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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Airline price search is actually quite complicated (Score 1) 125

You would think that a simple search of a cheap fare would be a relatively easy task. It actually is quite difficult.

I recently read this article from ITA systems which makes this sort of software: [pdf warning]: here. Very interesting read and shows that airline pricing is not as simple as it sounds.

In the pricing of a ticket one has to take care of not only of fuel, food, personnel and aircraft, but also landing fees, luggage handling fees and the rest. It is no wonder that some pricing looks a little arcane to the customer - because it is.

Comment: Re:Muscle memory - where UI designers go wrong (Score 1) 140

by Celarent Darii (#49458401) Attached to: Finding an Optimal Keyboard Layout For Swype

The tiller was used because the first cars were about as slow as boats, so they were steered with a tiller like boats. However as cars became faster and more powerful the tiller was no longer adequate, and thus the wheel was adopted as it simply worked better. Yet your example only proves the point: since the 19th century there has been NO CHANGE in this UI for steering a car. Once the wheel was invented, no one wanted to go back to the tiller and no one even invented some other way to steer a car. There is something optimal in the use of the steering wheel that makes any other refinements and changes useless.

Similarly the first graphic UI's were full of experimentation. Even the first Mac OS's had the menu bar in the window, but was moved out in early beta phase as the idea was that it was easier on the user to simply look always in the same place for the applications' commands, and has remained there ever since. Windows traditionally had the menu bar inside the window, with very little exceptions. However your example shows the same thing I am trying to get across: they DON'T change once they've made a decision.

X11 window managers actually gives you more choice - you can have either way or both. I think an argument can be made for either one. It seems that today, at least in Linux land, there is a tendancy to put the menu bar as something permanent on top (at least in Unity), but many desktops still keep the in-window menu bar.

To be honest I don't even like Mac OS X or Windows style menu bars. I actually use i3-wm as my hands are always on the keyboard. The mouse is a useless thing in my honest opinion, but for drawing and things like that it is indeed useful. Most of my work is at the keyboard, so I like the UI to be controllable with the keyboard. The menu bar is for some users needed, but I have different work habits from the era before we had X11 so I would say I'm more an exception than the rule.

In any case, my point stands: if it works for the user, don't change it. Every change involves an investment of time and energy which must be considered - is the amount of time to be gained by this new UI really worth the time it takes to learn it?

Obligatory XKCD

Comment: Re:Muscle memory - where UI designers go wrong (Score 1) 140

by Celarent Darii (#49456173) Attached to: Finding an Optimal Keyboard Layout For Swype

The majority of users are not teenagers. And in reality we older fellows actually work for a living and make money for our companies. We are the actual USERS of the equipment.

Most teenagers are using computers for video games. It really doesn't matter what the OS GUI is like for this. If they complain about the "old GUI" it's often because they are too lazy to learn how to use it.

And furthermore "the better UI" simply sucks. Proof in point.

Any sane GUI designer would be wiser to think of the actual users, and not just what is a "subjectively better UI". There is a reason why things have been done the way they are for so long, and to ignore these reason is simply stupid.

+ - SpaceX to try a first stage recovery again on April 13

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In its next launch on Monday, SpaceX will once again try to safely land its first stage on an ocean barge, allowing it to reuse that stage on later flights.

Monday afternoon is certainly going to be an exciting day for space cadets. First, at 4 pm (Eastern) the head of ULA will reveal the design of that company's new rocket. Then, at 4:33 pm (Eastern), SpaceX will launch Dragon to ISS while attempting to return the first stage safely.

Comment: Re:Ada (Score 4, Insightful) 211

by Celarent Darii (#49403665) Attached to: Rust 1.0 Enters Beta

No. Ada already has a very basic syntax, which if you look at the Ada example is so much like Rust that really I fail to see any significant difference. Ada is also completely buzz-word compliant. It has also been used to make real projects, and even has a ANSI Standard since 1983. Rust can't even guarantee a feature set, nor even a stable keyword set.

Wish them luck, but frankly it's a bit like reinventing the wheel. I guess it's what hipsters do when they skip CS 102 in order to 'find themselves' - try to 'reinvent' what they should have learned in college.

Comment: Re: Garbage collectors help (Score 1) 60

by Celarent Darii (#49396033) Attached to: MP3 Backend of Firefox and Thunderbird Found Vulnerable

The death of Symbolics was in some ways the catalyst to the death of the AI industry and LISP in general. Although the company was (very) badly managed, RMS is responsible for a lot of the infighting and political grandstanding that basically killed the company. With the death of Symbolics and the consequent poison-pill of coding politics, programming in LISP just became unprofitable and eventually died out. Granted there are many other factors, but this was one of them.

I invite you to read the history of the MIT AI lab to see a bit of the shit that happened there.

RMS hasn't programmed anything for a long time. He is more of an activist than engineer - always has been, always will be.

+ - systemd team forks the Linux kernel->

Submitted by Celarent Darii
Celarent Darii writes: The systemd developers have occasionally bumped heads with developers working on other projects, perhaps most notably Linus Torvalds, lead developer of the Linux kernel. Since systemd's init software works to bring the operating system on-line at boot time, systemd needs to work closely with the kernel and this can cause problems. In fact, some conflict and proposed solutions have resulted in at least one systemd developer getting banned from contributing to the Linux kernel.

Now it appears as though the systemd developers have found a solution to kernel compatibility problems and a way to extend their philosophy of placing all key operating system components in one repository. According to Ivan Gotyaovich, one of the developers working on systemd, the project intends to maintain its own fork of the Linux kernel. "There are problems, problems in collaboration, problems with compatibility across versions. Forking the kernel gives us control over these issues, gives us control over almost all key parts of the stack."

Link to Original Source

+ - Metal Engraving CNC Router PC-3040M->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Our Company provide you The Spindle equipment is the first brand of the world, China domestic Constant power rate metal engarving water cooling spindle.Three axes adopt imported ball screw and cirle orbit,stable working,high precision and long life time. X axis is dustproof.It makes sure the steady working performance of the machine for long-term using.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Only mostly dead? (Score 2) 308

by Celarent Darii (#49371651) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

Well, there's "almost dead", which Miracle Max can still cure, as opposed to "all dead" when all that's left is search their pockets for loose change.

Then there is "mostly dead" which you can have all day and still foil the plan of your adversaries.

It seems to me that the poor saps who tried to invade the NSA went from "mostly dead" to "almost dead" to "all dead" in very short succession. Thus they are a special class of "dead dead".

Comment: Re:Ditch the White House (Score 1) 175

Still way too small for the size of the US Govt.

Seriously, a modern state needs some modern buildings.

Plus the so-called 'curtains' in the blue room are so tacky - they are painted on the wall. Not only is it cheap, but it looks gross.

The White House was built to try to impress the 18th century folks that we *maybe* had some class. It was cheap shit that we just sort of faked even back then. Let's build something worthy of the most powerful nation on earth.

I'm a Lisp variable -- bind me!

Working...