Strangelights

Another tech blog.

I have an idea for a type provider, so now that the type provider bits are finally publicly available I set to work building it. However it turns out just implementing a type provider is pretty tricky (not really that much of a surprise I supose), so I thought it was worth a quick blog post to run through the basics.

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I actually have the last two episodes of my RavenDB series ready to go, but doesn’t seem much point publishing them this week, so here’s a few thoughts on stuff from build and Windows 8 instead.

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We’ve decided to do it again. After the success of the Functional Programming eXchange 2011 and 2009, we have decided to put on another edition. Functional Programming eXchange 2012 will take place on Friday March 16th March 2012, at the Skills Matter eXchange, in London.

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The first of this series covered our general aims how we’d be structuring the project. This post will cover how we get the data into RavenDB.

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So Stack Overflow Dev Days has been cancelled. Obviously it’s a big disappointment to everyone involved, I thought the line up for the London event was great and I was looking forward to attending the conference as much as I was looking forward to speaking at it.

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After a few philosophical blog posts, I decided it was time for something a bit more concrete. I’ve been playing around a bit with F# and some web stuff recently using both RavenDB and PicoMvc so I thought I’d share with you how to create an autocomplete drop down using these technologies.

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Like so many geeks I’m a massive XKCD fan. But I’m often troubled by questions like when will the 1000th XKCD appear, or the 1024th or even the 2000th? Even though the first two numbers are getting quite close now, it’s still more fingers and toes than I have so working it out by hand is out. Fortunately we have computers to this kind of heavy lifting for us, and the solution in F# is kinda cute.

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Just a quick note to say that my upcoming “Beginning F#” course has been moved to 1st & 2nd November to tie it in with the “Progressive F#” tutorials. Participants will receive a free ticket to the “Progressive F#” tutorials as well as a free copy of my Beginning F# book. Book this week and save over £100!

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I think the term “Object Oriented” is somewhat over used these days, in fact I’d go so far as to say it’s been applied to such a wide variety of different languages that the term has become somewhat meaningless. Java and C# are object oriented languages and although these languages are fairly similar they are quite different from Javascript which also claims to be an object oriented language. Some might say that Javascript and Python are similar as they are both dynamically typed languages and they are both object oriented yet the way in which they are object oriented differs. All of the languages mentioned above are different to the original object language, SmallTalk, which is why we have Alan Kay’s famous quote “Actually I made up the term "object-oriented", and I can tell you I did not have C++ in mind”.

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Yesterday’s blog post contains a glaring error. Thanks to Eamon Nerbonne for point this out, his comments are very insightful so rather than reiterating them its best you read them for yourself. The basic problem was that the measurements of the speed of + - * operators was wrong since the compiler had spotted that the results of the operation was not used and therefore had not generated code for the loop. I was a little suspicious that the loops were happening too fast, but didn’t investigate further assumed that no optimization was happening as the loop that tested the / operator was clearly taking place (if there was optimization of a loop contain a / operator then why would there be optimization of a loop containing a + - or * operator?) and also I was expecting a big difference to make it worth mentioning in the disruptor technical paper.

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