Monday, December 14, 2009

This Message Has Not Been Sent

This message has not been sent. WTF Outlook? I know that the message has not been sent -- I'm still writing it! Your endless little interruptions are growing tiresome. Like a four-year-old who's not getting enough attention you used to bug me about every little message that you got for me. Look at me, I've got a message that, no matter what, must be more important than whatever it is that you're working on. I finally broke you of that habit but now you have to bug me with your little comments about the obvious at the top of the window so that the rest of the window shifts and distracts me from the whole reason that I have your window open in the first place. Really, it just needs to stop. Plus, half the time your messages are premature; you declare messages as being replied to before I even finish writing the reply. And while we're talking, what have you done to piss off Windows? You seem to be the only program that Windows decides to aggressively swap, to the point that every time I try to raise your window I'm greeted with ten seconds of hard-drive grinding before I can use you. What are you doing to antagonize Windows so? Thunderbird doesn't have this problem. Maybe the sysadmin would be willing to turn on the IMAP support in the exchange server...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hoops to Jump Through

Whose idea was it for C++ classes that have virtual functions to not automatically have a virtual destructor? There is just no reason for this not to be the case. Not having a virtual destructor is just not going to ever do that right thing when you're dealing with a polymorphic class. Most of the time it's probably going to be a silent problem that you're dealing with. My last encounter with this wonderful bit of the C++ obstacle course resulted in a not insignificant memory leak when I failed to jump through the hoop. I have yet to see a case where it would make sense for a polymorphic class to not a virtual destructor. Sometimes I really do think that C++ is just some colossal joke that Stroustrup is playing on us.


About once a year I end up thinking that using boost::enable_shared_from_this is a good idea. And every time it ends up wasting almost an hour of my time. You see there's a restriction on shared_from_this that disallows its use in the constructor of the object that is being shared from this. Unfortunately this restriction is not mentioned in the documentation. I always try to use shared_from_this from the constructor and get bad weak pointer errors at run time. I then spend twenty minutes flailing around in the source code trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong until finally a bit of googling brings the not in the constructor restriction out in the open. Once I realize this and start trying to fix things so I don't need to use shared_from_this in the constructor I find that I don't need enable_shared_from_this at all. This happens every time. I'm guessing that most of the boost folks have had the same experience as well since they don't go out of their way to call attention to enable_shared_from_this. Maybe I should stay away from libraries whose documentation can only be reached from a link in an answer to a FAQ about another library. That is just not a good sign.

Update 3-11-09: Of course now that I've posted this I've had two occasions where boost::enable_shared_from_this turned out to be useful.