Author Archives: Glennan Carnie

About Glennan Carnie

Glennan is an embedded systems and software engineer with over 20 years experience, mostly in high-integrity systems for the defence and aerospace industry. He specialises in C++, UML, software modelling, Systems Engineering and process development.

Technical debt

What is it & how does it affect software engineering management?
The ‘Golden Triangle’ of project management

The ‘golden triangle’ of project management uses the following constraints:

The rule is: you can pick any two of three; you can’t have them all.

When it comes to software development projects, it’s not uncommon to have a fixed time to market and budget, which means that, under pressure, the constraint that’s affected is quality.

Commonly, when the project management refers to ‘quality’ it implicitly means Intrinsic Quality.

Intrinsic […]

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Your handy cut-out-and-keep guide to std::forward and std::move

I love a good ‘quadrant’ diagram.  It brings me immense joy if I can encapsulate some wisdom, guideline or rule-of-thumb in a simple four-quadrant picture.

This time it’s the when-and-where of std::move and std::forward.  In my experience, when programmers are first introduced to move semantics, their biggest struggle is to know when (or when not) to apply std::move or std::forward.  Usually, it’s a case of “keep apply std::move until it compiles”.  I’ve been there myself.

To that end I’ve put together a […]

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Setting up Sublime Text to build your project

For many years embedded development was dominated by complex integrated development environments (IDEs) that hide away all the nasty, messy details of a typical embedded software project.

Recently, with the rapidly accelerating adoption of agile techniques in embedded systems, there has been a move away from integrated development environments towards smaller, simpler, individual tools.  Tools like CMake, Rake and SCons are used to manage build configurations.  Container facilities like Docker provide lightweight environments for build and test.  And developers are free […]

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“May Not Meet Developer Expectations” #77

Question:  Does the following compile?

int func()
{
  int (func);
  return

Posted in C/C++ Programming | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Exceptional fun!

In this article I want to look at some applications for one of C++’s more obscure mechanisms, the function

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Making things do stuff – Part 9

As a final instalment in this series on hardware manipulation I thought I’d revisit read-only and write-only register types.

Using tag dispatch is not the only way to solve the read- or write-only Register problem.  For completeness let’s explore two other alternatives – SFINAE and constexpr if.

For these examples I’m going to use a simplified version of our Register class.  I’m ignoring the bit proxy class and using a reduced API.  Once understood, the techniques below can be applied to these […]

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Making things do stuff – Part 8

We’ve been using templates to provide a hardware register abstraction for use with hardware manipulation problems, typical of what you’d find in a deeply-embedded (“bare-metal”) system.

Previously, we looked at using trait classes to establish pointers and tag-dispatch to handle special-case registers, such as read-only or write-only register.

In this article we’re going to add some syntactic sugar to our Register class, to allow the developer to access individual bits in the register using array-index ([]) notation.  This will allow us to […]

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Making things do stuff – Part 7

In our previous article we explored using templates to build a generic ‘register’ type to allow programmers to access hardware without all the nasty syntax of integer-to-pointer casting, etc.

At the moment, this class gives us little extra functionality beyond cleaning up the syntax (although, in its favour, it also doesn’t incur any additional run-time cost/performance).

In this article we’re going to extend our design to consider special hardware register types – notably read-only and write-only registers – and see how we can […]

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Making things do stuff – Part 6

As code designers we tend to eschew specific ‘stove-pipe’ code in favour of reusable code elements.  Up until now we’ve been coding some very specific examples so it’s probably worth looking at some more generic solutions.

In this article we’ll look at building generic register manipulation classes (or, as one commenter referred to them, ‘register proxy’ classes).  Here, we’re really exploring code design rather than coding ‘mechanics’.  I’m using this to explore some factors like the balance between efficiency, performance and […]

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Making things do stuff – Part 5

We’ve been looking at using C++ to manipulate I/O hardware.   Previously, we’ve looked at the fundamentals of hardware manipulation; and how to encapsulate these mechanisms into classes.  If you’ve not been following along I’d recommend reading the previous articles first before continuing.

This time we’ll explore a lesser-known feature of C++ and its application in hardware manipulation – placement

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