The Secretly Lame Idea For My Blog Title

by Jon Davis 17. July 2007 23:43

Anyone who knows what System.Reflection.Emit actually means, or does, will either hate my use of that namespace as my blog title and think it's incredibly stupid and lame, or will "get" it. To be honest, I chose it tongue-in-cheek, knowing that people would probably roll their eyes. But only the obnoxious Microsoft-haters and the anti-geeks!

Literal Background

To the uninformed geeks: System.Reflection.Emit is a namespace (or a section) in the Microsoft .NET namespace that allows a software program to dynamically generate MSIL at runtime. This has many uses but can be helpful, for instance, for things like creating dynamic languages.

To the non-geeks: System.Reflection.Emit is something that computer programmers can use to write a software program that automatically writes and runs computer software by itself. No, not as in like a computer virus. No, not as in like artificial intelligence. More like, here's a pattern of data, you figure out what to do with it. Make sense? No? Nevermind.

Philosophical Background

So why name a blog after this namespace? Well, I am no robot, but if you think about it, our brains run on software. Oh, sure, we have spirits, and those of us who are Christians know that there's a lot more going on in someone's head (or heart) than software. Nonetheless, technically and in the physical realm, the human mind runs on software.

Imagine, then, that the computer software that our minds are could "automatically" write new software, and run it, at runtime. Well, that's exactly what our brains do. An "idea" is just a dynamically generated software class, generated from multiple sources (mostly the experiences of the mind) that may or may not be instantiated (idea put to work).

Consider also that "Emit" itself is a word that means "to output". So here I am blogging; I am thinking, pondering new ideas, and I'm putting it out there. I'm emitting dynamically generated classes (ideas). Get it?

An Important Confession of Genuine Lameness

Personally, I haven't done much with the System.Reflection.Emit namespace. This isn't to say I haven't tried or tinkered with it. I've spent a few days poking at it. But the results were not much different from what would happen if I poked at an animal's brain while it was living. Mostly things just got gross.

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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