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c++ programming

Reading XML files containing gzipped data in C++

Once upon a time, the CEO of my company asked me why I did so much software engineering for my work.  My response was that software engineers were unlikely to produce what I needed in the short time frames that I had at my disposal without me spending a huge amount of time training them.

Javascript frontend for simulations?

I've been exploring the possibility of frontend development for engineering simulations in Javascript.  Following on from the previous post on generating VTK XML particle data output files from our simulation, her's a new post on reading in those files in Javascript.  See my article at

-- Biswajit

Particles and VTK

The find out how data from your particle simulations can be written out in VTK XML format, examine

-- Biswajit

Writing VTK output files in C++

If you're interested in visualizing your data with Visit or Paraview, it's convenient to write out VTK files.  If you are a C++ person you will find my post at of interest.

-- Biswajit

JSON or XML for your input files?

Either, depending on your taste and use-case.  I prefer XML for aesthetic reasons, but that format can get verbose.  Check out my new post on how to read JSON files in your C++ code at

-- Biswajit

Reading input files in your C++ research code

Mechanics research codes are typically written by graduate students who aim to get their work done as quickly as possible. These codes are not meant to last beyond the publication of a few related papers. These files have the advantage that they can be read in quickly using an input file stream and the code for doing that can be written in minutes. 

Regression testing with the Command design pattern

Computational mechanics practitioners are not typically known for practising well-established software engineering techniques. That makes code developed by various research groups next to impossible to understand and modify.  I still see requests on iMechanica on how to implement Drucker-Prager models when every freshman student probably has their own implementation.  It is likely that the person who developed a particular code cannot themselves understand the code a few years after the relevant paper has been published.  

Modernizing your old c++ code

Continuing yesterday's thread on new C++ productivity tools, here's another one on using clang-tidy to modernize your code automatically to C++11/14. Life becomes markedly easier after the code has been updated.  Check out my post at to see how I've integrated clang-tidy into my toolchain.

-- Biswajit

Formatting your C++ code

Some of you may be involved in computational work where your students develop C++ codes.  If the code is formatted well it's easier to read and understand.  With the creation of clang-format, the job of formatting (and not just indentation) can now be automated to a great extent.  For a few pointers on how-to, check out my post at

-- Biswajit

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