Archive for the ‘StackOverflow’ Category.

Programming and (human) languages

StackOverflow just announced that they’re opening up yet another foreign language version of SO, this one in Japanese.  They’ve already done this in Portuguese, and now it appears they’re continuing on the same path.  When people point out that the “convenience” that this provides would be counterproductive in the long run as it fragments the unified knowledge base that SO has worked for years to build, the standard response is that “learning English is difficult” and this makes it easier. Continue reading ‘Programming and (human) languages’ »

Reaching A Human Being

As you may know, those of you out there who are active on StackOverflow and other StackExchange sites, they’ve got a site called Area51 that lets people propose new sites for the StackExchange network.  Proposals that get enough support get launched as beta sites, and successful betas “graduate” to full-fledged SE sites.

Since the purpose of StackExchange has been explicitly stated as not being about discussions, debates, or other “forum chat” stuff but about establishing definitive, authoritative answers to questions that can be answered definitively, I came up with a proposal yesterday that fits that mission perfectly, and would provide a sorely-needed resource in today’s world.  The basic focus of the site would be “How do I cut through useless automated support and reach an actual human being at company X?”  Anyone who’s ever grappled with this problem will know exactly what I’m talking about and why a site like this would be a useful resource. Continue reading ‘Reaching A Human Being’ »

Programmers and social skills

Someone recently asked a very interesting question over at  Unfortunately, though somewhat predictably, people jumped all over it and it ended up getting closed and then deleted within 20 minutes of being asked.  That’s actually happening a lot recently, to the detriment of the community IMO, but that’s a subject for another time.  But I think there’s some actual, worthwhile discussion to be had in this deleted question, so I’m preserving it here, along with the answer I would have posted.  Hopefully it’ll be of interest to some people. Continue reading ‘Programmers and social skills’ »

Little things Delphi gets right

For those who haven’t seen it yet, due to popular demand, the StackOverflow people created a new site called, a site for the more subjective questions that StackOverflow isn’t really designed for.  Someone recently set up a poll: What’s your favorite programming language. You can probably guess what my answer was. Continue reading ‘Little things Delphi gets right’ »

Terminology confusion

I ran into an old friend of mine on Messenger today, who I haven’t seen in several years.  We were great friends in high school and ended up going to the same college, but then sorta drifted apart.  So we spent a while catching up and talking about how things were going in each other’s lives.

He’d always been a pretty serious computer geek, so I asked him if he knew about StackOverflow.  The part I didn’t remember, at least right away, was that he was not only into programming, but also computer security and “ethical hacking” type of stuff.  So his response kinda caught me off guard.

“Yeah, of course.  It’s a great way to gain root!”

*facepalm*  Not quite what I meant… 😛

Delphi memory management made simple

Most of my posts on here have been about technical subjects, geared towards moderate-to-advanced Delphi coders.  This one’s to help out the beginners who are still learning the ropes.  I’d like it to be something that people can send new users to from StackOverflow or other sites if they’re having trouble figuring out how to clean up their memory properly.

I’ve never really understood why people find memory management difficult.  Maybe I just “get it” for some reason, but it’s never seemed all that arcane or complex to me.  In all my time working with Delphi, I’ve only run into one truly difficult memory management scenario, and it’s something that most people won’t ever have to deal with: sharing global interface references across package boundaries.  If you do that wrong, you’re likely to run into some very strange errors at program shutdown that are hard to debug.

But people keep asking questions about the basics of what to free and how to free it on StackOverflow, and from answering them and analyzing the questions and the answers, it seems to me that the entirety of memory management can be boiled down to one single principle.

Continue reading ‘Delphi memory management made simple’ »

Closing the documentation gap

This morning on StackOverflow, someone asked a question about invoking constructors through extended RTTI. It happened that I’d had to work out a way to do that a couple weeks ago, and it took me about 5 minutes to find the code, strip out a few specific details and type up a solution.  I got an accepted response, a few upvotes, and a very interesting comment from the author:

Continue reading ‘Closing the documentation gap’ »