Archives for May 2011

May 2011 (5)
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PCPlus 294: Learn to solve pentominoes

This article was just a great deal of fun to write. I wanted to talk about Knuth’s DLX algorithm (“Dancing Links”) as a solution to the exact cover problem. I’d already talked about Sudoku (a great demo of DLX) recently as an article in the mag, so there was nothing for it but to go for pentominoes, one of the other examples Knuth gave. And it gave me a great reason to bring out my old pentomino set that I was given as a teenager and futz around with it. Needless to say I’m still just as bad at solving it as I was then. […]


JavaScript: Unit testing asynchronous functions

In a previous blog post, I talked about the QUnit unit testing library for JavaScript. In that post, I showed how to use it with a date library I was messing around with. If I were you I would review that previous blog post; it will help in what’s to come. […]


Implementing MarkDown for comments

I haven’t been too happy about the facilities for commenting in GraffitiCMS ever since I started using it. Great for minor feedback, but awful for pasting code when crafting an implementation detail as an example. Since StackOverflow uses MarkDown for its comments and I’ve grown used to that, I decided to experiment adding it to my blog here as well. […]


JavaScript: Using the shift method on the arguments array

In my webinar today on reading jQuery source code, I was talking about the extend method. I started out by talking about what a typical extend method would do before going onto the jQuery-specific one. […]


PCPlus 293: Building an efficient dictionary

I think this is pretty much the last article I’ve written for PCPlus that discusses algorithms in a fairly formal sense. As I said last time, my editors and I have slowly been moving my articles towards more “how it works” topics than the traditional “layman’s guide to algorithms” subjects I’m perhaps better known for. […]