Back in the saddle

Hey everyone, I'm back. Sorry for the two-month absence there. We've been absolutely INSANELY busy trying to figure out how to make the LINQ features work in C# 3.0 for the last two months. Add on top of that the fact that I've been running lights for an amateur theatre production for the last couple weeks -- I've had absolutely no time for blogging.

There's a huge amount more that I could go into in my series on regular expressions and finite automata. A dauntingly huge amount. I'd really like to explore some of these ideas. I could show how there is a finite automaton for every regular language and a regular language for every FA, and then find some non-regular languages, look at push-down automata, Turing machines, nondeterministic Turing machines, computable and uncomputable numbers, really interesting stuff. We could also go into practical concerns about how to build devices that parse real-world languages like Jscript or C#.

But I just don't have the kind of time right now it would take to do that kind of full treatment. I want to get back into shorter topics. In the last few months that I've been exploring the C# compiler I've found all kinds of interesting nooks and crannies and weird ambiguities and flaws in the implementation. And I'm still getting questions about scripting – in fact, there has been a recent flurry of interest in Jscript and Jscript.NET, which seem to be making a bit of a renaissance.

Therefore I thought I might change gears for a bit and get back into more practical language issues. I'm going to start with further proof that premature optimization really is the root of all evil.

Comments (2)

  1. Chris Nguyen says:

    It’s a shame that you don’t have the time to be getting into any of the more advanced topics, i was looking forward to it. I only got to cover about 1/3 of the book that we used at school (the last couple of detailed topics being the Pumping Lemma, CFGs, and the PL for CFGs). We touched on PDAs, and barely skimmed TMs.

    In either case, Looking forward to the practical language things as well.

    Thanks! ^_^

  2. Phylyp says:

    Welcome back, Eric!

    Why don’t you blog about your en’light’ening experiences at the theater production? Given the deep background you provide on your usual posts, this should be interesting.

    But then, premature optimization is also interesting (not to mention related to work!)…

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