Ask me anything!

The nice people at the programmerchat section of reddit have asked me to do an Ask Me Anything, and of course I am happy to do so. Thanks to reddit for the invitation.

For those of you unfamiliar with the AMA format, it goes like this. On the morning of Friday May 29th I will create a new topic on reddit where users can post questions as comments. At 4 PM Eastern / 1PM Pacific, I’ll start posting answers to those questions as fast as I can, for about an hour.

Of course readers of this blog already know that they can ask me anything anytime they like, but this is a nice way to get a conversation going, and you might be interested in questions asked by others.

Obviously I think the whole thing will work best if the questions are about something I know about, and I expect most of them will be about programming languages. But hey, it’s called Ask Me Anything for a reason, so go right ahead. (I make no guarantees that I’ll answer, of course, but I’ll make a good faith effort.)

The tradition on an AMA is to make the topic link to proof that the person posting the AMA is who they claim to be; this posting will be my proof, my reddit user name is ericlippert, and here’s me in my favorite free T-shirt: (click for larger version)



See you Friday!

12 thoughts on “Ask me anything!

  1. I saw the thread on /r/programming and thought “Great I can ask him anything!” but then I tried to think what to ask and I found out that I indeed asked you all the interesting questions I could think of here and on Stack Overflow. I will try to think of something though 🙂 Thanks for all the insight you have provided over the years.

  2. Pingback: The Morning Brew - Chris Alcock » The Morning Brew #1869

  3. My question is easy –

    Eric – Over the last 5 years or I’ve ready every word I could find that you’ve written and have encouraged dozens of other developers to do the same.

    My question is this – Do you think that’s creepy?


    • Creepy? Not at all; I am flattered, and happy when writing informs and entertains. That said, it is sometimes a little weird to meet someone at a party who already knows me through my writing.

  4. There is one thing that has been boggling my mind for some time now.
    How would you approach unit testing portable class libraries? Not many test and mock frameworks are written/support PCL.
    Is it better to test with the full .NET framework, or is testing with a reduce alright? As far as I understood is:
    a) You use the compiler to “verify” that the code is syntactically correct and can run on the targeted machine.
    b) You use UnitTests to verify that your code returns the expected results and do not throw unexpected Runtime errors.
    c) You use mocking frameworks to make yourself independent from uncertain sources, such as apis.

    Do I miss something crucial there? Is it alright to UnitTest with a full framework, even if your code is building upon a reduced set?

  5. I couldn’t be online yesterday, didn’t know you worked in the SQL engine team, I would have make a thousand questions about it if I knew.

    • I worked on WATCOM SQL, which later became Sybase SQL Anywhere, in 1992 and 1993. I’m not sure what sort of questions you’d have about that product; if your question is about how the DataLens driver worked on DOS, or about how the debug logging system worked on QNX, I might be able to help you, since that’s what I worked on. Or if you want to know how to make a database engine change the stack pointer safely on early-1990s versions of Netware, I could dig out my notes.

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