Google Squared and sexy languages!

Google Squared looks like an interesting tool. 

“Google Squared is a search tool that helps you quickly build a collection of facts from the Web for any topic you specify.

  • Facts about your topic are organized as a table of items and attributes (we call them "Squares" for fun).
  • Customize these Squares to see just the items and attributes you’re interested in.
  • See the websites that served as sources for the information in your Square.
  • Save and share Squares with others.”

 mk

There’s some interesting results.  I searched for ‘programming languages’

It displays a list of languages, a picture of the language, a description, and what it was influenced by.

I was very surprised to see the Miranda language (apparently influenced by Haskell).  Try it yourself:  scroll down to Miranda.  I must take a closer look at this one!

limbo Another one that might get you excited is Limbo.  Scroll down and take a look (but be careful if you’re at work!!). Apparently influenced from Stackless Python.  I’d say more like alcohol!

Updated: Tree Trim

Tree Trim is a command line tool that trims your source code tree.  It removes debug files, source control bindings, and temporary files.

It’s integrated with Windows Explorer: when you right click a folder you’re given the option to clean the folder.

Massive thanks to Scott Hanselman for blogging about it and for providing some great and detailed feedback.

If you’re interested in doing your own Tree Trim plugin, there’s now a Wiki page to take you through the process.  If you’d like to contribute your plugin or fix any issues, then take a look at this page.

New tool: TreeTrim

hammer I’ve recently been working on a tool based on Jeff Atwoods Clean Sources Plus

It’s called TreeTrim.  It’s a tool that strips out debug files and folders in your source code tree and also zips and emails amongst other things.

One of the BIG requests for CleanSourcePlus (well, amongst the 5 people in the comments section of the tool’s page!) is for the tool to make a working copy of your source before it deletes and zips.  TreeTrim does this.

It’s plug-in based, so if it doesn’t do something that you want, you can write your own plug-in, plonk it in the directory, and have the tool run it alongside the other plugins.

The installer and source code is available for download at http://code.google.com/p/treetrim/

Update to the Code Formatter Plugin

Version 2.0.0.1 of the Code Formatter Plugin is now available.

New in this version:

  1. Enhanced support for Syntax Highlighter 2x
    You can now specify things such as tab size, show ruler, collapseshow toolbar, show line numbers, starting line number, and highlighting specific line numbers
    image
  2. Configuration screens for the different providers
    image
    You can now add and remove languages and generally configure each provider.  You can also edit the files manually – they are called SyntaxHightlighter2xConfiguration.xml and ActiProConfiguration.xml.  They are located in the Plugins folder.
  3. Preview window for Syntax Highlighter formatted code.
    image 
    This was added because the Preview tab in Windows Live Writer doesn’t include the scripts and styles used in your blog engine’s templates and hence previewing Syntax Highlighted code means it looks plain.  Click the Show Preview button to see this window.

Code Formatter Plugin home-page
Direct download link

IDisposable alerts

Types that implement IDisposable usually do so for a reason.  They probably consume resources that should be released as early as possible.

In a recent project, I came across a very neat idea.  In the destructor/finalizer/finaliser of your IDisposable type, do something to alert the consumer that you’re being collected by the Garbage Collector and hence you haven’t been disposed of correctly.

But how does this type know it’s not been disposed correctly?  Well, if you follow the IDisposable pattern to the letter (described in the excellent book Effective C# (Item 18), and about 3,000 places around t’internet), in your Dispose method, you’ll call GC.SupressFinalize(this);  meaning the Garbage Collector won’t call your finalizer.  So if you ever end up in the finalizer, the naughty user hasn’t called Dispose or hasn’t put the construction of your type in a using block.

There’s two bits to this

The constructor:

public MyResourceHungryType( )
{
  _stackTrace = new StackTrace( ) ;
}

The finalizer:

~MyResourceHungryType( )
{
  Debug.WriteLine( _stackTrace.ToString( ) ) ;
}

Then, if the finalizer is ever called, you’ll get a call stack printed up to the point where you created this type – something like:

at Namespace.MyResourceHungryType..ctor()
   at Namespace.MyType.DoSomething()
   at SomeNamespace.SomeMethod()

Handy.

New version of the Code Formatter Plugin

Version 2.0 of the Code Formatter Plugin for Windows Live Writer is now available.

New in this version is the ability to use different formatting engines – in this version: ActiPro and SyntaxHighlighter 2.0

Also new is the ability to output either formatted code as text or as a bitmap.

A massive thank you to ActiPro for donating the ActiPro Syntax Editor component – the best code editor available!

If you’re reading this in an aggregator, the following code snippets may look unformatted (apart from the bitmap), but if you’re not, then it should be all nicely formatted.

Here’s some output from ActiPro as text:

public int TabWidth
{
  get
  {
      return _content.GetInt(@"TabWidth", 4);
  }
  set
  {
      _content.SetInt(@"TabWidth", value);
  }
}

Here it is again as a bitmap:

image

and here it is using SyntaxHighlighter 2.0

public int TabWidth
{
  get
  {
      return _content.GetInt(@"TabWidth", 4);
  }
  set
  {
      _content.SetInt(@"TabWidth", value);
  }
}

Please feel free to read more and download it.

Online mind maps in Silverlight

I’m a big fan of mind maps.  I use MindManager, but there’s now an online Silverlight alternative from DropMind

It’s currently in beta, so there’s a few things that need addressing to make it as nice to use as MindManager (such as keyboard navigation).  Despite this, it looks feature packed compared to other online mind mapping tools I’ve tried.

There’s also a desktop version.  It has none of the above keyboard problems.  It also looks and feels very similar to MindManager:

DropMind

image

MindManager

image

It’s nice to see Silverlight apps like this.  I’d probably switch to it once all the glitches are resolved.  MindManager’s great, but it comes with a lot of fluff I don’t need, like Office integration and RSS features.

Halt, this is StyleCop. You are in violation of SA1201!

StyleCop has a law rule named SA1201. It says that you should put various parts of your code in the correct order.  For the contents of a class this goes like:

  1. Fields
  2. Constructors
  3. Finalizers (Destructors)
  4. Delegates
  5. Events
  6. Enums
  7. Interfaces
  8. Properties
  9. Indexers
  10. Methods
  11. Structs
  12. Classes

Doing all this by hand is tedious, but as with most things, ReSharper (R#) makes it easier!

R# has a couple of features that, when combined, will mean you are fully SA1201 compliant (and, quite possibly well within the 20 seconds compliance window!)  Firstly, there is a feature called Code Cleanup:

sshot-2

You can get R# to do various things during code clean-up.  One of them is Reorder Type Members.  R# does a decent job of moving stuff around by default, but it’s not perfect and doesn’t stop all warnings about SA1201.  Thankfully, Reorder Type Members is configurable.  The interface is straight XML in the R# Options screen.  It’d be nice to have a GUI over it, but as yet (in R# 4.1 and 4.5), there isn’t one.  Thankfully, you can’t bugger things up too much as the XML is validated against an XSD before it’s saved.

I was going through a legacy project recently and wanted a way to automatically reorder things, so I modified the R# XML configuration.  To get your environment set-up, download the new XML configuration, go to ReSharper/Options and under languages/C# there an entry named Type Members Layout.

sshot-3

Deselect Use Default Patterns check-box and past in the new XML and click OK.

If you want a C# class that contains most of the things that should be reorganised, download it here.  Mash it up a bit and then run StyleCop on it to ensure no SA1201 errors.