Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment Re: An unreadable sentence (Score 1) 86

Yes, there were national fads that came and went—and the practice wasn't always universal, albeit beneficial for legibility to an inexperienced reader and safer for the type. By making the spaces not a fixed part of the block, it was still possible to remove them for tighter typesetting in limited spaces and to make sure there weren't unnecessary gaps at the ends of lines. Here's an example from 1808 that puts spaces around colons and semicolons, but not apostrophes, periods, or commas—and quotation marks are handled irregularly (they're hard to find, but there's an example on page 132, at the bottom.) For a comparable debate, German can be typeset with four different quote patterns (normal English-style quotation marks, using double low-nine inverted quotation marks, guillemets, and inverted guillemets, which is the style used in Switzerland.)

Comment Re: An unreadable sentence (Score 2) 86

Spacing around punctuation has been steadily declining as time goes on. Books from 200 years ago might go so far as to put spaces around commas and semicolons on both sides, with the following space also being larger—a convention also used for periods at the time. This is related to the practice of putting quotation marks and parentheses on the outside; slender punctuation blocks of metal type like periods, commas, and semicolons were fragile, so surrounding them in sturdier blocks made them less likely to get broken when the word was added to the page's master negative (the frame) or if the text needed to be reflowed. Double spacing originated as a typewriter-user's emulation of this practice, and as literacy and equipment improved, convention came to cater to both minimalism (thereby also saving paper) and skilled readers.

Comment Re:Who? (Score 1) 688

You want some harsh criticism? And some direct, blunt communication?

People don't scare quote "hetero", because it's the antonym of "homo-". So why the hell are you scare quoting "cis-" when it's the antonym of "trans-"? This is basic Latin, and if you didn't take Latin, then it's basic Chem, and if you didn't take basic Chem, then GET OFF MY INTERNET.

Unless you're going to argue that transgendered/transsexual people don't exist, then stop scare quoting "cis-" like it's some sort of boogie word. It's the natural choice for referring to individuals who are not "trans-". And if "trans" is a word, then "cis" is a word. Just like "hetero" and "homo".

Don't like it? TOUGH! That's how language works.

Comment Re:Avoid INTERCAL (Score 1) 429

Avoid INTERCAL job postings at all costs.

So, you mean the fact that I wrote a c-intercal parser that used obscure opcodes to actually perform the interweave and or and xor isn't a good thing to put on my resume?

Also, my favorite obscure language is LIRL, and that has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH ME BEING THE AUTHOR... rather, it's an interesting concept of, "what if Perl raped LISP and LISP was forced by the republican state government to carry that baby to term?"

The answer is: implied parentheses. To be clear, the language is absolutely context sensitive...

Comment Re:Actually, the common saying... (Score 1) 354

I ended up booting into DOS directly for most of these reasons.

Oddly, I barely even use 95... went straight from 3.x to 98. Where I still booted into DOS to do my gaming.

Ah... back in the day... I had to tetris my drivers to make sure I had enough conventional and XMS memory for the game I wanted to play... BOTH WAYS!

Comment Hmmm. (Score 1) 95

My day job is a web comic. All of my story notes live largely in Evernote. I mostly try to avoid doing lengthy sagas that need to really worry about continuity.

I believe Marvel and DC employ archivists; part of their job is to be a resource on continuity. Part of the job of a comic's editor is also to catch continuity glitches.

Comment Re:As a chemist, I have something to say. (Score 1) 135

Are you aware, that companies that produce lead-free solder in Europe, must have their product labeled with "may contain lead" in California?

Because California's lead restrictions are something like 9X (1 part per billion) where as Europe's standard is at 6X (1 part per million)... even though both of them can be described best and most easily with homeopathic dilution values...

Comment I've had issues with the Win10 NVIDIA drivers... (Score 3, Insightful) 317

Usually the problem is something like, "it isn't giving me the newest driver" or simply the poor quality of the drivers in the first place. (For awhile there, if I clicked on the start button, it would cause my screen to reset!) And a lot of "your driver stopped responding so we turned it off, then back on again."

In some ways, I like that the drivers are being pushed to me automatically, but at the same time, if I'm doing multiple reinstalls in a single day, I've already downloaded the drivers... I don't need them to be downloaded YET AGAIN, every install...

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes