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Comment Thought Ownership (Score 4, Insightful) 204

Intellectual Property, translated from Latinate words to Anglo-Saxon ones, is Thought Ownership. Then the absurdity is clear.

Of all the I.P. laws --- patent, copyright, and trademark --- trademark to me made the most sense. I don't want another company calling itself Apple Computer. Trademark, then, is just like namespacing, just common sense.

But here I see that even that can be abused. It just goes to show that any law in the category of intellectual property should be sharply restricted, dealt with as if it had a big radioactivity symbol on it.

As for patents, they should just be completely obliterated. I have never seen a patent where I said, if we didn't grant this patent, we would never have got this thing invented. The inventor would have been too scared.

As for copyright, I can't yet say it should be obliterated. But the current terms are way too long. 30 years tops.

As for trademark, like I said, it just helps fight confusion, but still it should be dealt with with the utmost contempt for the requester. It would be better to hold off on granting one, and see what happens, than to grant too many. This is nothing but abuse by the Fine Brothers to unfairly stomp out competition.

Comment Re:I thought it was the desktop... (Score 1) 167

Sincerely speaking, when I read the headline, I thought the choice was for the desktop.

The headline leaves you wondering. It doesn't say where. If a company just uses Linux on some servers, then it's not news. So you wonder if they mean the desktop, at least for some employees. It's clickbait.

The article itself is poorly written too. It hedges things with virtually and arguably but then exaggerates, with dramatically and runaway. It uses bloated words like utilize, partner, and mutualistic. It's riddled with cliches, like "everyone and their mother," "the venerable," and "some much needed money". Sentences are puffed with needless words: "Canonical will provide continued engineering support too" means nothing more "Canonical will provide support too." The whole first paragraphs should have been crossed out.

Just like poorly written code, this article could do the same thing in a tenth of the space if the writer refactored it. But just like with code, it's a hundred nitpicky things like I said above, which all add up. Most schools don't how to write. They encourage you to use big words and many of them. But the persistent student of writing will eventually find gems like The Elements of Style and On Writing Well. These are short. The first book is around a hundred pages. The second is longer but you need to read just the first four or so chapters.

I doubt that the writer has read either of those two books. He quotes from press releases, the worst food for anyone. So it's little wonder why he writes such sop.

Comment Re: Love PostgreSQL (Score 2) 104

You just basically repeated what I said. PDO is the way to go, but it actually takes a little more effort to find that it exists. Why don't they deprecate MySQLi and put a warning on the documentation that you really shouldn't be using MySQL specific functions at all? If you look up tutorials for PHP and MySQL, almost none of them recommend the use of PDO or even mention it.

That hasn't been my experience. Even before PDO was out, I was positively assaulted by articles about database abstraction, including distinctions between abstracting just data access (like PDO, where it uses the same functions no matter the database but you still write SQL) to abstracting the data itself (like Object-Relational Mappers, which keep you from having to write any SQL).

That being said, I'm against writing the app in a way that you can just change out the database back-end. I used to be for it. I used to try to use just the subset of SQL common to most databases. But I got spoiled by PostgreSQL over the years. There's too many useful things that it has and MySQL doesn't. No, I can't one day switch from PostgreSQL to MySQL, but never will I want to and hopefully won't need to.

The use of ORMs just moves the problem. If I don't use an ORM and instead write PostgreSQL-specific code, then I'm locking myself in to one particular database brand. But if I use an ORM, then I'm locking myself into that ORM and that scripting language. I can't one day switch my application from PHP to Python. Not that I would, but I'm more likely to want to move from PHP to Python or Node.js, than to move from PostgreSQL to MySQL or any other database.

I recommend picking either PostgreSQL or SQLite from the get-go and sticking with it. I strenuously suggest PostgreSQL no matter how lite your database needs. But if that's impractical, then I suggest SQLite. Forget the rest.

Comment Re:You say performant, I say performance... (Score 1) 100

... performance is a noun while performant an adjective. Most of the time, though, you can just say fast.

An important exception occurs when we're talking about MTBF. Fast doesn't mean performant, at all.

Right, then you can say something like reliable. We have now seen how useless the word performant really is. It's completely dependent on context. So it means nothing more than good yet takes three times the bandwidth.

Comment Re: Love PostgreSQL (Score 1) 104

I wouldn't say that PHP is built for MySQL, but that PHP isn't designed to be database agnostic. If you start doing a new project and you want it to work with MySQL, then you look up the documentation on how you connect to MySQL, you'll start going down the path of using mysqli_ and other database specific stuff. Once you are ready to move on and make it database agnostic, you are too far in, and there's too many changes to made. Unless you had the foresight to make everything database agnostic from the beginning and use something like PDO, you are going to be in for a lot of work to get everything working with a different database.

Compare that with something like .Net where all database objects inherit from a set of standard database objects. Even if you don't think about it from the beginning, 95% of the code that connects to the database will already work with any database you want to connect to. There's still the job of making sure your actual SQL works with all the various database engines, but at least a certain amount of the work is already done for you with respect to connecting to the database, sending queries, and getting results back.

How is .NET's way different from using PDO?

Yes, PHP has database-specific functions too, like mysqli_connect. But a PHP programmer should find out about PDO if he does any respectable amount of research before diving in.

Comment Re:You say performant, I say performance... (Score 1) 100

Never seen the word "performant" until today. Must be an obscure five-dollar word that scientists love to toss around. Meanwhile, I'll stick with cheap performance as my word of choice.

Performance is a noun. Performant is an adjective, meaning "having (high) performance" (or performing well). If you stick with performance, be sure to reword your sentence so that it makes sense.

You're right, performance is a noun while performant an adjective. Most of the time, though, you can just say fast.

Comment Re:PostgreSQL is impressive. (Score 1) 104

We use it a *lot* - and it's great for what we use it for.

Now if they can only get active-active working at the same level as an Oracle RAC server? Just maybe we can all listen to the sweet, sweet sound of Larry Ellison howling in existential agony.

There's that word again, existential. I still can't figure out what people mean when they use it. I've looked it up, and the formal definitions don't seem to fit the sentence.

Comment Re:proprietary vs postgres (Score 4, Interesting) 104


I like postgres, but I've never used Oracle (or any proprietary DB engine, to be honest), so I was wondering: is there any advantage in using a proprietary database vs using postgres?

No. I've used both PostgreSQL and Oracle. Oracle was worse.

Oracle was harder to install support for on Linux. Oracle had no data type for a mere date, only date and time together. Oracle's command-line tool on Linux was horrible compared to PostgreSQL's psql tool.

Comment Re: Love PostgreSQL (Score 4, Insightful) 104

Why not just use MySQL? It's free and PHP is built for it so you can run web applications on it.

How is PHP built for MySQL? PHP isn't built for MySQL. PHP can use MySQL. In the same way, PHP can use PostgreSQL. And in the same way, you run web applications on it.

I've been using PHP and PostgreSQL for dozens of web applications for over a decade.

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