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Comment: Re:Tool complexity leads to learning the tool (Score 1) 179

by bzipitidoo (#47587233) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

And I have an issue with how needlessly complicated programming is. IDE's? They're a trivial addition to the problem. The problem is the entire ecosystem. For example, why is a tool like Make a language of its own? Why are revision control systems yet another level of complexity about the same as a programming language? Can you be a competent programmer without knowing about those things?

Then there's the nightmare of library code. There is no standardized way to call libraries, and maybe that's impossible, but we could have done better. We have this horrific mess of libraries tied to individual languages, with C/C++ libraries being perhaps the most prevalent. But C doesn't provide enough to make portable libraries. Need that .h file. A programmer may need to know about the informal conventions that were established to deal with name collisions. Some of this has been addressed, with additions such as namespaces. Other languages have wrappers to connect to C libraries, or they have their own libraries, or both.

The web is very messy. Web pages have become jumbled mixes of data and code. There's PHP or Python or Perl on the server side, Javascript on the client side. Why couldn't the same language work in both places? There's Java, sort of. But Java doesn't work on the client side unless the user installs a massive plugin that constantly nags users to keep it updated. Actually, just about any language can be easily used on the server side. One of the exceptions is... Javascript! Then, should browsers run executable code? No Execute has been worked into CPUs, while the web has been flying in the opposite direction.

There is politics involved too. Some Microsoft ""documentation" is actually marketing drivel. And you're always wondering what they're hiding now. Not even they know how big their own API is. Over 60,000 functions, so I've heard.

Comment: Re:It would be cheaper for everyone.... (Score 1) 178

I guess I deserve that. What I mean is that the national government will have to crack down on local government corruption if they want to keep the local governments in line. They probably will eventually do this, as it was done in the US. Unfortunately, there is no government level above that to rein in corruption at the national level. You can see this at work in the US.

Comment: Re:Until Google comes clean (Score 4, Insightful) 61

by swillden (#47586457) Attached to: Google+ Photos To Be Separated From Google+

Until they come clean on what they're mining from your activities, I'd stay away from it.

What's to "come clean" about? Their privacy policy says they aggregate information about you from all your uses of their services. There you go. That's it. What else do you want to know? What they'll use it for? For providing you services, and for selling ads which they display to you.

Seems pretty obvious and straightforward to me.

(Disclosure: It's not really relevant to the content of my comment, but I'm a Google employee. I'm not, however, a Google spokesperson. The above is my own words and opinions only.)

Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 1) 436

by swillden (#47586435) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

You can also plead no contest, which has the same result as pleading guilty, but without admitting guilt.

As for the point about Microsoft not being a defendant, you're right that third parties don't have the same options... but they also don't have the same justification for refusal, since compliance will not implicate them in anything, unless, of course, it would implicate them in something else, in which case they can negotiate a deal for qualified immunity.

Comment: Re:What's there to compare? (Score 2) 243

by Em Adespoton (#47585863) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

vi aka vi

I predate emacs (esc alt meta key) and it is on all unix systems. emacs is still spotty and sometimes you need to install it--vi is always there.


Not true -- I've been in many situations where 'which vi' has returned nothing.

Now ed is always there -- any environment that doesn't contain ed is not worth being in. It's been the default since 1971, unlike newcomers such as vi that didn't show up until 1976.

Comment: Re:Pfft (Score 1) 243

by Em Adespoton (#47585829) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Off his lawn?!?!?

He said nano -- the bastard child of pico.

Nano is the notepad of the POSIX world -- it eats line endings, messes up indentation, and makes a mess of config files -- just like pico did back in the day.

I still remember using elm with pico integration; it was great for writing an email, horrible for coding. I used emacs for that, until it started getting too unwieldy.

Now if I'm in a lightweight environment, I'll use ed. If I'm in a graphical environment, I'll use Sublime. If I'm in a terminal, I'll use vim. the GP can get off MY lawn.

Comment: Re: You're welcome to them. (Score 5, Interesting) 243

by Em Adespoton (#47585789) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

I use Sublime with vim bindings turned on. It has features I use every day that vi/vim doesn't have, and doesn't get in the way of my vim muscle memory. It also doesn't get in the way of my ed muscle memory, nor my Mac muscle memory. In fact, pretty much whatever legacy text editor my muscle memory thinks I'm using, Sublime will interpret the commands correctly and let me get the job done.

I've used all the listed editors, and eventually settled on the vim/Sublime combo, as they accomplish everything the others do, and then some.

And to think that 20 years ago, I was a diehard emacs user. I liked my macros, but Sublime can do all that too; it just prefers python over LISP.

Comment: Re:Vote Selling? (Score 1) 150

Indeed -- and it's also the issue of short-term gain vs. long-term gain. People will hand over their Facebook passwords in exchange for chocolate. Just because an individual is short sighted shouldn't mean that their entire social community has to suffer in the long term because of it.

Comment: Re:You should encourage it (Score 2) 150

I'd disagree to your first part: there's not much difference between one President and another when you come right down to it; they are heavily restricted in their actions by policy makers. Plus, your municipal vote for the president has almost no effect on the result, compared to municipal elections where one interest group can sway the entire outcome. Mayors and aldermen have huge amounts of leeway, and their decisions affect your life directly.

I'd rather someone discovers a president was fraudulently elected than a mayor. But I'd rather that they found out the mayor too, if there was fraud involved. This is much easier to do with offline voting than with online voting.

Comment: Re:How about no (Score 5, Interesting) 150

I hate it when people try to vote against something that makes life easier, out of privacy concern and security...
If you have viruses on your machine, that's your own darn fault, why penalize everybody for your stupidity?

The second half has already been responded to, so I'll tackle this bit.

If you have malware on your machine, that's likely your own fault (most likely through ignorance). Unfortunately, everyone on your network, on your social network, and on the malware's distribution chain is penalized for your stupidity.

So let's back up one level...

Online voting makes life easier, agreed.

Unfortunately, abuse of online voting doesn't just affect the person not using it to vote, but also affects everyone in the municipality.

You can't have it both ways: either the upstream has to think of the privacy and security concerns, or the end operator (citizen) does.

As "online" implies global, it means that unlike mail-in, where abuse is likely limited to people who are actually a part of the municipality plus a few external interested parties, suddenly abuse is open to the entire world, where statistics indicate that a 0.001% of the 7 billion population = 70,000 actors likely to attempt to abuse the system for reason X instead of the 0.15 of a person who is likely to abuse the system for reason X locally.

The main way to ensure best security is to limit scope: only expose a function to the actors that need to access it. "On the Internet" does the inverse.

And that's just one reason it's a bad idea; there are plenty of others. All of them have solutions, but all the solutions are going to run afoul of statistics when you move a system that's been exposed to 15,000 people into an arena where it's exposed to 7 billion people.

Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 1) 436

by swillden (#47584769) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

I have no problem with a court saying that if you refuse to turn over relevant documents then they will be assumed to be as damaging as possible to your case. I do have a problem with them saying that if you don't turn over the documents you'll be subject to potentially indefinite jail time and fines in excess of whatever damages you were accused of inflicting on the other party.

You have the former option as well, if you prefer. You can simply stipulate in court to the prosecution's allegations regarding the evidence. Where this is tantamount to pleading guilty, you can do that, too.

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago