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Retweet of KevinJHill

2015 Jul 22, 7:12
The Microsoft Edge team @MSEdgeDev is hiring C++ Devs! http://bit.ly/1MJxEAX , help us make the web better!
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Retweet of mfeathers

2015 Apr 8, 5:44
I have no words (C++) http://tgceec.tumblr.com/post/74534916370/results-of-the-grand-c-error-explosion …
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Tweet from David_Risney

2015 Mar 3, 11:27
StackOverflow Qs on the little known C++ "operators" --> and =! http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1642028 … http://stackoverflow.com/questions/21029174 …
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Tweet from David_Risney

2015 Feb 1, 9:38
Custom named operators in C++ https://github.com/klmr/named-operator … This is some kind of hack! Depends solely on operator overloading.
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Debugging anecdote - the color transparent black breaks accessibility

2014 May 22, 10:36

Some time back while I was working on getting the Javascript Windows Store app platform running on Windows Phone (now available on the last Windows Phone release!) I had an interesting bug that in retrospect is amusing.

I had just finished a work item to get accessibility working for JS WinPhone apps when I got a new bug: With some set of JS apps, accessibility appeared to be totally broken. At that time in development the only mechanism we had to test accessibility was a test tool that runs on the PC, connects to the phone, and dumps out the accessibility tree of whatever app is running on the phone. In this bug, the tool would spin for a while and then timeout with an error and no accessibility information.

My first thought was this was an issue in my new accessibility code. However, debugging with breakpoints on my code I could see none of my code was run nor the code that should call it. The code that called that code was a more generic messaging system that hit my breakpoints constantly.

Rather than trying to work backward from the failure point, I decided to try and narrow down the repro and work forwards from there. One thing all the apps with the bug had in common was their usage of WinJS, but not all WinJS apps demonstrated the issue. Using a binary search approach on one such app I removed unrelated app code until all that was left was the app's usage of the WinJS AppBar and the bug still occurred. I replaced the WinJS AppBar usage with direct usage of the underlying AppBar WinRT APIs and continued.

Only some calls to the AppBar WinRT object produced the issue:

        var appBar = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBar.getForCurrentView(); 
// appBar.opacity = 1;
// appBar.closeDisplayMode = Windows.UI.WebUI.Core.WebUICommandBarClosedDisplayMode.default;
appBar.backgroundColor = Windows.UI.Colors.white; // Bug!
Just setting the background color appeared to cause the issue and I didn't even have to display the AppBar. Through additional trial and error I was blown away to discover that some colors I would set caused the issue and other colors did not. Black wouldn't cause the issue but transparent black would. So would aqua but not white.

I eventually realized that predefined WinRT color values like Windows.UI.Colors.aqua would cause the issue while JS literal based colors didn't cause the issue (Windows.UI.Color is a WinRT struct which projects in JS as a JS literal object with the struct members as JS object properties so its easy to write something like {r: 0, g: 0, b: 0, a: 0} to make a color) and I had been mixing both in my tests without realizing there would be a difference. I debugged into the backgroundColor property setter that consumed the WinRT color struct to see what was different between Windows.UI.Colors.black and {a: 1, r: 0, g: 0, b: 0} and found the two structs to be byte wise exactly the same.

On a hunch I tried my test app with only a reference to the color and otherwise no interaction with the AppBar and not doing anything with the actual reference to the color: Windows.UI.Colors.black;. This too caused the issue. I knew that the implementation for these WinRT const values live in a DLL and guessed that something in the code to create these predefined colors was causing the issue. I debugged in and no luck. Now I also have experienced crusty code that would do exciting things in its DllMain, the function that's called when a DLL is loaded into the process so I tried modifying my C++ code to simply LoadLibrary the DLL containing the WinRT color definition, windows.ui.xaml.dll and found the bug still occurred! A short lived moment of relief as the world seemed to make sense again.

Debugging into DllMain nothing interesting happened. There were interesting calls in there to be sure, but all of them behind conditions that were false. I was again stumped. On another hunch I tried renaming the DLL and only LoadLibrary'ing it and the bug went away. I took a different DLL renamed it windows.ui.xaml.dll and tried LoadLibrary'ing that and the bug came back. Just the name of the DLL was causing the issue.

I searched for the DLL name in our source code index and found hits in the accessibility tool. Grinning I opened the source to find that the accessibility tool's phone side service was trying to determine if a process belonged to a XAML app or not because XAML apps had a different accessibility contract. It did this by checking to see if windows.ui.xaml.dll was loaded in the target process.

At this point I got to fix my main issue and open several new bugs for the variety of problems I had just run into. This is a how to on writing software that is difficult to debug.

PermalinkCommentsbug debug javascript JS technical windows winrt

Results of the Grand C++ Error Explosion Competition

2014 Jan 28, 4:58

tgceec:

After much deliberation, the winners of the Grand C++ Error Explosion Competition are finally selected. There are two different award categories. The winners of the first category are those submissions that produced the largest error with the smallest amount of source code. These entries contain a…

PermalinkCommentshumor technical c++ programming coding

URI functions in Windows Store Applications

2013 Jul 25, 1:00

Summary

The Modern SDK contains some URI related functionality as do libraries available in particular projection languages. Unfortunately, collectively these APIs do not cover all scenarios in all languages. Specifically, JavaScript and C++ have no URI building APIs, and C++ additionally has no percent-encoding/decoding APIs.
WinRT (JS and C++)
JS Only
C++ Only
.NET Only
Parse
 
Build
Normalize
Equality
 
 
Relative resolution
Encode data for including in URI property
Decode data extracted from URI property
Build Query
Parse Query
The Windows.Foudnation.Uri type is not projected into .NET modern applications. Instead those applications use System.Uri and the platform ensures that it is correctly converted back and forth between Windows.Foundation.Uri as appropriate. Accordingly the column marked WinRT above is applicable to JS and C++ modern applications but not .NET modern applications. The only entries above applicable to .NET are the .NET Only column and the WwwFormUrlDecoder in the bottom left which is available to .NET.

Scenarios

Parse

This functionality is provided by the WinRT API Windows.Foundation.Uri in C++ and JS, and by System.Uri in .NET.
Parsing a URI pulls it apart into its basic components without decoding or otherwise modifying the contents.
var uri = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com/path%20segment1/path%20segment2?key1=value1&key2=value2");
console.log(uri.path);// /path%20segment1/path%20segment2

WsDecodeUrl (C++)

WsDecodeUrl is not suitable for general purpose URI parsing.  Use Windows.Foundation.Uri instead.

Build (C#)

URI building is only available in C# via System.UriBuilder.
URI building is the inverse of URI parsing: URI building allows the developer to specify the value of basic components of a URI and the API assembles them into a URI. 
To work around the lack of a URI building API developers will likely concatenate strings to form their URIs.  This can lead to injection bugs if they don’t validate or encode their input properly, but if based on trusted or known input is unlikely to have issues.
            Uri originalUri = new Uri("http://example.com/path1/?query");
            UriBuilder uriBuilder = new UriBuilder(originalUri);
            uriBuilder.Path = "/path2/";
            Uri newUri = uriBuilder.Uri; // http://example.com/path2/?query

WsEncodeUrl (C++)

WsEncodeUrl, in addition to building a URI from components also does some encoding.  It encodes non-US-ASCII characters as UTF8, the percent, and a subset of gen-delims based on the URI property: all :/?#[]@ are percent-encoded except :/@ in the path and :/?@ in query and fragment.
Accordingly, WsEncodeUrl is not suitable for general purpose URI building.  It is acceptable to use in the following cases:
- You’re building a URI out of non-encoded URI properties and don’t care about the difference between encoded and decoded characters.  For instance you’re the only one consuming the URI and you uniformly decode URI properties when consuming – for instance using WsDecodeUrl to consume the URI.
- You’re building a URI with URI properties that don’t contain any of the characters that WsEncodeUrl encodes.

Normalize

This functionality is provided by the WinRT API Windows.Foundation.Uri in C++ and JS and by System.Uri in .NET.  Normalization is applied during construction of the Uri object.
URI normalization is the application of URI normalization rules (including DNS normalization, IDN normalization, percent-encoding normalization, etc.) to the input URI.
        var normalizedUri = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("HTTP://EXAMPLE.COM/p%61th foo/");
        console.log(normalizedUri.absoluteUri); // http://example.com/path%20foo/
This is modulo Win8 812823 in which the Windows.Foundation.Uri.AbsoluteUri property returns a normalized IRI not a normalized URI.  This bug does not affect System.Uri.AbsoluteUri which returns a normalized URI.

Equality

This functionality is provided by the WinRT API Windows.Foundation.Uri in C++ and JS and by System.Uri in .NET. 
URI equality determines if two URIs are equal or not necessarily equal.
            var uri1 = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("HTTP://EXAMPLE.COM/p%61th foo/"),
                uri2 = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com/path%20foo/");
            console.log(uri1.equals(uri2)); // true

Relative resolution

This functionality is provided by the WinRT API Windows.Foundation.Uri in C++ and JS and by System.Uri in .NET 
Relative resolution is a function that given an absolute URI A and a relative URI B, produces a new absolute URI C.  C is the combination of A and B in which the basic components specified in B override or combine with those in A under rules specified in RFC 3986.
        var baseUri = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com/index.html"),
            relativeUri = "/path?query#fragment",
            absoluteUri = baseUri.combineUri(relativeUri);
        console.log(baseUri.absoluteUri);       // http://example.com/index.html
        console.log(absoluteUri.absoluteUri);   // http://example.com/path?query#fragment

Encode data for including in URI property

This functionality is available in JavaScript via encodeURIComponent and in C# via System.Uri.EscapeDataString. Although the two methods mentioned above will suffice for this purpose, they do not perform exactly the same operation.
Additionally we now have Windows.Foundation.Uri.EscapeComponent in WinRT, which is available in JavaScript and C++ (not C# since it doesn’t have access to Windows.Foundation.Uri).  This is also slightly different from the previously mentioned mechanisms but works best for this purpose.
Encoding data for inclusion in a URI property is necessary when constructing a URI from data.  In all the above cases the developer is dealing with a URI or substrings of a URI and so the strings are all encoded as appropriate. For instance, in the parsing example the path contains “path%20segment1” and not “path segment1”.  To construct a URI one must first construct the basic components of the URI which involves encoding the data.  For example, if one wanted to include “path segment / example” in the path of a URI, one must percent-encode the ‘ ‘ since it is not allowed in a URI, as well as the ‘/’ since although it is allowed, it is a delimiter and won’t be interpreted as data unless encoded.
If a developer does not have this API provided they can write it themselves.  Percent-encoding methods appear simple to write, but the difficult part is getting the set of characters to encode correct, as well as handling non-US-ASCII characters.
        var uri = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com" +
            "/" + Windows.Foundation.Uri.escapeComponent("path segment / example") +
            "?key=" + Windows.Foundation.Uri.escapeComponent("=&?#"));
        console.log(uri.absoluteUri); // http://example.com/path%20segment%20%2F%20example?key=%3D%26%3F%23

WsEncodeUrl (C++)

In addition to building a URI from components, WsEncodeUrl also percent-encodes some characters.  However the API is not recommend for this scenario given the particular set of characters that are encoded and the convoluted nature in which a developer would have to use this API in order to use it for this purpose.
There are no general purpose scenarios for which the characters WsEncodeUrl encodes make sense: encode the %, encode a subset of gen-delims but not also encode the sub-delims.  For instance this could not replace encodeURIComponent in a C++ version of the following code snippet since if ‘value’ contained ‘&’ or ‘=’ (both sub-delims) they wouldn’t be encoded and would be confused for delimiters in the name value pairs in the query:
"http://example.com/?key=" + Windows.Foundation.Uri.escapeComponent(value)
Since WsEncodeUrl produces a string URI, to obtain the property they want to encode they’d need to parse the resulting URI.  WsDecodeUrl won’t work because it decodes the property but Windows.Foundation.Uri doesn’t decode.  Accordingly the developer could run their string through WsEncodeUrl then Windows.Foundation.Uri to extract the property.

Decode data extracted from URI property

This functionality is available in JavaScript via decodeURIComponent and in C# via System.Uri.UnescapeDataString. Although the two methods mentioned above will suffice for this purpose, they do not perform exactly the same operation.
Additionally we now also have Windows.Foundation.Uri.UnescapeComponent in WinRT, which is available in JavaScript and C++ (not C# since it doesn’t have access to Windows.Foundation.Uri).  This is also slightly different from the previously mentioned mechanisms but works best for this purpose.
Decoding is necessary when extracting data from a parsed URI property.  For example, if a URI query contains a series of name and value pairs delimited by ‘=’ between names and values, and by ‘&’ between pairs, one must first parse the query into name and value entries and then decode the values.  It is necessary to make this an extra step separate from parsing the URI property so that sub-delimiters (in this case ‘&’ and ‘=’) that are encoded will be interpreted as data, and those that are decoded will be interpreted as delimiters.
If a developer does not have this API provided they can write it themselves.  Percent-decoding methods appear simple to write, but have some tricky parts including correctly handling non-US-ASCII, and remembering not to decode .
In the following example, note that if unescapeComponent were called first, the encoded ‘&’ and ‘=’ would be decoded and interfere with the parsing of the name value pairs in the query.
            var uri = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com/?foo=bar&array=%5B%27%E3%84%93%27%2C%27%26%27%2C%27%3D%27%2C%27%23%27%5D");
            uri.query.substr(1).split("&").forEach(
                function (keyValueString) {
                    var keyValue = keyValueString.split("=");
                    console.log(Windows.Foundation.Uri.unescapeComponent(keyValue[0]) + ": " + Windows.Foundation.Uri.unescapeComponent(keyValue[1]));
                    // foo: bar
                    // array: ['','&','=','#']
                });

WsDecodeUrl (C++)

Since WsDecodeUrl decodes all percent-encoded octets it could be used for general purpose percent-decoding but it takes a URI so would require the dev to construct a stub URI around the string they want to decode.  For example they could prefix “http:///#” to their string, run it through WsDecodeUrl and then extract the fragment property.  It is convoluted but will work correctly.

Parse Query

The query of a URI is often encoded as application/x-www-form-urlencoded which is percent-encoded name value pairs delimited by ‘&’ between pairs and ‘=’ between corresponding names and values.
In WinRT we have a class to parse this form of encoding using Windows.Foundation.WwwFormUrlDecoder.  The queryParsed property on the Windows.Foundation.Uri class is of this type and created with the query of its Uri:
    var uri = Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com/?foo=bar&array=%5B%27%E3%84%93%27%2C%27%26%27%2C%27%3D%27%2C%27%23%27%5D");
    uri.queryParsed.forEach(
        function (pair) {
            console.log("name: " + pair.name + ", value: " + pair.value);
            // name: foo, value: bar
            // name: array, value: ['','&','=','#']
        });
    console.log(uri.queryParsed.getFirstValueByName("array")); // ['','&','=','#']
The QueryParsed property is only on Windows.Foundation.Uri and not System.Uri and accordingly is not available in .NET.  However the Windows.Foundation.WwwFormUrlDecoder class is available in C# and can be used manually:
            Uri uri = new Uri("http://example.com/?foo=bar&array=%5B%27%E3%84%93%27%2C%27%26%27%2C%27%3D%27%2C%27%23%27%5D");
            WwwFormUrlDecoder decoder = new WwwFormUrlDecoder(uri.Query);
            foreach (IWwwFormUrlDecoderEntry entry in decoder)
            {
                System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("name: " + entry.Name + ", value: " + entry.Value);
                // name: foo, value: bar
                // name: array, value: ['','&','=','#']
            }
 

Build Query

To build a query of name value pairs encoded as application/x-www-form-urlencoded there is no WinRT API to do this directly.  Instead a developer must do this manually making use of the code described in “Encode data for including in URI property”.
In terms of public releases, this property is only in the RC and later builds.
For example in JavaScript a developer may write:
            var uri = new Windows.Foundation.Uri("http://example.com/"),
                query = "?" + Windows.Foundation.Uri.escapeComponent("array") + "=" + Windows.Foundation.Uri.escapeComponent("['','&','=','#']");
 
            console.log(uri.combine(new Windows.Foundation.Uri(query)).absoluteUri); // http://example.com/?array=%5B'%E3%84%93'%2C'%26'%2C'%3D'%2C'%23'%5D
 
PermalinkCommentsc# c++ javascript technical uri windows windows-runtime windows-store

C++ constructor member initializers run in member declaration order

2013 Jul 18, 3:29

TL;DR: Keep your C++ class member declaration order the same as your constructor member initializers order.

C++ guarantees that the member initializers in a constructor are called in order. However the order in which they are called is the order in which the associated members are declared in the class, not the order in which they appear in the member initializer list. For instance, take the following code. I would have thought it would print "three, one, two", but in fact it prints, "one, two, three".

   
#include "stdafx.h"
#include

class PrintSomething {
public:
PrintSomething(const wchar_t *name) { std::wcout << name << std::endl; }
};

class NoteOrder {
public:
// This order doesn't matter.
NoteOrder() : three(L"three"), one(L"one"), two(L"two") { }

PrintSomething one;
PrintSomething two;
PrintSomething three;
};

int wmain(const int argc, const wchar_t* argv[])
{
NoteOrder note; // Prints one, two, three, not three, one, two!
return 0;
}
PermalinkCommentsc++ development programming technical

MSVC++ 64bit Enums

2013 Jul 1, 1:00

If you want to represent a value larger than 32bits in an enum in MSVC++ you can use C++0x style syntax to tell the compiler exactly what kind of integral type to store the enum values. Unfortunately by default an enum is always 32bits, and additionally while you can specify constants larger than 32bits for the enum values, they are silently truncated to 32bits.

For instance the following doesn't compile because Lorem::a and Lorem::b have the same value of '1':


enum Lorem {
a = 0x1,
b = 0x100000001
} val;

switch (val) {
case Lorem::a:
break;
case Lorem::b:
break;
}

Unfortunately it is not an error to have b's constant truncated, and the previous without the switch statement does compile just fine:


enum Lorem {
a = 0x1,
b = 0x100000001
} val;

But you can explicitly specify that the enum should be represented by a 64bit value and get expected compiling behavior with the following:


enum Lorem : UINT64 {
a = 0x1,
b = 0x100000001
} val;

switch (val) {
case Lorem::a:
break;
case Lorem::b:
break;
}
PermalinkComments64bit c++ development enum msvc++ technical

C++ Algorithms: next_permutation()

2012 May 4, 1:56

Breakdown of the STL’s implementation of next_permutation.  Ever wondered how that works?

PermalinkCommentstechnical stl c++ algorithm permutation math programming

Bug Spotting: Ctors with default parameters

2011 Dec 1, 4:59

The following code compiled just fine but did not at all act in the manner I expected:

BOOL CheckForThing(__in CObj *pObj, __in IFigMgr* pFigMgr, __in_opt LPCWSTR url)
{
BOOL fCheck = FALSE;
if (SubCheck(pObj))
{
...
I’m calling SubCheck which looks like:
bool SubCheck(const CObj& obj);

Did you spot the bug? As you can see I should be passing in *pObj not pObj since the method takes a const CObj& not a CObj*. But then why does it compile?

It works because CObj has a constructor with all but one param with default values and CObj is derived from IUnknown:

CObj(__in_opt IUnknown * pUnkOuter, __in_opt LPCWSTR pszUrl = NULL);
Accordingly C++ uses this constructor as an implicit conversion operator. So instead of passing in my CObj, I end up creating a new CObj on the stack passing in the CObj I wanted as the outer object which has a number of issues.

The lesson is unless you really want this behavior, don't make constructors with all but 1 or 0 default parameters. If you need to do that consider using the 'explicit' keyword on the constructor.

More info about forcing single argument constructors to be explicit is available on stack overflow.

PermalinkCommentsc++ technical bug programming

Elements of Modern C++ Style (herbsutter.com)

2011 Nov 15, 11:59

Summary of some of the new C++ features with comments and suggested usage.  Not sure I agree with the take on auto.

‘“C++11 feels like a new language.” – Bjarne Stroustrup’

PermalinkCommentstechnical c++ programming

Bug Spotting: Smart pointers and parameter evaluation order

2011 Oct 19, 5:58
The following code works fine. I have a ccomptr named resolvedUri and I want to update its hostname so I do the following:
        CreateIUriBuilder(resolvedUri, 0, 0, &builder);
builder->SetHost(host);
builder->CreateUri(0xFFFFFFFF, 0, 0, &resolvedUri);


But the following similar looking code has a bug:
    ResolveHost(resolvedUri, &resolvedUri);


The issue is that doing &resolvedUri gets the address of the pointer but also clears out the pointer due to the definition of my smart pointer class:
    operator T**()  
{
T *ptrValue = mPtrValue;
mPtrValue->Release();
mPtrValue = NULL;
return &ptrValue;
}


In C++ there’s no guarantee about the order in which parameters for a function or method are evaluated. In the case above, &resolvedUri clears out the ccomptr before evaluating resolvedUri.Get() and so ResolveHostAlias gets a nullptr.

An interesting and related thread on stack overflow on undefined behavior in C++.
PermalinkCommentsc++ technical bug programming smart-pointer cpp

What are all the common undefined behaviour that a C++ programmer should know about? - Stack Overflow

2011 May 2, 7:33I recalled that the order of function/method parameter evaluation was not specified by C++ standard, but I didn't know the more general rule and the associated implications for the double check locking construct. Interesting.PermalinkCommentstechnical c++ programming

Behind The Code | Shows | Channel 9

2010 Jul 13, 6:27"Occasionally the Technical Community Network group sits down with some of Microsoft’s most influential technical employees to capture their stories. Instead of examining specific technologies, BTC takes a closer look at the person, the career and what it takes to produce world-class software."PermalinkCommentsmicrosoft msdn podcast channel9 c++ programming technical video

Kevin Frei @ NWCPP: Exception Handling Cost

2010 May 10, 7:23"Kevin Frei - Exception Hanlding Cost September 2006 meeting of the Northwest C++ Users Group. Discussion of the assembly language cost of exception handling on the x86 Windows and x64 Windows platform"PermalinkCommentsC++ programming language exception microsoft windows performance technical video

Tao Effect Blog » Blog Archive » Steve Jobs’ response on Section 3.3.1

2010 Apr 11, 2:16Lots of links, info, and thoughts on Apple's change to the iPhone SDK terms of service that now state "Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript..." Means no other languages or third party platforms...PermalinkCommentssteve-jobs apple sdk api tos legal law iphone ipod ipad technical

Stroustrup: C++ Style and Technique FAQ

2009 Sep 30, 5:12Bjarne Stroustrup answers the age old style questions like "int *p or int* p?" and "const int a or int const a?"PermalinkCommentsreference c++ faq style coding programming bjarne-stroustrup technical

Software Sleuthing : Date/Time Formats and Conversions

2009 Jul 7, 6:02More on converting between different date/time formats and the effective range of the formats.PermalinkCommentsdatetime time date programming c++ c technical

Download details: Headers and Libraries for Windows Internet Explorer 8

2009 Mar 20, 5:03"This package contains header files and libraries to help you develop Windows applications that use Windows Internet Explorer."PermalinkCommentsie8 ie msdn microsoft development C++ com visual-studio windows
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