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Warren Smith Ski Academy - Sep 2004

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As I mentioned last week, we've just got back from a week in Saas-Fee with Warren Smith. We've did this course last year as well, but due to the way the course is structured this didn't really matter much; for us this year's course built on last year's. The aim of the course is to develop the skills required to ski the whole mountain, regardless of conditions and terrain...…

This is the book I've been waiting for

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Excellent news; Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu's C++ Coding Standards book is done! This is the book I've been wanting for ages. Whilst there are other C++ coding standard books out there but, well, they just don't have the gravitas of a book written by these two and included in Bjarne Stroustrup's C++ In Depth Series. The table of contents is here. I hope the book's heavy enough to hit people with ;)…

11th October is Thanksgiving Day in Canada

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I've had an interesting week. I'm back with the Refactoring Project and, although things were looking up last time I was here, they've managed to adopt some bad habits in my absence. The latest build that's live with users isn't tagged in CVS; we have 66 other builds that are tagged and the ability to rebuild an arbitrary release has helped on numerous occasions, but this time they decided not to bother. But worse than that, they haven't been running the tests. Monday is Thanksgiving day in Canada, we found that out because they didn't run the tests...…

Practical Testing: 12 - Threading is orthogonal

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Previously, on Practical Testing: we finished our reworking on the code we were left with a simpler timer queue that passed all of our tests, but was single threaded and needed manual intervention from client code to manage timeouts. Today we'll add back the multi-threaded functionality so that the queue manages timeouts automatically.…

Currently Reading

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I've been reading mostly fiction recently. I'd kinda stopped reading anything non-technical for far too long; there was always some new techie book to read, but there always will be... I used to read masses of fiction, mostly SF and fantasy stuff; but recently I'd only read fiction when on holiday, and then only as a backup to the techie stuff I had with me... That changed, on holiday, when I read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. I loved it, bought the other three that he'd done and read those back to back. Angels and Demons was, IMHO, almost…

Measure twice, cut once

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I'm currently working on a small auction server for a client using The Server Framework. It's a relatively simple server, messages come in, are validated and are then broadcast to interested parties and logged. Yesterday we shipped the first cut of the source to them and I was a bit concerned that our simple test app could thrash the server so easily. Admittedly the first cut of the code hadn't been tuned at all and the logging implementation was fairly Mickey Mouse but I was a little concerned. I woke this morning with a list of perf improvements to try. Some of…

More Socket Server Refactoring

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I'm currently working on a simple auction server for a client using The Server Framework. You can think of it as a specialised chat server, of sorts. One of the things it must do is broadcast messages from one user to a set of users. This is relatively easy to implement in a crude way in The Server Framework but it's not nice. Time to refactor towards niceness...…

Lock Free

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I'm currently looking at "lock free" access to the linked list that stores the set of clients to communicate with. Ideally we'll be able to add to, delete from and traverse the list from multiple threads without needing to lock and synchronise. There are lots of references available, so far these two (1 and 2) look good from a quick scan of them whilst they were printing... Wish I'd kept up my ACM membership as it looks like the definitive works are available as conference proceedings on their site (then again, I often find that the definitive work isn't necessarily…

An excuse to buy new tools

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Preparation for the ski season continues. Yesterday my latest purchase from amazon arrived; Waxing and Care for Ski and Snowboards. As we'll be putting down a few more tracks than normal this season I thought it wise to try and avoid having to pay for servicing the skis too often and finally learn how to do it myself. Luckily I have plenty of old skis laying around to practice on... Looks like I need to buy lots of new tools; cool!…

Practical Testing: 13 - Missing functionality

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Previously, on Practical Testing: we added a multi-threaded version of our timer queue that manages timeouts automatically. This time we'll integrate our new timer queue into an application that uses the old version of the code and, along the way, discover some functionality that the original version supports but that the new version currently doesn't.…

Auction Server Performance

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I've just about finished the auction server performance tuning. Our thrash test that uses 200 concurrent clients all responding to every bid with a counter bid has gone from averaging 40 incoming bids per second and 3700 outgoing bids per second to 180 incoming and 18000 outgoing. The peak incoming and outgoing were nearer to 1600 and 52000... I'm pretty pleased with the improvements and eventually decided to put the thoughts of lock free list traversal on hold, we don't need it.…

Baus waves at Scoble

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Christopher Baus suggests that Robert Scoble's blog lacks focus and that his blog is mostly noise, "He's always blogging about something, but really nothing at all ". But Chris, surely that's the point of Scoble's blog? As Robert himself says "if you don't think I'm taking you to enough cool blogs, or writing enough cool stuff, there's a very easy solution. Unsubscribe.". I did that quite a while ago, but I'm glad he's still out there and that other people subscribe to him on my behalf...…

I don't usually do the meta-blog thing but...

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I sympathise with Christopher Baus' frustrations...…
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I usually write about C++ development on Windows platforms, but I often ramble on about other less technical stuff...

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