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Comment: Re:"Easy to read" is non-sense (Score 1) 387

by DuckDodgers (#49749651) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read
The non-overloaded code has a readability problem, I agree. But for example the Scala Built Tool, SBT, has operator overloading abused to hell and it makes complex build files useless to read for all but really experienced SBT users. The XML-driven Java build tool Maven, the Groovy-driven Java/Groovy build tool Gradle, and the Clojure-driven Java/Clojure build tool Leiningen are all much easier to read. Though to be fair, Groovy supports operator overloading, the Gradle team just chose not to abuse the feature for build management.

Look at some SBT examples, for example https://github.com/playframewo... In that file we have %, +=, :=, , none in a mathematical context, all on top of normal Scala operator syntax =, ==, =>, _, etc... I'm surprised I didn't see ")*&%()*$&%&&*XR&R^NO CARRIER" at the end of the file.

Comment: Re:"Easy to read" is non-sense (Score 3) 387

by DuckDodgers (#49743053) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read
Java doesn't have obscure syntax - part of that is the language itself, part of that is the fact that it explicitly doesn't support operator overloading and that prevents people from making incomprehensible DSLs ( Scala's SBT, anyone? )

On the other hand, in terms of "readable" I still think calling Java readable assumes a familiarity with C style syntax. I think if you took someone that never read or wrote code before and showed them 100 line, idiomatic programs in Java, Javascript, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, Lisp, Haskell, C, Fortran, COBOL, Basic, and a few other languages that Java would not top the list for readability. My guess is that the winners would be Basic, COBOL, and Python.

One of the biggest reasons C++ became popular was that it was a relatively small step away, in terms of syntax, from C. I really think Java became popular mostly because the syntax is a small step away from C++.

Comment: Re:One thing to keep in mind... (Score 2) 244

by DuckDodgers (#49691799) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading
The Head First books are a training introduction for complete novices. They were never designed as reference books, and in fact their back covers and introductions usually emphasize that point. I found the Head First books I bought very useful when I was new to a topic, and then useless afterwards - but that means they worked as intended.

Comment: Re:Privacy? (Score 2) 776

Rural schools spend more on food assistance like free breakfasts, more on security - that gets expensive fast, and more on special needs children because poor people are more likely to have kids with untreated mental and physical disabilities. They also have a harder time attracting good teachers. It's heroic to teach the most disadvantaged children, but it's also hard to resist a classroom full of suburban brats whose parents give a damn about education. For poor kids, some have parents that are too stupid to care about education, and many have parents that care but are too busy working shit jobs to keep the kids fed to make sure they get to school and do their work. And higher local property taxes mean they need to pay the staff and teachers more for them to afford housing near the school.

Comment: Re:Privacy? (Score 1) 776

The figures in that article are inaccurate for three reasons:

1. It includes money spent in post-high-school education. Our colleges and universities are insanely overpriced for what they deliver, and it is now an industry ripe for disruption. The liberal arts college I attended now costs $50,000 per year, it isn't anywhere near an Ivy League school. I don't know why any kids go there now. I wouldn't co-sign a loan for my own kids to go there. On spending through high school, our spending per student is much lower.
2. Standards of living matter. If a teacher making $50,000 per year in Iceland has a nicer home and car (or access to good public transit) than a teacher making $60,000 per year in the US, then Iceland can spend 17% less than the United States per employed teacher and still hire a higher quality of educator.
3. I suspect - but cannot prove - that US education costs from the study include the cost of providing health insurance to educators and other school staff, while most countries with nationalized health care budget those expenses separately. Even if the comparison does include health care costs from both countries, the US spends three times as much on health care per capita as most countries with nationalized health care. So that could account for the complete cost difference all by itself.

So... no, we're not overspending on education and wasting money. I'm sure there's plenty of corruption and waste to eliminate, and I support programs with that in mind. But it's dishonest to say we're just throwing good money after bad. We're not. We are not spending as much as the nations that are beating us in education.

Comment: Re: I'll bite (Score 2) 265

by DuckDodgers (#49637455) Attached to: Microsoft Releases PowerShell DSC For Linux
You have the syntax memorized, but the problem is that the input flags for 'find' aren't the same as the ones for 'xargs' which in turn don't overlap with the ones for 'grep' or 'tar'. So that's four different sets of input flags you had to master. Congratulations on your skill. If you run into a text manipulation that's really complex, you have to use sed, awk, or Perl.

PowerShell has its warts, but the command flags are more uniform and its own help search is simpler. Complex text manipulation isn't as complex to implement because a.) you're working with objects and b.) you don't have to learn sed, awk, or Perl to get the job done.

I hate Microsoft's practices, their use of patents, and the windows registry among many other things. But it only benefits the open source community if we examine their tools closely and learn from them. Not everything they do is an inferior knock off of Unix practices.