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Comment Re:What instead of an exception? (Score 2) 262

I can't speak for the original poster, but as for myself, I think that conceptually exceptions are great, but the C++ implementation of them is full of holes and prone to abuse. As much as the Slashdot base loves to hate Java, I think Java got exceptions right.

Notable differences:
1) There's a distinction between checked (compile-time) and unchecked (runtime) exceptions. All C++ exceptions are unchecked.
2) A method that can throw checked exceptions must declare every checked exception it can throw, and a method that calls another method that can throw checked exceptions must explicitly catch or re-throw them. These can be verified at compile time.
3) Every object that can be thrown/caught must implement the Throwable interface, so it has a predictable interface and can be properly manipulated in an object-oriented manner.
4) try/catch blocks also have a "finally" clause that is guaranteed to be run after the try/catch blocks complete, regardless of whether either one of them runs to completion or throws an exception out of the method. This is crucial for safely cleaning up filesystem/network resources -- the C++ alternative is only allocating objects on the stack and implementing destructors that clean up their resources, but then you have the restriction of not being able to allocate on the heap, and it may not also be obvious from looking at the try/catch block what the destructors are doing or in what order they'll be called in...

I go back and forth between C++ and Java development a lot, and every time I go back to C++, I'm immediately reminded why C++ developers are so averse to using exceptions for error handling.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 2) 102

There are very few sites that will publish content out of the goodness of their hearts. ... But if online advertising can't unltimately make money somehow we're gonna have a very different web on our hands.

Ahh, that sounds so nice.

But seriously, there was a time, somewhere around two decades ago, when web pages were not covered in advertisements. If a web page had a banner ad, it was because it was part of a circle of related pages who all agreed to display each others' banners; they weren't earning money, they were just sharing places of interest.

Believe it or not, many web sites were published out of the goodness of peoples' hearts -- many of them just wanted to share information or connect with other like-minded people. That kind of thing doesn't really happen any more, though, now that social media has provided people with a way of easily connecting with others and sharing information without needing to write your own web page or host a server... and Facebook will gladly provide you with that service, funded by their corporate overlords.

If online advertising fails to make money and we have to go back to the good old days, then bring it on, I say. If your business model depends on annoying people, you deserve to go out of business.

Comment Re:Documentation, and ease-of-use (Score 1) 889

For what it's worth, typing "man mdadm" or "man lvm" in a console should provide you with the documentation for those tools, as it will with most command-line utilities. Consider GParted or system-config-lvm if you need pretty GUIs, both of which have help built into them. "man upstart" works as well, although if you want something with pretty formatting and extensive examples, searching Google for "upstart manual" results in this as the first hit: Upstart Intro, Cookbook, and Best Practises

I don't think there really is a "wrong virtual terminal". Use whatever you like. xterm is pretty bare-bones; konsole also works and is more powerful, among others.

Out of curiosity, what distribution are you using? It sounds like you're trying to do some pretty complex system administrative tasks, and, well, I don't think it's unreasonable that those would be difficult to do for somebody who is unfamiliar with Linux and doesn't know where the documentation is.

I will say that generally, modern distributions with a focus on usability make it simple to configure multiple displays... but trying to get a single desktop working across multiple video cards (especially ones that use different drivers!) is either very difficult or impossible. You're better off using a single video card that has multiple outputs.

Comment Re:A modern IDE and a consistent API (Score 1) 889

So... first, an IDE is not a compiler. If you can't compile your program cleanly with no IDE at all, you've set it up wrong, and no IDE is going to fix your problems.

I've done a fair amount of GUI development on both Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04, and in general Qt Creator is great, even for non-Qt projects; I'd be curious how it "got pissy" with you, if you had a project that compiled cleanly from the command line. Lately I've also been liking CLion a lot, which is very powerful, although it's also pretty new and has a few rough edges. (boost accumulators give it a heart attack)

Given how widely various distros differ, it's impossible to have a single build that targets everything, but you can certainly write a CMake build file that will work in most scenarios and fail cleanly if dependencies are missing (and it's not like any other platform is better at dealing with missing dependencies). You don't need to write a program that will run on all of the "countless distros" out there, just the specific one you're targeting, and Ubuntu (and other Debian variants) are generally stable targets.

Comment I want a decent mouse configuration GUI. (Score 1) 889

I've been using Linux for decades. I think its modern GUIs have shaped up quite nicely (in particular, I'm a fan of Cinnamon) and offer a good level of polish with regards to configuring almost everything that an average user would need to touch.

Pretty much everybody nowadays has a fancy multi-function mouse, right? Sure, your desktop computer come with a cheap optical mouse that just has two buttons and scroll wheel, but the first thing you do is shove that in a bag somewhere and plug in a nice wireless laser mouse, and it probably also has three or four extra function buttons and maybe a tilt wheel.

And then, you run into the exact same problem in every Linux distribution: there is no way to configure what all of your mouse buttons actually do. Every couple of years I look around to see if anybody's made a decent GUI yet, and nope, there's still none. I know it's possible -- I've written more than my fair share of .xbindkeysrc files. No "normal" user is going to do that, though. Why isn't there a GUI that gives me a list of mouse buttons and lets me pick a key or event to associate with them?

There isn't really a common Windows app for this, because every mouse manufacturer provides their own; since the Logitech one supports all the Logitech mice, the Microsoft one supports all of the Microsoft mice, and so on, there's not really a need for a unified one since you won't be switching mice very often. But surely it's not that hard to just write a generic one?

Comment Re:How much data storage? (Score 2) 70

The rest you can store in the cloud

Which only works if you're on a system that has reliable internet access and your user is capable of setting up some sort of account credentials and is willing to go through that process any time they're playing a game on a different system. Remember who the target audience is here (young chlidren).

It's plenty of space, roomy in fact, for quite a lot of useful data structures.

For an embedded programmer, sure. Most of the people making console games nowadays have no experience programming for a system that doesn't effectively have as much storage space as they could want. Out in the non-embedded world, I've got preference files for text editors that are larger than 4k. I've seen save game files that are dozens of megabytes.

Comment Re:How much data storage? (Score 5, Informative) 70

The hardware in the Amiibo have 4 kB of writeable space, which is almost inconceivably tiny nowadays. You could fit enough data in there for a couple of games if you're using minimal, tightly-packed C structures, but nobody does that any more when every game console has enough space that you can use dozens or even hundred of kB for storing saved games.

To be fair, I really don't know why they couldn't have just put a whole MB of storage space on the chip and then allocated something like 4 kB per game. Sometimes Nintendo makes baffling hardware decisions.

Comment Dear media companies: (Score 3, Insightful) 519

Please find a business model that does not involve annoying and exploiting the people who consume your media.

Now, it's not my job to tell you what your business model should be. Sell merchandise, provide paid services, ask for donations, or whatever else you can think of.

But if the basis of your business model is providing content for free to me while accepting money from people who solely want to annoy me or buy information about me, then I'm not going to allow that and you deserve to go out of business.

Comment Re:"Heat death"? (Score 5, Informative) 199

"Heat," in an atomic sense, is basically a measurement of how constrained molecules are within a structure and how rapidly they're bouncing around. "Cold" molecules are those that arelocked into a rigid structure and don't move around much. "Hot" molecules are ones that move about freely, without constraint. In that sense, the "heat death" of the universe will be when there is no more solid matter in the universe, and all of its atoms are distributed evenly, bouncing around freely.

Comment Re:Honestly, is anybody surprised? (Score 2) 62

What kind of bubble have you lived in that with a Slashdot id that low you still put any faith in this crap?

As Kidpro pointed out, you're making an incorrect assumption. I don't think smartphone credit card readers are secure. I think that all of the other types of card readers are insecure, too. There have been many cases of them being compromised.

Backed up the system lately?