//TODO: professional stuff of software engineer 1001010
Tag Archives: code
value is not identical

Or: Fun with error messages!

Let‘s start with some crappy code I wrote in the Playground as I was going through the Swift language book.

let dict = [String:Float]()

dict["Bob"] = 1.0
dict["Joe"] = "dude"

Guess which dictionary insert line generated this error?
'@value $T5' is not identical to '(String, Float)' 

(insert Jeopardy suspenseful waiting music here)

If you’ve never written Swift I’m sure you’re probably at least partially right,
it was the “Joe” insertion

..and it was also the “Bob” insertion!

There are 3 problems here

  1. Mine: The dictionary is a String:Float, so setting a String value is wrong.
  2. Mine: The dictionary is “let” not “var“, so it’s read-only. Insertions are not allowed.
    The quick fix is to make it “var dict = [String:Float]()
  3. Swift: It’s a crappy error message. If it’s read only – then say it’s read only.

Dear Swift Language team at Apple,
When a user assigns a value to a read-only variable, please tell them root problem – not the immediate error message.  By being cryptic & indirect – you are reminding me of C++ template errors.

-Jason De Arte

Swift Playground setting dict key values

Fix’n Array type syntax on the fly

Apple seems to be raising the bar on auto correcting code editor UI

From the code in the swift book

let emptyArray = String[]()

Soon after I typed it in, Playground prompted me to use the new syntax – AND FIX IT IN PLACE
A quick click transformed it to

let emptyArray = [String]()

Nice Apple, very nice.

Swift Playground Array Syntax Change Notice



Now if they would also do the Auto “Fix-it” for dictionary declarations 😉


-Jason De Arte

Swift: prefix/postfix ‘=’ is reserved

Neat – Apple released x-code 6 beta for free! Which means I finally got a chance to try swift in the “playground”.

As I go through the book and teach myself all about this shiny new tech bauble I may comment on it here.

OH LOOK, a scuff mark already

Playground looks interesting, but where’s the “run” button?  The book tells me to try “println("Hello World")” – but I can’t figure out how to launch it.  Oh well, I don’t care that much.  It looks like it’s real value is a teaching environment to play with code structures & simple flow – sort of like a code calculator.

First “code” section: “Simple Values”

var myVariable = 42

myVariable = 50
let myConstant = 42

Excerpt From: Apple Inc. “The Swift Programming Language.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/jEUH0.l

That’s great – but I’m a terrible typist.  I ended up typing “var myVariable= 42”  And it errored.  WTF?

Swift irregular spaces around equal sign

As you can see, “x = y” and “x=y” are valid, but “x= y” and “x =y” are not.

W. T. F. ?

This.. is a new problem for me. In my experiences with C languages or Python, I’m not accustomed to casual compiler problems with spaces around an equal sign.  Looking at the error, there are a few things going through my head.

  1. The lexer is borked – it’s a new language after all, so not too unexpected
  2. Whitespace has meaning?  Yes, there are times where whitespace removes confusion in code.  Say in C++ where you have a template containing template params: std::map<int, std::vector<int>> needs to be std::map<int, std::vector> >” – but that’s a lexing issue.
  3. Someone is a fan of The Whitespace Programming Language
    It’s still early in the book – I hope they’re not a fan of brainfuck as well 🙁
  4. OK.. Let’s check the book

Damn it.  It’s in the book.  Here’s the relevant section..

Operators are made up of one or more of the following characters: /, =, -, +, !, *, %, <, >, &, |, ^, ~, and .. That said, the tokens =, ->, //, /*, */, ., and the unary prefix operator & are reserved. These tokens can’t be overloaded, nor can they be used to define custom operators.

The whitespace around an operator is used to determine whether an operator is used as a prefix operator, a postfix operator, or a binary operator. This behavior is summarized in the following rules:

If an operator has whitespace around both sides or around neither side, it is treated as a binary operator. As an example, the + operator in a+b and a + b is treated as a binary operator.
If an operator has whitespace on the left side only, it is treated as a prefix unary operator. As an example, the ++ operator in a ++b is treated as a prefix unary operator.
If an operator has whitespace on the right side only, it is treated as a postfix unary operator. As an example, the ++ operator in a++ b is treated as a postfix unary operator.
If an operator has no whitespace on the left but is followed immediately by a dot (.), it is treated as a postfix unary operator. As an[…]

Excerpt From: Apple Inc. “The Swift Programming Language.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/jEUH0.l

Matching space count and it’s a binary operator?  FOR EQUAL?

Space on one side only and it’s a PREFIX/POSTFIX UNARY OPERATOR?  FOR EQUAL?


Two pages in & two issues.  Maybe this is a journey into Brainfuck


-Jason De Arte

FOASS on GitHub

Experimentation time!  I created a GitHub account and put the two file source to http://foass.1001010.com on it.

Why? Because I can.

I created my FOAAS clone to learn how to create a stateless web service in Python.  Maybe someone else wants to learn how to and they just need an example on how to do it.

OK – maybe my example is not the best one, but it works – and I got to play with the GitHub Windows client.  I wonder what the OSX one is like & how well pyCharm integrates with it?

-Jason De Arte

Testing JavaScript Clocks

Here’s a quick little experiment to show the current time, as a time_t number of seconds since the Linux epoc, displayed as a code39 barcode. That feels nice and geeky 🙂

This is just a proof of concept, I doubt the barcode will scan. It’s based upon c39 font typed into mspaint and cut up into pieces 😉 The fun parts were..

  • Chopping up the barcode symbols.  It was a flashback to old school icon editing
  • Getting WordPress to not muck up the javascript – use HTML view & check it again if you switch back to visual editor.
  • Put a “window.onload = MyFunc();” at the bottom of your script block. Feels dirty overwritting the onload event & not adding it to a list of functions to call
  • switched to using window.addEventListener – feels sooo much cleaner than window.onload
  • preloading the images to cut down on flicker as an image is used for the first time
  • getting everything to work in my non-primary browsers

Now to search for the right css that will keep the div tag from word wrapping it’s image contents.  That initial load on some browsers is annoying. If you care to do something like this – view the source – it’s all there. Longer term

  • Test that the generated c39 symbology is valid.  I’m sure the asterisks at the start and end are fine – I’ve stared at enough barcodes to recognize that at least 😉
  • Shrink it & put it in the side bar
  • Maybe do a QR Code clock?  That could be interesting

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