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Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 1) 485

by HiThere (#47418683) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Personally I usually prefer geany or Kate. Vim is ok if you're already in a terminal environment, or if you're in a tight RAM situation, but that is a rare condition.

Note, though, if I'm working on Java, I prefer NetBeans, because I don't know Java all that well. So it's nice to have a tool that says "you need to include this particular library", or "that syntax is invalid". If I were to really learn Java, however, I'd probably prefer geany or Kate.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 2) 485

by HiThere (#47418617) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Bad example. The $10,000 hammer was because of the paperwork required to buy a single hammer for a high security project. Yes, it was extreme idiocy, but it WAS following the rules as specified, and the CIA wasn't involved.

If they'd been buying 100,000 hammers it would have made a lot more sense, and the increment in the cost wouldn't have been so absurd.

What's really sickening is that there was a project that carefully specified the particular alloys and heat treatment that the nuts and bolts were to have, paid for them, and the contractor supplied off-the-shelf nuts and bolts from a hardware store. This was determined after the cause of failure was found to be a split nut. The spec'd one wouldn't have failed. The cheap nut ended up costing a lot more than $10,000.

Comment: De river, she is deep (Score 1) 485

by fyngyrz (#47417253) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

"Complex" is not for laymen. There is only so much that you can do with any "appliance". Beyond that, you actually have to know what you are doing. This "problem" has nothing to do with programming.

This. Thinking about the web apps I've written, most of them required fairly deep knowledge in the area of the app -- auroras, photography, specialized group management, history, genealogy, measuring instruments, Chinese, retail procedure -- all areas an interested party could potentially bring to the table.

But the tools to instantiate, manipulate and present those ideas? Those simply don't exist in "amateur" form -- I had to create them. And in doing so, I used knowledge starting with HTML and CGI and CSS, but which extended well into Python, (replaced Perl), C, SQL, a fair bit about the underlying structure of the host OS(s), knowledge of how to structure an application in the first place, and to wrap it all together, a fairly deep knowledge of what's efficient and what isn't.

Now I will admit that I am particularly resistant to Other People's Code, partially because I am unwilling to be subject to other people's bug fix schedules (or lack thereof), and permissions (or lack thereof) and functinonal choices (or lack thereof); and partially because the more stuff I write, the more handy tools of my own I have to bring to bear on the next problem that depend on no one but myself and the host language(s) -- which frankly is quite enough dependency for me anyway. Plus it's been writing all this stuff that's made me a decent programmer in the first place. So even if there *were* a library out there to generate general purpose readout dials, I wouldn't have used it; the result would have been the same. All my own code. Not the least bit reluctant to reinvent the wheel.

Still, the idea of making all that stuff both available and trivially usable (and that's what we're talking about here, because a non-programmer will have to hit this at a trivial level) seems to me to have been tried multiple times in multiple venues, and to have failed every time. Personally, I think it's because as programmers, we underestimate the complexity because we've internalized so much; we can't see the actual level of difficulty very well, because it starts out relative to our own skills. This has resulted in quite a few attempts to "make it easy", and none of them have hit any serious stride. The best any of these can boast is a small following making very limited applications, if you really want to stretch what "application" means.

I don't think the idea is ready to fly. The only context I can visualize this actually working is where you have some *very* smart software that can take an abstract description and write code *for* you. That software would have to be (a) very damned smart and (b) conversant with an enormous range of general human knowledge. Right now, as far as I know, that's the precise description of a competent applications programmer. And nothing else.

Comment: Re:Normal? (Score 1) 485

by fyngyrz (#47416991) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Ideas don't arrive in convenient order. Interruptions occur. The world is not a smooth surface, it's full of bumps, pits and detours. Sometimes (as here) there are even reasons to top post. Such as, so someone will actually see it. So get over it. Notably, the AC comment you're objecting to contributed more to the conversation than yours (or mine) does. There's a lesson there.

Comment: Re:Superman (Score 1) 244

Odd, isn't it? I'm all for IP rights going back to 4 years and then handing it over to the world to promote improvement to mans progress. I'm also closer to being Lex Luthor, than Superman, some will attest.
D.C. and their lawyers should eat shit, die , be dipped headfirst in shit for the rest of their stay in hell.
Morally, ethically, we should make just as much noise as we can and be irritating to the point of torturous.
Let then know how you feel in the most descriptive action filled language you can muster.
That IS what feedback is all about.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 4, Insightful) 514

by DamnStupidElf (#47404861) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Both Capitalism and Communism are supposed to be about maintaining the work force, so guess where we all are today?

A nominally capitalist country pays a communist country for much of its manufacturing because it's cheaper, instead of employing its own citizens. So the logical next step is to just buy the robot factory workers from China to replace workers in the U.S. to save on shipping costs.

Comment: Re:What we don't know... (Score 1) 549

I think your mistake lies in the word "initial". If I am correct, consciousness is a recursive process, and a break anywhere along the essential path keeps it from occuring. They've found one place where a break will keep it from occuring. I expect there are others. But you don't get consciousness until ALL the pieces are present, because consciousness requires recursion. So there isn't any "initial" piece. You can start at any of several different places, and if all the pieces are there, you get consciousness.

Please note that there are lots of pieces that aren't a part of the essential path. Late Alzheimers are conscious, even though they are separated from their memory. So is an infant. And it's separated also from intelligence. And from most sensory perception. (It's hard to be sure that consciousness doesn't require SOME sensory perception, but there's no evidence that it does. Helen Keller shows that certainly only minimal sensory perception is required.) Some trance states seem to show that it can be suppressed by certain paterns of thought...though I'm not sure, as it could be that they just reduce the level of memory formation until you can't remember being conscious. Are sleep walkers conscious? They don't remember what they were doing when they awaken, but this isn't really proof. Perhaps they are non-verbally conscious, and so the memories formed aren't indexed with verbal tags, but at the time they MAY have been conscious.

So it's quite difficult to determine from commonly available data what parts of the mind are necessary for the presence of consciousness. Even the definition is a bit fuzzy. If you don't remember being conscious, does this mean that you weren't? I don't think so, but many common uses of the term seem to imply this. E.g., the common proof of unconsciousness under general anesthesia is that you don't remember being conscious. But anesthesia commonly interferes with memory formation even while you are recovering from it to the point of asking questions. And I think that if you are asking "How did the operation go?", then you need to be counted as conscious, even if you can't remember either asking the question or what the answer was.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike