Phillip Trelford's Array

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Most Prolific Bloggers on .Net

On Saturday I headed down to Thoughtworks in Soho, London for an F# Open Data Hackathon organized by Thoughtworker Sean Newham. We started up with questions we’d like to answer using open data. I was interested in finding the most prolific bloggers in .Net, and formed a team with Adam Kosiński, Emmet Cassidy and my son Sean. We had from around 11am to 3pm to answer the question and present the results.

Dew Drop

We used data mined from Alvin Ashcraft’s Morning Dew site, which provides a labelled list of top links almost every week day since 2008.

Here’s Alvin’s activity since 2008:

Dew Drop Calendar 2008-2015

Alvin’s links covers many topics including .Net, Web, Mobile and XAML:

Dew Drop Tags 2008-2015

Top 100 .Net Bloggers

For this analysis we’re looking only at links labelled as “Top Links” or “.NET”. Between 2008 and 2015 there were over 20,000 links from over 3000 unique author names.

Interestingly the top 100 bloggers account for roughly half of all posts, and here’s the table of top 100 .Net bloggers based on data extracted from the Morning Dew:

Rank Name 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Total
1 Greg Duncan 2 16 74 142 116 86 74 14 524
2 Oren Eini 31 71 76 42 94 49 32 12 407
3 Sean Sexton 0 0 0 0 0 193 195 0 388
4 Zain Naboulsi 0 0 236 56 17 37 3 0 349
5 Richard Carr 6 13 78 77 90 58 12 0 334
6 Eric Lippert 7 48 47 46 37 68 44 0 297
7 Raymond Chen 0 0 0 20 75 92 86 17 290
8 Scott Hanselman 28 16 38 39 44 37 50 7 259
9 MS Downloads 27 35 42 48 46 23 13 0 234
10 CodePlex 36 12 34 70 49 13 10 0 224
11 Sasha Goldshtein 4 16 30 31 22 25 19 7 154
12 Brian Harry 0 0 0 0 35 58 46 8 147
13 Julie Lerman 19 45 15 16 19 16 7 2 139
14 Scott Guthrie 3 12 47 18 19 24 12 2 137
15 Martin Hinshelwood 3 12 12 20 27 32 25 5 136
16 Mike Hadlow 6 16 30 21 25 22 4 0 124
17 Dhananjay Kumar 0 0 0 60 26 7 25 1 119
18 Derik Whittaker 24 21 21 21 18 8 6 0 119
19 Gunnar Peipman 1 40 36 9 9 15 4 1 115
20 Abhijit Jana 0 0 18 87 0 3 2 3 113
21 Ricardo Peres 0 0 0 6 15 31 38 13 103
22 Jimmy Bogard 19 18 14 12 7 5 18 6 99
23 Dennis Delimarsky 0 0 50 28 16 5 0 0 99
24 Peter Vogel 0 0 0 0 13 27 44 12 96
25 Jonathan Allen 0 0 11 19 25 15 17 9 96
26 Matthew Podwysocki 27 45 21 1 1 0 0 0 95
27 Rockford Lhotka 8 19 17 20 20 5 3 0 92
28 K. Scott Allen 11 8 14 15 19 11 8 3 89
29 Shai Raiten 0 0 18 40 22 9 0 0 89
30 Charles Sterling 3 8 4 6 25 24 15 1 86
31 Deborah Kurata 0 24 36 2 9 3 8 1 83
32 Phil Haack 3 5 10 31 13 11 6 0 79
33 James Michael Hare 0 0 8 38 24 3 0 3 76
34 Peter Kellner 2 18 10 8 22 9 3 3 75
35 Sacha Barber 7 4 5 9 4 8 31 7 75
36 Kunal Chowdhury 0 0 14 13 20 20 6 2 75
37 Pete Brown 3 6 28 17 16 3 2 0 75
38 Mike Taulty 7 9 9 10 13 4 21 1 74
39 Glenn Block 12 9 18 11 9 5 6 2 72
40 Miguel de Icaza 0 0 25 19 8 5 12 3 72
41 Davy Brion 7 30 26 9 0 0 0 0 72
42 Mary Jo Foley 0 3 1 20 17 16 12 2 71
43 Rick Strahl 9 13 1 11 15 8 7 7 71
44 Alex Skorkin 0 0 11 51 9 0 0 0 71
45 Jesse Liberty 3 0 10 13 19 4 15 1 65
46 Tatworth 0 0 0 14 30 7 14 0 65
47 Daniel Moth 17 23 0 12 6 3 4 0 65
48 Abhishek Sur 0 1 20 35 2 3 1 2 64
49 Clemens Reijnen 11 12 19 5 8 3 5 1 64
50 Justin Etheredge 25 20 16 3 0 0 0 0 64
51 Jeremy Likness 0 0 18 12 21 3 5 3 62
52 Iris Classon 0 0 0 0 37 16 6 3 62
53 Bill Wagner 0 7 2 21 11 7 11 3 62
54 Mark Needham 0 31 31 0 0 0 0 0 62
55 Harry Pierson 17 37 0 2 3 0 1 0 60
56 Rob Eisenberg 4 1 14 5 3 12 13 7 59
57 Steven Sinofsky 0 0 1 22 31 3 1 0 58
58 John Papa 8 3 7 3 13 15 7 0 56
59 Patrick Smacchia 9 8 11 12 10 4 2 0 56
60 Jon Skeet 6 1 0 15 9 5 16 3 55
61 Steve Smith 0 1 3 22 8 6 15 0 55
62 Bnaya Eshet 0 0 0 12 18 9 5 9 53
63 Carl Franklin & Richard Campbell 0 0 3 0 7 17 16 10 53
64 Shawn Wildermuth 7 13 8 6 10 1 6 2 53
65 Rory Primrose 0 0 19 18 7 7 2 0 53
66 Willy-P. Schaub 0 0 0 3 17 9 19 4 52
67 Kirill Osenkov 1 18 12 5 9 4 3 0 52
68 S.Somasegar 0 0 0 0 15 16 17 3 51
69 Bart de Smet 21 24 5 1 0 0 0 0 51
70 Laurent Bugnion 0 0 7 17 13 4 6 3 50
71 Eric Battalio 0 0 0 0 6 15 27 2 50
72 Maarten Balliauw 2 0 6 16 7 15 3 1 50
73 Don Syme 1 2 4 15 13 14 1 0 50
74 Gil Fink 1 4 24 20 1 0 0 0 50
75 Cameron Skinner 11 11 21 6 1 0 0 0 50
76 Dave M. Bush 7 25 5 0 0 3 7 2 49
77 Stephen Forte 4 21 21 3 0 0 0 0 49
78 Michael Crump 0 0 2 11 13 4 13 5 48
79 Kim Spilker 0 0 2 16 7 9 14 0 48
80 Jura Gorohovsky 0 0 5 12 15 12 4 0 48
81 Wally McClure 0 4 11 17 15 0 1 0 48
82 Jason Zander 0 10 13 5 18 0 1 0 47
83 Chris Sells 2 22 10 4 9 0 0 0 47
84 Marcelo Lopez Ruiz 1 2 37 5 1 0 0 0 46
85 Nicholas Blumhardt 0 4 6 6 1 7 18 3 45
86 Rob Reynolds 0 12 11 9 6 3 4 0 45
87 Dmitri Nesteruk 0 1 1 1 14 20 2 5 44
88 Rory Becker 0 0 13 11 1 1 18 0 44
89 Filip Ekberg 0 0 0 0 11 21 11 0 43
90 G. Andrew Duthie 2 12 4 4 20 1 0 0 43
91 Grigori Melnik 0 0 8 13 8 8 4 1 42
92 Jonathan Wood 0 0 6 21 4 0 8 3 42
93 Peter Ritchie 3 1 14 6 13 2 3 0 42
94 Rob Conery 10 2 4 15 5 1 5 0 42
95 Gian Maria Ricci 0 0 1 37 4 0 0 0 42
96 Anoop Madhusudanan 0 0 14 8 11 8 0 0 41
97 Jeff Blankenburg 0 1 15 6 19 0 0 0 41
98 Rowan Miller 0 0 5 4 4 10 15 2 40
99 Hadi Hariri 0 1 4 21 11 2 0 0 39
100 Yochay Kiriaty 3 15 15 6 0 0 0 0 39

Data

You can download the data from http://trelford.com/DewDropTo2015.csv

I’d be interested in hearing about what you find :)

Fun Basic Preview

Fun Basic is an extended clone of Microsoft’s Small Basic programming language that runs as an app in the Windows Store. The app provides a range of sample programs from simple turtle graphics through to video games and physics simulations. The samples have been selected from programs in the public domain created by the Small Basic community. Each sample is presented with it’s corresponding source code allowing you to edit the code and run the program.

FunBasic Entry Screenshot

The concept is that you can learn elements of programming by reading the provided programs and editing and enhancing them. The inspiration comes from the type-in programs circulated in computer magazines throughout the 80s, and through which I had some of my earliest forays into programming.

The editor on the other hand affords more modern conveniences including syntax colouring, code completion and tooltips over API calls.

FunBasic 1942 Screenshot

Why not head over to the Windows Store and try the preview (new features will be appearing weekly).

It’s free and there’s games to play! http://tinyurl.com/funbasic

Language resources

Fun Basic provides all the language features of Small Basic and it extends the language with parameters on subroutines. You can learn more about language features in the Small Basic Tutorial.

The app is currently a preview, in future releases extended support for function return values, tuples and pattern matching (using Select Case) will be enabled.

Technical bit

Fun Basic is an offshoot from an extended Small Basic Compiler project I wrote for fun in early 2014 while learning FParsec, a parser combinator libraryfor F#. You can learn more about that effort in my presentation at NDC London “Write Your Own Compiler in 24 Hours” and an interview on .Net Rocks on “Writing Compilers”.

My kids (8 & 12) have been enjoying programming and downloading apps from the Windows Store so last month I set out to cover both of these interests with a Store app version.

Interpreter

The Windows Store sandbox doesn’t support compilation within apps so the compiler was out. Fortunately I’d also knocked together an interpreter for Small Basic during early prototyping so I used this as a basis for the runtime. The interpreter simply pattern matches over the Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) generated by the parser, executing instructions and evaluating expressions.

Library

The next challenge was supporting Small Basic’s runtime library which provides simple graphics and text based operations. This had to be written from scratch as it needed to work against the Windows Store API and run in process with the app. All API calls are made asynchronously and I’ve employed separate canvases for the drawing, shapes and text layers. There’s also support for the Flickr API which unfortunately at the time of writing is broken in Small Basic.

image

Editor

The editor employs the ActiPro SyntaxEditor control to provide syntax colouring, code completion and tool tips. ActiPro’s Language Designer wizard meant I had syntax colouring set up in minutes, and it was relatively easy to set up the code completion and tooltips using my existing parser and AST. I’m planning to enable more of the SyntaxEditor’s features in future versions.

App

To build the app I used the Windows Store Grid App project template that’s built-in to Visual Studio. All that was needed was to customize the grid items with pictures and descriptions for the master view and add the editor and program panels to the detail view.

Logo

Special thanks to Sergey Tihon,, author of the excellent F# Weekly, for putting together a nice logo for the app!

Source Code

The source is open and available on BitBucket, see http://bitbucket.org/ptrelford/funbasic

If you delve in you’ll find a mixture of F#, C# and VB.Net. F# is used for the parser and interpreter, C# for interfaces and small imperative functions and VB.Net for gluing the app together.

Releases

I’m currently releasing new features weekly, let me know if there’s a feature you “must have” via Twitter @ptrelford :)

Small Basic on Mac & Linux

Microsoft’s Small Basic is a simple programming language and environment aimed at beginners.

It ships with an IDE for Windows, a commands line compiler and a small .Net library. Small Basic programs can also be run in the browser on Windows & Mac via SIlverlight.

The shipped .Net library for Small Basic targets WPF for graphics which is unfortunately not supported on Mono, which means Small Basic apps will not run directly on Mac or Linux.

To get Small Basic apps running from the command prompt on Mac and Linux all that is needed is a new library is required without the WPF dependency.

Recently I knocked up such a library providing support for command line input and output, providing graphics is a work-in-progress.

But this does mean I can now write and run FizzBuzz, or even work through the majority of the Small Basic Tutorial, on Linux or Mac via Mono:

Small Basic on Mac

Combine this with my open source Small Basic compiler project (written in F#) and there’s now have a cross platform version of Small Basic :)

If you fancy having a play with an early version of the source download it here: http://trelford.com/SmallBasicLibrary2012.zip

Future work

I’m currently evaluating GtkSharp, OpenTK and WinForms as options for a cross platform version of the graphics library.

As well as the compiler, I’ve also written an interpreter for Small Basic which means it should be possible to edit and run programs on iOS and Android, but that’s another story…