Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:It was inevitible (Score 1) 303

by Art3x (#49399489) Attached to: Microsoft Engineer: Open Source Windows Is 'Definitely Possible'
--- 1   2015-04-03 14:03:43.000000000 -0500
+++ 2   2015-04-03 14:04:15.000000000 -0500
@@ -1,5 +1,5 @@
The concept of making money by selling an operating system is a 1990's idea.
It made Microsoft a lot of money at one time, but they are simply not the only
game in town, and the software has matured enough that the concept of making
-hwolesale changes in look and feel both isn't enough, and too much to handle at
+wholesale changes in look and feel both isn't enough, and too much to handle at
the same time.

Comment: Re:Terms (Score 1) 122

by Art3x (#49357605) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans
In Springfield, Missouri, there was a law that your car music must not be heard more than 15 feet away, or something like that. Almost never enforced but useful against someone blaring their heavy-bass car stereo. Overly broad rules seldom enforced are common. In the hands of a scrupulous cop, they are convenient and don't really harm anyone. In the hands of someone unscrupulous person, a broad or vague law is dangerous. But then again, just about any law, no matter how well worded, can be misused by someone evil.

Comment: Worthless Article (Score 1) 68

by Art3x (#49331681) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Semantic Publishing?
I'm beginning to see why Slashdot is famous for not reading articles. The articles are often poor. This article isn't the clickbait regularly posted by certain submitters. Instead it reads like a writing assignment.

"The Dynamic Semantic Publishing (DSP) architecture of the BBC curates and publishes content (e.g. articles or images) based on embedded Linked Data identifiers, ontologies and associated inference." This is one of those sentences that makes sense only to those who already know everything about it. It doesn't tell a new person what it is. This style of writing is a form of encryption.

The parts I could decrypt sound like things in existence for years:

"Think of an article that not only tells the new facts, but refers back to previous events and is complemented by an info-box of relevant facts." This is already done by hyperlinks. People who want to research a topic further know they can use Google.

"Another example would be a news feed that delivers good coverage of information relevant to a narrow subject." Isn't this RSS?

"Finally, if we use an example in life sciences, the ability to quickly find scientific articles discussing asthma and x-rays, while searching for respiration disorders and radiation." I don't know what to say. Google, Google Scholar, or Wikipedia. I don't think this writer knows about Google.

Whatever the writer is getting at, it's either already out or a bad idea. Already out: hyperlinks, search engines, Wikipedia. A bad idea: automatic hyperlinking (which also happens to be already out too).

Comment: The other databases are weird (Score 1) 320

by Art3x (#49298949) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

Microsoft SQL:
- select top 100 * from table instead of select * from table limit 100
- White space after values is ignored ('Bob' = 'Bob ')
- Command-line client sucks

Oracle
- A column of type date is actually timestamp. There is no column type that stores just a date.
- Command-line client sucks
- expensive

MySQL
- You can quote strings with single ticks, double quotes, or backticks
- The MyISAM engine
- Query cache based on the text of the select statement, rather than its meaning. So slightly rewording your query will skip the cache. Also updating a single row will clear the cache. This is inferior to how I understand PostgreSQL's shared buffer cache, which keeps frequently read rows in cache, only flushing out the ones that are updated, and deciding whether to use the cache after the query is parsed, and so not dependent on the query being literally written the same way.

It's no wonder so few web developers fully exploit the powers of the database, reimplementing many of its features in PHP, poorly. I once went to a local PHP meeting. The leader gave a talk, mainly about object-oriented programming, which I never got into. Anyway, he also recommended some kind of job queue application, like to email new users a welcome message. Don't use your database for that, he said, because keeping track of who you've emailed in the users table would upset MySQL's delicate query cache. At the end of the talk, I asked the group of 20 or 30 who had used PostgreSQL. Nobody.

Like others have said, most web developers probably should use SQLite. It's great not only as an embedded database but also the backend for most of the little web apps out there. Or if you're writing business applications for a large company, use PostgreSQL. The rest can go to the dumpster.

Comment: Yes and No (Score 1) 667

by Art3x (#49264761) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

I agree and disagree with the writer of the article.

On the one hand, there are a lot of silly rules floating around. The reason you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition is because Latin doesn't. In fact Latin can't. The same goes for why you shouldn't split an infinitive. The infamous double negative used to be accepted English centuries ago, just as it still is acceptable in Spanish, French, and many other languages. I've come to think of it as a parity bit. Since one simple word flips around the meaning of the whole sentence, it's better to put it in twice.

But on the other hand, one of my favorite books is The Elements of Style. To its credit, it doesn't mess with chiding writers over ending a sentence with a preposition. It doesn't even advertise itself as a standard-bearer of "proper" English. It is mainly a collection of common-sense tips for improving your craft. It's most famous advice is "too omit needless words." It goes on to show you how to write clearly, rather than wishy washy. In short, how to serve the reader, and help him understand the information while wasting his time as much as possible.

Comment: Re:Bubble Burst (Score 1) 107

by Art3x (#49257193) Attached to: Pi Day Extraordinaire

It's 14/3/2015 in the sane world.

14 has no meaning outside of the month. 14 literally means the 14th day of the month. The month is the context. The fourteenth day of what? March. So when people say dates, it is perfectly normal to begin with the context and then the day. "What's the date?" "It's the month of March, and we are in the 14th day of it."

Why not then begin with the year, since that is the even broader context? "The year is 2015, in the month of March, on the 14th day." Because when people make appointments with each other, they do not normally make them more than a year ahead. "When shall we meet again?" "April 20th." It would be so unusual to make an appointment for April 20 of some other year, that we leave off the year. When we have to give a year --- "When was the Battle of Antietam?" --- we are already in the habit of saying month and then day, so we stick with it, and append the year, "September 17, 1862."

Comment: Re:Bubble Burst (Score 1) 107

by Art3x (#49257145) Attached to: Pi Day Extraordinaire

It's 14/3/2015 in the sane world.

Nope, it's 2015-03-14 in the sane world.

How do you say it? 3/14/2015 goes along with how Americans say dates: "March third, Twenty Fifteen." I suppose the European way, 14/3/2015, with its nice descending specificity, corresponds to saying "The fourteenth of March, Twenty Fifteen," or even as I've heard it said, "Fourteen March, Twenty Fifteen."

But in normal conversation do you say anything like 2015-03-14, like, "I will see you again on Twenty Fifteen, March 14"?

Comment: Open your mind (Score 1, Insightful) 139

by Art3x (#49245709) Attached to: Google's Pricey Pixel Gets USB-C and a Lower Price

If my work didn't give me a laptop for free, I would be tempted to snap up a new Chromebook Pixel.

The self-anointed tech pundits are all scratching their heads. "Why such a luxurious laptop to just browse the web?"

"Just browse the web." That's the first lie. Web browsers, especially Chrome, no longer just browse the Web. It is no less than a modern GUI toolkit and practically a whole operating system. HTML 5 specifies that web browsers can run background processes, run offline, open and save local files, stream video, support instant chat, draw raster and vector artwork (<canvas> and SVG), and put up a large variety of widgets from just a little bit of code.

Chromebooks don't just browse the Web, they aren't useless offline --- or actually, Windows and Macs offline are just as useless, the way we use them today. About the only thing I'm still waiting on in a Chromebook is an offline video editor. Everything else --- word processing, spreadsheets, drawing, photoshopping --- are now available and pretty good. In fact, I think they're better, maybe just because they're newer, made by programmers who are wiser.

And who wouldn't want all the nice things in a Google Pixel: a solid build, a nice screen, a good keyboard, long battery life. The only point I agree on is that the processor is a waste, for most people. I would rather Google had gone for an ARM processor while keeping everything else the same, resulting in 24-hour battery life. I would rather get away with forgetting to charge my laptop one night than have that much speed.

"I've seen it. It's rubbish." -- Marvin the Paranoid Android

Working...