Rantings from a guy with way too much free time

Crypto 101: A Brief Tour of Practical Crypto in Golang

2017-12-14 programming Rob Baruch
Crypto 101: Golang offers a rich collection of packages supporting cryptographic operations. From a beginner’s perspective, maybe too many offerings! I offer up an overview of what’s available and an introduction to some practical uses of cryptography in Golang. Implementation details are always critical when discussing crypto. We’ll discuss some general implications of making poor choices and how such choices can completely undermine any uses of these tools. What' in the box? Continue reading

Channel Your Inner Gopher

2017-12-13 programming Rob Baruch
Channeling your Inner Gopher - (Literally) Reflecting upon Channels Many gophers are likely familiar with the communication paradigm, channels. An elegant solution to communicate (uni or bidirectionally) typed information among go-routines. In it’s simplest form, we declare as type-valued channel variable, make it, and then send and receive data through it. Easy enough! package main import ( "fmt" ) func main() { var simpleChan chan int = make(chan int) go func(c chan int) { // send important data to the channel c <- 42 close(c) }(simpleChan) // receive data num := <-simpleChan fmt. Continue reading

Once Upon a Reflection: Looking Deeper into Golang reflection

I often reflect upon my code… One of the coolest features of the Golang programming language is the reflect package. As the package documentation states at the onset of the package: Package reflect implements run-time reflection, allowing a program to manipulate objects with arbitrary types. The typical use is to take a value with static type interface{} and extract its dynamic type information by calling TypeOf, which returns a Type. Continue reading

Go Get Interfaced: Enums in Golang

Golang, Interfaces, and Enums So here’s a nice golang idiom that I ran across years ago that I found generally useful. Golang, unlike languages like c doesn’t natively support enumerations. Instead, constants typically are used when creating a list of enumerations. But, go is a strongly-typed language, so we can do better than simply using constants - we can type our enumeration with the use of a type declaration. type DogState uint By defining a type for our enumeration, we can consistently pass and return typed-values among our functions operating on our enumeration. Continue reading


Here we gogo! Years ago, I wrote an interesting article that I thought might be worth re-posting (and revising) here on my blog. For a while I got into programming in golang and in the early going (pun-alert!), there were a lot of idioms that were not well understood by a noob. One of those paradigms was channels, go-routines, and signals used simultaneously. Taken separately, they are more easily understood. But when taken together, there can be some confusion. Continue reading

Recursion Revisited

Recursion, from more than one point-of-view.

A common programming idiom in computer science is solving a problem by self-reference, also known as recursion. In this post, we look at two different implementations of the same problem.

Solve a recursive problem in two different programming language paradigms

Let’s look at the solution to a simple problem, compute $f(x)=e^{x}$.

We will illustrate two separate solutions - one in a procedural language (python), and the other in a functional language (elixir).

Let’s start off with the functional language. Were does recursion come into play?

We define the function $f(x)=e^x$ as the infinite sum, $\text{ }f(x) = \sum_{n=0}^\infty{\frac{x^n}{n!}}$

In our solution below, we define two separate recursive functions, exp/2 and fac/1. What’s interesting to note here is how each of these functions has two separate definitions. This is an aspect of programming in elixir that elegantly uses pattern-matching to return different results depending upon the input. Our two functions nicely dovetail into the base-case and recursive case of a recursive algorithm.

For example, looking at exp/2, the first function definition returns 1 for any value of x (as indicated by the _ preceding the variable) and returns 1. This is the mathematical equivalent of $x^0=1\text{ for any }x$.

The second definition of exp/2 is the recursive case. for any value of $n\gt0$. Moreover, we define exp(x, n) as $\frac{e^x}{n!}$ + exp(x, n-1).

Similarly for the definition of fac/1 we see two definitions; one for $n=0$ and another for all values of $n\gt0$.

Continue reading

Brew up some Elixir recursion

2017-11-17 programming
Recursion is recursion is recursion is recursion…. So how hard is it to go back to a programming language that you haven’t used for months that you only used for less than a year? Well, it took me a few more minutes than I anticipated, but in the end, I was succesful! Tonight, I thought I’d take the simple idea of creating Pascal’s Triangle. A simple construction that creates a table of binomial coefficients for the binomial $(x+y)^n = x^4+4x^3y+6x^2y^2+4xy^3+y^4$. Continue reading
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