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Comment: Re:Wonder how Elon Musk (Score 4, Insightful) 262

by ZeroPly (#47651995) Attached to: Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?
So you have a 10,000 core system. So what? Yeah, I can model a flying car with much less than that - in fact I think they did that in Halflife 2. If you traveled back to 1991 and told people that you had a lot of cores and a lot of memory, they would yawn in your face. The technology that you are working with today is fundamentally what a 1970's Unix guy would understand. What's the point in your web service that can scale indefinitely? To serve up more Youtube videos? We were supposed to have a semantic web by now at the very least. Instead, we're patching vulnerabilities in SSL which has been around since '94, and still worrying about running out of IPV4 addresses.

The extent of our machine learning has been to fake a conversation as a brain damaged teenager who does not speak English, to "pass" the Turing test. We're doing busy work in low earth orbit, when anyone in the 80's would have thought we'd be working in the outer planets by now. We still have to steer our cars and punch buttons for the elevator.

The problem is that everyone's doing incremental work. More gigs cheaper. No imagination beyond that.

Comment: Re:Not this again. (Score 1) 637

by ZeroPly (#47616413) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?
Everything you are talking about is memory management from a programmer's viewpoint. Understanding how compilers allocate memory, discussing garbage collection, these are all things that a programmer needs to know. An undergrad in computer science needs to be able to understand something like this:

http://airccse.org/journal/jcsit/0202csit12.pdf

This is just a random paper I found, and certainly nothing earth-shattering. But my point is that someone trained in computer science should be able to skim through this in 5-10 minutes and understand what's being discussed. A programmer is not expected to.

Comment: Re:memory management (Score 4, Insightful) 637

by ZeroPly (#47615967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?
CS should be different from programming. Back in the day when I did my undergrad, the programming was something you mostly figured out on your own time. When I took Operating Systems 1, we were studying memory management, Belady's anomaly, semaphores, etc, but we were also expected to become proficient in Unix scripting by the end of the semester. The exchange on the first day of class went something like this:

Prof: Homework for this week is to write a tcsh script that will set your environment variables when you log in based on a menu.
Student: What's tcsh?
Prof: It's one of the shells in Unix, you can write scripts using it.
Student: How do I learn to use it?
Prof: The manual command is "man" in Unix.
Student: How do I use the "man" command?
Prof: Use "man man" to find out how to use "man".
(whole class looks bewildered for about 10 seconds - not sure if he's joking or if Unix is really that insane)
Prof writes across the top of the board: THIS IS A UNIVERSITY, NOT A TRADE SCHOOL. RTFM.

If you can't figure out how to learn the mechanics of Java, Python, whatnot on your own time, you really don't have the brain needed to do computer science. The problem is that everyone and their plumber is getting a 4 year degree these days, so it's become the equivalent of a high school diploma in the 80's.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 739

by ZeroPly (#47547741) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"
I think a lot of programmers are overdue for an abusive tirade. Apparently the plethora of advice on writing good code hasn't been sinking in - from my perspective as an administrator, every time I turn around there are another hundred bugs I have to patch. If you're writing a compiler, and are this sloppy, you really shouldn't be expecting anyone to stand up for your delicate feelings.

Comment: Re:GPLv4 - the good public license? (Score 1) 140

by ZeroPly (#47535271) Attached to: The Army Is 3D Printing Warheads
Ok, let me get this straight. You're going to sue the United States Army over the technical details of a highly classified program, one that by any conceivable description fits under the national security umbrella? The only question is whether the judge would pass out from laughing before he gets a chance to throw out the case.

Comment: Re:Fuck Tiles! (Score 1) 346

by ZeroPly (#47456401) Attached to: Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return
Hence my disclaimer - "But this is too complicated a UI task for Microsoft to get correct."

You need, at a minimum, the option to set a particular tile active or inactive. Someone who's in Office 2013 most of the time probably doesn't need their temperature monitor displaying six different measurements every time they go to the menu. On the other hand, a gamer might like that. If the amount of information on the tile can be configured, even better.

It's a nice idea, the real issue here is that Microsoft doesn't make their UI customizable. If you don't like tiles, why shouldn't you have the option to remove them?

Comment: Re:Fuck Tiles! (Score 1) 346

by ZeroPly (#47451741) Attached to: Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return
The tiles are a nice idea, but are only useful if they are live. So if you go to the Start Menu, and the "Resource Monitor" tile is red, and shows 85% CPU use, sure - that's a good thing because you probably should click it. Or an email tile that shows high priority messages received. But this is too complicated a UI task for Microsoft to get correct.

Comment: Re:"Rare talents"?! (Score 1) 608

by ZeroPly (#47431219) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
No, it's not complicated, and I'm not a prodigy. Back in the 80's, we didn't fool ourselves into thinking it was too complex. You wrote a Hello world program, and then you wrote a simple loop, and then you played around, until one day you woke up and... wait for it... you knew how to program...

What exactly do you think is so complicated about "rudimentary" programming? Are you one of the new breed who tries to glorify the field by introducing seven layers of methodology? Like I said earlier, we have young teenagers who learn how to program in Android. Thankfully there are no people like yourself around to convince them that it's a monumental undertaking.

Comment: Re:"Rare talents"?! (Score 1) 608

by ZeroPly (#47431057) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
I'm sorry - am I missing a huge demographic of people who have never touched a computer, but still want to learn how to program? If you seriously think that learning how to use a keyboard and mouse, open and close windows, download programs, and type, is "too complex", then I pity the incredibly low bar that you have set for yourself in life.

You need to expect more out of people. It took me 4 days to learn how to program in BASIC on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum in 1985. That was the first computer that I touched. If there's anything standing in the way of people devoting the time and energy, it's people like you who continually reassure them that it's way too difficult to do.

Comment: Re:"Rare talents"?! (Score 1) 608

by ZeroPly (#47423827) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
Here's your thorough list:

1. Take a 101 class to learn how to use a computer and the web.
2. Download a beginner's guide on how to program in Python.

That's it. I started programming with Pascal and C in the 80's. We didn't spend 90% of our time worshipping the goddess of great readable self-maintaining agile code, we just wrote code. I used C++ in the 90's. Nowadays I use Python for scripting, and program in Haskell for fun. On a complexity scale, if understanding the Hodge Conjecture is a 10/10, Haskell might be a 2/10, and every other language is a 1/10. We literally have a class for 12 year olds to show them how to build Android apps.

Now, programmers are about the most predictable people on the planet, so your next step will be to claim that my list is not sufficient to be a GREAT programmer. But I'd like to remind you about your phrase "at its core". Resist the temptation to move the goalposts.

Comment: Re:"Rare talents"?! (Score 0) 608

by ZeroPly (#47415279) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software
My two year requirement would be for someone who is intending to become a professional programmer. That mirrors other trade skills such as plumbing and carpentry. It is simply unnecessary for a computer programmer to have a 4 year degree like a computer scientist has. As far as amateurs, the barrier to entry for programming is far less than for working with electricity. Which requires more training - writing an Apple Store app, or safely changing out the breaker box in your basement?

Programmers point to a handful of elite systems programmers to aggrandize their field. Programming is a trade skill, it is not engineering. And we don't need everyone on the planet to be able to write code, any more than we need everyone to be able to replace the toilet in their bathroom.

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