August 2009 DirectX SDK

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Today the August 2009 DirectX SDK was released on MSDN, strangely enough the August SDK was released in September.

This release contains the first official release of Direct3D 11 (RTM), which was previously only a technical preview. According to the release notes, this version of Direct3D 11 will only work on the RTM version of Windows 7, not on the RC and Beta versions. So I guess only vendors and MSDN subscribers will be able to develop software until Windows 7 hits the retail market.

There’s also the issue of pure Direct3D 11 hardware not being sold yet but that should be right around the corner if the SDK is here.

Hungarian Notation: What to do?

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Edit: FYI, by Hungarian notation, I mean Systems Hungarian such as bIsSucky.

It seems I’m in some kind of pickle. For some reason, two of the programmers at the company I work for still use Hungarian notation.

In case you don’t know what that is, in short: Hungarian notation prefixes an abbreviation of either the data type or purpose of the variable to its name. For example, Microsoft’s WINAPI still uses it, hence we have things such as hInstance, nShow, szCompany, etc. So it’s quite ugly and confusing to the programmer.

Yet these two programmers still cling to their old ways and refuse to give up on this ancient method. Even in VB.NET. One of these programmers happens to be Joe the Programmer mentioned before, go figure.

I was asked by one of them “Why not use Hungarian notation?” In case you dind’t know, dear reader, the name of the variable should give away the data type, use UpperCamelCase and logic for your naming conventions. Turns out, UpperCamelCase is a programming convention in this company, so why we were arguing, I don’t know. Now if only logic were a convention, we’d be set.

But it was like pissing against the wind as neither them nor I were persuaded in the end. How would you persuade a person to switch to a different methodology? By them using Hungarian notation, people who will eventually take over their source code will want to shoot themselves.

What if .NET would be Discontinued?

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I’m not known as a person who particularly likes the .NET framework but I still have to use it. The .NET Framework is basically a massive library of general purpose functions, much like the Standard Library is to C or the Standard Template Library is to C++.

But what if it all would be discontinued?

It’s not an impossibility and rather likely considering Microsoft’s track-record. The millions of applications, libraries and websites created with .NET would be useless.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of a VB6 (CGI) to ASP.NET (VB) conversion team and, trust me when I say this, you don’t want to be part of such an effort. These conversions require truckloads of time and money, and if you work for a mid-sized to large corporation, this could easily lead into the millions of dollars.

Now imagine all of your code obsolete. Everything you’ve coded since .NET 1.0. What would you do? Let’s take FoxPro as an example. Microsoft bought FoxPro in 1992 and released a couple of versions under the “Visual”-family of products. The last version was released in 2007 and a statement of Microsoft suggests that this is the last version.

No migration tools to any other language are being provided.

Another product would be J#, which will be retired in 2015. Keep in mind that J# is a fairly recent product and was only released with Visual Studio.NET.

How far will .NET go before a turning point is reached? Consider that .NET was first released publicly in 2002 and will be a decade old in less than four years. Knowing Microsoft, the end is quite possibly much nearer than you think.

Amount of Digits in an Integer

1 minute read

Here’s another little snippet that might come in handy in your programmatic travels. I’ll show you an example of usage below, which might also be of interest to you. The code presented is in C, not C++. First, the code to count the amount of digits in an integer:

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