Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



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: Should they search the original areas again? (Score 2) 178

by Brian Kendig (#49214779) Attached to: MH370 Beacon Battery May Have Been Expired

When the Indian Ocean search began, the first areas searched were the places judged to be where the plane was most likely to have come down. And those areas were searched with a pinger locator. After 30 days, the searchers moved on to other areas and used different equipment to map the sea floor.

What if the plane actually is in one of the first places they looked, though - but because it wasn't pinging, and they weren't scanning the sea floor, they missed it? Should the searchers return to those areas and look on the sea floor, or have they already?

Comment: Why feed the lawyers? (Score 3, Insightful) 268

by Brian Kendig (#48359195) Attached to: GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

One is a desktop environment. The other is a tablet-based point of sale system. Who's going to confuse the two? "I wanted to install GNOME on my laptop, but instead it's asking me if I want to redeem a coupon."

Is GNOME going to challenge anyone who calls anything a gnome?

Comment: Be bold (Score 1) 384

by Brian Kendig (#42504459) Attached to: What Are the Unwritten Rules of Deleting Code?

As Wikipedia says, "Be bold." If you see code that needs to be deleted, delete it. Don't just leave it commented out and taking up space.

If you're removing functionality, then make sure you note this clearly in your commit summary, so that it can be found again if that functionality needs to be put back in.

Also, the article talks about rewriting code - throwing out the old and creating it again. This is generally a bad idea, even if you're starting with bad code, because all a rewrite does is exchange a known set of bugs for an unknown set of bugs.

Comment: What you need (Score 1) 683

You (and every other development shop) need:

* A coding standards document. Using one from a large open-source project (such as http://framework.zend.com/manual/1.12/en/coding-standard.coding-style.html or http://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/CodingStyle) is a good idea. This ensures that you do not have to spend any time being surprised or misled by how a piece of code is formatted.
* Unit tests. They make sure that your code continues to work the same way as you develop it. They also exert pressure to make sure that your units (individual functions to be tested) remain small and concise (or else the unit tests become a bear to write).
* Code reviews. This ensures that more than one person understands how a piece of code was written. It also means that the reviewee learns from your comments and you learn from his code and you both are better programmers for it.

And, most importantly:

* A manager who believes in all of the above and is willing to support and defend it.

If you have all this, then it ceases being a personal "you vs. him" issue, because you can objectively point out (to him, to your team lead, or to your manager) where he's violating the coding standards, where his unit tests are not adequate, or where he is ignoring his code reviews.

The alternative is what it sounds like you have now: cowboy programmers, quickly cranking out code that satisfies a need right now but will take huge amounts of time and money to maintain and extend in the future.

Comment: The best keyboards these days (Score 1) 115

by Brian Kendig (#42233383) Attached to: USB NeXT Keyboard With an Arduino Micro

I am a keyboard snob. The keyboard is the part of the computer with which I interact the most, so I hate the mushy feel of membrane keyboards that are based on the same technology as VCR remotes.

If you want to be a keyboard snob too (in a good way), then start by going to wasdkeyboards.com and buying their sampler kit ("http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/products/sampler-kit-1.html"). For $8, you get eleven keycaps in different colors, four Cherry MX switches (blue, brown, black, red), and fifteen dampeners in three types. This is a cheap way to understand the difference between the four kinds of Cherry MX switches and decide which you prefer. You can then buy a custom-made keyboard from wasdkeyboards.com, choosing the switch, keycap color, and text for each individual key if you want.

I don't use my numeric keypad much, so I opted for a tenkeyless keyboard. wasdkeyboards.com doesn't yet offer these (current estimate is March), so I got it from "http://elitekeyboards.com".

If you want an old-fashioned IBM Model M clacky keyboard, you can get it from "http://www.pckeyboard.com".

After Goliath's defeat, giants ceased to command respect. - Freeman Dyson

Working...