Happy New Year everyone!
This time I want to share one interesting experience I've been having. Visual Basic is the name. That is, I was having a Visual Basic 6 course at the university. Yes, I know, sounds funny (at the very least :-)), but I thought that this might be the only chance in my life that will give me an opportunity to learn VB, and I feel a vacancy in my knowledge. Mostly because I hate having opinion on stuff I don't know and I feel undereducated as an IT professional if I can't have an opinion on VB :-).
But let's take opinions aside; this entry is not about that. The interesting stuff about this course and assignments I've been doing is that I learnt something. Really. I was least expecting to learn something useful from this course. VB syntax doesn't count.
First, I learned a trick to easily put multiple controls into correct tab order. Contemporary GUI design tools surely offer better design means than Visual Studio 6 did, but knowing a trick is always useful. Here it is: walk the controls in reverse tab order and assign 0 tab index to each. Form designer will shift the matching indices, so when you reach the first control, all the tab indices will be correct.
Second, I've learned that radio buttons are complex under the hood. I won't get into details here, but just think: few buttons, that must be interrelated, each of them must by all means be a separate control, except when it's about keyboard navigation through controls. Then the whole collection should act as a single control. So, simple things are not always that simple as they seem.
Next, very important lesson I learnt: array indices. Never thought it would be that difficult to switch from the inherently natural zero-based indexing to the monstrous one-based. http://xkcd.com/c163.html
And finally, an intimidating question has popped in my mind: where in the scale of "low level"-to-"high level" languages should Visual Basic end up? This question makes me nervous. Hate questions I can't instantly answer :-). So to try to answer this question, or at least to clarify my own minds I'm writing an essay on "levels" of languages. Will see if it will make its way to the public.
Another thing I'd like to mention is Effective STL by Scott Meyers. Just finished reading it couple days ago. This book is definitely a MUST read for every C++ programmer. Especially for those who think they "know" C++ and STL ;-).
I will try to write more about this book and this awful lot of thoughts it sparkled in my mind, but that'd be much to write and I don't know if I will have time and determination to do that. Stay tuned.