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Comment Re:"When everyone can code . . . " (Score 1) 255

They are essential to programming in the real world, not an academic ivory tower.

IDE quirks, platform incompatibilities, and arcane build systems are "essential"? I'm sorry, but I'm quite sure I could live just fine without them. That's like saying that complicated tax code is "essential" for running a country. In reality, it's most likely much more essential for accountant job security.

Comment Re:The hybrid solution is the best... (Score 1) 213

There is something to be said for BEVs with range extenders, though. If your range extender fails, you're not left with a completely immobile car, and the unit could be quite small (being optimized for constant output in the range of kilowatts) and easily interchangeable in the car repair shop - it's just a few more cables, not a mechanical interconnection. Whether it's actually worth it in the real world is a different idea, regardless of the reliability. Here in Europe, I suspect most people wouldn't need it anyway.

Comment Re:Interesting times in the launch market (Score 1) 71

Aerojet-Rocketdyne just offered to buy ULA. ULA was planning on using Blue Origin's BE-4 engine for their upcoming Vulcan rocket, but if the AR purchase goes through there's no way the Vulcan will use anything but AR engines. Or maybe they'll just re-engine Atlas V with an AR replacement for the Russian RD-180 engine.

If AR actually buys ULA, the future competitiveness of ULA's vehicle will go down the drain. This would be very good news to SpaceX and BO!

Comment Re:"When everyone can code . . . " (Score 1) 255

This is exactly the argument that the people from VPRI and behind HtDP are making in favor of teaching everyone the basics of computing. Not everyone needs to be a novelist, but most people would benefit from being able to compose a simple letter without mistakes.

Comment Re:Maintainability is THE Bottleneck (Score 2) 255

Even worse, the computing industry is most likely not interested in the "democratization" of programming. Microsoft et al. have no reason to commit a business suicide and make themselves obsolete by simplifying anything related to everyday computing. After all, having people grown dependent on their current software offer has turned them into one of the largest software companies in the world. Clearly from the business perspective, having your users self-sufficient is a horrible idea.

Comment Re:"When everyone can code . . . " (Score 1) 255

Modern GUIs have almost entirely abandoned the concepts of flexibility that were expected in the 1970s to take over the world in the future. One of the reasons for that was the succession of reinvention of GUI technologies by several waves of new computing devices that started small whose creators, having come from different backgrounds, had only a very faint grasp of what progress in computing had been made previously in larger computing systems. Macintoshes, Unix RISC workstations, Windows x86 machines are all parts of this sequence of knowledge decay.

Comment Re:"When everyone can code . . . " (Score 1) 255

Learning to store values in variables, write "if else" and loops, and call subroutines is ridiculously simple.

This is equivalent to learning the letters of the alphabet. That won't make you a writer, though. Writing classes are about something different.

Learning a dozen frameworks, a hundred "gotchas" in your language of choice, security best practices, database interfaces, GUI libraries, IDE quirks, platform incompatibilities, version control and arcane build systems & toolchains is NOT simple, and I would challenge anyone to learn a modern commercial software dev process in less than 5 years.

I think you're making two major mistakes here. First of all, you're assuming that these things are intrinsic rather than accidental complications of current computing. Some people believe them to be the latter rather than the former. Second, even if this were the case for core computing functionality, there's still a large class of useful programs that does not necessitate the involvement of any such complications into the process of programming. Nobody is calling for turning the population of this world into a nation of low-level programmers by trade. There's a middle ground between that and current casual computer users that multiplies the productivity of computer users considerably.

Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine. -- Andy Warhol