Fun and Profit

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A good developer will be familiar with and use numerous libraries. If you can find a library that is a good fit for your problem, it’s probably a better solution than your first crack at it will be. And the library has been reviewed, debugged and optimized by a wide community. And more often than not, like the guy in the meme above, we can’t spend much time hot-rodding code to see how good we can get it. These can lead to work which is a little stifling for anyone who likes to think about how fast that loop could be, or how he would implement that image processing feature. Where’s the fun?

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First Impressions from Apple’s WWDC Keynote

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A new iOS release has been announced, and before the echo of the carefully selected exit music has stopped reverberating in Moscone West the pundits have already tweeted, posted and blogged their opinions. This is the sport of being an Apple fan.

Has form outpaced functionality in this upgrade? Let’s look at what iOS 7 changes and how it might help you do what you need to do.

Game on.

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Some Future Concurrency in C++14

Parallel Torus Architecture

A long time ago I was given the chance to chose which library I would use in my projects in a 3D graphics class. I could use either PEX, the PHIGS extensions for the ubiquitous X Window system, or OpenGL, some upstart library from who knows where. I said this was a long time ago. I chose PEX due to its connection to the X Windows powerhouse. We know how that rivalry turned out.

A few proposals for handling concurrency and parallelism have made it into the standardization discussion. Two in particular have caught my attention. One calls for the inclusion of OpenMP extensions into the language. Another proposes parallel versions of the functions in which are targetable to a specific type of parallel architecture. These two appear to have the most weight behind them with none other than Oracle and IBM championing OpenMP and Microsoft and NVidia standing behind the parallel algorithms.

Are those of us who know concurrency is the future–-and aren’t convinced an investment in the future of C++ will make us the new century’s COBOL programmers before then–-presented with a similar pickle now? Could both make it into the standard, or should we pick our winner and invest in the preparation needed to take advantage? Would you even trust me if I told you which I thought would win judging from my past PEX decision?

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Prototyping with OpenCL in Quartz Composer

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I’ve found a great way to experiment with OpenCL-C and discover how to access the power you have on your lap or at your feet. With tools you already have if you are developing with Xcode, you can prototype and run highly parallelized algorithms. Here’s how.

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