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Comment: Re:pdf.js (Score 2) 132

by PhrostyMcByte (#47625093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

Office Automation is problematic -- because it literally opens up a hidden window of your Office app and simulates clicking around the UI to do what you need, if something unexpected happens it can unhide the window to show the user a message. This might be good enough for a desktop app, but if you're running it on a server it'll just freeze up your process with noone there to click it.

For Office->PDF conversion of word docs, Aspose.Words has a fairly easy API and generally very accurate rendering. I highly recommend it.

Comment: I'm convinced there is no elegant PDF library (Score 4, Informative) 132

by PhrostyMcByte (#47625017) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

At least on the C# side of things, the three libraries I've used (iTextSharp, PdfSharp, and Aspose.Pdf) are all a bit of an unintuitive mess with inconsistencies all over the place and very little documentation. In the case of iText, their revenue stream is putting all their documentation into a book for people to buy, so it's not uncommon to get an intentionally vague response when asking for help.

I cycle between each depending on what I need to do, because they all have their own quirks and supported features. I've even piped from one to another to get certain parts of the process working.

Good luck.

Comment: Bose is worried (Score 5, Insightful) 162

by PhrostyMcByte (#47541863) Attached to: Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

Bose and Beats are both highly brand-focused. Bose targets the more mature quality-seeking crowd, while Beats targets the bass-hungry and fashion-conscious youth. There's some overlap, but generally I'd say their targets kept competition to a minimum, and they've pretty much cornered those targets

Apple has the best of both worlds being viewed both as high quality and a status symbol. If they start using their monster marketing teams to align peoples' view of Beats with that of Apple, Bose stands a chance of being pushed out of the market by a frightening direct competition. They've got good reason to try to stall the acquisition as much as possible

Comment: Re:Bah (Score 1) 280

You can buy a YubiKey to do this today without any finicking with a Raspberry Pi. There are a few modes depending on the devices you buy. First is what you say -- it can emulate a keyboard, and input a password for you whenever you press a button on the device. It can also perform HOTP/TOTP authentication, and some of them can act as a legitimate security token that integrates with your platform's crypto.

Comment: Re:Stack Overflow reputation (Score 2) 285

by PhrostyMcByte (#47408079) Attached to: The World's Best Living Programmers

Stack Overflow reputation indicates that you're a 1337 documentation writer, not necessarily that you know how to program.

SO reputation indicates a number of things -- that you can understand and dissect problems and code from others, that you have intimate knowledge of the platforms you're answering about, that you can code reasonably well, and that you can communicate well.

Basically, someone with a high rep is very likely to be enthusiastic, knowledgable, and great to work with. Does this mean Jon Skeet can out-code an elite like John Carmack? No. Does it mean he's a good coder? Probably. One of the "top" programmers? Not enough data.

This whole article is a bit of a bonkers idea. What makes a good dev? Is it the ability to work quickly, elegantly, and robustly? Being able to pull innovative algorithms out of thin air? Is it the ability to hack together important, complicated projects even if the code itself is a mess? How about less direct things, like overall contribution to the dev community and enthusiasm for helping other people grow?

Comment: Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (Score 2) 272

by PhrostyMcByte (#47369735) Attached to: Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job
Non-competes are BS. But requiring employees to not reveal confidential information, poach clients, etc. for their new competing bosses seems like a reasonable and ethical thing to ask. It sounds like Amazon believes he may have crossed this line, beyond simply working for a competitor.

Comment: Re:Why can't you plug into you TV anymore. (Score 1) 394

by PhrostyMcByte (#47262437) Attached to: Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

I own a HDHomeRun, and it was a bitch to set up because even Comcast customer support had never heard of it (at one point, they told me to call TiVo!)

When was the last time you did this?

I've had a HDHomeRun Prime for about three years now, and have never had an issue with Comcast's CableCard activation line. The other side of the call is seated by a weird androgynously-voiced Indian following a script, but I've never been on the phone more than about 5 minutes before my card was working.

Comment: Re:No, we don't (Score 1) 309

by PhrostyMcByte (#47223817) Attached to: Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

I have no idea if Google's language is one that I'd want to use, but I do know that Javascript is by no means a good choice to develop large-scale web apps with. Unfortunately, it's currently the only choice we've got. Given that the ecosystem is far more open to change lately, it seems like as good a time as any to replace it.

I think the best way we could handle it is to create a standard high-level bytecode and package format. Then any number of languages could be translated to it easily and efficiently.

Computers are not intelligent. They only think they are.