to learn the difference.

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  • Background & Research Methods section (Writing an Article)

    - by sterz
    It is my first time writing an article on a software project. I am supposed to use ACM UbiComp paper format. I already have a structure that I should follow and there is a Background & Research Methods section after Abstract, Introduction, Related Work sections. I have browser through several articles, but some of them either dont have it, have only background section or have only research methods section. I am having hard time to find an article that has this section and moreover what I must write on here. My project is about Bluetooth location tracking and I do have the implementation and evaluation, so it is not something theoretical.

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  • Strategy for image sizes

    - by MotiveKyle
    I run a site that has a lot of writers that generate quite a few articles a day. I require them to provide two image sizes (one for the big headline image and one as the thumbnail). I've been wanting to change up the site layout a bit, but I am becoming limited by the image sizes for the posts. I have considered just cropping images, but they still need to look nice, and cropping doesn't always generate what I'd want. I'd prefer to just scale down by percentage (as I do with thumbnails). Should I just make the writers provide more images? How do other sites handle this?

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  • Adding a header view to a UIWebView similar to Safari and Articles

    - by MrMage
    I'd like to add a header view to an UIWebView similar to the address/search bar in MobileSafari and the excellent Articles.app by Sophia Teutschler. More precisely, I'd like to create a "pull to fix orientation" view above a UIWebView, just like in Articles. Articles does use a UIWebView, so it seems to be possible. Is there a way to accomplish this without having to embed the UIWebView into a UIScrollView and updating its size all the time, as described in this article? Apparently, I do need the scrolling events to have the "pull to fix orientation" behave accordingly.

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  • make website page get news articles from feeds

    - by Andy
    Hi, I would like to start publishing some news articles from time to time. An option would be to create a new web page for every article but this sounds like it can be done easier. For instance I noticed clear channel uses some kind of feed, like: http://www.z100.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=104650&article=7011404 I don't know what it means and how it works but looks like a nice way to get the article from some kind of database I guess? Does someone knows how this works, or some other way to create new articles etc, some dynamical functionality for instance to generate links to the articles and get the right article from a database for example. thanks!

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  • New features of C# 4.0

    This article covers New features of C# 4.0. Article has been divided into below sections. Introduction. Dynamic Lookup. Named and Optional Arguments. Features for COM interop. Variance. Relationship with Visual Basic. Resources. Other interested readings… 22 New Features of Visual Studio 2008 for .NET Professionals 50 New Features of SQL Server 2008 IIS 7.0 New features Introduction It is now close to a year since Microsoft Visual C# 3.0 shipped as part of Visual Studio 2008. In the VS Managed Languages team we are hard at work on creating the next version of the language (with the unsurprising working title of C# 4.0), and this document is a first public description of the planned language features as we currently see them. Please be advised that all this is in early stages of production and is subject to change. Part of the reason for sharing our plans in public so early is precisely to get the kind of feedback that will cause us to improve the final product before it rolls out. Simultaneously with the publication of this whitepaper, a first public CTP (community technology preview) of Visual Studio 2010 is going out as a Virtual PC image for everyone to try. Please use it to play and experiment with the features, and let us know of any thoughts you have. We ask for your understanding and patience working with very early bits, where especially new or newly implemented features do not have the quality or stability of a final product. The aim of the CTP is not to give you a productive work environment but to give you the best possible impression of what we are working on for the next release. The CTP contains a number of walkthroughs, some of which highlight the new language features of C# 4.0. Those are excellent for getting a hands-on guided tour through the details of some common scenarios for the features. You may consider this whitepaper a companion document to these walkthroughs, complementing them with a focus on the overall language features and how they work, as opposed to the specifics of the concrete scenarios. C# 4.0 The major theme for C# 4.0 is dynamic programming. Increasingly, objects are “dynamic” in the sense that their structure and behavior is not captured by a static type, or at least not one that the compiler knows about when compiling your program. Some examples include a. objects from dynamic programming languages, such as Python or Ruby b. COM objects accessed through IDispatch c. ordinary .NET types accessed through reflection d. objects with changing structure, such as HTML DOM objects While C# remains a statically typed language, we aim to vastly improve the interaction with such objects. A secondary theme is co-evolution with Visual Basic. Going forward we will aim to maintain the individual character of each language, but at the same time important new features should be introduced in both languages at the same time. They should be differentiated more by style and feel than by feature set. The new features in C# 4.0 fall into four groups: Dynamic lookup Dynamic lookup allows you to write method, operator and indexer calls, property and field accesses, and even object invocations which bypass the C# static type checking and instead gets resolved at runtime. Named and optional parameters Parameters in C# can now be specified as optional by providing a default value for them in a member declaration. When the member is invoked, optional arguments can be omitted. Furthermore, any argument can be passed by parameter name instead of position. COM specific interop features Dynamic lookup as well as named and optional parameters both help making programming against COM less painful than today. On top of that, however, we are adding a number of other small features that further improve the interop experience. Variance It used to be that an IEnumerable<string> wasn’t an IEnumerable<object>. Now it is – C# embraces type safe “co-and contravariance” and common BCL types are updated to take advantage of that. Dynamic Lookup Dynamic lookup allows you a unified approach to invoking things dynamically. With dynamic lookup, when you have an object in your hand you do not need to worry about whether it comes from COM, IronPython, the HTML DOM or reflection; you just apply operations to it and leave it to the runtime to figure out what exactly those operations mean for that particular object. This affords you enormous flexibility, and can greatly simplify your code, but it does come with a significant drawback: Static typing is not maintained for these operations. A dynamic object is assumed at compile time to support any operation, and only at runtime will you get an error if it wasn’t so. Oftentimes this will be no loss, because the object wouldn’t have a static type anyway, in other cases it is a tradeoff between brevity and safety. In order to facilitate this tradeoff, it is a design goal of C# to allow you to opt in or opt out of dynamic behavior on every single call. The dynamic type C# 4.0 introduces a new static type called dynamic. When you have an object of type dynamic you can “do things to it” that are resolved only at runtime: dynamic d = GetDynamicObject(…); d.M(7); The C# compiler allows you to call a method with any name and any arguments on d because it is of type dynamic. At runtime the actual object that d refers to will be examined to determine what it means to “call M with an int” on it. The type dynamic can be thought of as a special version of the type object, which signals that the object can be used dynamically. It is easy to opt in or out of dynamic behavior: any object can be implicitly converted to dynamic, “suspending belief” until runtime. Conversely, there is an “assignment conversion” from dynamic to any other type, which allows implicit conversion in assignment-like constructs: dynamic d = 7; // implicit conversion int i = d; // assignment conversion Dynamic operations Not only method calls, but also field and property accesses, indexer and operator calls and even delegate invocations can be dispatched dynamically: dynamic d = GetDynamicObject(…); d.M(7); // calling methods d.f = d.P; // getting and settings fields and properties d[“one”] = d[“two”]; // getting and setting thorugh indexers int i = d + 3; // calling operators string s = d(5,7); // invoking as a delegate The role of the C# compiler here is simply to package up the necessary information about “what is being done to d”, so that the runtime can pick it up and determine what the exact meaning of it is given an actual object d. Think of it as deferring part of the compiler’s job to runtime. The result of any dynamic operation is itself of type dynamic. Runtime lookup At runtime a dynamic operation is dispatched according to the nature of its target object d: COM objects If d is a COM object, the operation is dispatched dynamically through COM IDispatch. This allows calling to COM types that don’t have a Primary Interop Assembly (PIA), and relying on COM features that don’t have a counterpart in C#, such as indexed properties and default properties. Dynamic objects If d implements the interface IDynamicObject d itself is asked to perform the operation. Thus by implementing IDynamicObject a type can completely redefine the meaning of dynamic operations. This is used intensively by dynamic languages such as IronPython and IronRuby to implement their own dynamic object models. It will also be used by APIs, e.g. by the HTML DOM to allow direct access to the object’s properties using property syntax. Plain objects Otherwise d is a standard .NET object, and the operation will be dispatched using reflection on its type and a C# “runtime binder” which implements C#’s lookup and overload resolution semantics at runtime. This is essentially a part of the C# compiler running as a runtime component to “finish the work” on dynamic operations that was deferred by the static compiler. Example Assume the following code: dynamic d1 = new Foo(); dynamic d2 = new Bar(); string s; d1.M(s, d2, 3, null); Because the receiver of the call to M is dynamic, the C# compiler does not try to resolve the meaning of the call. Instead it stashes away information for the runtime about the call. This information (often referred to as the “payload”) is essentially equivalent to: “Perform an instance method call of M with the following arguments: 1. a string 2. a dynamic 3. a literal int 3 4. a literal object null” At runtime, assume that the actual type Foo of d1 is not a COM type and does not implement IDynamicObject. In this case the C# runtime binder picks up to finish the overload resolution job based on runtime type information, proceeding as follows: 1. Reflection is used to obtain the actual runtime types of the two objects, d1 and d2, that did not have a static type (or rather had the static type dynamic). The result is Foo for d1 and Bar for d2. 2. Method lookup and overload resolution is performed on the type Foo with the call M(string,Bar,3,null) using ordinary C# semantics. 3. If the method is found it is invoked; otherwise a runtime exception is thrown. Overload resolution with dynamic arguments Even if the receiver of a method call is of a static type, overload resolution can still happen at runtime. This can happen if one or more of the arguments have the type dynamic: Foo foo = new Foo(); dynamic d = new Bar(); var result = foo.M(d); The C# runtime binder will choose between the statically known overloads of M on Foo, based on the runtime type of d, namely Bar. The result is again of type dynamic. The Dynamic Language Runtime An important component in the underlying implementation of dynamic lookup is the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), which is a new API in .NET 4.0. The DLR provides most of the infrastructure behind not only C# dynamic lookup but also the implementation of several dynamic programming languages on .NET, such as IronPython and IronRuby. Through this common infrastructure a high degree of interoperability is ensured, but just as importantly the DLR provides excellent caching mechanisms which serve to greatly enhance the efficiency of runtime dispatch. To the user of dynamic lookup in C#, the DLR is invisible except for the improved efficiency. However, if you want to implement your own dynamically dispatched objects, the IDynamicObject interface allows you to interoperate with the DLR and plug in your own behavior. This is a rather advanced task, which requires you to understand a good deal more about the inner workings of the DLR. For API writers, however, it can definitely be worth the trouble in order to vastly improve the usability of e.g. a library representing an inherently dynamic domain. Open issues There are a few limitations and things that might work differently than you would expect. · The DLR allows objects to be created from objects that represent classes. However, the current implementation of C# doesn’t have syntax to support this. · Dynamic lookup will not be able to find extension methods. Whether extension methods apply or not depends on the static context of the call (i.e. which using clauses occur), and this context information is not currently kept as part of the payload. · Anonymous functions (i.e. lambda expressions) cannot appear as arguments to a dynamic method call. The compiler cannot bind (i.e. “understand”) an anonymous function without knowing what type it is converted to. One consequence of these limitations is that you cannot easily use LINQ queries over dynamic objects: dynamic collection = …; var result = collection.Select(e => e + 5); If the Select method is an extension method, dynamic lookup will not find it. Even if it is an instance method, the above does not compile, because a lambda expression cannot be passed as an argument to a dynamic operation. There are no plans to address these limitations in C# 4.0. Named and Optional Arguments Named and optional parameters are really two distinct features, but are often useful together. Optional parameters allow you to omit arguments to member invocations, whereas named arguments is a way to provide an argument using the name of the corresponding parameter instead of relying on its position in the parameter list. Some APIs, most notably COM interfaces such as the Office automation APIs, are written specifically with named and optional parameters in mind. Up until now it has been very painful to call into these APIs from C#, with sometimes as many as thirty arguments having to be explicitly passed, most of which have reasonable default values and could be omitted. Even in APIs for .NET however you sometimes find yourself compelled to write many overloads of a method with different combinations of parameters, in order to provide maximum usability to the callers. Optional parameters are a useful alternative for these situations. Optional parameters A parameter is declared optional simply by providing a default value for it: public void M(int x, int y = 5, int z = 7); Here y and z are optional parameters and can be omitted in calls: M(1, 2, 3); // ordinary call of M M(1, 2); // omitting z – equivalent to M(1, 2, 7) M(1); // omitting both y and z – equivalent to M(1, 5, 7) Named and optional arguments C# 4.0 does not permit you to omit arguments between commas as in M(1,,3). This could lead to highly unreadable comma-counting code. Instead any argument can be passed by name. Thus if you want to omit only y from a call of M you can write: M(1, z: 3); // passing z by name or M(x: 1, z: 3); // passing both x and z by name or even M(z: 3, x: 1); // reversing the order of arguments All forms are equivalent, except that arguments are always evaluated in the order they appear, so in the last example the 3 is evaluated before the 1. Optional and named arguments can be used not only with methods but also with indexers and constructors. Overload resolution Named and optional arguments affect overload resolution, but the changes are relatively simple: A signature is applicable if all its parameters are either optional or have exactly one corresponding argument (by name or position) in the call which is convertible to the parameter type. Betterness rules on conversions are only applied for arguments that are explicitly given – omitted optional arguments are ignored for betterness purposes. If two signatures are equally good, one that does not omit optional parameters is preferred. M(string s, int i = 1); M(object o); M(int i, string s = “Hello”); M(int i); M(5); Given these overloads, we can see the working of the rules above. M(string,int) is not applicable because 5 doesn’t convert to string. M(int,string) is applicable because its second parameter is optional, and so, obviously are M(object) and M(int). M(int,string) and M(int) are both better than M(object) because the conversion from 5 to int is better than the conversion from 5 to object. Finally M(int) is better than M(int,string) because no optional arguments are omitted. Thus the method that gets called is M(int). Features for COM interop Dynamic lookup as well as named and optional parameters greatly improve the experience of interoperating with COM APIs such as the Office Automation APIs. In order to remove even more of the speed bumps, a couple of small COM-specific features are also added to C# 4.0. Dynamic import Many COM methods accept and return variant types, which are represented in the PIAs as object. In the vast majority of cases, a programmer calling these methods already knows the static type of a returned object from context, but explicitly has to perform a cast on the returned value to make use of that knowledge. These casts are so common that they constitute a major nuisance. In order to facilitate a smoother experience, you can now choose to import these COM APIs in such a way that variants are instead represented using the type dynamic. In other words, from your point of view, COM signatures now have occurrences of dynamic instead of object in them. This means that you can easily access members directly off a returned object, or you can assign it to a strongly typed local variable without having to cast. To illustrate, you can now say excel.Cells[1, 1].Value = "Hello"; instead of ((Excel.Range)excel.Cells[1, 1]).Value2 = "Hello"; and Excel.Range range = excel.Cells[1, 1]; instead of Excel.Range range = (Excel.Range)excel.Cells[1, 1]; Compiling without PIAs Primary Interop Assemblies are large .NET assemblies generated from COM interfaces to facilitate strongly typed interoperability. They provide great support at design time, where your experience of the interop is as good as if the types where really defined in .NET. However, at runtime these large assemblies can easily bloat your program, and also cause versioning issues because they are distributed independently of your application. The no-PIA feature allows you to continue to use PIAs at design time without having them around at runtime. Instead, the C# compiler will bake the small part of the PIA that a program actually uses directly into its assembly. At runtime the PIA does not have to be loaded. Omitting ref Because of a different programming model, many COM APIs contain a lot of reference parameters. Contrary to refs in C#, these are typically not meant to mutate a passed-in argument for the subsequent benefit of the caller, but are simply another way of passing value parameters. It therefore seems unreasonable that a C# programmer should have to create temporary variables for all such ref parameters and pass these by reference. Instead, specifically for COM methods, the C# compiler will allow you to pass arguments by value to such a method, and will automatically generate temporary variables to hold the passed-in values, subsequently discarding these when the call returns. In this way the caller sees value semantics, and will not experience any side effects, but the called method still gets a reference. Open issues A few COM interface features still are not surfaced in C#. Most notably these include indexed properties and default properties. As mentioned above these will be respected if you access COM dynamically, but statically typed C# code will still not recognize them. There are currently no plans to address these remaining speed bumps in C# 4.0. Variance An aspect of generics that often comes across as surprising is that the following is illegal: IList<string> strings = new List<string>(); IList<object> objects = strings; The second assignment is disallowed because strings does not have the same element type as objects. There is a perfectly good reason for this. If it were allowed you could write: objects[0] = 5; string s = strings[0]; Allowing an int to be inserted into a list of strings and subsequently extracted as a string. This would be a breach of type safety. However, there are certain interfaces where the above cannot occur, notably where there is no way to insert an object into the collection. Such an interface is IEnumerable<T>. If instead you say: IEnumerable<object> objects = strings; There is no way we can put the wrong kind of thing into strings through objects, because objects doesn’t have a method that takes an element in. Variance is about allowing assignments such as this in cases where it is safe. The result is that a lot of situations that were previously surprising now just work. Covariance In .NET 4.0 the IEnumerable<T> interface will be declared in the following way: public interface IEnumerable<out T> : IEnumerable { IEnumerator<T> GetEnumerator(); } public interface IEnumerator<out T> : IEnumerator { bool MoveNext(); T Current { get; } } The “out” in these declarations signifies that the T can only occur in output position in the interface – the compiler will complain otherwise. In return for this restriction, the interface becomes “covariant” in T, which means that an IEnumerable<A> is considered an IEnumerable<B> if A has a reference conversion to B. As a result, any sequence of strings is also e.g. a sequence of objects. This is useful e.g. in many LINQ methods. Using the declarations above: var result = strings.Union(objects); // succeeds with an IEnumerable<object> This would previously have been disallowed, and you would have had to to some cumbersome wrapping to get the two sequences to have the same element type. Contravariance Type parameters can also have an “in” modifier, restricting them to occur only in input positions. An example is IComparer<T>: public interface IComparer<in T> { public int Compare(T left, T right); } The somewhat baffling result is that an IComparer<object> can in fact be considered an IComparer<string>! It makes sense when you think about it: If a comparer can compare any two objects, it can certainly also compare two strings. This property is referred to as contravariance. A generic type can have both in and out modifiers on its type parameters, as is the case with the Func<…> delegate types: public delegate TResult Func<in TArg, out TResult>(TArg arg); Obviously the argument only ever comes in, and the result only ever comes out. Therefore a Func<object,string> can in fact be used as a Func<string,object>. Limitations Variant type parameters can only be declared on interfaces and delegate types, due to a restriction in the CLR. Variance only applies when there is a reference conversion between the type arguments. For instance, an IEnumerable<int> is not an IEnumerable<object> because the conversion from int to object is a boxing conversion, not a reference conversion. Also please note that the CTP does not contain the new versions of the .NET types mentioned above. In order to experiment with variance you have to declare your own variant interfaces and delegate types. COM Example Here is a larger Office automation example that shows many of the new C# features in action. using System; using System.Diagnostics; using System.Linq; using Excel = Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel; using Word = Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word; class Program { static void Main(string[] args) { var excel = new Excel.Application(); excel.Visible = true; excel.Workbooks.Add(); // optional arguments omitted excel.Cells[1, 1].Value = "Process Name"; // no casts; Value dynamically excel.Cells[1, 2].Value = "Memory Usage"; // accessed var processes = Process.GetProcesses() .OrderByDescending(p =&gt; p.WorkingSet) .Take(10); int i = 2; foreach (var p in processes) { excel.Cells[i, 1].Value = p.ProcessName; // no casts excel.Cells[i, 2].Value = p.WorkingSet; // no casts i++; } Excel.Range range = excel.Cells[1, 1]; // no casts Excel.Chart chart = excel.ActiveWorkbook.Charts. Add(After: excel.ActiveSheet); // named and optional arguments chart.ChartWizard( Source: range.CurrentRegion, Title: "Memory Usage in " + Environment.MachineName); //named+optional chart.ChartStyle = 45; chart.CopyPicture(Excel.XlPictureAppearance.xlScreen, Excel.XlCopyPictureFormat.xlBitmap, Excel.XlPictureAppearance.xlScreen); var word = new Word.Application(); word.Visible = true; word.Documents.Add(); // optional arguments word.Selection.Paste(); } } The code is much more terse and readable than the C# 3.0 counterpart. Note especially how the Value property is accessed dynamically. This is actually an indexed property, i.e. a property that takes an argument; something which C# does not understand. However the argument is optional. Since the access is dynamic, it goes through the runtime COM binder which knows to substitute the default value and call the indexed property. Thus, dynamic COM allows you to avoid accesses to the puzzling Value2 property of Excel ranges. Relationship with Visual Basic A number of the features introduced to C# 4.0 already exist or will be introduced in some form or other in Visual Basic: · Late binding in VB is similar in many ways to dynamic lookup in C#, and can be expected to make more use of the DLR in the future, leading to further parity with C#. · Named and optional arguments have been part of Visual Basic for a long time, and the C# version of the feature is explicitly engineered with maximal VB interoperability in mind. · NoPIA and variance are both being introduced to VB and C# at the same time. VB in turn is adding a number of features that have hitherto been a mainstay of C#. As a result future versions of C# and VB will have much better feature parity, for the benefit of everyone. Resources All available resources concerning C# 4.0 can be accessed through the C# Dev Center. Specifically, this white paper and other resources can be found at the Code Gallery site. Enjoy! span.fullpost {display:none;}

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  • Oracle UCM Integration with WebCenter

    - by john.brunswick
    Portal deployments always contain some level of content that requires management. Like peanut butter and jelly, the ying and yang, they are inseparable. Unfortunately, unlike peanut butter and jelly content and portals usually require that an extensive amount of work be completed to create a seamless experience for end users who will be serviced by the portal, as well as for users who will be contributing and managing the content. With WebCenter Suite Oracle has understood this need and addressed it by including Universal Content Management (UCM, formerly Stellent) licensing to allow content to be delivered into the portal from a mature, class-leading content management technology. To unlock the most value from this content technology, WebCenter portal technology can leverage a series of integration strategies available through its open standards support, as well as a series of native components to enable content consumption from UCM. This have been done to enable IT teams to reduce solution deployment time and provide quick wins to their business stakeholders. The ongoing cost of ownership for the solution is also greatly reduced through these various integrations. Within this post we will explore various ways in which the content can be Contributed through out of the box interfaces Displayed natively within the portal (configuration) Exposed programmatically (development) The information below showcases how to quickly take advantage of WebCenter's marriage of content and portal technologies, then leverage various programmatic integrations available with UCM.

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  • Identifying Data Model Changes Between EBS 12.1.3 and Prior EBS Releases

    - by Steven Chan
    The EBS 12.1.3 Release Content Document (RCD, Note 561580.1) summarizes the latest functional and technology stack-related updates in a specific release.  The E-Business Suite Electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) summarizes the database objects in a specific EBS release.  Those are useful references, but sometimes you need to find out which database objects have changed between one EBS release and another.  This kind of information about the differences or deltas between two releases is useful if you have customized or extended your EBS instance and plan to upgrade to EBS 12.1.3. Where can you find that information?Answering that question has just gotten a lot easier.  You can now use a new EBS Data Model Comparison Report tool:EBS Data Model Comparison Report Overview (Note 1290886.1)This new tool lists the database object definition changes between the following source and target EBS releases:EBS 11.5.10.2 and EBS 12.1.3EBS 12.0.4 and EBS 12.1.3EBS 12.1.1 and EBS 12.1.3EBS 12.1.2 and EBS 12.1.3For example, here's part of the report comparing Bill of Materials changes between 11.5.10.2 and 12.1.3:

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  • Reminder: Premier Support for 10gR2 10.2.0.4 Database ends July 2010

    - by Steven Chan
    Regular readers know that Premier Support for the Oracle 10gR2 Database ends in July 2010, a scant few months from now.  What does that mean for E-Business Suite environments running on this database?The Oracle E-Business Suite is comprised of products like Financials, Supply Chain, Procurement, and so on.  Support windows for the E-Business Suite and these associated applications products are listed here:Oracle Lifetime Support > "Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Applications" (PDF)The Oracle E-Business Suite can run on a variety of database releases, including 10gR2, 11gR1, and 11gR2.  Support windows for database releases are listed here:Oracle Lifetime Support > "Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle Technology Products" (PDF)Looking at those two documents together, you'll see that:Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 11i ends on November 30, 2010Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 ends on January 31, 2012Premier Support for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 ends on May 31, 2014Premier Support for Oracle Database 10.2 (a.k.a. 10gR2) ends on July 31, 2010[Note: These are the Premier Support dates as of today.  If you've arrived at this article in the future via a search engine, you must check the latest dates in the Lifetime Support Policy documents above; these dates are subject to change.]It's a bit hard to read, thanks to the layout restrictions of this blog, but the following diagram shows the Premier and Extended Support windows for the last four major database releases certified with Apps 11i:Do the EBS Premier Support dates trump the 10gR2 DB date?No.  Each of the support policies apply individually to your combined EBS + DB configuration.  The support dates for a given EBS release don't override the Database support policy.

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  • [News] NHibernate vs MS Entity Framework

    Voil? une question qui se posera de plus en plus avec la sortie prochaine de .NET V4 et Entity Framework V4, l'outil de mapping objet/relationnel de Microsoft. M?me s'il est vrai que l'opinion de Ayende peut para?tre biais?e du fait qu'il est contributeur NHibernate, son point de vue et surtout ses arguments techniques donnent du cr?dit ? ce billet. Il semble aussi que la diff?rence se jouera dans l'outillage, sur ce plan, Entity Framework a pris de l'avance avec la mod?lisation graphique des entit?s. Mais NHibernate est dans ses pas avec Visual NHibernate de l'?diteur Slyce Software.

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  • EBS 12.0 Minimum Requirements for Extended Support Finalized

    - by Steven Chan
    Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.0 will transition from Premier Support to Extended Support on February 1, 2012.  New EBS 12.0 patches will be created and tested during Extended Support against the minimum patching baseline documented in our E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1).These new technical requirements have now been finalized.  To be eligible for Extended Support, all EBS 12.0 customers must apply the EBS 12.0.6 Release Update Pack, technology stack infrastructure updates, and updates for EBS products if they're shared or fully-installed.  The complete set of minimum EBS 12.0 baseline requirements are listed here:E-Business Suite Error Correction Support Policy (Note 1195034.1)

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  • New Whitepaper: Advanced Compression 11gR1 Benchmarks with EBS 12

    - by Steven Chan
    In my opinion, if there's any reason to upgrade an E-Business Suite environment to the 11gR1 or 11gR2 database, it's the Advanced Compression database option.  Oracle Advanced Compression was introduced in Oracle Database 11g, and allows you to compress structured data (numbers, characters) as well as unstructured data (documents, spreadsheets, XML and other files).  It provides enhanced compression for database backups and also includes network compression for faster synchronization with standby databases.In other words, the promise of Advanced Compression is that it can make your E-Business Suite database smaller and faster.  But how well does it actually deliver on that promise?Apps 12 + Advanced Compression Benchmarks now availableThree of my colleagues, Uday Moogala, Lester Gutierrez, and Andy Tremayne, have been benchmarking Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 with Advanced Compression 11gR1.  They've just released a detailed whitepaper with their benchmarking results and recommendations.This whitepaper is available in two locations:Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 with Oracle Database 11g Advanced Compression (Note 1110648.1) (requires My Oracle Support access)Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 with Oracle Database 11g Advanced Compression (Applications Benchmark website, PDF, 500K)

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