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Comment: Re:Doesn't apply to Google (Score 1) 73

And yet Apple manages to make their iOS updates available to all compatible devices on the day of release, dealing with an order of magnitude more devices than Nexus phones and tablets.

My Nexus 10 had to wait 2 weeks for the 5.0 update to be made available to it, and my Nexus 4 took a month. The story has been the same with every single Android update - I read that an update is available, and then don't see it for weeks or months, no matter how many times I check for updates. In contrast on all my iOS devices never have any wait.

In both cases I get to choose if I want to install the update or not.

I don't buy "OTA releases are staged to avoid overwhelming networks", especially since the sales figures for Nexus devices are relatively small. As for "catch any problems", that is much more believable, but it reeks of poor QA. The implication is they have little confidence in the quality of their product.

The reality is that no matter the justification, it's poor customer service. If you loudly tell the world "Android 5 is out for your device" then you should make sure it's out.

Comment: Re:Should have been 64-bit from the start... (Score 1) 67

Apple had already for three whole years been asking developers to make the leap to 64-bit at the time they made the Intel transition.

The industry should have been able to cope just fine with OS X being shipped only on 64-bit Intel processors.

Those that hadn't already adapted, well, their 32-bit PowerPC code would have run just fine using the Rosetta code translation layer.

The real issue was though that Apple needed to ship new laptops that were competitive with PCs. They couldn't afford to wait around another 6 months for Core2Duo chips to arrive.

Comment: Re:When will I get it on my Nexus 5? (Score 1) 178

by Archibald Buttle (#48384423) Attached to: Android 5.0 'Lollipop' vs. iOS 8: More Similar Than Ever

I don't get these staged updates.

With iOS, Apple announces a new OS update, and makes it available to all, for all compatible devices, simultaneously. Given the hundreds of millions of compatible devices this must be a massive logistical problem, yet everyone that's interested gets the OS update immediately, the downloads tend to work just fine, and everyone tends to be happy.

With Android, Google only makes builds for Nexus devices. One would have thought that given the relatively small numbers of devices sold, and the massive infrastructure Google has in place, that they wouldn't have a big problem in making the OS update available to all, just like Apple do. However instead we're forced to wait around. We click on the "check now" on our devices and get told "no update available" for many many days after news reports have told us that the new OS is out.

It's very frustrating.

Comment: Re:I hate this strategy of justifying exploitation (Score 1) 164

by Archibald Buttle (#48167031) Attached to: For Game Developers, It's About the Labor of Love

Teachers are not easily replaceable, and yet for the work they do their compensation is abysmal.

Their problem is a different one. There's many factors involved as to why people become teachers, and why they stay in the profession. Simply though, they stay because of job security, and the knowledge/fear that changing careers into a different profession would be very hard (and in the short-term at least involve a pay cut).

Comment: Re:COBOL was better than JavaScript. (Score 2) 294

by Archibald Buttle (#47653317) Attached to: The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Two words:
"use strict";

Put that at the top of a JS program or function and most of the "stupidly broken" parts of JS are disabled when you're in an ECMAScript 5 environment (i.e. any modern browser).

Most of the remaining complains about JS (like function scope, or prototype-based inheritance) are IMHO not problems at all, but rather reflections that people are far more used to class-based inheritance systems and how other languages work.

Yes, the language design isn't perfect. It was clearly rushed. It is by default too tolerant of dodgy syntax. There's loads of bad code out there written by second-rate programmers. Use a decent linter, read Crockford's "JavaScript: The good bits", and you'll find it can be a great language to work with.

Comment: Re:Sales flow chart. (Score 1) 97

by Archibald Buttle (#47555705) Attached to: Oracle Offers Custom Intel Chips and Unanticipated Costs

In my experience MySQL can indeed handle large transaction volumes, but only with relatively simple queries.

Throw some complex joins in there across multiple tables and the performance plummets. Run multiple concurrent similar queries and you can find yourself getting exponentially worse performance.

PostgreSQL on the other hand may not have quite the same level of raw performance on simple queries as MySQL, but it tends to cope much better with more complex things.

Comment: Re:Death by Committee (Score 1) 220

by Archibald Buttle (#47097721) Attached to: PHK: HTTP 2.0 Should Be Scrapped

We rapidly iterated before when the web was niche. When we had, comparatively speaking, very few users. Before there was a mass adoption in business.

Back then the disruption of rapid iteration and accompanying obsolescence was not a big problem. Now it's a massive problem.

Sure, one can argue that institutions stuck using IE6 (or even IE8) should get with the times and update, but the reality is that is a very costly exercise. One can't simply blindly update a few thousand machines in a company when the end result could be a few thousand people unable to work. Upgrading often has knock-on effects, so a browser upgrade may require an OS upgrade too, and every other piece of business-critical software needs to be thoroughly tested. Some software will also provide to be incompatible too, and sourcing replacements (either new licenses for new versions, or rewrites for custom software) can be prohibitively expensive.

It's those people who fear change. The IT managers that are dealing with managing thousands of machines. A failed upgrade not only has the potential to cost them their jobs but also to put a company out of business. Major change for them is terrifying.

You are right though. We can rapidly iterate now, like we did before. But we need to be careful about how we do that, and not forget those that can't come along for the ride.

Comment: Re:No problem here (Score 1) 578

by Archibald Buttle (#43914937) Attached to: A Serious Proposal To Fix Windows 8

About once every other day, the whole OS just hangs. I can't even get the Task Manager to come up; sometimes I can't even get Ctrl-Alt-Delete to work. I just have to hold the power button down and reboot. To be fair, this is probably caused by the beta driver for a USB wireless adapter (Netgear's only released the beta for Win8).

To be fair, on a decent OS no driver, not even a beta one, should be able to bring down your OS.

Comment: Re:Great to stay credible. Where's my maple sugar? (Score 1) 422

by Archibald Buttle (#43301131) Attached to: Cold Spring Linked To Dramatic Sea Ice Loss

It may not be all that unusual for you in Canada to still have snow on the ground at this time of year. In contrast though the last couple of winters in Toronto have been highly unusual to basically be essentially snow free.

Here in the UK, it's very unusual for us to still have snow around now. In contrast Easter weekend last year in contrast was unseasonably warm and people were having barbecues. Normal for here is about half way between the two.

The point is that climate is a global thing. Just because you're having a fairly normal winter in Canada doesn't mean that the rest of us are.

Comment: There will be no response (Score 5, Insightful) 114

Apple will have no response to this, and nor should they.

This is exactly the path that Apple have been telling companies they should follow if they wish to sell media outside of the iOS app store.

Amazon are simply following Apple's own guidance.

Comment: Better JavaScript (Score 2) 453

by Archibald Buttle (#42503095) Attached to: Why JavaScript Is the New Perl

I know it's a controversial opinion, but modern JavaScript is OK.

All modern browsers support the ECMAScript 5 version of JavaScript. That includes a number of useful additions to the language.

IMHO the most important addition is strict mode. That disables some of the most egregious features of the language, making it harder to shoot yourself in the foot. Strict mode can be enabled for a whole file, or on a function-by-function basis - you just need to include the line "use strict"; (including the quotes) at the top of the file or function. As it's just a string it will be ignored on older JS interpreters making it backward compatible too.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?

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