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Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47748779) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Yeah, that's true. There are of course SOME pitfalls that Java won't help you with, like just allocating bazillions of short-lived objects, though in the last 4 or 5 years the GC has gotten so good that I've abandoned all the allocator tricks I used to use back in the 1.4/1.5 days. That and modern CPUs just have vast numbers of cycles to burn. Feeds that were barely possible to parse 5 years ago now take up 5% or less of the CPU. A lot of it is probably better caching and etc too, but nowadays the limits seem to be pretty much I/O. Even that is solved mostly if you want to throw multi-thousand-dollar NICs at your problem and spend weeks tuning.

There certainly are plenty of hacks in all industries. I worked in Aerospace for a few years and most of the people there were really pretty mediocre. They usually had a very complete support system, so their job was pretty low level and they did fine. I mean we made 747's fly and not crash, and obviously we managed even with some coders that you really had to watch. I think its mostly the same in the banks, except the culture isn't quite so rigid, so now and then they have a big problem. I'm not sure Java helps much with that, but I guess it doesn't hurt...

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47747997) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

LOL, right. I guess it would hate any C++ code I wrote! It never ceases to amaze me that QT and its tools haven't totally dominated the desktop application market. Why WOULD you use anything else? I mean its been portable to all desktop OSes for years, and even if you need a license it is dirt cheap. GTK in its various flavors is OK, but far behind QT and you can run on windows, macs, and I guess now Android and iOS too? Seems like a no-brainer to me. I think developers just hate conformity...

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47747971) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Its not the design. Like I've said I've done some pretty large perl programs. The work involved in dealing with the bugs that arise that just can't exist in Java generally overcomes the advantages of using perl, and by the time you stick rigidly to classes and modules in perl why not use Java? Frankly I avoided all the one-line amazing wonder-code in my maintainable perl anyway unless it was necessitated by performance reasons, so its not like there was a big difference. There isn't even really that much less type casting in perl vs Java, it is just somewhat obfuscated into the reference syntax.

The one GOOD example of an application that I still maintain in perl is our build system. Its a pretty good sized set of perl modules a couple simple parsers, and some dependency graph tracking code. This is where perl IS great though, I can invoke specific command line utilities and muck around with files and such without a lot of hand-wavy abstractions. Maven used to suck up half our time working around its built-in limitations, Builder barely requires any attention at all at this point and if you need to do some weird thing you can write a new perl module in 5 minutes and do it, assuming the 40 existing ones don't do it already. However, even my most experienced Java guys quail at the thought of understanding the core Builder code, lol.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47747693) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Well, yes, but did all the 100 different library vendors you rely on do that? One hopes that libraries are free of leaks but reality is they aren't, and they often use DIFFERENT frameworks for smart pointers etc than the one you happen to be using, which can create its own headaches. At best its an entire extra category of stuff that has to be mastered.

I know a lot of people talk about all the 'random execution pauses' and such that a GC brings, but in my lengthy Java experience (10 years now) with high performing applications I've not found it to be a huge impediment. I think if you are really down to caring about sub-microsecond latancies and such then perhaps Java isn't the solution for that particular problem, or you need a hybrid solution or something (at which point you've probably lost a lot of the advantages of going with Java to start with, admittedly). There just really aren't that many such applications in the world. I run some pretty big market data processing applications and I don't see millisecond variances. Since most of the data being published is coming across at least leased lines from halfway around the world and often over the 'net sub-millisecond or even a couple milliseconds is not actually something anyone will care about. So the utter reliability and stability of the application (processing up into the 100's of thousands of packets per second with 100% reliability for weeks on end without human attention) is the paramount consideration. I have competitors that try to sell to my client base SPEED! They succeed for a while sometimes, but they always come back after the big ugly crash :)

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47744053) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Yeah, I'm a fan of QT, always have been. I haven't done a lot of C++ stuff in many years (it predates even QT1 if you can believe that). Our Java stuff in general doesn't have a desktop UI with a couple minor exceptions, so for my particular use case Java makes sense. I think in general C++ can often replace Java, but it CAN be a lot of work. Our apps are very long running stuff that churns through vast amounts of data constantly and requires high reliability. So if we do something in C++ then there's an added 50% "C++ Tax" just to find the 500,000 memory leaks and such. In GUI apps they don't matter much unless their really serious, but in my line of work if you loose 4 bytes per UDP datagram you'll be out of 32 gigs of RAM in a pretty short time! And each one of those suckers runs through probably 20-30k LOC worth of logic, so there's a lot of chances for fuck ups.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Interesting) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47744003) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

LOL, I don't know what sort of disasterously bad Java shop you work for... I've got a VERY large Java code base. We use a number of the tools you mention and they are quite powerful and useful. There's nothing in the 'steaming mass' category about it. Perhaps you need some new developers! OTOH The last big project I did with a dynamic language became hideously complicated with constant undocumented dependency issues and bizarre almost untraceable bugs that it was finally just literally delivered by the prime contractor as it was. Luckily the whole issue became largely moot as external forces cut the project back. It IS still in use, 7 years later, but if I were to do that sort of project today I wouldn't even consider a dynamic language. Not with the schema complexity and other aspects of it as it was. Java has a vastly more powerful infrastructure for dealing with complex data for one thing.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Informative) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47743631) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

I've written a lot of code in the 'P languages' and I don't really believe that anymore. A 15k python app might be perfectly fine, but loose typing and the lack of a standard error handling strategy bite you in the end. I don't actually think that Perl is any weaker here than Python. You may be more familiar with one and comfortable with it, but I've written some pretty large programs in Perl. It HAS the tools, and I'm not the only one. Ruby is probably the cleanest of this sort of languages, but its still things like loose typing and the attendant inability to enforce calling semantics that hurts in all cases the most. When I write Java I know that if I call a method I have the right type of arguments at least, and that if somehow I manage to partially subvert that with reflection or whatnot that my error will be quickly outed by the run time. In dynamic languages you really don't know what the data is supposed to be until something goes wrong. Mostly though you lack the ability to have your IDE vet everything, you can't do static validation, etc. On big projects things like code validation, test coverage, etc are big deals, as is code GENERATION for that matter. All of these things are vastly better supported and easier to do in a statically typed language like Java.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Insightful) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47743595) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

Yeah, sorry, I maintain LARGE complex code bases. There's zero chance that's going to be easier using a loosely typed language with porous ideas of module boundaries, etc. I've been there, and a well-architected system built with a classic OO language like Java is just a lot more manageable. Also a lot of the advantages in brevity of things like Python or Perl evaporate when you try to apply some sanity to their use, but the disadvantages are still there to bite you. A 500 line Perl script is undoubtedly a LOT more compact and succinct than some java app built to do the same thing, which will be 2-3 thousand lines long probably. But when you start building well-designed class hierarchies in Perl? You're code will rapidly become just as large and verbose as its Java counterpart. Python and Ruby aren't better, in fact no scripting language will improve on this because all that stuff is NEEDED at scale. I'm an exceedingly accomplished Perl programmer and I can certainly code in other 'P languages' perfectly well, but they aren't the same thing. Each tool to its place.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 4, Interesting) 500

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47742759) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

The alternative view is that it is fast enough to do the things that need to be fast and cleaner than all those scripting languages.

Here's the thing. Java applications are VERY EFFICIENT. It may be difficult (not impossible but a pain in the ass) to write Java code which performs a specific task in a deterministic period of time. In other words it is not really a real-time sort of thing. OTOH if you want a perform a large number of operations with maximum overall throughput and a fairly stable task completion time then you cannot beat Java. You could do it in C/C++, but you'll spend a lot more time and effort to get the same results. 10 years I coded large high capacity high speed feed handlers in Java and people said I was crazy, but that application continues to exist and outperform anything that tries to rival it while being highly portable, scalable, and superbly reliable.

The thing with scripting languages is they are for small projects. Sure, its MUCH easier to whip out a perl script or something to do a small job. Its faster at run-time as well, but as soon as that task grows to somewhere in the 5-20k lines of code range you simply cannot do it using a scripting language anymore and stay sane. Inconsistencies creep in, problems pile up, the code starts to have to be used and understood by many people, and its just not possible to maintain the level of determinism required of a large code base. At this point you NEED something like Java.

And yes, C# is a perfectly nice language, but it is only really usable on Windows in any consistent fashion. I see no reason to be limited to that platform. Most of my customers are perfectly comfortable with *nix systems and for high reliability high capacity line-of-business applications no version of windows holds a candle to RHEL and isn't even on the same planet with Solaris.

Comment: Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (Score 1) 442

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47702225) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Nor that they will turn out to be the same. To be perfectly frank we had better cover our bases. People are going to make millions of small decisions around the world, and a few big ones, that are going to result in the shape of tomorrow's power grid. The people implementing that grid are going to basically have a choice of making it work as people are using it, not as they dream it should be. Making it as 'smart' as possible seems like win/win kind of situation. Whether that will end up with a no-storage all-renewable grid or not is hard to say. Probably not, but it might be a lot closer than one imagines. It might turn out to be something else entirely too!

Comment: Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (Score 1) 442

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47700329) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

I think the problem is nobody can really say exactly what the energy situation in 2055 is going to be. We have some idea, but there will be substantial differences. I'm not ignorant of the physics or the technology, etc. Its just that different economics will be at play then as opposed to now. Building efficiency for instance is rising rapidly, which has a big impact on the timing and nature of peak demand. Its quite likely people will use energy quite a bit more efficiently and how about they're more concerned about reliable supply and thus at-the-source generation and storage? Imagine my computing needs of 2040. What I can do with a couple watt-hours is going to be monstrous, but I want to never be in the dark, so I want local storage, and then why not have local distributed generation as well? I'm not saying how it WILL play out, but you have to watch basing your projections on assumptions that themselves will be the first victims of change.

Comment: Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (Score 1) 442

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47698987) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

No, you're wrong, it will be a once in some significant number of years event, no more common than major power outages are now. This would be true if the entire East Coast was powered virtually entirely by wind. You need to do some actual reading of plans and studies on the subject and look at what is happening in other areas. Note too that what I'm mentioning is ONLY OFFSHORE WIND, nothing else (with about 10% capacity gas backup, no more than is already provided for what you call 'baseload'). Surely this is not the ACTUAL configuration which would exist. There will be for a long time now other forms of power generation, and things like hydro (very good at storage and quick dispatch, and can run at 100% capacity when required for a time). The REAL GRID of the mid-21st Century is very different from the grid of the mid-20th Century upon which you build your prognostications.

Comment: Re:"Dance" = rolling blackouts (Score 1) 442

by Giant Electronic Bra (#47698285) Attached to: Is Storage Necessary For Renewable Energy?

Hey, you can have 3 different natural disasters and a transmission line failure too. There's only a finite reliability to the whole grid. Nothing has to be 100%. You need to cover the "once every 20 years there's a modest shortfall and we can predict it 2-3 days out" which we are at now.

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