New Google Maps Terrain Button

Eric | November 27, 2007

terrainAs Google Blogoscoped informs us, a new terrain button has been added to Google Maps. Looks very impressive, at least in the Vancouver area (not in Montreal unfortunately).

Comments
Comments Off on New Google Maps Terrain Button
Categories
Misc
Tags
Google

New TR: Static Analysis Techniques for Evaluating Runtime Monitoring Properties Ahead-of-Time

Eric | November 23, 2007

imageToday I am proud to present our brand new Technical Report in which Patrick Lam, Laurie Hendren and me present how you can use static analysis to evaluate runtime monitoring properties ahead-of-time, i.e. at compile time opposed to at runtime.

We have been working on this topic for about a year now, with different approaches and it actually took us until some weeks ago to get it actually all worked out. The coolest thing is that the approach we found in the end is really surprisingly simple, yet very effective. All it needs is a good static abstraction and super-precise pointer analysis. That’s it. The problem that we had before was that we were tying to make things more complicated than they were.

Read the rest of this entry »

Java and generics: handle with care – part 2

Eric | November 23, 2007

This is a follow-up to my earlier posting in which I was ranting about Java generics. Subject of the post were these two pieces of Java code:

Set<String> stringSet = new HashSet<String>();
Set<String> otherStringSet = new HashSet<String>();
otherStringSet.add((String) stringSet);
Set<List> listSet = new HashSet<List>();
Set<List> otherListSet = new HashSet<List>();
otherListSet.add((List) listSet);

The first one gives a static type error in line 3 because obviously one cannot cast a Set to a String. What confused me was that the second piece of code is (statically) well-typed. You will get a runtime error on the cast (List) listSet, but no compile time error. Why is that?

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments
Comments Off on Java and generics: handle with care – part 2
Categories
Research
Tags
Java, Programming

Protected: Von Astronauten, Tasern und armen Leuten

Eric | November 20, 2007

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Comments
Comments Off on Protected: Von Astronauten, Tasern und armen Leuten
Categories
Montreal

2820.63 spam mails a day

Eric | November 20, 2007

imageToday I was stunned to notice that my GMail spam folder had risen up to 84619 spam mails! Because GMail automatically deletes spam mails within 30 days this means I had been receiving around 2820 spam mails daily, almost two spam mails per minute! This is really gross. I really hope new anti-spam technology will arrive soon. Many thanks to GMail though for having such a fantastic filter! I think I never had any false positive and right now maybe maximally 10 spam mails get through to me every day. If that’s 10 out of 2820 I can live with it.

Comments
Comments Off on 2820.63 spam mails a day
Categories
Misc
Tags
GMail, Google

How relational aspects could have helped Princeton win the DARPA challenge

Eric | November 18, 2007

image Bryan Cattle recently explained why their autonomous car developed for the DARPA urban challenge did not make it: They simply had a memory leak in their C# code, filling up their entire heap space after about 28 minutes which made the computer crash. It’s important to note that this is not at all any flaw in C#. As C# is now, it was the programmers’ fault: In their code they kept around a list of obstacles which the car passed by. Obstacles that came out of sight were deleted… but not quite. Because the obstacles were registered as event listeners somewhere else in the code they were reachable and hence could not be garbage collected. Too bad, but how could such a problem have been avoided?

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments
Comments Off on How relational aspects could have helped Princeton win the DARPA challenge
Categories
Research
Tags
Bug finding, Coding, DARPA challenge, Java

False Friends

Eric | November 16, 2007

As I learned today, Beamer is not an English word. It must be one of those “germified” pseudo-English expressions like Handy. Believe it or not, we Germans say “Handy” if we mean a mobile phone! Now that I think about it: Why the hell? Ok, you can hold it in your hand but you can do that with a lot of things… Weird.

A Beamer (in German) is nothing else but a projector. I was actually had already convinced of the fact that Beamer is an English word because Beamer-latex is a latex package for slide presentations, to be shown on a projector. Well, turns out that it was written by another German ;-) There you go.

False friends are really hard to get rid of. I think it took me more than a year to get rid of the false correspondence between actually and “aktuell” (German for currently).

What’s your funniest or most annoying false friend?

Comments
Comments Off on False Friends
Categories
Misc
Tags
Montreal

Using Windows Live Writer with WordPress

Eric | November 16, 2007

Screenshot of Live Writer while editing this post This blog is powered by WordPress, probably one of the finest pieces of blog software I ever saw. And the best: Since recently there’s a new Microsoft Software called Windows Live Writer which allows you to edit posts offline, in a neat little Windows client. And I am not talking about some of those cheap clients that might be around and only support half of the necessary features. No, it fully integrates with WordPress, so perfectly that I am really astonished and positively surprised about Microsoft. The software automagically…

  • downloads my style sheet so that I can edit my posts 100% WYSIWYG
  • downloads all my tags and categories
  • lets me download, edit and republish existing blog entries and pages
  • lets me draft new posts and pages online and publish them whenever I like
  • lets me insert and automagically upload pictures to my blog
  • allows for extensions to gazillions of plugins which I have not even tried!

So all in all great Job Microsoft! Sometimes I really appreciate the offline nature of MS applications (e.g. in contrast to Google Apps).

Comments
1 Comment »
Categories
Misc
Tags
Live Writer, Microsoft, Wordpress

How delegates impose contracts on their wrappers

Eric | November 15, 2007

This week I was working a lot on our new PLDI submission, which we just submitted (more about that later). During this work I came around an interesting subtlety with respect to delegates and Design By Contract (DBC) . We wanted to validate the fulfillment of a contract for the Iterator interface: When using an iterator i you are only allowed to call i.next() if before that you have checked whether i.hasNext() holds. For PLDI we developed a static analysis approach (using tracematches) that allows you to flag potential violations of this contract. Here is one that we found in Jython, a Python implementation for the Java Virtual Machine and part of the DaCapo benchmark suite:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments
Comments Off on How delegates impose contracts on their wrappers
Categories
Research
Tags
Bug finding, Java, Programming

100 dollar laptops available – for 200 dollars

Eric | November 12, 2007

OLPCThe "One Laptop Per Child" program has been in the news since more than a year. Since today, first laptops are available to people in North America in a "Get one, give one" action: You pay $399.- and get two laptops, one for yourself and one is donated to a child in a developing country. – Hold on! Two 100 dollar laptops for $399.- ?? Well, I guess that’s just the basic laws of economy ;-)

Comments
Comments Off on 100 dollar laptops available – for 200 dollars
Categories
Misc
Tags
Politics, Random ranting