( Index )

Brief Information about the Sept 2010 CSIG Meeting

Text Processing and An Introduction to the C Language

Wikipedia Text

Welcome to the CSIG, a Special Interest Group of the ACGNJ, and let me welcome everyone back from their Summer activities. The meeting this month will be separated into two major parts: A General Section and a specific Programming Section.


Specific Programming Section

The majority of my programs start with an idea or algorithm. Often the algorithm has to be tested and debugged. Because of this it is often best to create a CONSOLE APPLICATION in order to test an idea. Once the idea is proven, it can be converted to a WINDOWS APP.

Here's the problem: I have a 5000 line Web Site that is written in Microsoft Frontpage 2003 that MS has abandonded. Their latest web software is Expression Web 4. They do not have any means to convert a FP website to an EW website. Their recommendation is to rewrite the code manually! While this is possible, it is extremely time consuming. Let's use C++ to help with the conversion. An HTML file is a simple TEXT file. C++ is great at handling text. I have created a simple console application that does a partial conversion of Frontpage to Expression Web by handling syntax variations. For example: all Page tokens are changed from uppercase to lower case; all height=xxx tokens are erased; etc.

General Section including Random Access

The beginning subject for this month is a general review and introduction to the C Language. We will be discussing the following sub-topics:

All of those assorted names: C, C++, C#, MFC, C-sharp, C-.net, etc.
Short history of the language.
Reasons for programming in C as opposed to other languages.
Computer systems that use C based applications.
Available tools or "compilers".
Further reading.

Small Example of the Power of C

Text processing is an area that C++ programs shine above all other languages. The code produced is usually quite compact and ultra fast. I wrote a program for doing text replacement in a data file. The user had to convert extra characters from a Mainframe dump into readable text. The source was a 10 Megabyte text file and the processing took about 1 hour of actual computer time to accomplish the replacement using Notepad. The operation was repeated daily. My program, using normal C++ functions, took about 20 seconds! The user was dumbfounded.

This is an exciting time for the C Language programming since Microsoft now has 4 different language compilers: C++, C++ Express, C-Sharp, and C-Sharp Express. These are all capable of creating Windows (tm) programs and some are free !

Microsoft is now advertising it's newest versions designated Visual Studio 2010. Version 2008 is also still available for download. Some free versions require registration at Microsoft. Some versions are more deluxe but have demo timeouts. There are "Express" versions otherwise know as "Free" as well as the commercial versions. The Express versions are fully functional. Unless you work in a large program development company, you probably won't need the broader features of the commercial versions. Additionally, there are other companies making free and almost free compilers. Here's a link with many compilers: http://www.willus.com/ccomp.shtml
(See below for other language and tutorial links.)

The following PDF files contain more detailed information about the C and C++ language as well as an extensive list of web sites showing free programs and tutorials for both Windows (tm) and Linux.

The beginning of the evening (starting at 7:30pm) will be a RANDOM ACCESS discussion. The main presentation will follow.

Our download site has code and programs from most of our meetings. ( Source Code Files )

Sample Code

Sample Code =========== #include <stdio.h> main() { printf ("Hello World!\n"); return 0; }
"Random Access" questions start at 7:30 Tuesday night.


Source Code Files

For help, email me at b a r n o l d @ i e e e . o r g
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