Continuation-Passing Style

There are some technical words that cause quite a stir even amongst geeks.  When someone says the word "continuation", people’s eyes glaze over and they seek the first opportunity to change the subject.  The stir is caused because most people don’t understand what a continuation is or why someone would want to use one.  This…

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In Case You Haven’t Heard

It has been a while since I have posted.  We have been working hard to get Orcas beta 1 and beta 2 done.  So I apologize for the long interlude between posts but I hope that you are enjoying beta 1 and that you are looking forward to beta 2. Now that beta 1 is out there,…

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All About Iterators

Design patterns have been all of the rage for a number of years now.  We have design patterns for concurrency, user interfaces, data access, object creation, and so many other things.  The seminal work on the topic is the Gang of Four‘s book, Design Patterns.  When used appropriately they are a fantastic way to codify…

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Extending the World

When people think of C# 3.0 and Linq, they commonly think of queries and databases.  The phenomenal work of the Linq to SQL guys provides ample reason to think of it this way; nevertheless, C# 3.0 and Linq are really much much more.  I have discussed a number of things that can be done with lambdas,…

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Immutability, Purity, and Referential Transparency

How often do you write code that just works?  It seems to happen so rarely that I find myself suspicious if code does just work.  When was the last time that you wrote a non-trivial program that had no compile errors on the first try and then ran fine as well?  If it happened recently then congratulations.  If…

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Linq to ASCII Art

Last night I was searching for an audio version of Painters and Hackers by Paul Graham.  Pretty soon I had completely forgotten about the book and found myself reading the Wikipedia article about Hackers.  Isn’t Internet search great? Of all of the things in the article, the one thing that captured my attention was the…

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The Virtues of Laziness

It seems that I riled some people up with my blog post yesterday.  After some thought, I think the primary reason that there was some backlash is because some people feel that I violated one of the sacred principles of FP:  lists are *the* data structure.  Well, let me set the matter straight.  I love…

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Why all the love for lists?

One of the things that I have noticed when participating in interviews with potential candidates is that most candidates have a favorite data structure.  Presumably this is the data structure that they feel the most comfortable with.  The problem is that no matter what coding question I ask them, they see the answer through the lenses of their…

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Baby Names, Nameless Keys, and Mumbling

Baby Names I recently finished reading Freakonomics.  It is a fascinating book about a number of strange phenomena.  Its topics range from the economics of dealing crack to cheating in sumo wrestling.  Among the sundry topics is a discussion concerning the psychology and sociology underlying babies names. This topic has interested me ever since I found out that…

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Memoization and Anonymous Recursion

Keith Farmer brought it to my attention that there is at least a little confusion about how closures work.  Hopefully, I can help shed a little light on the subject.  The question is why doesn’t the following code actually memoize fib in the call to Test? Func<int, int> fib = null;fib = n => n >…

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