What’s in the box? Black box that is.

You may have heard of the idea of "Blackbox" development. Where is it? Can I open it? What does it contain? Is it that red rider BB gun I wanted from xmas all these years? NO! It is the idea of encapsulating or "hiding" implementation details about a software component. In today's entry, we will cover what it means to be blackbox and how designing with this idea in mind ...

Fines Double in Constructor / Destructor Zones

If your language is somewhat of a fully object oriented programming language then it probably has some form of constructors and destructors. But what good are they? How do you use them to your full advantage to keep your objects "valid"? What is this whole idea of a default constructor and why in the heck do I want to create my own constructor if the default constructor is there for ...

VC++.NET Syntax is Going to Hell In a Hat

Ok, maybe the topic is a little tough but the general idea is pretty sound. Recently I had the pleasure of helping someone on DIC with a VC++ project and decided to whip up something in the latest VS 2005. Now granted much my experience in VC++ was pre 2005 CLI so I was completely blown away with the syntax changes they made using the Common language Infrastructure (CLI) to ...

Go Go Google Gadget!

Some of you may be old Google gadget pros. With a dozen or so of them on your fancy schmancy iGoogle page. You might have even wondered how one is made and if you are dedicated enough, you might have even made the "Hello World" example. But what if you wanted to make something simple enough to get the basics, but more than a simple hello? Like so many other ...

Eat Up, Error Messages Are Good for You

Error messages, we all hate them right? They are the little bugs that slap you in the face and say "Stupid, your code doesn't work! Do it all over again!" The last thing you need hours before an assignment or project is due is to get that lame error that stops you dead in your tracks. You know it is going to happen, so why not just stop, take a ...

Variable Lifespan… It’s Born, Used and Dies

Variable lifespan is a very important topic. But what is it and how do we use it to our advantage? A variable's lifespan is the time between its initialization and the time it either goes out of scope or is purposely destroyed (yeah that is right, a programmer can be a hitman too!) Most programmers don't fully realize the implications of setting a variable at the top of a function ...