Alanis Morissette

I’m currently sitting in my new favourite place - the Flinders Uni Tavern.

It’s been a long time since I was a regular at a Uni Bar, but it looks like it will be starting again. I can sit in this place, view lectures I’ve missed, or even just seen, and drink beer. And do my work, while Alanis Morissette plays in a double-play.

Feels like the early 90s again. Except I have money, and a laptop.

And I plan on finishing this degree.

Java and Arrays

Java almost handles arrays well.

Almost.

Maybe I’m spoilt by python, but having datatypes that are effectively a hybrid between lists and arrays is excellent. You get both of the advantages - being able to iterate easily, and access by index (attributes of arrays), and having dynamic sizes and non-sparse lists (the only decent attributes of lists).

In fact, the text I am reading now has a three-and-a-half page code fragment called “Partially-filled lists”, which is about 200 lines of code, which implements what I describe. Except the upper limit of the size, which must be determined at compile-time. And it requires a new class if you want it to be for anything other than doubles, or whatever you have written it for.

The other thing which was bugging me was the looping of arrays. In python you can do cool stuff easily iterate over elements of an array. Recent versions of Java can also do this.

Python:

1    for element in theList:  
2        print element

Java:

1    for (element: theList)  
2        System.out.println(element);

It gets pretty close. I think I still like the simplicity of the python notation - brackets only where they are really required to indicate function/method calls, and for expression ordering. Having a required bracket around if test-expressions and the like just makes me think if, switch and so on are functions. Which they can’t possibly be, since Java doesn’t have functions, only objects and methods.

And don’t get me started on braces…

Flinders Uni Podcasts and Vodcasts

I’m studying at Flinders Uni this year - so far it has been pretty cruisy, with a summer school subject I think I got 93% for, and lectures started proper this week. Pretty much all of the topics I am studying, and a whole lot more are available as podcasts or video streaming. You need to be logged into the FLO (Flinders Learning Online - an excellent tool, from what I’ve seen) to get the streaming video (I think), but the podcasts are technically available to anyone. If you know the URL, for example:

COMP 3001, 2008 Audio Feed : http://video.flinders.edu.au/podcasts/COMP3001/audio/COMP3001_2008.xml

You should now be able to figure out the URL for any topic. Just replace the COMP3001 with your subject code, and audio with video, if you desire.

The files are quite large, but no larger than regular podcasts.

I wasn’t able to find anything on the University website(s) that prohibit me from making this information public, but it may be under copyright restrictions. So only use it if you are allowed to…