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Comment: Re:Mozilla barking up wrong market (Score 1) 90

Mozilla is trying to add features to HTML5 to the point that mobile devices don't need native applications and can do everything the user wants in HTML5. At that point, the differences between iOS, Windows Phone, Android, Blackberry, WebOS, and Firefox OS become irrelevant because you can do anything you care about with a good browser on your phone. That is the point of Firefox OS. Not to dominate the mobile device market, but to fundamentally change the way it works so that no corporate juggernaut can dominate it.

Comment: Re:Why do this in the first place? (Score 1) 90

Mozilla is trying to foster platform independence - the ultimate goal of Firefox OS is not to get Firefox OS onto every smartphone in the world, the ultimate goal is to make is so that the host operating system of every smartphone in the world is irrelevant because you can do everything you want on a smartphone with an HTML5 browser.

HTML5 supports offline storage. Once enough applications are built to use that feature in an intelligent way, world-class data plans don't matter as much.

Comment: Re:Why do this in the first place? (Score 1) 90

I'm less certain of this than I was a year ago. In mid 2014, I would confidently assert that Firefox matches Chrome everywhere, and Chrome's multiprocess advantage was irrelevant because Firefox was so stable it did not matter. But this spring, Firefox on Ubuntu has been awful for me. After it's been open for about a day, it starts to hang left and right, even with all add-ons disabled. I had to change my user preference to "When Firefox Starts: Show my windows and tabs from last time" and now I kill the browser manually when I can't stand the lag about twice a week. I've gone through all of the steps at and my machine has 12GB of RAM, and aside from the fact that applying any suggested fix involves a full restart of Firefox (which solves the problem for about two days) nothing seems to work.

Maybe the situation is better on Windows, OS X, and Android. I certainly hope it's better on Firefox OS, since of course low and even mid range mobile devices don't have the same memory available as traditional laptops and desktops. I leave Chrome on my work machine, which also runs Ubuntu, open for months at a time.

Comment: Re:Clear code: Cultural background (Score 1) 413

by DuckDodgers (#49774301) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read
C mathematical operator syntax is probably more intuitive for a mathematician or even just someone that completed high school math classes. But the other syntax for pointers and dereferencing pointers, arrays, and curly braces for code blocks is probably still unintuitive, even if you have a mathematician. They would probably still go from "complete novice" to halfway between beginner and intermediate faster with Basic or Python than with C.

I can't speak for Fortran, I've only ever looked at a few snippets of it. As for Haskell - I think Haskell syntax is still puzzling. Yes, the function definitions are mathematical and the case matching mechanism for defining function paths is brilliant and elegant, but until you understand what it means, it looks bizarre.

Comment: Re:"Easy to read" is non-sense (Score 1) 413

by DuckDodgers (#49774253) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read
The fact that Lisp syntax is so simple is a strength of the syntax, not an absence. Instead of spending days to grasp all of the syntactic quirks of a language, you can grasp the whole thing in just a few hours.

The parenthesis inherently give you grouping, so there are no operator precedence rules to grapple with. And often you don't need a fancy DSL for a syntactic map to your data structure, you can use Lisp data structures as-is.

Comment: Re:"Easy to read" is non-sense (Score 1) 413

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 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) 413

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.

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