Friday, July 30, 2010

Bring on the Funny...

For my regular readers (wait...who am I kidding...) or more accurately the people who have stumbled onto my blog for some reason: you may or may not know that I am in the middle of working on an important step in my research. This means that I do the following things:

  • Rarely leave the house
  • Spend most of my day legitly staring at my computer screen
  • From the last statement, I should add making up words
  • Drinking wonderful ice tea (black current is my personal favorite)
The unfortunate side effect:  I feel slightly like a mole or maybe that was because I watched The Wind in the Willows on Dvd.  (There was a tv series too).  I have felt that I needed to bring a little funny into my life (and take regular breaks) every so many hours.  As this is a blog I will point you in the direction of some internet related funniness.

To Keep the Mole-Like Feelings at Bay List:
  • Cake Wreaks: Hilarious on weekdays.  Amazing cakes on Sunday.  Plus it is about cake what other reason would you need?
  • (The Customer Is) Not Always Right:  I think the title is self explanatory.
  • Check out the products at Despair, Inc.  Try not to laugh too hard ;-)
  • Article Circle Cartoons: This comic included penguins and polar bears.  (Why are you still here reading my blog?  Did you miss the part about the penguins?)
Well, that is all I have to talk about today.  Enjoy the summer while it lasts!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's in a name? (Or Notes to Self Regarding Coding)

A couple of months ago (read: end of spring semester), I started writing so code (in java if anyone cares). It all started when I wanted to test some I was considering for my research. Attempting to be smart, I decided I would just write the program for reuse later. Now, that was not my mistake. The mistake was what came next: thinking I would brilliantly name all of my classes really good long descriptive names. My logic being that months later I would easily be able to use the code for the final intended purpose!

I have learned a new lesson: really long names are often just as problematic and did I mention a pain to type? However, I had no problem trying to figure out what was what. I think that was mostly due to the massive comments I left myself too. I have heard the wisdom that descriptive names make the code more "self documenting".

So the question really is: is there a balance between being descriptive and just being silly? Is it better to have names that are only 5-15 characters long? Or is 25+ characters just right or too long? Is it only really long when it gets over 45 characters? (OK I feel like the Goldilocks of programming at the moment...) Does the long names actually make the code less clear?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wait...I have a blog?

I really should update this more often! But I have been very busy with graduate school and my research. I also decided to make a change to the look of the blog with one of the cool new templates. Maybe this will encourage me to come up with a whole blog of something important. Or (more likely) not. Now I understand micro-blogging, it is easier to come up with just 140 characters!

I have been spending most of my spare time knitting. I am finally getting to be halfway OK at it :) I have enough scarfs to last me for the next few years. Made 2 sweaters so far (1 more successful than the other). Learning socks was a interesting experience.

Anyway, I have a point...maybe. Hmmm...I forgot. Oh right, knitting + grad school + randomness + geekiness = blog. This should be interesting.