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Comment: Re:Accessibility is still a sad joke! (Score 1) 70

by TheRaven64 (#48950333) Attached to: How Blind Programmers Write Code

I've also got my magnifier configured so that I can use CTRL+ALT + Mousewheel or WIN+Mousewheel to zoom in/out very quickly, and CTRL+ALT+Middleclick to toggle invert.

The zoom feature in OS X is configurable, but the default combination is control+mousewheel, so I'm not sure what it is that you prefer about the Windows one.

Comment: Re:Telegraph poles mostly gone in UK (Score 1) 100

They'd have had to dig underground ducting in to everybody's garden. How did they do it without us noticing?

Presumably people did notice. The telephone connection to both of my last two houses comes in at the front, but there was a telegraph pole in the back of both with a wire going into the back (and then terminating). In both houses, the wire eventually fell off the back. I presume that the previous owners did notice when they re-did their telephone wiring...

Comment: Re:Telegraph poles mostly gone in UK (Score 2) 100

I have a house on a street lined with telegraph poles in the UK too. The poles run wires to everyone's house. The same was true of the place I lived before moving there. In both cases, the wire fell off my house while I was living there. It hadn't been connected to anything inside the house for a very long time - telephone service came in on the other side of the house, underground. They just never got around to removing the poles and the above-ground wires that didn't have a signal going through them.

Comment: Re: You nerds need to get over yourselves (Score 1) 211

by TheRaven64 (#48913625) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy
Even in Finance, they've done that. Look at PayPal. The only reason that it exists is that the banks and credit card companies dragged their feet with online payments. They're now doing free electronic person-to-person transfers, but it's still expensive to take credit card payments online.

Comment: Re:You nerds need to get over yourselves (Score 1) 211

by TheRaven64 (#48912547) Attached to: Why Coding Is Not the New Literacy

When people say coding is the new literacy they are not suggesting that everyone become professional programmers anymore then saying someone should be able to read and write means they should become professional writers.

Exactly. Go back a couple of hundred years and you even have well-off people saying 'I don't need to learn to write, I can afford to hire a scribe'. You had people saying 'not everyone needs to learn to read and write, there aren't enough jobs for that many scribes anyway'.

Before he retired, my stepfather was the head groundskeeper on a golf course. Not exactly the kind of job you think of as requiring coding skills. Except that they had a computerised irrigation system that could trigger sprinklers in response to various events (humidity sensors, motion sensors, time, and so on). It came with a partly-graphical domain-specific programming language for controlling it. It's going to be very hard in the next 50 years to find a job that doesn't require some programming to do it competently - even this kind of stereotypically low-tech job requires it now.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 4, Insightful) 465

It's really the only viable answer to piracy that's left and publishers are embracing it wholeheartedly.

I used to pirate games and I used to buy games. I eventually couldn't be bothered with pirating and worrying about malware or with trying to jump through the hoops that the publishers wanted, so I stopped playing games altogether. Then gog.com launched and sold me games that I was nostalgic about, cheaply. Then they started selling newer games. I spent more with them last six months than I did on total on games in the five years since Steam was launched and the industry wend DRM-happy. I can download DRM-free installers for all of the games, often in OS X, Windows, and Linux versions.

It turns out that there's another answer to piracy that works: sell your product in a way that's easy to use at a reasonable price. Stop worrying about pirates and start worrying about customers. Someone who wouldn't buy your game anyway who pirates it is not a lost sale, but someone who can't be bothered to put up with your treating them like a criminal and so doesn't buy from you is. Buying a game from gog.com is easier than pirating and, if you factor in the cost of your time, probably cheaper as well.

Give me a product I want for a reasonable price and I will happily hand over my money, because I feel that I'm getting something valuable in return. Don't, and... well, computer games are not the only form of entertainment available.

Comment: Re: DirectX is obsolete (Score 1) 134

by TheRaven64 (#48902995) Attached to: DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update
Actually, a lot of these games just use WINE's implementation of DirectX. This either translates the calls to OpenGL or implements a DirectX state tracker directly if you have Gallium drivers configured correctly. The same is true of a lot of Mac games. Good luck getting WINE to run on a console though...

Comment: Re:DirectX is obsolete (Score 1) 134

by TheRaven64 (#48902991) Attached to: DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

Your typical GPU driver is about 10MB of object code. It contains a complex optimising compiler and controls a device that has complete DMA access to your computer. It is written with speed as the only significant goal. Making a GPU driver 1% faster contributes enough to sales to pay the salaries of several driver developers. Making the GPU driver more secure generates zero additional sales.

The shader code that's fed into this stack from WebGL is sanitised and is completely safe to run, assuming that your driver stack is 100% bug free. Still feel safe?

Comment: Re:DirectX is obsolete (Score 1) 134

by TheRaven64 (#48902983) Attached to: DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

If you write a game that uses Direct3D, you can easily target Windows, XBox, and Windows Phone. If you write a game that uses OpenGL, then you can easily target all of the major desktop, mobile, and console platforms. If your game runs on a generation-old console, then it will run on current-generation mobiles as well. This gives you three markets: First release for high-end PCs, second for consoles, third for mobiles. You can get a solid revenue stream out of each one. You don't lose the Windows marked by choosing OpenGL, but you do lose every other market by using Direct3D.

That said, the APIs are so similar these days that you'll typically use some middleware to provide the abstraction. All of the important code is written in the shaders and these are much easier to port between GLSL and HLSL than they are to port between different GPUs and maintain performance.

Comment: Re:Modula-3 FTW! (Score 2) 488

by TheRaven64 (#48902963) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Implementing this in the standard library means that the language needs to support pass-by-reference (which Pascal and C++ do, but C doesn't). This single feature does a lot to reduce readability. In C, I know that inc(x) is a function that does not modify the value of x, without reading any additional code[1]. In Pascal or C++, I need to look at the definition of inc() to know if x will be the same before and after the call.

An important idea at the core of readability for a language is the amount of code that I have to read to understand a single line. In any language that has pass-by-reference, this amount is larger than a language that doesn't. To achieve the same thing in C, I'd have to write inc(&x), and then everyone reading that code would know that x may be modified. (Note: the almost-equivalence of array and pointer types in C is a good counterexample where Pascal wins massively in readability).

[1] It could be a macro, but most coding conventions require macros that can't be used as if they were functions to be all-caps.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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