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Comment: Re:How 'Bout (Score 1) 404

by PhilHibbs (#48001015) Attached to: It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

When I was 15, we had to choose a book to study and read a report on it in front of the class. I chose Animal Farm. The teacher criticized me for "still reading children's books at your age", and the whole class laughed at me. I failed English at that school, but got an 'A' when I re-sat at a different school a year later.

Comment: Re:not like megacorps don't control OSS already (Score 1) 54

by PhilHibbs (#47917033) Attached to: Industry-Based ToDo Alliance Wants To Guide FOSS Development

...rankly, the FOSS community needs to make a choice - if they want the year of Linux on the desktop to stop being a joke and start being a reality...

That's a big "if". A lot of Linux developers really never have cared about desktops. "The year of Linux on the desktop" has always been a media thing.

Comment: Self-modifying BASIC (Score 1) 729

My dad and I wrote a BASIC interpreter for the IBM PC in the '80s called BBasic, based on the Acorn BBC Micro dialect. BBC BASIC had an "EVAL" function, where it took a string and interpreted it as an expression. I persuaded dad that we should expand this functionality to an EXEC statement, that would take a string and interpret it as BASIC commands. If you put a line number at the start of the string, it would insert the code in the string into the program that was running - so you could have self-modifying BASIC code. There was one restriction, that if any of the points in the call stack were prior to the inserted statement, then it would fall over in a very untidy heap.

It actually turned out to be pretty useful, the one used that I can remember was to store persistent data within the program itself, and you could save a program as an executable that included a runtime interpreter.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"