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Comment: Re:Why the hate for VB (Score 1) 175

by Xest (#49543575) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

You seem obsessed with the idea that programming languages are better if they're close to English, but this is a long debunked theory so you're living in the 70s/80s on that one. If closeness to English was an overriding priority then we'd all be using COBOL.

We don't however, because regardless of closeness to English we still have to learn the syntax, and if we have to learn the syntax either way then we read code as if it is English. Anyone that knows C style syntax can read your C style example just as easily as they read plain English, and yet the VB style syntax requires you to parse a double negative which is bad English.

As such, all you're left with with VB is bug inducing double negative mindfucks, and increase unnecessary verbosity resulting in lower productivity.

It boils down to this:

"Is not equal to null"


"Is not nothing"

The former is perfect English, the latter is terrible, broken English.

The only way you can have a programming language that works with plain English is by allowing it to have a large number of keyword combinations, so that you can express "Is not nothing" as "Is something". Until you do that attempts to create a programming language in plain English are a long verified dead end.

Don't try and pretend my example was intended to be anything other than an example of VB's terrible syntax and verbosity. If I was creating a demonstration of great coding style I'd stay out of any VB discussion in the first place because VB is the antithesis of that. There is nothing readable about VB's syntax because it's broken English end to end and that gets in the way of clean syntax that can be read logically.

Have fun writing low readability code with your reduced levels of productivity if you enjoy spitting out such unnecessary verbosity if that's your thing, but don't try and pretend it's superior. There's a reason VB is hated and unpopular, and that's because it's shit for the reasons I've described here, if you think otherwise it's not because you're some super coder who just sees something no other coder gets, it's just that you're an inept VB fanboy.

Comment: Re:Why the hate for VB (Score 1) 175

by Xest (#49518395) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

Because VB brings us such fucking abominations as:

If myVar IsNot Nothing AndAlso myVar = "something" Then
' do something
End If

The problem with VB is in it's attempts to be English like it's just ended up requiring you to spout nonsense. No one says "Is not nothing", they say "Is something".

It's too verbose and ends up forcing you to write stuff that's inherently less readable than if it didn't try and fudge English into it's syntax.

Comment: Re:Test of Time (Score 1) 175

by Xest (#49518351) Attached to: Swift Tops List of Most-Loved Languages and Tech

Whilst I don't really know anything about Swift, what the GP describes makes it sound like the features he's describing are basically exact copies of the way C# does things.

If so, then what you describe isn't really correct. In recent versions of C# you can simply declare a variable with "var". The situation you describe where it determines something to be an integer when you wanted a string shouldn't be an issue because in C# what would happen is the initial assignment of an int would have the compiler treat it as an int, and then any subsequent attempt to use it as a string would throw a compiler error because the compiler already figured out that it's an int by that point.

So you still declare your variables, you just let the compiler automatically determine the type.

This said however, I'm still not a fan of it, I don't like C#'s var keyword. It makes it easy for sloppy developers to write code quickly, but it kills readability and maintainability for other developers, because they have to expend effort figuring out what type the variable is actually meant to be rather than being able to just look at the definition to see what it's actually declared as.

It's a feature that's been added in to try and woo sloppy developers, but frankly all it does is reduce the average level of code quality by allowing people to write such sloppy code in the first place.

Comment: Re:Ehhh What ? (Score 1) 157

by Xest (#49517635) Attached to: Mandelbrot Zooms Now Surpass the Scale of the Observable Universe

It's not an unreasonable viewpoint given that we can use math to describe universes that physically could not exist.

Math obviously exists outside of those particular universes, thus, one must reasonably conclude that either math can exist outside of any particular universe, or that for some reason some universes, such as ours (or perhaps only ours), are special cases where math exists.

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 300

by Xest (#49517537) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

"As a nation is not an individual any more than a corporation is a person, your analogy is completely invalid."

Not in the context of the point I'm making it's not. The fact is, when you are outnumbered by a far more powerful group of people, they ultimately get to declare what is law. It doesn't matter if that's happening at individual or state level- the point is that in that circumstance it's no longer your call what is deemed to be a criminal act and what is not.

Goebbel's was on the losing side, the allies got to declare what was and wasn't a criminal act. You may not like this, you may detest the whole concept of international law, but that's really irrelevant to my point - my point is merely that Goebbel's was defined as a criminal by the people who got to define him as such in a manner no different to the fact that a murderer is defined as a murder by the people who get to define him as such.

You mention the right to conquest, and that's ultimately why the allies got to do what they got to do, whatever your personal opinion on the rights or wrongs of it. They could just as well declare things as criminal acts retroactively as well as they could have legalised the extermination of all Germans as they saw fit if they chose to. Fundamentally the argument that Goebbels wasn't a criminal because what he did wasn't a crime at the time he did it is irrelevant, because his side lost the war, and any determinations of legality the Nazis made were replaced and overruled by the conquering powers.

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 300

by Xest (#49510717) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

I guess that depends how key he was in the war in the first place. If the war hadn't have happened without his actions then yes, you can reasonably put the rest of the deaths at his doorstep.

Of course, that's a big if, and really, I think it can only ever be a subjective thing - different people will have different views.

A similar debate has been had about George Bush's actions in Iraq. Given that the whole war and destabilisation of the region resulted from his actions in 2003, is he or is he not (jointly?) responsible for the million+ deaths in Iraq that have happened as a result of that destabilisation ever since?

You could argue that it might have happened anyway without his actions, but you could similarly argue that might is irrelevant, we should only judge on what did happen rather than what might have happened.

So again, ultimately, the answer to that is going to be a very personal one with no objective right or wrong.

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 300

by Xest (#49510655) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

Depending on their acts, yes you can. It's called a war crime.

You see, just as individual people within a state don't get to determine the law against the will of the people around them when those acts affect them individual states don't get to determine the law against the will of the countries around them when they affect them either.

So if you're in charge of a country that starts a war and loses, you better damn well believe that those countries you lost to get to lay down the law on you. Just as you shouldn't commit murder against your neighbours and expect no consequences, you shouldn't wage a war against your neighbours and expect no consequences. Goebbels was a key actor in the losing side of a devastating war. The winning side declared him to be a war criminal and that's that. It's not like protection against libel or slander even exists for dead people in most countries anyway, so really, you can declare him whatever the fuck you want regardless.

Had his side won the war then yes, he could reasonably have been in a position to declare international law on the issue. He didn't, so he couldn't. The post-war establishment of international institutions for dealing with this sort of thing in a less ad-hoc manner led to courts such as the ECHR and more recently the ICC which have seen prosecutions of various war criminals.

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 300

by Xest (#49510533) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

"I don't really care one way or the other regarding the number, but I will never believe in any truth that comes with a prison sentence for nonbelievers."

Well it doesn't come with a prison sentence here in the UK, so does that mean you do believe it or what? Regardless, you're being overly dramatic all the same. There is no prison sentence in Europe for disputing the number of people who died in World War II, which is what the OP was talking about. What there are prison sentences for are for advocating Nazi ideology and propaganda in a handful of European states which isn't quite the same thing.

"As for evolution, you need to learn about science. It is a hypothesis I consider almost certainly correct, but it has never been observed."

Then it's not him that needs to learn about science, it's you. Evolution is neither a mere hypothesis, nor has it never been observed. You can observe evolution in various species of bacteria, and short lived creatures like fruit flies.

He's not demanding blind faith, he's just asking that you not be wilfully stupid. There's a wide gulf between the two things and you are very clearly guilty of wilful stupidity due to the fact you are so demonstrably wrong yet choose to persist with that.

Given that the numbers of people you have supposedly heard die in World War II are much lower than those commonly cited to have died, and given that you are spouting nonsense about an area of science you clearly do not know even the slightest thing about, have you perhaps considered that any persecution towards you real or perceived exists not because of your beliefs, but because of your ignorance and bullshit?

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 300

by Xest (#49510397) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

I suggest you look back even further, it's been going on at least 1000 years in Europe. See here:

Judaism was the only religion at the time that allowed for loans with interest, Christianity did not. As such, the Jews were the only ones allowed to do this banking (and were largely persecute and blocked from other forms of employment, so did it because it was all they were often allowed to do).

As it became clear they were making a lot of money doing this, successive monarchs started to tax them more and more, until they were living in poverty once more before ultimately committing widespread massacres against them and expelling them from the UK.

It's not just in the last century that Jewish people have been pushed into markets like banking only to be persecuted when someone needed a scapegoat. It's been happening for at least 1000 years and what happened in Nazis Germany in the 1930s and 40s is a repeat of what happened in England in the 1200s.

Apparently we never learn.

Comment: Re:Gameplay is king (Score 1) 150

It's just Battlefield 4 in the Star Wars universe. All of this including the great visuals already exist in Battlefield 4 since about 18 months ago.

The upside is this is star wars, which makes it awesome. Let's just hope that it actually works, unlike BF4 which was broken and buggy for months after release, and still to this day has some launch day bugs present in it.

Even BF3 before it had most of this stuff from a gameplay perspective so I don't really see anything new or groundbreaking here, but I'm happy it's being made, because I love BF3 and BF4 (well, when it works), and I love Star Wars.

The only downside to this game is no single player, and I don't think I've ever bought a multiplayer only game (excluding MMOs) and enjoyed it because no proper single player is typically just code for "Half-arsed game, we couldn't be arsed to put much effort into and want to make a quick buck from." - I've found this to so far be a universal truth, from Quake III to Titanfall. Let's hope this is the exception that breaks the rule.

Comment: Re:Developers, Developer, Developers (Score 1) 125

"He pushed them aside by killing development systems (VB6,FoxPro)"

Except VB6 and Foxpro were never really developer tools. They were tools for non-developers to get basic programming tasks done. That was kind of exactly why they were developed- things like Visual C++ were always the tools targeted at professional developers.

"the Win32 API, to slowly become more irrelevant with endless layers of cruft built on top"

Win32 API became irrelevant, because it's become increasingly irrelevant. Why on earth would you want to keep an outdated API that's now decades old in it's design and origins as your primary development target when no one is using it? That just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. It doesn't make sense to maintain something that's inefficient to develop with, and I say this as someone who cut my teeth on Windows development with C and Win32 API many years ago. I have fond memories of it but I've no idea why you'd give a shit about it in this day and age.

Your argument is classic of someone incapable of dealing with change, which, in the world of technology is probably one of the least desirable traits you can have. You can boil your argument down even further when you talk about layers of cruft, you can say using C with the Win32 API is in itself a layer of cruft built on top of just doing everything in pure assembly, which is a layer of cruft on top of just doing everything directly with machine code and fuck the APIs.

"Ballmer wasn't bad; his jumping around on stage shouting "Developers!" showed that he knew what the true value of Windows was: the external developers who wrote Win32 code for retail products or company-internal developers."

Except no one's actually done that for the best part of two decades now. Even before .NET really took off it was far and away MFC that was used for the majority of Windows development. Win32 API development was already largely dead when Gates left for all but the most basic things like setting up a message processing stub to get a DirectX or OpenGL program going.

"However, his middle-empire stage was a shift to focusing on selling to enterprise customers. This isn't a bad things by itself, but by taking his eye off the "Developer!" ball and focusing elsewhere, he guaranteed that plenty of developers went elsewhere."

So what? The enterprise became more important, fat client applications gave way to web applications. Ballmer doubled the profits of Microsoft during his tenure, so it looks like his focus change was exactly what the majority of businesses and developers needed. The fact there's a handful of luddites that bemoan the decrease in usage of Win32 API is meaningless because you're such an irrelevance in the grand scheme of things- most people can deal with change and follow necessary trends, even if you cannot. That's not a problem with Ballmer or Microsoft, that's a problem with you. You can't blame Ballmer's capability for pursuing necessary change for your inability to change.

People shifted to Java because it was a paradigm that gained a lot of hype in both business and academic circles and had a 6 year headstart on .NET and that happened well under Gates' reign not Ballmer's. Mis-steps such as VisualJ++ were the reason for that. By the time Gates stepped down as CEO, .NET hadn't even been released so Ballmer's tenure was the one that was responsible for taking all those devs lost during Gates' reign back because a combination of a far more competitive .NET, and Oracle's screwing of Java has helped grow the .NET community massively.

"It's interesting to see how Nadella is shifting the focus again and broadening it (Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi, for example). Time will tell if Nadella is simply being an anti-Ballmer or if this glasnost is signs of a more fundamental shift in the way Microsoft does business. I hope it's the latter."

It's neither. It's a continuation of the status quo, or did you completely miss that Ballmer also pushed Windows 8 on ARM? This increase in scope of platform support, and move to open sourcing of APIs started well within Ballmer's years. Nadella is just continuing what was already started. It's not a change in direction, it's business as usual as it has been for some time now.

Comment: Re:I don't see how this is a "Poor Google" situati (Score 1) 312

by Xest (#49436345) Attached to: Google, Apple and Microsoft Squirm As Global Tax Schemes Scrutinized

No one owes any website a business. If you setup a sign based on the premise that you need all ad-revenue to survive, profit, and make a living then you're one of that sizeable statistic of people whose businesses fail for the simple fact that you were hopeless at business.

It's like saying you should feel guilty for not bothering to look at adverts in free newspapers and skimming right past them. No you shouldn't. If someone is giving access to something with no upfront payment they have no expectation of payback. If the business model doesn't work, it doesn't work, tough luck.

I don't buy the doomsday scenario of there being no useful sites on the internet if we all have this attitude because I remember the internet from long before ads were commonplace. There was still equally as good information about, in fact, I learnt much of what I know about programming in that era, the only difference is it was all less bloated by presentation.

There should be zero guilt in blocking ads because accessing URL is NOT a contract implicit or explicit that you will accept all content from that URL, nor that you will read every aspect of it. If either of these things were true we'd be legally obliged to download malware, and legally obliged to read every last disclaimer and copyright notice on every site. There is no such obligation, and ads are not special cases, we neither have to read them or receive them, and no one should feel guilty for refusing them.

If a site shuts down because it couldn't afford to run because of ad revenue yet people visited with ad blockers then all that tells us is that there was a business model for the content if free, but not if ad sponsored. Sites with such small viewership typically used to be hosted by bundled ISP hosting. Those large enough to justify proper hosting are large enough to make enough from those that don't use ad blockers or to run as subscription sites.

A business is either viable, or it's not, if it's not, then no one should feel guilty about it's demise.

Comment: Re:Couch programmers bashing again. (Score 1) 182

by Xest (#49391359) Attached to: Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices

You still seem to think spawning new processes is in any way a passable form of multi-threading in a high load environment as opposed to spawning new threads. This alone shows you're not fit to have any kind of discussion on this topic.

For starters, it means you can handle drastically fewer concurrent tasks because it has by far a higher memory and CPU footprint to do so. That's before you factor in the problems of shared data meaning you're probably also duplicating data in your separate processes (i.e. each process will probably have to have it's own copy of any configuration data).

But this is just one of many reasons why PHP is shit, stop trying to claim it's not whilst basically inadvertently arguing that it is.

BASIC is the Computer Science equivalent of `Scientific Creationism'.