Ryan McGuire

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since Feb 18, 2005
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Recent posts by Ryan McGuire

While we don't do your homework for you, we're more than happy to help if you're having issues with a particular part.

What do you have so far and where are you stuck?
2 years ago
Yes, that's pretty normal.

In my case, I had breakthroughs in chunks:  
"Oh... functions/procedures/methods/gosubs.  I get it now."
"Oh... recursion.  I get it now."
"Oh... using an OO class hierarchy to make my life easier instead of harder.  I get it now."
3 years ago

fred rosenberger wrote:
Ask ten people how to write a resume, and you'll get twenty opinions.  

There is no right or wrong way to put together a resume. There are just ways that person A like more, and ways that person B likes more.  And you never know how or what a specific company or person wants.

And I'll give my opinion: The right way to write a resume is whatever it takes to give the hiring manager the information that they need to make an informed decision without a lot of extra fluff.  One aspect of this is to provide more detail on more relevant and more recent projects.  Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, I worked on a bunch of projects that used Motorola, HC11 microcontrollers.  If I'm applying for a Java Web Developer position, I'm going to provide a lot less detail about that position than about the one from the last few years where I actually used Java in a Web/DB project.

As long as we're talking resumes, I'm going to get up on my soapbox and declare that any resume over four pages is actually a detriment to getting a position with our team.  If you expand your resume by mentioning every technology that was used anywhere in the company at the same time you working there and pretending you're "proficient" with every single one, I'm going to assume that 80% of that info is a lie.  I'd much rather hear about how you used a smaller, well-thought-out arsenal of technologies to complete the project.

As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry puts it, Elegant design is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.  This applies to product design, software and resumes.
3 years ago

Vlad Timoshuk wrote:

You might consider renaming your method so that it reads correctly left-to-right.

Let's say largeRectangle = new Rectangle(20, 30, 20, 20) and smallRectangle = new Rectangle(20, 30, 10, 10).  (Same center, but smaller in both dimensions).

Having largeRectangle.isInside(smallRectangle) return true is non-intuitive.  Something like largeRectangle.contains(smallRectangle) would make things clearer.  Another option is to make "this" inside isInside() the potentially contained rectangle, not the containing one - i.e. so that smallRectangle.isInside(largeRectangle) returns true.

If you picked the isInside() name so that it's similar to your isIntersects() method, you could rename that other method to just intersects().
3 years ago

Vlad Timoshuk wrote:

I'm not sure I'd make Point mutatable.  Since you reimplemented hashCode() and equals(), I suspect that you're going to use the hashCode for something - perhaps storing Point objects in a Collection that uses the hashCode in some way.  For example, let's say you instantiate a new Point(3,4) and store it in a HashSet.  If you then call moveTo(5,6) on that Point to modify the x and y values, and then search for a new Point(5,6) in the HashSet, you won't find it because it'll have a different hashCode() value than when it was inserted.

I'm not saying making Point mutatable is necessarily "wrong" - just that you have to be careful.
3 years ago

Vlad Timoshuk wrote:
I think they should be pretty simmilar but i dont know how to modify it so it only retirn true when one rectangle completly inside the other.

Try looking at just the x dimension first.  If one rectangle is completely inside another, what does that imply for the x values?

On a side note...
If 2 rectangles share an edge, does that count as inside.  e.g. Is new Rectangle(12, 20, 2, 10) "inside" new Rectangle(20, 20, 10, 15)?  Is a Rectangle "inside" itself?
3 years ago

Bill Platt wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote:Does your assignment allow you to do that?

There isn't anything specified that says that I can't do it.

Unfortunately, the data set is a table that was provided contains almost 38K entries for customers, and a table that contains the orders, so creating a table would be time-consuming.

Each state contains in excess of 500 entries, it's why I wanted to use the OR clause.

thanks for the response


If I'm not mistaken, Paul was suggesting a simple 50-row-max table that showed the region for each state:

Now by JOINing and GROUP-BYing you should be able to get data on a region-by-region basis.

Also, sometimes you don't know ahead of time what kind of Animal you need.

4 years ago
Aha!!!  It turns out I left out some code that I didn't realize had a bearing on the question.  Here's some new and improved code:



When B.b() is called from line 5 of A.js, the "this" inside of b() is "global" so this.console.log() is valid, and everything works fine.  

However, when B.b() is called as in line 6, "this" is the function b(), so this.console is undefined and the function this.console.log() is not found so a TypeError is thrown.

In the real code I found this in, the B.b() function never actually used "this" for anything, so that didn't trigger any alarms.  I guess A.js is using the (0, B.b) idiom to make sure B.b is executed in the global context in case it ever does use "this".

I apologize for not providing all the relevant code the first time around.

Disclaimer: I still don't quite get all the subtle details, but I at least know what to google do a web search for now.
Look at line 9.  What kind of argument does range() take and what does it return?  What kind of things can be operands for a subtraction?  Is there a function that can get the size of a list or array?
4 years ago

Mike Simmons wrote:I'm less impressed by the Stack Overflow post, particularly the part that gave us the addProperty() method discussed here.  The problem is that whether or not the individual methods are thread-safe (yes for StringBuffer, no for StringBuilder), the overall code gives unpredictable results  because you need more than one append() call to add a property, and there is nothing preventing two different threads from interfering with each other.  Even if we use a "thread safe" StringBuffer, the code using the StringBuffer is not thread safe.  So it's a confusing example.

Mike, regarding your original question, I would say that in general it's often pretty difficult to *demonstrate* a lack of thread safety.  Most of the time if you write unsafe code, it will probably work fine, most of the time.  But sometimes, a problem may occur. And when it does occur, it tends to be hard to understand the cause, especially since we can't reliably reproduce the problem.  

Agreed about the SO post.

In any but the nicest multi-threaded environment, the code given above probably won't give you what you want consistently.

If you call main() from two different threads the first one is likely to output "1=2,a=b,c=d,e=f" and the second one will give you "1=2,a=b,c=d,e=f,a=b,c=d,e=f".  (...where the bolded output comes from the second thread.)

The second thread might take control between the addProperty() calls in main.  The second thread could complete first with output, "1=2,a=b,a=b,c=d,e=f" and then the first thread would restart and complete with "1=2,a=b,a=b,c=d,e=f,c=d,e=f"

The second thread might even interrupt between append() calls in addProperty().  Second thread: "1=2,a=b,c,a=b,c=d,e=f"  First thread: "1=2,a=b,c,a=b,c=d,e=f=d,e=f".

And of course there are other possibilities as well.

If you do indeed want the StringBuilder/StringBuffer to start with "1=2" and then have one copy of the other properties for each thread that runs main(), you could make main() thread-safe by making the chunk of code that calls addProperty() synchronized.  Google "java synchronized".

4 years ago
I ran across some code in a NodeJS application recently that boils down to the following:

In A.js

In B.js:

Why is line 4 of the first file written like that?  If I understand correctly, the comma expression in the parens evaluates both operands and has a value equal to the second, so the value of the comma expression is the B.b function.  B.b is then called with a as an arg and the result is assigned back to a.  As you might expect, the output of the code is "a is now 3".  I see what it's doing, but what was the point of using (0, B.b) instead of just plain B.b?

The code was too nicely indented and commented for this to be obfuscation tactic.

Any thoughts?
We're 95% (probably more) a Windows shop.  However, there are a few linux-based containers that we'd like to take advantage of.

Correct me if I'm wrong, in general, containers use the host kernal, so it's easy to run Windows containers on Windows hosts and Linux containers on Linux hosts, but it's difficult (but not impossible) to "cross host".  What is the best way to host linux-based containers on a Windows installation of Docker?  Would such a thing be so horribly non-performant that it's not worth trying, or is it a reasonable way to go?

(BTW, don't try to convince me to completely switch over the entire enterprise to Linux.  It just ain't gonna happen.)
4 years ago

Campbell Ritchie wrote:

. . . 3 ms to complete for a data set of N=500, how long would you expect it to take for an N=50,000 . . .

At this point, you might start to move out of Big O notation; maybe 50000 executions will fill the available heap space and require multiple GC runs, causing space complexity to become its limiting factor. Repeated String concatenation is rather like that, though the Java9+ performance is much faster than in earlier versions.

Maybe if we increase the initial data set size by a factor of 3 or 5 or 12, instead of 100, we can avoid the big O expression becoming invalid while still making my point about the memorized table being restricted to only doubling the data.
4 years ago

Junilu Lacar wrote:But that kind of begs the question "Why try to come up with all these other approaches for this exercise when the 2nd column already tells you what to do?"

There are a handful of reasons I went into the math for figuring it out:
1. At least for myself, it's a lot easier to remember a single method to figure it out than to memorize a table.
2. By knowing the general method for figuring it out, you can figure out the estimates for other big O expressions that aren't in the table, such as the n²logn that Campbell contributed.
3. The 2x < work < 4x rubbed me the wrong way.  Even at the level of N=500 or 1000, the run time is multiplied by a factor of 2.2 (if I recall correctly).  As N continues to grow, the "4x" end of the range becomes meaningless.
4. The "increase by 1" for the O(logN) row in the table also rubbed me the wrong way.  As my first message in this thread suggested, giving a unitless number in this context is meaningless and can give wildly different results depending on what unit the original test run was measured in - 0.003 s, 3 ms, 3000 microseconds, 3000000 ns.  For t=3ms at N=500, the amount to be added for each doubling is 0.33 ms or so.
5. By working out the math, you can also estimate the time needed for data set sizes other than those that are some power of 2 larger than the known one.  e.g. If an O(N logN) algorithm takes 3 ms to complete for a data set of N=500, how long would you expect it to take for an N=50,000 data set?  Even if you say the that N increased by a factor of 100 which means it "doubled" between 6 and 7 times, you still need to apply the rule from the table 6 and 7 times and then estimate somewhere in between.  If you know the math, you can just work it out directly.

4 years ago