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Member Since 06 Oct 2009
Offline Last Active Sep 19 2015 08:53 AM

#5253042 How to use small datatypes efficiently

Posted by on 19 September 2015 - 08:51 AM

I thought I would tip you off to these excellent videos that explains what you are asking about.  You will see why the data probably is already in the processor by the time the CPU executes the instructions needing those registers.



#5230164 When you realize how dumb a bug is...

Posted by on 20 May 2015 - 07:11 PM



I once spent hours figuring out why this loop started with random values:

for (int i=l; i<10; i++) {

That's why syntax coloring is useful.


Why the heck would somebody declare a variable that is a lowercase 'L'?  I'd be mad at the single letter variable name declaration. 



I'm more curious to know why one would type the lowercase L instead of the 1 in the first place, given that at least on a QWERTY keyboard they're practically on opposite sides of the keyboard.



I was thinking the programming world's version of a troll.  :D

#5228009 "simple" equation confusion (a - b = c)

Posted by on 08 May 2015 - 02:59 PM

This video should give you a thorough explanation on the matter:


#5212980 Let's talk on how to make a product builder game?

Posted by on 25 February 2015 - 04:58 PM

I am by no means any expert on the topic, but I think you have a lot to learn, if HTML is all you know.  Just client side, I would add that you would need to learn JavaScript too, in addition to the other technologies you have already mentioned.


Unless it is a client based game where nothing is stored between sessions, you will also need a web server with a database system and a server side scripting system. In the past, I have used Apache, PHP and MySQL, but that is starting to be quite a while ago, so have a look around.


Other buzzwords you may have a look into is JSON, JQuery.


Security is a must, so make sure you understand the dangers and pitfalls of a poorly designed system for handling logins and sessions (how you store your passwords, for instance), and data that is sent to the server from the client (it can not be trusted without validation), and SQL security as well (SQL injection, for instance).


All these suggestions are based on what you mentioned in your original post, and there are other choices you can make too, like scrapping everything mentioned above and go for something like FLASH, for instance, client side. You will still need what I mentioned on the server side if you want persistence.

#5178617 GOTO, why are you adverse to using it

Posted by on 06 September 2014 - 06:17 PM


I will post a snippet from my parser which is one of the routines I needed goto the most...




I won't repeat what Álvaro said, but please...


Write sensible names.


Name 'dyn' and the likes more like 'isDynamic' (If that is even what you mean).  Then you can test like this, assuming it is actually a boolean:

if (isDynamic) { ... }

Instead of:

if (isDynamic == true) { ... }

Try to make your code as readable like a book that you can.


Always use brackets, even if your if, for, while, do..while, etc is having only one line.


'currentLineCount', or 'CurrentLineCount' is MUCH easier to read than 'CurLnCnt'.


What is 'IsPastEOS'?  'EOF' is so common, I guess most people would understand, but 'EOS'?  End of stream?  I would spell it out in either case.


I know that you have an assembler background, and labels like this were common back then.  I also think you actually was limited to 8 chars on certain assemblers too, and that didn't help.  It really feels like reading assembler code written in C.


And I will also point back to Álvaros comments again.

#5178601 GOTO, why are you adverse to using it

Posted by on 06 September 2014 - 03:43 PM

I think exceptions have no place other than in the case of a fatal, unrecoverable failure in a program.  When I was learning Java way back, I was encouraged to use exceptions as the default way of reporting and handling errors.  I always felt that was a bit clunky, and it made for code that was filled with blocks that I felt never belonged in the code at all.  I always favoured explicit error checking over exceptions.  Who thought it was a great idea to throw a NumberFormatException when you feed bogus data to convert a string to an integer in Java??  That pretty much sums it up...

#5178487 GOTO, why are you adverse to using it

Posted by on 06 September 2014 - 05:03 AM


This is certainly the case in C or code that is forced to follow similar flow patterns, where a jump to a cleanup stage is often required in lieu of a return. The RAII crowd will claim that this is a fundamental failing of the language. I have mixed feelings on the matter, but it's the damndest thing: hundreds of thousands of lines in our current project, a number of subroutines in the thousands of lines, and no need for goto statements. So I can't really agree with you that its use is a common structural pattern, particularly in situations where you do use RAII constructs (ie locally scoped destructors) to deal with cleanup.


Here's the thing, though. Maybe it's goto. Maybe it's a break/continue on deeply nested looping structures (which we definitely have in our codebase). It sorta doesn't matter which one - most of these direct-jump commands are representative of fundamental design issues, or simple poor code quality in need of refactoring. You've got a big attitude about the wrong thing. If you have a lot of non-local control flow, especially nested, then your code sucks. Avoiding a specific keyword has no effect on that. These are endemic problems. If your use of goto makes completely badly written code only tolerably badly written, that is not an argument in favor of goto, nor is it an argument in favor of other long distance jump instructions.



I really agree with this.  I have never had the need to use a GOTO in my whole life.  There is only one case I can remember where I was tempted to use a GOTO, and that was when I needed to BREAK out of a multi level FOR/WHILE loop.  I don't remember how I solved that problem, but I have so much aversion against GOTO, that I am sure I didn't fall for my temptation.  On the other hand, I am feeling a bit guilty, because I write code like this all the time: 

    for (uint8_t channel = 0; channel < module->ChannelCount; channel++) {
        currentChannel = &module->ChannelList[channel];
        if (currentChannel == NULL) {
            printf("Current channel is null...\n");
            isErrorStatus = true;
            return 0;
        if (!currentChannel->status.isPlaying) {
        if (currentChannel->status.isMuted) {
        if (currentChannel->delaySample != 0) {
        if (currentChannel->lengthInBytes == 0) {
            currentChannel->status.isPlaying = false;
            printf("Tried to play an empty sample.\n");
            currentChannel->volume = 0;
            currentChannel->status.isPlaying = false;

Well...  This is maybe the most extreme example I could find, but I think it is cleaner to use a few breaks and continues than lots of levels of nested ifs.  Here I break the flow with both returns and continues.

#5178338 GOTO, why are you adverse to using it

Posted by on 05 September 2014 - 10:45 AM

When I had a Pascal course back in 1991, the teacher we had enforced strict prohibition to gotos, arguing that you should be able to draw a flow chart from top to bottom with no crossing line of flow.  Goto obviously breaks this.  I never used goto since then, and I actually never had any need to use goto either, but I do break the flow according to flow charts every day:


Break and continue breaks the flow, so does early exits with return, so as far as I am concerned, if goto is considered evil, so is break, continue and premature returns too.




Multi level break is a problem of course.  I think Swift has solved that by labelling the loops so you could name the loop you wanted to break, ie. 'break columnLoop', for instance.

#5177574 For-loop-insanity

Posted by on 01 September 2014 - 10:31 PM

In a careless thought to make the data type as small as possible, the compiler complained (naturally) of me using a constant that was too big for the type I was testing against:

    for (uint8_t j = 0; j < (1 << 8); j++) {

Which gave me the idea to come up with this masterpiece:

    for (uint8_t test = 0; test <= 255; test++) {
        printf("%i\n", test);

#5176722 Making simple floating/drifting animation

Posted by on 28 August 2014 - 12:13 PM

Notice that the sine functions takes radians.  That means a full rotation, or period is 2*PI radians.  That again means that if you want 360 steps before completing a full circle, or period, you need to divide by 360.


So 360 steps per second, with time t and amplitude 10 will be:

(Edit: 360 steps per second would mean 1/360 seconds per step, and you would still have one revolution per second)

position = x + 10 * sin(t * ((2 * pi) / 360))

For the other dimensions, y and z, you may perhaps want to have another phase, which is just to add a value between 0 and 2 * PI inside the sine function.  This prevents the wiggling to be on a line in the space or plane you want to move.



If you want to have a certain amounts of wiggles per second, you can instead just multiply with 2 * pi instead, like this:

position = x + 10 * sin(t * 2 * PI * wiggles)

If wiggles is 10, you will have 10 wiggles per second, if wiggles is 1/2, you will have half a wiggle per second.


The general function is:

f(time) = offset + amplitude * sin(time * 2 * PI * frequency + phase)

#5176669 How deep can you nest functions in c++

Posted by on 28 August 2014 - 07:59 AM

I tried to provoke Xcode, just for fun.  Note that this is a limit imposed by the compiler, not necessarily the standard itself.


The limit is 256 levels, 255 selected ones plus the one used for the method itself:






Seems like there even is a command line option to allow for more brackets, so it is definitively not a restriction in the standard:


Sets the limit for nested parentheses, brackets, and braces to N. The default is 256.

#5176191 Pi decimals as a random number generator

Posted by on 26 August 2014 - 07:40 AM

Yes, that is the joke, the metadata must be at least as large as the data itself, as expected from a simple pigeonhole argument (but some people still believe you can get something for nothing, which makes for some hilarious bug reports/issues) smile.png



I was refreshing my weak knowledge on Huffman coding, since I am making a MP3 decoder just for "fun", and stumbled upon this quote that made me think about your mention of the pigeonhole principle in this regards:


"In general, data cannot be compressed. For example, we cannot losslessly represent all m-bit strings using (m − 1)-bit strings, since there are 2(pow)m possible m-bit strings and only 2(pow)m−1 possible (m−1)-bit strings."


This is out of context though, if it sounds weird that "In general, data cannot be compressed".  Here is the link to get the context: 



#5175564 Copy/paste fail

Posted by on 22 August 2014 - 06:03 PM

I am not sure if this is the right place, but...
This is a tale of copy and paste snafus.  (Not sure if this is the right term, but it sounds fancy...)
I was making CRC checking in my FLAC player, and I was copying a minor part of the CRC-8 part to make the CRC-16 part.  In the debugging I observed that all the generated values were in the range 0..255, but it was supposed to be 16 bit.
What I did was:
- (uint16_t)CRC16 {
    return mCRC16;
- (uint8_t)CRC16;
Notice the mismatching return values of the definition and implementation.
What I didn't notice was the compiler complaining with a WARNING (not an error) that:
So even though the method definition didn't match, the runtime was happy to use the "substitute" instead, providing me with wrong values.

#5175270 Strange output when writing to a file object and printing it out

Posted by on 21 August 2014 - 07:57 AM

I think it is noteworthy to see how many people is just assuming that they are talking to an adult here, given all the harsh answers.  While I agree that you can expect certain things from the older population here, killing the enthusiasm of the younger people who are just starting out as programmers is just wrong.  Regardless what is the case, I think there should be a bit more patience with people in the BEGINNERS forum.  Why are you even reading the threads here if you don't want to help?  Why are you even complaining, if you decide to help anyway?

#5174751 Help me, i can't understand well :)

Posted by on 19 August 2014 - 09:32 AM

I have never seen a single line of Python in my whole life, but to me it seems like the whole program is defining three of something that may be a macro/definition/function that


1. prints the content of a file (from the current file position, despite the name saying "print_all")

2. seeks to the beginning of the file (rewind)

3. prints the content of a file until it reaches a newline


Googling for "python def" reveals the following page, showing that I am right: it is defining three functions doing those things: https://docs.python.org/release/1.5.1p1/tut/functions.html


Defining a function means that you are telling Python about them, but they don't do anything until you call the functions themselves.  That is done in the main part of the program:


1. Opens a file (it is now at the beginning of the file)  This returns a handle to the file that you use to do further communication with the file.  The input to this function seems to be the input that you provided when you are calling the Python script, and is the name of the file.


2. Calling the function to print the content of the file (which is all of the file since you just opened it, also sort of explaining why the function is named "print_all")  You are sending in the handle to the file as a parameter.  If you were at a different position in the file, it would not have printed all, but everything from the current file position until the end of the file.


3. Calling the function to rewind the file: that means seek to file position 0, the beginning of the file


4. Calling the function to print one line of the file.  This is done three times, while incrementing a counter that is irrelevant to the file itself, but it will print as line 1 <something>, 2 <something>, etc...  If you had been at a different file position, it would still be printing line 1.., 2.., 3.., even if it really were lines 10.., 11.., 12.. it was printing.


In between these things, there are print that outputs what is actually happening.


That is about it.  


Note: there is probably missing the closing of the file, which I would assume should be there, otherwise you would run out of file handles in the long run if you handled a lot of files this way.


An assignment for you:


Can you think of a way to make print_all() not actually print everything?