Wednesday 6 December 2000

On C++ and Copy Constructors

A date which will, indeed, live in infamy. The day after that.

'That', for the benefit of those of you who are mind-bogglingly stupid, was the most god-awful, dreadful, terrible, evil, vicous, cold-hearted, despicable, ravenous, soul-reaving, examination in my life. And I've written a few before that haven't gone so well. This week.

My personal favourite was Question #2. It asked us to determine the output pr
oduced by this little snippet of source code. It used a struct, a construct which I vaguely recall from C, and which indeed was used in the text once, on a page I'm pretty sure we didn't read, to implement the Canonical Construction Idiom for a simple object which, quite obviously, didn't need, because it didn't manage any resources. Anyhoo, here's the correct answer.

Suffice it to say, I'm still in mourning. For all of us. And for all the people who took Java as well. I hear the final was, shall we say, equally unfortunate as ours. D'oh.

Sunday 3 December 2000

On HTML Standards

Remember Tim Berners-Lee? That nice fellow from Oxford University?

I wasn't betting you would. A quick refresher: way back in 1990, Tim did us all a big favour and invented a little something you might have heard of, called the World Wide Web. Kudos also to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), for paying him for it, while he probably ought to have been working on something else.

Get to your point!

Since then, Tim has moved on to form the World Wide Wide Consortium (W3C), an organization charged with developing standards for WWW technologies, such as CSS (Stylesheets),
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and our perennial favourite, HTML, in all its various incarnations, including XHTML, to whose Transitional standard I adhere. The point: anybody who rants and complains about how their webpage shows up different in IE or Netscape ought to start writing standards-compliant HTML. Anybody who doesn't has it coming. And anybody who produces/distributes a non-compliant browser should be taken out to the backyard and shot.

Disclaimer: Please don't actually go and shoot somebody because they produced a non-compliant product. For reasons beyond explanation, most jurisdictions still consider that murder. Blast!