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Sunday, July 2, 2017

So back to , this time looking at a non-biased algorithm. This is where I start thinking about repurposing this whole maze-building thing. The two algorithms previously implemented were Sidewinder and Binary Tree. These both have biases, meaning there are certain patterns that repeat based on the algorithm. For example, the binary tree algorithm tends to create a diagonal across the maze. This is visible with a 15x15 maze: But it's even more obvious when we have a larger maze (155 x 155): Another thing is that this produces a straight path along the top (north) edge of the maze as well as the right (east) edge of the maze. presents 2 non-biased algorithms. I've implemented one of them: the . This was independently developed by David Aldous and Andrei Broder. It uses a random walk to create a non-biased algorithm. One of the important points for a maze algorithm is that is should not create loops, and this algorithm does ensure that while still creating random paths. Basically, it creates random paths until they link up. If a loop is created, then that path is discarded. Here's the Ruby code from the book: And here's my implementation in C#: This produces a random path. Here's a text representation showing the shortest path from the center to the lower-left corner: And here's a graphical representation showing a heat map of distances from the center: What's interesting is that if we run this multiple times, we won't see a pattern forming (such as the diagonal pattern formed with the Binary Tree). Here are several runs with a larger grid: This starts to look pretty interesting. Unfortunately, because of the random nature of the algorithm, it gets much slower the larger the grid, and I don't think there's an easy way to parallelize the process. As a side note, the other non-biased algorithm presented in the book, , uses a random walk as well, and it suffers from a similar performance issue. The difference is that while Aldous-Broder has slowness at the end (while it tries to hook up the last few cells), Wilson's has slowness at the front (where it tries to hook up the first cell). I haven't done any performance analysis, and I think that's outside the scope of my interest right now. Here's a 255 x 255 grid. This took several minutes to produce on my machine. But because it uses random numbers, the time to produce it is non-deterministic. This is really cool. I think it's time for me to repurpose this and start creating interesting visual patterns. I could probably set up some color transitions in addition to the shade transitions of the heat map. I'll be playing with this quite a bit in the near future. I don't know how much further I'll get in the book. I think I may have gotten the information I need regarding the algorithms and how things work. This is a good jumping off point for me to explore on my own. I'll be playing with the heat map quite a bit. It's easy to remove the maze lines and just have the colors (I did that accidentally last night). And adding some color transitions would be pretty cool. I also need to go through the F# code that Steve Gilham put together . It looks like I'll need to decompose things a bit to make it work with various display output (it does text right now, but I'd want to add the graphical display) as well as to support the distance calculations that make the paths and heat maps possible. So I've got lots to play with. I've also got lots of real work to do as well. But it's also good to play and explore from time to time. That's part of the learning process. Happy Coding!
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For the benefit of the audience, the gist you've linked is the first in a series of three maze gists that deal with the biassed algorithms from the posts back in the spring.The biassed nature of those algorithms meant that they were well suited to working a row at a time, the binary tree maze from top to bottom, the sidewinder bottom to top, with cells being linked up within the rows in a single pass, everything nice and immutable. Even the sidewinder which had some right-to-left sections is just a matter of creating the individual runs and then concatenating them.The Aldous-Broder and Wilson algorithms are going to be more interesting to achieve without resorting to mutable data structures, as paths can cross.


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Remember last week when I said coding was just writing?

I was wrong. As one commenter noted, it's even simpler than that.

Like broken clocks, even pointy-haired managers are right once a day. Coding is just typing.

So if you want to become a great programmer, start by becoming a great typist. 34mm Round Fashion Brooch Broach Pin Badge Crystal Diamante Wedding Bridal Et69gqC03

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Strong statements indeed. I concur. We are typists first, and programmers second. It's very difficult for me to take another programmer seriously when I see them using the hunt and peck typing techniques . Like Steve, I've seen this far too often.

First, a bit of honesty is in order. Unlike Steve, I am a completely self-taught typist. I didn't take any typing classes in high school. Before I wrote this blog post, I realized I should check to make sure I'm not a total hypocrite. So I went to the first search result for typing test and gave it a shot.

I am by no means the world's fastest typist, though I do play a mean game of Typing of the Dead . Let me emphasize that . I just wanted to make sure I wasn't full of crap before I posted this. Yes, there's a first time for everything. Maybe this'll be the start of a trend. Doubtful, but you never know.

Steve and I believe there is nothing more fundamental in programming than the ability to efficiently express yourself through typing. Note that I said "efficiently" not "perfectly". This is about reasonable competency at a core programming discipline .

Maybe you're not convinced that typing is a core programming discipline. I don't blame you, although I do reserve the right to wonder how you manage to program without using your keyboard.

Instead of answering directly, let me share one of my (many) personal foibles with you. At least four times a day, I walk into a room having why I entered that room. I mean no idea whatsoever. It's as if I have somehow been teleported into that room by an alien civilization. Sadly, the truth is much less thrilling. Here's what happened: in the brief time it took for me to get up and move from point A to point B, I have totally forgetten whatever it was that motivated me to get up at all. Oh sure, I'll rack my brain for a bit, trying to remember what I needed to do in that room. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't. In the end, I usually end up making multiple trips back and forth, remembering something else I have done while I was in that room after I've already left it.

It's all quite sad. Hopefully your brain has a more efficient task stack than mine. But I don't fault my brain – I fault my body. It can't keep up. If I had arrived faster, I wouldn't have had time to forget.

What I'm trying to say is this: . When you're a fast, efficient typist, you spend less time between thinking that thought and expressing it in code. Which means, if you're me at least, that you might actually get of your ideas committed to screen before you completely lose your train of thought. Again.

Yes, you should think about what you're doing, obviously. Don't just type random gibberish as fast as you can on the screen, unless you're a Perl programmer. But all other things being equal – and they never are – the touch typist have an advantage. The best way to become a touch typist is through typing, and lots of it. A little research and structured practice couldn't hurt either. Here are some links that might be of interest to the aspiring touch typist:

(But this is a meager and incomplete list. What tools do recommend for becoming a better typist?)

There's precious little a programmer can do without touching the keyboard; it is the primary tool of our trade. I believe in practicing the fundamentals , and typing skills are as fundamental as it gets for programmers.

Hail to the typists!

[This] reminds me of a true "Dilbert moment" a few years ago, when my (obviously non-technical) boss commented that he never understood why it took months to develop software. "After all", he said, "it's just typing."

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Documentation and examples for adding Bootstrap popovers, like those found in iOS, to any element on your site.



Things to know when using the popover plugin:

you must initialize them yourself

Keep reading to see how popovers work with some examples.

Example: Enable popovers everywhere

One way to initialize all popovers on a page would be to select them by their data-toggle attribute:

Example: Using the option

When you have some styles on a parent element that interfere with a popover, you’ll want to specify a custom container so that the popover’s HTML appears within that element instead.

Four directions

Four options are available: top, right, bottom, and left aligned.

Dismiss on next click

Use the focus trigger to dismiss popovers on the user’s next click of a different element than the toggle element.

Specific markup required for dismiss-on-next-click

For proper cross-browser and cross-platform behavior, you must use the tag, the tag, and you also must include a attribute.

Dismissible popover
Disabled elements

Elements with the disabled attribute aren’t interactive, meaning users cannot hover or click them to trigger a popover (or tooltip). As a workaround, you’ll want to trigger the popover from a wrapper <div> or <span> and override the pointer-events on the disabled element.

For disabled popover triggers, you may also prefer data-trigger="hover" so that the popover appears as immediate visual feedback to your users as they may not expect to click on a disabled element.


Enable popovers via JavaScript:


Options can be passed via data attributes or JavaScript. For data attributes, append the option name to data- , as in data-animation="" .

Data attributes for individual popovers

Options for individual popovers can alternatively be specified through the use of data attributes, as explained above.


Asynchronous methods and transitions

All API methods are asynchronous and start a transition . They return to the caller as soon as the transition is started but before it ends . In addition, a method call on a transitioning component will be ignored .

Initializes popovers for an element collection.

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