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Comment: Re:a counterpoint on "no regressions" (Score 1) 132

by Sam Douglas (#37519488) Attached to: Linus' Lessons On Software Dev Management

One goal of refactoring is to not change the functionality of the code.

I think Torvalds is completely right here, it's all too easy to let the most convenient/nice way to code something dictate the user experience; which is fine if the user is the programmer (e.g. writing library code). Applications with a complex UI often suffer from this; getting something that works the way the user expects it to often means doing 'dirty' things to the codebase to make it work.

Comment: Re:Depends on finger strength and coordination (Score 1) 362

by Sam Douglas (#37299606) Attached to: Weak Typing — the Lost Art of the Keyboard

I was never formally taught how to touch type, and I sort of developed an ad-hoc style on QWERTY. It was fast enough for me, but after a few years I was getting quite bad strain in the back of my hands if I typed too much. I don't really type faster on Dvorak, but it has fixed bad habits I developed with Qwerty and I don't get hand strain when typing. (It has probably made me a better touch-typist because I never rearranged the keys on my keyboard)

Comment: Re:Yeah, and I am a Pony (Score 1) 291

by Sam Douglas (#36992370) Attached to: Making Graphics In Games '100,000 Times' Better?

Both techniques are useful. New hardware tessellation features in DX11 capable cards mean we should start seeing games using displacement mapping. A relatively low polygon model is rendered, a displacement map texture is used to deform each triangle. My understanding is that each triangle is subdivided and then a displacement map is used to shift each new vertex. This allows models to have detailed geometry when close to the camera, but not waste time rendering the detail when it is going to be pointless. ((I haven't actually played with displacement mapping, so I could be wrong about the details))

Comment: Re:How Microsoft of Them (Score 1) 250

I think Wave's key problem was direction. Wave did a bunch of technically cool things, but when it came down to it, most people who got Wave invites went on there, created a couple of meta-waves and found a bunch of shortcomings of the implementation. They didn't know why they wanted it.

I think in that sense, Gmail and Google+ both had a better start. It is annoying having to clear out your inbox, hunting for that important email is annoying. Gmail has lots of storage space and searching. We interact with lots of different groups of people in our lives. Sometimes it is good to know only certain people can hear you. Sometimes posts that are important to you get lost amongst the chaff. Google+ gives you control over who you share with and who you listen to.

Comment: Re:Common knowledge (Score 1) 670

by Sam Douglas (#36483400) Attached to: C++ the Clear Winner In Google's Language Performance Tests

A good garbage collector already has memory set aside to allocate new objects in. No searching is required, just like allocating memory on the stack.

When the pool of memory for that gets full, the live objects are copied to a new location and the entire memory pool is emptied.

The "generation 0" collection is normally pretty painless, as most objects are short-lived anyway.

Comment: Re:Same with 1080p (Score 1) 666

by Sam Douglas (#36235790) Attached to: Users Want Matte LCDs While Glossy Screens Dominate

But the remainder of the frame was intended to be cut! With The Shining, I ended up cropping it to the correct aspect ratio in VLC because it annoyed me the composition looked weird. Plus at times there were objects in frame that should not have been, such as helicopter blades during the intro sequence.

Comment: Re:Same with 1080p (Score 1) 666

by Sam Douglas (#36232112) Attached to: Users Want Matte LCDs While Glossy Screens Dominate

It's basically using as much of the 'bandwidth' that is available on the picture and leaving the black bars to the playback equipment. In cinemas this means a widescreen film is 'stretched' (optically) onto a 35mm frame (which are ~4:3) and then unstretched using the lens on the projector to be the correct aspect ratio. Making the most of what you have.

Comment: Re:Don't do it... (Score 2) 427

by Sam Douglas (#36058624) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving From *nix To Windows Automation?

Powershell might be better than cmd batch files, but don't expect to be able to write a script that will run on machines that haven't had Powershell explicitly installed. I attempted to use Powershell for a simple automation task, but couldn't write a script for automating something and expect it would work at all on a client's machine like I probably could if it were a Unix shell.

Running software in Windows is a massive pain because there is no good way for the shell to find commands, so scripts that depend on external programs need to jump through hoops to find the appropriate binaries.

I ended up whipping up a quick program in C# to do the automation; it took less time than trying to figure out Powershell, didn't require many dependencies and could provide UI for selecting directories etc.

Comment: Re:Java's and Adobe's updates suck. (Score 1) 86

by Sam Douglas (#35926774) Attached to: Microsoft Kicks Off Third-Party Bug Warnings

I quite like the approach of just installing to your home directory by default, and offering to install for all users as a secondary option. It works well for single user systems and somewhat limits the damage that can be caused on a multi-user system.

In my opinion too much software is packaged to target some experience in between individual use and corporate use. I like that Google Chrome just installs somewhere and updating just happens without me really being involved or having to prod it along. Minecraft is another popular app that uses that model to good effect.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA