On verbosity of programming languages

My primary task at work for the last few weeks has been the building of an open source plugin for IntelliJ IDEA enabling tooling support for building Android applications which need to talk to Azure Mobile Services, Azure Notification Hubs and various Office 365 services. One of the things I…

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Using Unix tools to process text on Windows

There was a need at work recently to perform a bunch of text processing tasks on very large XML documents spanning 10s of gigabytes in file size. The documents in question would look more or less like this: ... some meta data tags here ... <Rows> <TableRow> <…

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Converting document formats with Pandoc

When I set out to convert my blog from the nearly 10 year old home-brewed ASP.NET based system to the spanking new Ghost based blog engine, one of the somewhat trickier problems I encountered was converting all my existing 70 odd posts from HTML into Markdown syntax. It was…

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Nerdworks Blogorama v2

This blog started its life way back in 2006 when I suddenly decided one day that I needed a web space of my own. I cranked out an ASP.NET based website, got myself a domain and some hosting space and one fine day the site was alive! Over the…

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Iterating over a std::tuple

I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around the new variadic templates capability in C++11 lately and wondered if it would be possible to write a generic routine to iterate over the members of a std::tuple. I decided to start with the simple case of printing out…

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Playing in-memory audio streams on Windows 8

A customer I'd been working with recently came up with a support request for a Windows 8 Store app they'd been working on. They were building the app using the HTML/CSS/JS stack and wanted the ability to play audio streams completely from memory instead of loading it up…

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Add a "Web Server Here" Explorer shell extension command

Sometimes I just want to spin up a web server on a folder in explorer. Often its because browsers get nervous about running HTML pages directly off the file system and seem to feel more comfortable when its served from a web server. I figured I'd had enough of writing…

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Some notes on C++11 lambda functions

Lambda functions are a new capability introduced in C++ that offers a terse compact syntax for defining functions at the point of their use. Bjarne Stroustrup says that C++11, which is the latest ratified revision of the C++ standard, "feels like a new language". I think lambda functions are…

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Implementing variable sized tiles using WinJS ListView

Windows Store apps on Windows 8 often use a grouped tile style for rendering user interfaces. The modern desktop on Windows 8 is a classic example. Here's a zoomed out view of my current desktop for instance: You'll note that the tiles have been grouped into separate sections and each…

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Debugging existing Windows Store apps

Did you know that you can debug pretty much any installed store app on your machine? Let's say you want to know exactly why is it that the Windows Mail app acts funny sometimes. Here's what you'd do: Go to the modern desktop and type "Debuggable Package Manager" and launch…

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