C Posts

The Toptal Engineering Blog is a hub for in-depth development tutorials and new technology announcements created by professional software engineers in the Toptal network.
The Toptal Research Team
How to Learn the C and C++ Languages: The Ultimate List

C is often called a middle-level computer language since it combines the elements of high-level languages with the functionalism of assembly language. C allows the manipulation of bits, bytes, and addresses—giving the programmer more control over exactly how the program will behave and a more direct access to the mechanics of the underlying hardware.

C was created, influenced, and field-tested by working programmers. The end result is that C gives the programmer what the programmer wants.

C++ is an enhanced version of the C language. C++ includes everything that is part of C and adds support for object-oriented programming (OOP). In addition, C++ also contains many improvements and features that make it a “better C,” independent of object-oriented programming.

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Peter Goodspeed-Niklaus
Eliminating the Garbage Collector: The RAII Way

Manual memory management is a nightmare that programmers have been inventing ways to avoid since the invention of the compiler. Programming languages with garbage collectors make life easier, but at the cost of performance.

In this article, Toptal engineer Peter Goodspeed-Niklaus gives us a peek into the history of garbage collectors and explains how notions of ownership and borrowing can help eliminate garbage collectors without compromising their safety guarantees.

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Nick McCrea
Learn to Code: Wisdom and Tools for the Journey

It’s no surprise that more and more people, from all kinds of backgrounds, are deciding to learn to code. But, each person who tackles the task is soon faced with an unpleasant reality: Learning to program is hard. Contrary to expectations, the feeling of “I don’t get it,” may persist unabated long into the journey, making once bright-eyed beginners feel hopeless, lost, and ready to give up.

The moral of the story is this: Be prepared. The path to programmer paradise is a long one, and without the right mindset at the beginning, it can quickly lose its appeal. In this article, I’ll attempt to give you some guidance on what to expect on your journey, how best to go about it, and what tools and resources you may find helpful along the way.

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Nilson Souto
Video Game Physics Tutorial - Part II: Collision Detection for Solid Objects

In Part I of this three-part series on game physics, we explored rigid bodies and their motions. In that discussion, however, objects did not interact with each other. Without some additional work, the simulated rigid bodies can go right through each other.

In Part II, we will cover the collision detection step, which consists of finding pairs of bodies that are colliding among a possibly large number of bodies scattered around a 2D or 3D world.

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Nilson Souto
Video Game Physics Tutorial - Part I: An Introduction to Rigid Body Dynamics

Simulating physics in video games is very common, since most games are inspired by things we have in the real world. Rigid body dynamics – the movement and interaction of solid, inflexible objects – is by far the most popular kind of effect simulated in games.

In this series, rigid body simulation will be explored, starting with simple rigid body motion in this article, and then covering interactions among bodies through collisions and constraints in the following installments.

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Michael Truog
CloudI: Bringing Erlang's Fault-Tolerance to Polyglot Development

Clouds must be efficient to provide useful fault-tolerance and scalability, but they also must be easy to use.

CloudI (pronounced “cloud-e” /klaʊdi/) is an open source cloud computing platform that is most closely related to the Platform as a Service (PaaS) clouds. CloudI differs in a few key ways, most importantly: software developers are not forced to use specific frameworks, slow hardware virtualization, or a particular operating system. By allowing cloud deployment to occur without virtualization, CloudI leaves development process and runtime performance unimpeded, while quality of service can be controlled with clear accountability.

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Francisco Clariá
How I Made a Fully-Functional Arduino Weather Station

I live in Córdoba, Argentina, approximately 130 kilometers (~80 miles) away from the lake where I kitesurf. Thats roughly a two-hour drive, which I can deal with. But I cant deal with the fact that weather forecasts are inaccurate. And where I live, good wind conditions last just a couple of hours. The last thing you want to do is clear up your Monday schedule to go kitesurfing and find yourself cursing the gods on a windless lake after two hours of driving.

I needed to know the wind conditions of my favorite kitesurfing spot—in real time. So I decided to build my own weather station.

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Gergely Kalman
How I Made Porn 20x More Efficient with Python Video Streaming

Porn is a big industry. There aren’t many sites on the Internet that can rival the traffic of its biggest players.

And juggling this immense traffic is tough. To make things even harder, much of the content served from porn sites is made up of low latency live streams rather than simple static video content. But for all of the challenges involved, rarely have I read about the developers who take them on. So I decided to write about my own experience on the job.

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