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Comment: Re:Not as easy to read as Python though (Score 1) 414

by TeknoHog (#49746655) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

Have you ever looked at the Fortran sections of CHARMM (MD package)? You want something hard to read that will make your head explode, go look at some of that mess! Not only is everything in CAPS there are space indents in the code and if you don't match those up, WHAMMO! error time!

I haven't had a look, but from your description I assume it's Fortran 77 (or even older, though that's unlikely). It's a good point, though; everything good I've said about Fortran refers to F90 or later. I agree that F77 is a mess and it lacks a lot of the modern niceties, for example with vector/matrix types (imagine writing auto-parallelized matrix math in the 1990s).

I'm pretty sure that all the bad things people generally say about Fortran are because they're only familiar with the horrible old versions. The change to F90 didn't exactly happen overnight with all the legacy code around; the only time I've worked with F77 was at CERN in 2001, but fortunately I got to write my part in F90, only using the legacy bits as reference for the data format.

Comment: Re:Not as easy to read as Python though (Score 2, Interesting) 414

by TeknoHog (#49742895) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

BTW, in case you haven't noticed, Python syntax is similar to Fortran syntax which is among the oldest, if not the oldest programming language still alive.

This. I think Fortran (and now Julia) strikes the best balance, because it doesn't have the tab/space issue that may produce problems, especially when sharing code. Like Python, it lacks the ugly {} ; punctuations, but it needs something to denote the end of a block, so it uses the English word "end" to keep things simple and clean.

Comment: Re:are the lectures good or just reading the text (Score 1) 113

by TeknoHog (#49716427) Attached to: Schools That Ban Mobile Phones See Better Academic Results
Ah, forced lectures, good point. The only time I've had those was during teacher training, and they would circulate a list you'd sign. The natural solution was that as long as some of your friends were there, they could sign for you. That's a win-win if it makes the lecture better for those who actually care about it.

Comment: Re:"6.41%" (Score 2) 113

by TeknoHog (#49713837) Attached to: Schools That Ban Mobile Phones See Better Academic Results

When I was doing my masters degree I attended lectures where professors allowed laptops in class. Some people used them for taking notes like I did but a sizeable number of students just sat there posting on Facebook, web-surfing or playing FarmVille or some other dumb ass flash game. I'll never understand why people do that, they pay an arm and a leg in school admission fees, spend the entire semester goofing off and are then surprised when they flunk out or pass the course by the skin of their teeth. I don't think banning laptops, tablets and phones will do much good, people will just find another way to goof off but I can relate to why teachers want to ban these devices. It's the students who goof off all semester who blame everybody but themselves and write the most scathingly critical reviews of a course and its teacher and that's bloody frustrating when you know perfectly well that their failure is nobody's fault but their own.

This. I'm also seeing people waste lecture time on dead-tree shit like sudoku and hanjie, as well as good old social chatting, so it's certainly not a question of banning this or that technology. The really dumb thing is that when exams come up, they need to spend more time catching up on the material they could have learned when it was first presented, while I can enjoy my free time posting on Slashdot.

I understand that people learn in different ways, but perhaps those who don't dig lectures could be using that time for something fun/useful instead. It just seems like pure waste. I've had my share of too early mornings and days off sick, when I know it's better to stay at home and study on my own.

Comment: Re:Which half? (Score 1) 147

by TeknoHog (#49705195) Attached to: Mechanical 'Clicky' Keyboards Still Have Followers (Video)

I think you would want a half-keyboard for your left hand -- that way, your right hand would be free to use your mouse (or other pointing device).

I think you missed my link about the reasons for this handedness. My right hand has better/faster control for individual finger movements, while my left hand is better at blind spatial awareness. It's not just me, though, there is research evidence supporting the latter -- the left hand is more in tune with the "spatial" brain hemisphere. I also play the guitar, where you need to do complex stuff on your left hand, and I don't think they designed it just to annoy everyone.

Comment: Which half? (Score 3, Interesting) 147

by TeknoHog (#49701211) Attached to: Mechanical 'Clicky' Keyboards Still Have Followers (Video)

I'm right handed, and I think a half-keyboard for the right hand would make much more sense. I only saw references to the left-hand one in the given link. I've found a number of good reasons to mouse on the "wrong" hand.

On another, more general note, mechanical does not have to mean clicky. I can't stand any extra noise, but I still like the feel of good mechanical keyboards, so something like Brown switches are a good compromise.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.