Oct 24 2009
I wrote a blog post called How SQL Server Sorts the UNIQUEIDENTIFIER Type and another one called Ordering the SQL UNIQUEIDENTIFIER Type Numerically Correct for Reporting a while back. As a result, I get a lot of e-mails from people struggling with UNIQUEIDENTIFIER values in Microsoft SQL Server. That's cool because I like helping other developers. The mistake that most people make when working with this data type is treating them like strings. However, UNIQUEIDENTIFIERS are absurd looking integers, really big ones. We show them in hexadecimal format to make them more compact which adds to their absurdness, I suppose.
Sep 21 2009
When iterating over a sequence of numbers in Python, the range() function is commonly used. However, the implementation of the range() function in Python 2.x instantiates each element in the sequence before the iteration begins. This is really costly from both memory and CPU perspectives when the desired range of numbers is large. Consider using the xrange() function instead which implements a Python generator to yield each number in the sequence as needed. Using xrange() instead of range() for large iterations can have a big, positive impact on your code. For example, in an application I was working on recently, replacing range() calls with xrange() boosted my performance from ~900,000 transactions per second to over 3,000,000. In Python 3.x, the range() function is supposed to be implemented as a generator but I haven't tested that to be true yet. Let me know if you have.
Sep 19 2009
I spoke at the Charlottesville .NET User Group this week and at the Raleigh Code Camp. I cheated and did the same presentation to both groups. Call me lazy but, in the middle of planning our own Code Camp in Richmond, I really didn't want to prepare two separate talks. I did a talk back at CodeStock 2009 on a similar topic back in June 2009 but it's evolved a lot since then based on my own growth and understanding. You can find the code and slides below.
Jun 27 2009
UPDATED on 30 June 2009
I spoke at the CodeStock 2009 conference and I thought it would be helpful for the attendees and others to be able to download my code and slides. The title of my presentation was "How I Learned to Love Metaprogramming" and it concerns Dynamic Language Runtime architecture, performance of dynamic typing and Python to C# integration. The slides and source code are linked below. I will be giving this talk again in September at the Charlottesville .NET User Group meeting. Both of the demos require C# 4.0 which is available in Visual Studio 2010.
- Demo One - shows how to do XML parsing using a fluent interface based on a DynamicObject derivation in C# 4.0
- Demo Two - shows how the Level 0, 1 and 2 CallSite and ActionBinder caches perform. UPDATED: I added a demo on 30 June 2009 that shows how the DLR 0.9 compares by invoking dynamic code through the DLR hosting APIs, thereby bypassing the CallSite caching mechanisms. The results are very instructive, showing that the DLR's polymorphic inline caching can yield a 250000% increase in performance. You read that correctly: a two hundrend fifty thousand percent increase in performance.
Slides in PDF (Acrobat) format (688.49 kb)
Slides in PPTX (PowerPoint 2007) format (639.23 kb)
Demo One Source Code - MetaObjectPlay200905.zip (5.17 kb)
Demo Two Source Code - PythonIntegration200906.zip (5.33 kb)