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Comment: What a useless article (Score 1) 183

by MassacrE (#47917581) Attached to: Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

Languages don't get open sourced - language implementations do. So a real informative article would talk about why apple would or wouldn't propose Swift to a standards body as a new language.

My understanding (from Apple employee comments, including by Chris Lattner who created Swift) is that the language is evolving in the open now. Version 1.0 is going to be supported by iOS 8 tools, but that doesn't mean there may be several updates even over the next year to fundamental language concepts. Languages evolve from use; the best way to make Swift better is to have people both inside and outside of Apple start using it and providing feedback.

They actually designed the swift implementation to make more rapid evolution of the language possible; there are no components at the OS level or shared by applications. Instead, you bundle your application and dependent libraries with the swift runtime corresponding to the compiler version used to compile every swift thing in that bundle. In exchange for more space used by duplicating libraries, they can actually let you ship and support older swift code that might not even compile with the newest tools due to language changes.

In that environment of rapid innovation, attempting to standardize the language or to promote alternate implementations would be insane. However, these are both things which I've seen hints are desired once the language calms down. If Swift is proposed as a new language to a standards body, it is incredibly likely that Apple would also give components of their Swift implementation to the LLVM project.

Comment: Re:Good point, except... (Score 4, Interesting) 220

by MassacrE (#47096419) Attached to: PHK: HTTP 2.0 Should Be Scrapped

It is a technical discussion. Unless you are prepared to provide feedback on how to make a more private/anonymous protocol which can serve as a drop-in replacement for HTTP 1.1, "normal users" will just serve as background noise.

PHK's biggest issue IMHO is that HTTP/2 will break his software (Varnish), by requiring things his internal architecture can't really deal with (TLS).

Comment: Re:sad (Score 1) 232

by MassacrE (#44142919) Attached to: L.A. School District's 30,000 iPads May Come With Free Lock-In

This is because most funding that comes from outside of the local community (from state and federal-level taxes) comes with significant strings attached on what the funds can be used for. This is for example pretty much the only reason most schools even have internet access today - because some program somewhere is funding it.

Realize primary school textbooks actually cost new the same level as college-level textbooks, and the security requirements which are being placed on schools. Moving to an iPad per student not only saves them money (since replacements are built into the cost to schools), but it allows them to eliminate lockers because students no longer have 60 lbs of books issued to them for their classes.

On the flip side, books never really die - they just get too worn for a school to use. But typically these are repaired and given to a school which has less money. And then, scarily, again they are given to schools which have less money (apparently a lot of my old text books which were all third+ hand were being sent to Mississippi - and a significant number of my books in high school were already the same age or older as I was).

The book publishers are not interested in having book licenses be transferrable - instead, a Math book is discounted down to $10 for a student on condition that the book is not transferrable to any other student, and is "theirs for life". New versions are actually pushed out to the book itself digitally, so tricks like you have in college of having the "14th edition" come out with the same text but new problems go away.

This not only starts to create a much more predictable revenue for the book publishers, but will have a trickle-down effect where the poorer schools will have to get in line, since they no longer have a source of repairable books for their classrooms.

Comment: Re:I don't like boost (Score 2) 333

by MassacrE (#43185689) Attached to: Comparing the C++ Standard and Boost

b) a darn STANDARD _Binary_ API so I don't have to worry about which _compiler_ AND _platform_ was used,

I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Do you mean generate compiler/platform independent code (some IR like bytecode/LLIR)? Or do you mean ntoh/hton and the like?

h) Provide PROPER 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit characters
i) Fix the darn grammar so that compilers accept UNICODE source
j) Fix the darn grammar so that compilers RECOGNIZE identifiers WITH Unicode characters

Should both be fixed with C++11. Except 24-bit characters, which I've never heard of before.

k) Add a proper exponent operator
l) Add a proper wedge operator, along with inner and outer product operators

Seem rather special-cased here.

m) Add proper multiple return types

You can do this by returning a std::pair, a std::tuple, or a structure you build. However, I don't believe there is an easy syntactic way to split a pair/tuple into multiple local variables.

n) Fix all the times the spec says "undefined" or "implementation dependent". The point of a spec is to SPECIFY what the operations do, NOT to be ambiguous because in some idiotic universe 'char' is not exactly 8-bits.

Never going to happen. Most of those "undefined/implementation dependent" items are features, and compilers take advantage of them to optimize code. It does make some quirky edge cases, but makes a lot of code optimization techniques in use today possible.

When is C++ going to automatic garbage collection WITH the ability to tell the garbage system how many milliseconds you are allowed to use (inclusive from ZERO.)

Do you know a system that does this max time? Because it sounds ridiculously difficult, and would lead to cases where a program would have to fail because it has no memory yet is not allowed to do a full garbage sweep/reclaim.

The problem with that C++ is not that you can't write simple code, but is that the languages makes it easy to write verbose bloated code.

I actually don't believe this is the problem with C++ - you can write verbose, bloated code in most languages. The problem I see is that C++ was made to be as strict a superset of C as possible, and inherited an audience who want full control of things like object size, and memory allocation/deallocation behavior. Because of this, generialized code requires way more knobs to be tweaked than you expect, and templates have evolved to be a hacked-together functional programming language to determine optimal operation. In order to generate an optimal, generic library you have to make the code itself incredibly difficult to maintain.

Comment: Re:Of course it has a CPU in it. (Score 3, Informative) 392

by MassacrE (#43056775) Attached to: Apple's Lightning-to-HDMI Dongle Secretly Packed With ARM, Airplay

Although I don't have the means or desire to test it, it is far more likely that they decided most of what people would want to output via HDMI was H.264-encoded video. So they made an interface where H.264 was streamed over the lightning connector, and converted by this adapter to HDMI. Probably both sides use HDCP or similar protections.

The limitations Panic encountered are because the video support in the iPad mini can only h.264 encode the screen (for 'mirroring') at lower-than-1080p resolutions.

Comment: Re:I don't get it... (Score 1) 244

by MassacrE (#41329609) Attached to: Fragmentation Comes To iOS

The issue is that people program at a pixel ratio as if it is some measurement of minimal perceived size. If they had just quadrupled the pixels, most websites for instance would expect to scale to fill the larger size, but without any notion of whether the page was being rendered large enough to see.

Not to mention all the people who hard-coded mobile sites based on the horizontal width of the device. Which, btw, still hasn't changed even with the new dimensions.

Comment: Its their own damn fault (Score 4, Insightful) 393

by MassacrE (#41244645) Attached to: Apple Says "No" To Releasing New Dock Connector Specs

Accessory manufacturers (particularly case manufacturers) burnt all their bridges with Apple long ago. Since around when the iphone 3gs came out, nobody has gotten any advance notice of new hardware because of all the leaks.

Even now, many of the apple rumors come from case manufacturers who are attempting to bribe employees at the manufacturer for information.

Right now Apple has only even hinted that there may be an iphone 5, and if they are going to deprecate a decade of accessories with a new connector they want to do it on their own terms. There is no way Applw have confirmed or denied the dock connector except perhaps in controlled leaks to the media. Nobody making alarm clock docks is gonna know a damn thing until the rest of us do on the 12th.

Comment: For those confused. (Score 4, Informative) 395

by MassacrE (#40726447) Attached to: HTML5 Splits Into Two Standards

WHATWG split off from the W3C work because they couldn't organize additions and clarifications to the HTML 4 spec under the W3C. It is mostly a group of browser-makers (everyone except Microsoft).

The W3C then asked if they could standardize the WHATWG's work as HTML5

What happened a year ago (and is just being put on slashdot today?) was that the WHATWG announced that they weren't going to stop producing additional work. The version under the W3C would eventually be released as version 5.0, but WHATWG would effectively be the HEAD/master version of work on extending HTML.

Which HTML5 is an easy question to answer - there will only be one HTML5. People will put pressure on the browser manufacturers to support the W3C's standardization of HTML as version 5.0. But browser manufacturers will also continue to cram new crap and functionality in ahead of W3C standardization, and attempt to define interoperability of that under the flag "HTML" in WHATWG, a "specification" that grows as the members gain consensus on how new functionality should work (or in some cases, how to advertise the functionality is not offered).

In reality, this is how HTML has _always_ operated.

Comment: Friends of Eclipse (Score 1) 341

The recent Eclipse launch had several benefits for Eclipse users; the big one is that the donors got access to binaries 48 hours earlier, while anyone else supposedly could build the same release it is a huge project and that would be a labor-intensive process.

I would recommend something like this over denying users binaries, as your project probably does not need any barriers to user adoption.

Comment: Missing the point (Score 1) 575

by MassacrE (#40459645) Attached to: Bill Gates Says Tablets Aren't Much Help In Education

While tablets are definitely a cool gadget and sound like a draw to the school, in reality the switchover is to save money by killing paper books. They have worked the numbers out such that it appears cheaper for a school which buys new paper books to instead buy tablets per student (at edu pricing) and per-student licensing for the book content.

I don't know if these numbers take into account schools reselling those new books after a few years to schools with more budgetary constraints, and I suspect those poorer schools are going to be hurt hard by having their supply of second-hand books dry up. But this is not just about every kid getting a gadget.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)