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Stanislav Shabalin

There're plenty of different CSS shapes over at and I'm particularly puzzled with a triangle:


#triangle-up {
    width: 0;
    height: 0;
    border-left: 50px solid transparent;
    border-right: 50px solid transparent;
    border-bottom: 100px solid red;

So, how and why does it work?

Answered By: sdleihssirhc ( 919)

CSS Triangles: A Tragedy in Five Acts

As alex said, borders of equal width butt up against each other at 45 degree angles:

borders meet at 45 degree angles, content in middle

When you have no top border, it looks like this:

no top border

Then you give it a width of 0...

no width

...and a height of 0...

no height either

...and finally, you make the two side borders transparent:

transparent side borders

That results in a triangle.

The End


I am doing some research into common errors and poor assumptions made by junior (and perhaps senior) software engineers.

What was your longest-held assumption that was eventually corrected?

For example, I misunderstood that the size of an integer is not a standard and instead depends on the language and target. A bit embarrassing to state, but there it is.

Be frank; what firm belief did you have, and roughly how long did you maintain the assumption? It can be about an algorithm, a language, a programming concept, testing, or anything else about programming, programming languages, or computer science.

Answered By: JohnFx ( 546)

For a long time I assumed that everyone else had this super-mastery of all programming concepts (design patterns, the latest new language, computational complexity, lambda expressions, you name it).

Reading blogs, Stack Overflow and programming books always seemed to make me feel that I was behind the curve on the things that all programmers must just know intuitively.

I've realized over time that I'm effectively comparing my knowledge to the collective knowledge of many people, not a single individual and that is a pretty high bar for anyone. Most programmers in the real world have a cache of knowledge that is required to do their jobs and have more than a few areas that they are either weak or completely ignorant of.

Hot-on-the-heels of of my previous unit testing related question, here's another toughie:

I have thus far avoided the nightmare that is testing multi-threaded code since it just seems like too much of a minefield. I'd like to ask how people have gone about testing code that relies on threads for successful execution, or just how people have gone about testing those kinds of issues that only show up when two threads interact in a given manner?

This seems like a really key problem for programmers today, it would be useful to pool our knowledge on this one imho.

Answered By: Will ( 82)

Look, there's no easy way to do this. I'm working on a project that is inherently multithreaded. Events come in from the operating system and I have to process them concurrently.

The simplest way to deal with testing complex, multithhreaded application code is this: If its too complex to test, you're doing it wrong. If you have a single instance that has multiple threads acting upon it, and you can't test situations where these threads step all over each other, then your design needs to be redone. Its both as simple and as complex as this.

There are many ways to program for multithreading that avoids threads running through instances at the same time. The simplest is to make all your objects immutable. Of course, that's not usually possible. So you have to identify those places in your design where threads interract with the same instance and reduce the number of those places. By doing this, you isolate a few classes where multithreading actually occurs, reducing the overall complexity of testing your system.

But you have to realize that even by doing this you still can't test every situation where two threads step on each other. To do that, you'd have to run two threads concurrently in the same test, then control exactly what lines they are executing at any given moment. The best you can do is simulate this situation. But this might require you to code specifically for testing, and that's at best a half step towards a true solution.

Probably the best way to test code for threading issues is through static analysis of the code. If your threaded code doesn't follow a finite set of thread safe patterns, then you might have a problem. I believe Code Analysis in VS does contain some knowledge of threading, but probably not much.

Look, as things stand currently (and probably will stand for a good time to come), the best way to test multithreaded apps is to reduce the complexity of threaded code as much as possible. Minimize areas where threads interact, test as best as possible, and use code analysis to identify danger areas.