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Introductions: Rants, Ravings and Ruminations

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Matthew Wilson

Posts: 145
Nickname: bigboy
Registered: Jun, 2004

Introductions: Rants, Ravings and Ruminations (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Apr 10, 2005 4:58 AM
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Just an introduction to the blog and its author. Interests, approaches, current and future work, etc.

Hi. Welcome to my first entry on my first blog. Although I've done a fair amount of writing in recent years, I've never tried the weblog format before, so I'll appreciate any help in avoiding my tendency to "too many words". AFAIUI, blogs are free form, and can range from nutty rantings, to self-promotion, to informative and pre-article technical discussions. I think I'm likely to have a mix of all four. Since I'm constantly being told that there's a little too much of my personality in my books/columns/articles, maybe the overspill can be dealt with here.

My experience is roughly 12 years C/C++, with a strong focus on high-performance/communications systems, and mixed languages/technologies. I write columns for C/C++ Users Journal and (with my good friend and co-conspirator Bjorn Karlsson) The C++ Source, and have written 1.5 books on C++, the first 1.0 of which - Imperfect C++ ( - was published by Addison-Wesley in Oct 2004 (and has received some rather nice feedback). Although I'm wont to flights of template-programming fancy, I'm primarily a pragmatist, and am constantly on the lookout for ways to simplify people's use of C++. I'm also a huge fan of Ruby, and often try to make C++ and D (my other main language interest) more like Ruby, with mixed success.

I'm also one of those supposedly wise fellows who feels increasingly ignorant the more he learns, which I think is a good thing. It sure feels odd, though ...

For the edification of anyone who's kind enough to be interested, I'll give a brief (!) update of where I'm at, and what I'm working towards this year.

What's been happening:

  • Writing

    • 60+ articles in BYTE, CUJ, DDJ, WDN, TCS
    • 1 book: Imperfect C++ (Addison-Wesley, 2004)
    • 3 columns for CUJ/DDJ CUJ/DDJ and TCS;
      • Positive Integration (C/C++ Users Journal; in print): focusing on integration of C/C++ with other languages/technologies, including COM, Ch, D, Java, .NET, Python, Ruby, STL
      • Flexible C++ (C/C++ Users Journal / Dr. Dobbs Journal; available online for magazine subscribers): examining various off-beat ways in which the C++ language can be persuaded to be of help to the jobbing programmer
      • Smart Pointers, with Bjorn Karlsson (The C++ Source; online, unrestricted access): covering a wide range of C++ topics, with the aim of explaining away the complexities, and elucidating powerful tools and techniques

  • Libraries / Open-Source

    • STLSoft - Robust, Lightweight, Cross-platform, Template Software; main library, plus subprojects for ATL/MFC, COM, Internet programming, UNIX, Win32, PlatformSTL, RangeLib
    • recls - platform-independent recursive search library; one of the examplars for the Positive Integration column
    • Open-RJ - slightly enhanced version of the Record-JAR format; one of the examplars for the Positive Integration column
    • b64 - ridiculously small and simple implementation of a base64 encoding/decoding library, along with a C++ layer for ease of use (and exceptionophiles)

  • Real Work

    Over a decade of commercial experience, including several major projects in communications, banking, insurance, internet:

What's happening now:

After a very intensive six months of work - some of those crazy 80+ hour weeks - I've taken another few months off to work on my next books and other things, including:

  • Writing

    • Book on extending STL, imaginatively called Extended STL
    • Book on the new programming language D, called Distilled D Programming, coauthored with Walter Bright, the inventor of D

  • Libraries / Open-Source

    • Finalising next release of STLSoft, 1.8.3, which will include new subproject ACESTL (for messing around with ACE, of course)
    • Finalising several articles, including some with Bjorn Karlsson for our Smart Pointers column

What's yet to happen

  • Libraries / Open-Source

    • recls 2 - Rewrite of recls, to provide much more powerful search facilities, filtering, progress callbacks, and including search of VSS/VCS, Win32 registry and other recursive storage structures.
    • XMLSTL - STL interfaces and bindings for various XML parser libraries

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