Buckshot o’ Links – Software Development Edition

I’m a hoarder. I may not have lived through the Great Depression like my grandmother did, but I seem to have inherited the gene that led her to keep dozens of plastic Cool Whip tubs in her attic “just in case she needed them.” My grandfather kept used bolts and nails for reuse. Me, I keep articles about things I think I should know some day. From smart people on Twitter and e-mail lists and coworkers I gather links to articles, PowerPoint presentations, blog posts, and videos. And they hang out in my browser tabs — forever.

It’s time to clear some of them out. Here are some daytime-themed links. (If I had a Tumblr account, I’d just post there. But I don’t need another website no one reads.)

Parallel Computing
James Reinders of Intel TBB fame estimates that datasets (images, videos, etc.) have grown 10x larger over the last five years. Sequential systems are just too dang slow to process this amount of data. In the near future, “parallel programming” will just become “programming.” (I’m still hoping for better language support so that state synchronization and multicore memory issues are as easy to get right as the sequential aspects of programming are now.)

New memory models would certainly help. A new paper, DMP: Deterministic Shared Memory Multiprocessing by Joseph Devietti, Brandon Lucia, Luis Ceze, and Mark Oskin presents some of the problems with the current memory model and provides one possible solution.

Another post on SoftTalk (sponsored by Intel) describes some of the ways that Intel plans to make parallel programming easier this year: Parallel Studio 2010, a Cilk-based offering for task parallelism, “a data-parallel centric model with safety guarantee,” new SIMD instructions, and new array notations.

You might also want a high-level view of how Intel’s offerings work together.

Herb Sutter, who really knows his stuff, wrote an article for Dr. Dobbs a couple years ago about understanding parallel performance. It’s one of a series of articles about multicore/multithreaded programming, and this helps set expectations about what’s possible and gives pointers on where to start making changes.

Miscellaneous
Visual Studio + Time Machine = IntelliTrace. Don’t just move up and down the call stack; now you can move forward and backward in time, too.

Everything you ever wanted to know about floating-point representation: Floating Point Guide. (Everything, that is, unless you work where I do. Then you just have to go down the hall to get that last 2%. Of course, you’ll be drinking from the fire hose. . . .)

What does Microsoft think are the key trends in software development? Cloud computing, the web as a platform, parallel computing, proliferation of devices (with their own capabilities, IO paradigms, etc.), agile development processes, distributed development. Nothing terribly futuristic here, and comments want to know why “mobility” (i.e., phones) isn’t on the list.

The C++0x “final draft” revision is ready for “final” comments. Here’s your chance to see the significant changes to C++ that will be part of the standard next year (they hope).

This entry was posted in C, Computing, Fodder for Techno-weenies, Hoarding, Software Engineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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