Programming Questions & Answers

I want to use a track-bar to change a form's opacity.

This is my code:

decimal trans = trackBar1.Value / 5000;
this.Opacity = trans;

When I build the application, it gives the following error:

Cannot implicitly convert type 'decimal' to 'double'.

I tried using trans and double but then the control doesn't work. This code worked fine in a past VB.NET project.

Answers (13)

I have an absolutely positioned div containing several children, one of which is a relatively positioned div. When I use a percentage-based width on the child div, it collapses to '0' width on Internet Explorer 7, but not on Firefox or Safari.

If I use pixel width, it works. If the parent is relatively positioned, the percentage width on the child works.

  1. Is there something I'm missing here?
  2. Is there an easy fix for this besides the pixel-based width on the child?
  3. Is there an area of the CSS specification that covers this?

Answers (5)

How do I calculate someone's age in C#?

asked Jul 31 2008 23:40 on programming

Given a DateTime representing a person's birthday, how do I calculate their age in years?

Answers (58)

How can relative time be calculated in C#?

asked Jul 31 2008 23:55 on programming

Given a specific DateTime value, how do I display relative time, like:

  • 2 hours ago
  • 3 days ago
  • a month ago

Answers (33)

Determine a User's Timezone

asked Aug 01 2008 00:42 on programming

Is there any standard way for a Web Server to be able to determine a user's timezone within a web page? Perhaps from a HTTP header or part of the user-agent string?

Answers (25)

Difference between Math.Floor() and Math.Truncate()

asked Aug 01 2008 00:59 on programming

What is the difference between Math.Floor() and Math.Truncate() in .NET?

Answers (8)

Filling a DataSet or DataTable from a LINQ query result set

asked Aug 01 2008 04:59 on programming

How do you expose a LINQ query as an ASMX web service? Usually, from the business tier, I can return a typed DataSet or DataTable which can be serialized for transport over ASMX.

How can I do the same for a LINQ query? Is there a way to populate a typed DataSet or DataTable via a LINQ query?

public static MyDataTable CallMySproc()
    string conn = "...";

    MyDatabaseDataContext db = new MyDatabaseDataContext(conn);
    MyDataTable dt = new MyDataTable();

    // execute a sproc via LINQ
    var query = from dr
                in db.MySproc().AsEnumerable
                select dr;

    // copy LINQ query resultset into a DataTable -this does not work !    
    dt = query.CopyToDataTable();

    return dt;

How can I get the result set of a LINQ query into a DataSet or DataTable? Alternatively, is the LINQ query serializeable so that I can expose it as an ASMX web service?

Answers (5)

Binary Data in MySQL

asked Aug 01 2008 05:09 on programming

How do I store binary data in MySQL?

Answers (11)

What is the fastest way to get the value of π?

asked Aug 01 2008 05:21 on programming

Solutions are welcome in any language. :-) I'm looking for the fastest way to obtain the value of π, as a personal challenge. More specifically I'm using ways that don't involve using #defined constants like M_PI, or hard-coding the number in.

The program below tests the various ways I know of. The inline assembly version is, in theory, the fastest option, though clearly not portable; I've included it as a baseline to compare the other versions against. In my tests, with built-ins, the 4 * atan(1) version is fastest on GCC 4.2, because it auto-folds the atan(1) into a constant. With -fno-builtin specified, the atan2(0, -1) version is fastest.

Here's the main testing program (pitimes.c):

#include <math.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <time.h>

#define ITERS 10000000
#define TESTWITH(x) {                                                       \
    diff = 0.0;                                                             \
    time1 = clock();                                                        \
    for (i = 0; i < ITERS; ++i)                                             \
        diff += (x) - M_PI;                                                 \
    time2 = clock();                                                        \
    printf("%s\t=> %e, time => %f\n", #x, diff, diffclock(time2, time1));   \

static inline double
diffclock(clock_t time1, clock_t time0)
    return (double) (time1 - time0) / CLOCKS_PER_SEC;

    int i;
    clock_t time1, time2;
    double diff;

    /* Warmup. The atan2 case catches GCC's atan folding (which would
     * optimise the ``4 * atan(1) - M_PI'' to a no-op), if -fno-builtin
     * is not used. */
    TESTWITH(4 * atan(1))
    TESTWITH(4 * atan2(1, 1))

#if defined(__GNUC__) && (defined(__i386__) || defined(__amd64__))
    extern double fldpi();

    /* Actual tests start here. */
    TESTWITH(atan2(0, -1))
    TESTWITH(2 * asin(1))
    TESTWITH(4 * atan2(1, 1))
    TESTWITH(4 * atan(1))

    return 0;

And the inline assembly stuff (fldpi.c), noting that it will only work for x86 and x64 systems:

    double pi;
    asm("fldpi" : "=t" (pi));
    return pi;

And a build script that builds all the configurations I'm testing (

gcc -O3 -Wall -c           -m32 -o fldpi-32.o fldpi.c
gcc -O3 -Wall -c           -m64 -o fldpi-64.o fldpi.c

gcc -O3 -Wall -ffast-math  -m32 -o pitimes1-32 pitimes.c fldpi-32.o
gcc -O3 -Wall              -m32 -o pitimes2-32 pitimes.c fldpi-32.o -lm
gcc -O3 -Wall -fno-builtin -m32 -o pitimes3-32 pitimes.c fldpi-32.o -lm
gcc -O3 -Wall -ffast-math  -m64 -o pitimes1-64 pitimes.c fldpi-64.o -lm
gcc -O3 -Wall              -m64 -o pitimes2-64 pitimes.c fldpi-64.o -lm
gcc -O3 -Wall -fno-builtin -m64 -o pitimes3-64 pitimes.c fldpi-64.o -lm

Apart from testing between various compiler flags (I've compared 32-bit against 64-bit too, because the optimisations are different), I've also tried switching the order of the tests around. The atan2(0, -1) version still comes out top every time, though.

Answers (21)

Throw an error in a MySQL trigger

asked Aug 01 2008 12:12 on programming

If I have a trigger before the update on a table, how can I throw an error that prevents the update on that table?

Answers (6)

How to use the C socket API in C++ on z/OS

asked Aug 01 2008 12:13 on programming

I've been having issues getting the C sockets API to work properly in C++. Specifically, although I am including sys/socket.h, I still get compile time errors telling me that AF_INET is not defined. Am I missing something obvious, or could this be related to the fact that I'm doing this coding on z/OS and my problems are much more complicated?

Update: Upon further investigation, I discovered that there is an #ifdef that I'm hitting. Apparently z/OS isn't happy unless I define which "type" of sockets I'm using with:

#define _OE_SOCKETS

Now, I personally have no idea what this _OE_SOCKETS is actually for, so if any z/OS sockets programmers are out there (all 3 of you), perhaps you could give me a rundown of how this all works?

Answers (10)

Unloading a ByteArray in Actionscript 3

asked Aug 01 2008 12:30 on programming

How do I forcefully unload a ByteArray from memory in ActionScript 3?

I have tried (without success):

byteArray.length = 0;
byteArray = new ByteArray();


for ( var i:int=0; i < byteArray.length; i++ ) {
    byteArray[i] = null;

Answers (8)

Check for changes to an SQL Server table?

asked Aug 01 2008 12:35 on programming

How can I monitor an SQL Server database for changes to a table without using triggers or modifying the structure of the database in any way? My preferred programming environment is .NET and C#.

I'd like to be able to support any SQL Server 2000 SP4 or newer. My application is a bolt-on data visualization for another company's product. Our customer base is in the thousands, so I don't want to have to put in requirements that we modify the third-party vendor's table at every installation.

By "changes to a table" I mean changes to table data, not changes to table structure.

Ultimately, I would like the change to trigger an event in my application, instead of having to check for changes at an interval.

The best course of action given my requirements (no triggers or schema modification, SQL Server 2000 and 2005) seems to be to use the BINARY_CHECKSUM function in T-SQL. The way I plan to implement is this:

Every X seconds run the following query:

FROM sample_table

And compare that against the stored value. If the value has changed, go through the table row by row using the query:

FROM sample_table

And compare the returned checksums against stored values.

Answers (8)

Reliable timer in a console application

asked Aug 01 2008 12:43 on programming

I am aware that in .NET there are three timer types (see Comparing the Timer Classes in the .NET Framework Class Library). I have chosen a threaded timer as the other types can drift if the main thread is busy, and I need this to be reliable.

The way this timer works in the control of the timer is put on another thread so it can always tick along with the work begin completed on the parent thread when it is not busy.

The issue with this timer in a console application is that while the timer is ticking along on another thread the main thread is not doing anything so the application closes.

I tried adding a while true loop, but then the main thread is too busy when the timer does go off.

Answers (2)

Best way to allow plugins for a PHP application

asked Aug 01 2008 12:50 on programming

I am starting a new web application in PHP and this time around I want to create something that people can extend by using a plugin interface.

How does one go about writing 'hooks' into their code so that plugins can attach to specific events?

Answers (8)

Multiple submit buttons in an HTML form

asked Aug 01 2008 13:01 on programming

Let's say you create a Wizard in an HTML form. One button goes back and one goes forward. Since the back button appears first in the markup, when you press Enter it will use that button to submit the form.


  <!-- put your cursor in this field and press Enter -->
  <input type="text" name="field1" />

  <!-- This is the button that will submit -->
  <input type="submit" name="prev" value="Previous Page" />

  <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->
  <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" />

What I would like to do, is get to decide which button is used to submit the form when a user presses Enter. That way, when you press Enter the Wizard will move to the next page, not the previous. Do you have to use tabindex to do this?

Answers (20)

Let's say I have a DataTable with a Name column. I want to have a collection of the unique names ordered alphabetically. The following query ignores the order by clause.

var names =
    (from DataRow dr in dataTable.Rows
    orderby (string)dr["Name"]
    select (string)dr["Name"]).Distinct();

Why does the orderby not get enforced?

Answers (5)

Office 2007 File Type, Mime Types and Identifying Characters

asked Aug 01 2008 13:17 on programming

Where can I find a list of the MIME types and identifying characters for Office 2007 files?

I have an upload form that is restricting uploads based on extension and identifying characters, but I cannot seem to find the Office 2007 MIME types.

Answers (1)

Paging a collection with LINQ

asked Aug 01 2008 13:20 on programming

How do you page through a collection in LINQ given that you have a startIndex and a count?

Answers (4)

How do I add existing comments to RDoc in Ruby?

asked Aug 01 2008 13:38 on programming

I want to format my existing comments as 'RDoc comments' so they can be viewed using ri.

What are some recommended resources for starting out using RDoc?

Answers (2)