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Comment: because it is not compiled (Score 1) 519

by Ian-K (#38577998) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Web Platform Would You Use?

When the code starts to get (really) complex, it gets hard to keep track of errors coming up. In a compiled, statically typed language the extra nagging from the compiler really really pays off, as you know EXACTLY what the problem is and where to expect one. Then the debugging really comes down to hunting nulls and what-if scenarios. In PHP you basically have to keep track of almost everything having the right type etc.

I grew up as a Java person (even got meself the SCJP) and I then had to cope with PHP on my work enviroment. I came to appreciate how you can do a lot of things really quickly, but now I spend my time hunting for errors that start appearing once the code passes a certain level of complexity (even though I did take care to design things in a proper OO manner). It's simply hard to keep track of things.

Object orientation kinda sucks in PHP, btw and I have yet to come up with a viable solution to the "include" mess. In Java you have your packages and subpackages in specific folders. You add the right dir in the classpath and you're sorted. In PHP... most things are relevant to the location of the entry file. And packages... basically don't exist.

Coming to which... I'm now trying to squeeze my way into J2EE... it's the "right" way for anything large scale but it's a bit daunting to begin with. And that's what's kept me so far from delving into it.

Then I hear a lot of good things about the ZK framework, which I'm currently looking into and it seems quite promising. So, from what I've seen so far it looks like a technology well worth investing into.

Comment: Please... (Score 1) 783

by Ian-K (#38498826) Attached to: Why Can't We Put a BASIC On the Phone?

Somebody just SHOOT the OP in the head!!!

This was my first programming language and thank God I never went to VB after that. (my path was Lisp, prolog, c, java, haskell and so on - yes, I did a CS course)

Why the hell would one want this "programming language" on the iPhone? It's like starting a Ferrari with a hand-crank

You don't learn how to program even with VB (this we were told quite emphatically at uni on Programming 101, so to say), let alone BASIC.

We have more than enough "beginner" languages as it is, and BASIC - I think you will all agree - is pretty much the worst there is -sorry, WAS-. There's Python, Ruby, Go and a ton of other newly-minted languages-for-the-masses out there to get you started. But BASIC??? That's 2011 man, not 2001. But if you want something that will run on the iPhone and you want to cleanse yourself for this disgraceful question, go over at PhoneGap and start learning their kit.

It's late in the night on this part of the globe. I really hope I'm having a bad dream and I wake up in the morning and realise that I never actually read this question...

Comment: if you're into inner searching... (Score 1) 647

by Ian-K (#38449704) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Like To Read?

... I would definitely recommend any book by Eckhart Tolle.

The Power of Now has changed my world view entirely and let me see the whole life-experience thing in a totally different light. The book talks about the Ego each of us carry and how this affects our lives.

A bit further down the road I would definitely recommend "Stillness Speaks", which is an accumulation of wise sayings meant to "ring some bells" in the inner you.

Happy reading, whatever your choices

Comment: Re:problem (Score 1) 561

by Ian-K (#38353836) Attached to: Canada First Nation To Pull Out of Kyoto Accord

I quite disagree with your first sentence.

The powers that be (PTB) actually think very long-term, but the environment has never been a factor in their equations. They live in a micro-world where all that counts is sales factors, profit margins, pie charts and all that. And in the bottom line, they don't give a shift. They think that they can buy for themselves the right quality of life (and the right environment??? hmmm). The people... we are thought of enough in order to be kept complacent and in good working condition. Other than that, we're only stats and polls.

I was hearing on various fringe sites that 2012 would be the end of this paradigm for how the world works. Since I heard it 3 years ago, the only thing I've been seeing is the PTB doing their best to bring this dead-end sooner than later: the "debt crisis", the environmental issues, the wars brewing in the Middle East etc. So... what is to pass, let it pass. We'll be a lot happier with a new paradigm where material wealth is not the world's motivating factor. Good riddance then

Comment: Ask your gut (Score 1) 735

by Ian-K (#37641092) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

It's not just about the extra 7K plus the shorter distance.

- What about the career prospects in either company? If you're not talking about "career" yet, will the other company offer you anything that will make your CV look better? (certifications / experience / brand name)

- What about the people in the new company? You know the people in your current job, but what about the new job? I wouldn't want to lose my mates so as to enter a highly paid viper pit with everyone back-stabbing everybody else.

- What about the companies themselves? Any solid roadmap? You wouldn't want to join the one company that is doing very well right now but the CEO is short-sighted or has a(n apparently) totally wrong grasp of where the market is going. I'd stick with the company where the management was more insightful and knew what they were doing.

I saw this dilemma from the manager's side just two weeks ago.

I'm an IT consultant for a rail operator and I'm leading a small group of developers within the company, where we're essentially building its IT infrastructures from scratch (and that's LOTS of software, among other things). There's tons of work but the hours are flexible, the atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and informal, the salary is good and overall we're more friends than co-workers. Although this is Greece, the business outlook isn't *that* :) bad for anyone who stays as the consolidation plan we've been implementing is beginning to pay off and the boss knows what he's doing.

Just two weeks ago one of our developers jumped ship to join a big international company mainly known for its database product (and for upsetting the OSS community at large the last year or so :). Sure, it looks like a safe bet from miles away given the circumstances, but there are *always* pitfalls, so we wanted to make sure he had all the questions straight before he moved on. Hence, we had a very similar conversation to this, on a friendly, person-to-person level.

Comment: I'll join the "thin and light" group (Score 1) 262

by Ian-K (#36826820) Attached to: Do Two-Screen Laptops Make Sense?

The key thing about laptops, methinks, is being portable and still having enough oomph to do your work when out in the field.

I've done thousands of miles with my work during the last 5 years and my 15 inch 2.5kg vaio feels like a stone already. Wherever I may go, there's always a monitor one can spare for a couple of hours, if the necessity arises (and most tv sets have a VGA-in anyway).

For me the perfect balance is to be found in the Macbook Air (or equivalents). Especially after today's update to i5/i7 processors. And a 1440x900 resolution is quite enough, especially given that the whole damn thing is 1.35kg. (stick the new 27" TB display alongside and we're talking! )

Comment: Hardly a surprise (Score 1) 305

by Ian-K (#35977212) Attached to: RIM Collapse Beginning?

Over the last year I've been able to use a number of devices on a daily basis, not just play with for a couple of hours in order to have an idea. I'm a software engineer and part of my job is to evaluate mobile devices of various sorts and for various usages.

My latest device is a BlackBerry Curve, which I've had for the last three weeks. Usability-wise, the device is very easy and efficient when it comes to texting and calling but anywhere else the software isn't very usable (in most places I'd say cumbersome) and the platform (running 5.2.0.67 on mine) seems very lacking compared to Android and iOS. The menu structure and navigation could have been a lot better and the phone itself isn't very inviting for app-surfing ("where did GTalk get installed now? It's not under Apps. Ah! Instant Messaging folder. But oh my, MSN messenger and Yahoo tagged along in there... oh joy"). Even within the phone app I've spotted many usability hickups.

If most BBs are similar in terms of usability, it's a no brainer that BB is taking the plunge. I haven't set my paws on a touchscreen BB, so things could be totally different there, can't say.

Previous to that I had a ZTE Blade, which for 160 euros is pretty good in terms of build and (especially) battery life. Plain-vanilla Android 2.1 is still rough on many many edges compared to iOS though. On one hand the phone was very inviting to install apps and use them, on the other hand navigation within SMSs and within the phonebook/phone UI was not exactly streamlined. Not to mention the various usability glitches and feature... mishaps still present (one proxy setting for ALL connections, anyone?).

Before the Blade I had a number of Nokias.... which I won't even bother mentioning :| Hopefully they'll make something usable out of WP7 but I'd love them to have given MeeGo a real shot :(

(and yes, my personal phone is an iPhone. The more hands-on experience I have with other platforms, the more I appreciate iOS and Apple's decisions :) )

Comment: on a more serious side (Score 1) 643

by Ian-K (#35670702) Attached to: MS Global Strategy Chief: Tablets Are a Fad

Tablets aren't exactly competing with netbooks. They're on different target groups.

Tablets are good for and targeted at people who want to mostly use the web and do some light work / playing around without all the hassle of maintaining a full-blown computer (or the hassle of learning how to use one). Thinking of people who would want to use the web but don't know jack about computers, an iPad is the ONLY device I would recommend them.

Netbooks haven't been that successful because they're not properly positioned on the market.
Their specs usually sum up to: small but a bit thick, underpowered cpu, questionable battery life, 1GB ram, WinXP

There are three distinct target groups netbooks could have reached:
- the above group (tablets). NOT happening with winxp or any other desktop OS, not by far.
- people wanting an ultra small/portable laptop with (most of the) performance. I can't think how the above specs would ever entice a good portion of them.
- people wanting an ultra cheap pc for basic net access or to get them started into computers. Given the average netbook specs + price, it seems a no-brainer to spend another $100 and get themselves a low-end laptop (with a decently sized screen) instead.

Comment: And they did very well (Score 1) 239

by Ian-K (#35501828) Attached to: No Contactless Payment System In Next iPhone

On this one I'll side with Apple. Adoption of WHAT standard? Afaik there's no industry consensus on the matter and each group of vendors tries to push their own standard. Another HDDVD vs Bluray war.

Sure, Google is strong-arming things their way, but I think Apple is playing it wisely here by waiting it out and seeing how this one plays out. It's not like everybody out there is at the edge of their toes about NFC. Let's get real about it.

Comment: And just as I was thinking... (Score 1) 77

by Ian-K (#35448418) Attached to: Flash-to-HTML5 Translator: Smart But Not Pretty

...that we would eventually get rid of all those annoying Flash ads.

I mean... have you really seen Flash being used for anything else but ads? Really. Especially those annoying ones that make all sorts of noises until you click them. The good uses of Flash I've seen are very very limited. As a developer there was even a time I was very keen on learning Flex myself. But in the end I'm very thankful Apple chose NOT to support it on their mobile devices.

I'd hate to see those ad-creators have a nice tool in their hands so as to bring their lil annoyances to yet one more set of screens.

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