Category Archives: Programming

ODT to RTF converter

Recently I discovered that OpenOffice can’t really generate RTF files, so I wrote my own converter. It’s rather basic, just handles italic, double space, paragaraphs, and centering. However, for what I need it for it works a lot better than … Continue reading

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Learning Haskell

If you do any programming, you may have heard of a strange language called Haskell. It’s gaining rapidly in popularity, and has many cool features. Implicit Strong Typing – It provides the compile time error checking that one gets with … Continue reading

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Memory Conserving Regex Engine for Java

Many regular expression engines, my own package pat included, suffer from a tendency to produce stack overflows in some circumstances. This seems to be a widespread problem, common to many java regular expression engines. To overcome this limitation I recently … Continue reading

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Custom Dictionaries, Aspell, and LaTeX

It took me a bit of hunting and twiddling to figure out exactly how to use aspell with a custom dictionary that supplements (not replaces) the master dictionary, so I thought I’d document it for posterity. aspell –lang en create … Continue reading

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Infinite Sunshine Computing

I have been thinking about the struggle to build large computing systems. The major challenges of the current age of computing are power, cooling and scalability. The machine room and energy costs are dwarfing everything else. This concern has even … Continue reading

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Functional Programming

Many people bemoan the difficulties of programming in the multi-core era. What many programmers do not realize is that a way out of deadlock/race condition hell is known — it’s name is “Functional Programming.” This term should not be contrasted … Continue reading

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How to build a Universal Translator

It occurred to me that something like the “Universal Translator” of Star Trek could be constructed without very advanced technology. I call my more primitive device a “Drongo.” If you have two technologically advanced races, and they meet, there is … Continue reading

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Regular XML Expressions

I have been toying with the idea of a specialized regular expression syntax for XML. Often, the regular expression questions that people email to me indicate that they are using them on XML and HTML. There is a very nice … Continue reading

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Coding Conventions

It is important to follow standard naming conventions when writing code. It increases clarity and readability. Thus, in the "Elements of Java Style," we are told to capitolize class names but not function names, etc. A recent elaboration on this … Continue reading

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Python’s “with” keyword

Python recently introduced the “with” keyword. It is another way of automatically cleaning up something at the end of a block. It is a way to try and get some of the destructor functionality of C++ into a garbage collected … Continue reading

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