Non-Interactive Text Editing in Vim

The Vim text editor has its roots in the traditional line-based editors of the early days. Due to that heritage, it supports a set of impressively powerful Ex commands that act on individual lines. In this article, we will see how to create a script composed of these commands and... [Read More]

Vim Errorformat Challenge

The Vim text editor provides built-in support for parsing compiler output. It has quite a broad understanding of the concept of a compiler though: You can call just any command and let the editor parse its output. For this to work correctly, format strings need to be specified, matching the... [Read More]

Discovering Refactoring Needs

This article is about creating a plot of complexity over change rate for a given set of source code files. According to an idea I’ve seen on twitter last week, this might help us finding spots in the code that have an influence on how well a project goes. Here... [Read More]

Maintaining A Clean History In Centralized Git Workflows

Git is a powerful tool for versioning (not only) source code files. It is decentralized by design but also works perfectly for setups that rely on a central server. By using a standard pull/push workflow though, the central history can grow complex pretty fast. In this article we will look... [Read More]

Linux Shebang Insights

In Linux, you can execute an interpreted script file in exactly the same way as you would execute a compiled binary: by setting the ‘executable’ attribute and just run it. A special sequence of characters at the beginning of the script makes this possible. In this article we will explore... [Read More]

The Shell And The Whitespace

When writing conditionals in shell scripts, have you ever wondered whether that whitespace right after the opening bracket is really necessary for the expression to evaluate correctly? You might be surprised by the answer we’ll discover in the course of this short article. [Read More]

What Makes A Unit Of Code Falsifiable

In his recent book about Software Architecture, Robert C. Martin a.k.a. Uncle Bob describes programming as a discipline of science, rather than mathematics. In one of the first chapters of the book he talks about Structured Programming and how it enables us to produce – according to the scientific method... [Read More]

Test-driven 7-Segment Decoder

This article is about creating a 7-segment display decoder in software. While this is probably considered a rather trivial task, it will serve as a good example for the discipline of Test-Driven Development (TDD). The motivation for a test-driven approach in this case is simple: being able to refactor later... [Read More]

The bash debugger: an example

Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you need to actually debug a shell script you're currently writing. Especially in the initial phase of development, features like single-stepping feel quite handy. I this article we are going to look at two situations where the bash debugger (bashdb) is... [Read More]

AVR sleep mode for fun and profit (part 2)

In the first part of this article we managed to put the AVR into power-down mode and were thereby able to lower the current consumption in idle mode to 0.0 mA. While this is great compared to the 22 mA before any optimization, there is no way to wake up... [Read More]

AVR sleep mode for fun and profit

Today's blog article is about how to optimize the power consumption of an AVR microcontroller running on batteries. We're going to explore one of the ATmega32's sleep modes and how it affects power consumption. We will eventually reach a state where it actually makes sense to power the device from... [Read More]

Passing heavy C++ objects by value

Big objects are traditionally passed to methods by reference. Some weeks ago I talked to a colleague about that and decided to investigate a bit further. As a result of my research I must admit that, starting with C++11, things have indeed changed. Depending on what happens inside the body... [Read More]

Background make execution in Vim 8

Version 8 of the Vim text editor introduced a great new feature for executing processes asynchronously. In this article I'm going to show you a plugin that makes use of these async jobs and how I utilize them to build a C++ project in the background. [Read More]

Test-driving the MCP2515 CAN Controller (Part 2)

It turns out the device driver design established previously has a serious drawback. While the SpiDriver interface enables unit testing, the cost of polymorphism has to be paid also in production code. In this article you are going to see how high that cost is, i.e. how much extra code... [Read More]