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2009.02.25

Start With the Most Difficult Part

There’s not a lot you can change in the process of constructing a building. You must lay the foundation before you erect the upper floors, and you can’t paint without having the walls in place. In software, we’re blessed with more freedom.

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2009.02.18

The Information Train

Experiment overview The Information Train is a scientific experiment that I presented at the Wizards of Science 2009 contest over the past weekend. The entry demonstrates how computers communicate with each other by setting up a network in which a model train transfers a picture's pixels from one computer to the other. You can find a video of the experiment on YouTube, and, if you're interested, you can also download the corresponding software and schematics from this web page.

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2009.02.10

Visualizing Revision Logs with a UML Sequence Diagram

How can you visualize the developers' contributions in a collaborative project? One way involves drawing timelines adorned with marks indicating each developer's contribution. This is a simple UML sequence diagram, a diagram that allows you to see the interactions of objects, but in this case the objects are the actual developers and the interactions are their contributions.

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2009.02.04

Beautiful Architecture

What are the ingredients of robust, elegant, flexible, and maintainable software architecture? Over the past couple of years, my colleague Georgios Gousios and I worked on answering this question through a collection of intriguing essays from more than a dozen of today's leading software designers and architects.

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2009.02.03

The World's Smallest Domain-Specific Language

Domain-specific languages, also known as little languages, allow us to express knowledge in a form close to the problem at hand. In contrast to general-purpose languages, like Java or C++, they are specialized for a narrow domain. Earlier today I wanted to initialize a rectangular array of Boolean values to represent the stick figure of a human. For that I devised a tiny domain-specific language (DSL) consisting of two symbols (representing an on and an off pixel) and wrote its commensurably simple interpreter.

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Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.