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Comment: How PARC first envisioned... (Score 1) 567

by acroyear (#48573869) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

The article just talks about web-reading, and how more and more webpages are being responsive (for mobile reasons) in ways that actually now optimize sites for vertical orientation over horizontal.

However, from a coding and word processing* perspective, vertical layout is a bit better, too, as it allows you to see more of the text and the text's context, than horizontal mode does. Thus, most developers who pay attention to such things do use both, as the first 5point comment suggests above.

In fact, that was the actual vision of the PARC crew that invented GUI and WYSIWYG back in the 70s: the Xerox Alto workstation they created did have a vertical monitor, for this very reason: the idea was that if you were using a word processor to show you a page's layout, seeing the whole page on screen was the desired effect. They discovered it improved coding productivity once they were using the workstation to produce the software.

(that said, it is NOT better for spreadsheets or powerpoint, or database-editing tools, so there we are.)

Comment: Re:The extent hearing is determined by physics... (Score 2) 80

by acroyear (#48306721) Attached to: Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

That may be a fact, but we didn't need to know any of that. And neither do the birds.

That's the whole point of the harmonic series: our ears, in their ability to hear, can hear the overtones in a note because they are there *physically* in the sound. It is unavoidable.

"Dissonant" notes, such as a tritone or a minor 2nd, aren't dissonant because of some sine wave detail: that's just a matter of mathematical transposition and simplification. The notes are dissonant because their collective overtones within them are clashing all the way up the harmonic series as well. We hear ALL of those harmonic clashes, even if we're not conscious of it. The sine wave isn't why they are dissonant: the harmonics are.

Comment: Re:The extent hearing is determined by physics... (Score 2) 80

by acroyear (#48306555) Attached to: Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

Indeed. The nature of the relationship between the 'first' and 'fifth', the first harmonic overtone, is inherent in the actual physics of sound itself. The order of 'discovery' of the other notes of the scale inherently result from developing an ear to notice the other harmonics - it only takes finding 8 harmonics to end up with a pentatonic scale, found in almost every historical culture in the world.

It does, however, take a matter of conscious choice to actually develop the whole circle of fifths, the idea of modulation, and then the necessity of tempering the instrument - all aspects strictly of western tonality (with the resulting western a-tonality that followed in the 20th century: our atonality is actually still a limitation of our instruments of choice and the temperament they inherited).

I don't expect the birds to actually get that far...and even if they did, we'd just be accusing them of impersonating Messiaen's works.

Comment: Re: The decline started with OS/2 (Score 0) 156

by acroyear (#48050377) Attached to: End of an Era: After a 30 Year Run, IBM Drops Support For Lotus 1-2-3

It disappeared because Micro$oft was then well into their bundled-packages for OEMs, where they would offer huge discounts on Office (or even just Works) to OEMs to pre-install on Windows installations. If you already had Office, why go hunting for 123 anymore?

Yes, this is one of several things that the 90s era anti-trust lawsuits had intended to put a stop to, and was a much bigger issue in the European cases than the American DOJ case that was focused primarily on the browser market.

By the time the suits were resolved, however, the damage had already been done and Office (and IE) was the only player on the market. The browser situation recovered with Firefox and webkit. The Office suite market never did, and only now with people looking at cloud solutions like Google Drive is there starting to get some pick-up at Office alternatives.

Comment: Re:"not my job" - It is *Microsoft's* job (Score 2) 426

Object.observe() - new built-in mechanism for getting change events when a plain javascript object changes (new property, deleted property, changed property, deleted). Chrome 36 is the first browser to get it, but it is an established part of the html5 standard.

Greatly simplifies a lot of the work the model layers have to do, and eventually means that many frameworks will over time get rid of their setter/getter mechanisms and all the weight they have.

Comment: Re:"not my job" - It is *Microsoft's* job (Score 2) 426

Yes, CSS tends to be my biggest issue. Some aspects of IE events are still wrong. How IE decided that the "unresponsive script" dialog should come up was horrid, constantly causing issues in sproutcore/ember apps.

Some of these things are better. They are getting closer to the standards. My take remains: it is their job to finish that, not my job to meet them half way anymore. If my stuff works on IE, great, but I'm not and will never go out of my way to make it work anymore. I personally will never actually run my personal apps in IE, ever. I have 1 Windows7 box left in the house (and 2 XP boxes are now Ubuntu); that box got Chrome on it as the very first thing.

(yes, professionally others in my company are doing that with our primary product. I professionally support that decision, though all I am doing as part of that effort is code-reviewing. These opinions are for my own personal projects independent of all of that.)

A lot of all of this is what and where is your market. A big corporation targeting big corporations is free to spend that kind of money. But to do that, M$ needs to stop acting like they want to attract 'developers' as the original article implied. M$ does that by attracting execs and having such decisions forced on the developers from on high. Just as they've done in so many other things.

A small development shop targeting a more general user has no need to worry about IE compatibility as their primary concern. Wait for the money to actually be there (or at least be promised) before you invest in that type of thing.

Comment: Re:"not my job" - It is *Microsoft's* job (Score 4, Insightful) 426

Microsoft's ability to control de facto standards is long gone. When Netscape collapsed but Firefox was too immature, they had control. The Standards bodies worked to make html4 and Microsoft could happily ignore all of that, create their own broken implementation of CSS (this is worse than their jscript problems) and happily make everybody else play along.

Now what they want is that same control back, but as Disney once said, "That ship has sailed." This idea of pushing to developers to create specialized webapps that are IE compatible betrays the fact that they have not been in control for years now.

I am not going to code to IE compatibility; I'm not going to break my application by trying to get it passed IE's continually broken CSS. I code to the standards because the standards are the greatest likelihood that my application, if converted to a full-out mobile app via Cordova, or converted to a desktop-app via Adobe Air, will continue to function without change. My stuff mostly works in IE. It is up to IE to finish their job and fix their CSS and their event model and all of that stuff. I'll come part-way by using certain libraries that others are willing to address compatibility issues (jquery, for example) but no closer.

Comment: "not my job" - It is *Microsoft's* job (Score 5, Insightful) 426

As much as Enterprise customers like to push the "it has to work on IE" crap (because they're usually working with lazy IT departments or legacy applications written by people with less interest in standards compliance than me), in reality that shouldn't be my job for writing a web application. I code to the standards or I use libraries and frameworks that code to the standards. These work in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome with minimal modification (assuming I'm not using a cutting-edge new feature like web audio, notifications, or O.o()) and impressive consistency.

They never work in IE without modification.

That's not my fault. That will never be my fault.

If you want to court developers, you go out there with IE, pick apps that have not gotten IE-fixing mods, and YOU (Micro$oft) fix the browser to the standards-compliant web applications already out there.

I'm sick of and done with working around your messes for the last 15 years.

Comment: Re: Your Results Will Vary (Score 1) 241

by acroyear (#47491893) Attached to: Math, Programming, and Language Learning

When a user interface is in, say, HTML5/DOM, one needs to know a lot about controlling how often the browser reloads the page or a portion of it, how much CSS is "too much" before the page rendering is slower than tolerable, how to control a loop to minimize server calls and DOM redraws, and much more. Similarly, a lot of UI is search optimization, deciding how much power of the search goes into the server/db and how much in the UI, then how to find and highlight the search results - all of these are complex processes that can be painfully slow or dramatically fast, but only if you know what bottlenecks to expect.

Anybody can draw a UI on a piece of paper and bullcrap the thing up in jquery-ui or xcode. Making a UI that is functional amidst constantly changing requirements involving ever increasing quantities of data is much harder. Writing components or maintaining frameworks and understanding the decisions the framework designers made (so that you don't violate them, often with painful results in stability or performance, when using them or adding to them) is a huge part of REAL UI work. I have yet to meet a toolkit I didn't need to fix or amend to, in 20 years of UI work. I have yet, in any of those libraries/frameworks, to NOT have Big-O decisions to make when doing so in pieces involving components meant to handle large amounts of data like grids and graphs.

No, it doesn't happen every day. But it happens at least every project.

If you don't speak basic optimization rules/practices like O(N) vs O(log(N)) (and yes, that HAS come up more than once in my work in the last 5 years, nevermind the last 20 when I was doing more J2EE or MoM/Agents work), then I can't trust that you have any discipline to anything else. There's no point in even talking anymore if you can't speak what I consider to be a basic common CS vocabulary.

Yes, much of this is trust: the piece of paper that is a degree is something of a document of trust that you have had certain disciplines and experiences, things that I can't actually get directly from your work prior since I'm not actually allowed to ask to see your code in an interview or before-hand - that usually belongs to your former company.

We don't ask for higher maths because we expect you to use them; your 'experience' during your degree work is almost meaningless in-and-of itself. We ask for higher maths, and for the other aspects of a degree, because the degree is evidence of experience, motivation, and most importantly discipline.

And for many of the "I don't need maths blah blah blah a trade school is fine blah blah blah" posts on this thread (and this same thread every time this topic comes up, which is probably twice a year for the last 18 years I've been on /.), discipline is something I actually see sorely lacking in the comments.

Waste not, get your budget cut next year.