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Comment: Nice of Corporate Media to... (Score 1) 247

by rnturn (#48900149) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

... provide an excuse for their buddies in the chemical, pesticide, and GMO industries that allows them to ridicule the American consumer as a bunch of no-nothings. "See... these rubes^Wpeople don't even know what they're talking about so why should we have to label food that contains man-modified genetic material or household chemicals that contain chemicals that nobody's been able to prove with 100% certainty cause cancer?"

Perhaps the paper was trying to indict the educational system but, more likely, that's not how this poll's result are going to be used.

Comment: Re:Advantages are gone. (Score 1) 147

by HiThere (#48900041) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Sorry, but the length defined strings are optional, though common in Pascal. UCSD (and other early) Pascals usually buit that into the language, but I believe that now it's a part of a standard library, and alternates can be defined (though probably not with the same name). I'm not sure why you consider Pascal data structures more "well defined" than C structs.

P.S.: Strings in C can also be handled with a length byte. The zero terminated strings are purely a library convention, and can be overridden.

FWIW fpc Pascal has a string type in it's library that uses a length value longer than a byte.

Comment: Re:a great first language to learn (Score 1) 147

by HiThere (#48899997) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

FWIW, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with Pascal...or less than with C or C++. Java is worse, hobbled by 16-bit unicode, a horrible decision, which was justifiable at the time the decision was made. (Unicode should be either utf-8 or utf-32 [UCS-4]. I generally prefer utf-8, but that requires more complex library support.)

OTOH, the only real advantage of Pascal is fast compile times, and optimal execution times (which can easily be matched in C).

So, yes, its underrated, but there's probably no good reason to change to it.

Comment: Re:Discussion is outdated (Score 2) 147

by HiThere (#48899931) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

From my point of view, the problem is lack of documentation. I *think* that fpc Pascal can not properly handle utf8 strings, and determine the general character class of individual characters (something that Java struggles with), but the documentation is so bad that I'm not sure. And I didn't bother to test because I couldn't find any good samples to start from. Lazarus has a lot of good press, so i can accept that it is a powerful GUI development tool, but that's not what I'm doing.

FWIW, I've got a long series of desires for my programming language, and no language that I'm aware of satisfies all of them. But if its a lot different from languages that I already know, then I'm less willing to invest time learning. Pascal should have a clear bonus here, as I used to program in Object Pascall on the Mac II, but the documentation is so bad that I've tried radically different languages (e.g., Racket Scheme) and passed over fpc. (Mind you, a few years ago it was missing some needed features, but now I think that it has all the features I need, probably, but I can't be sure.)

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 2) 129

Your hypotheses that road damage is caused solely by the pressure on the top few millimeters of the road is highly questionable. The Prius is not going to be pounding down through the structure of the concrete nearly as much as your super-duty pickup hauling a huge boat.

I do agree that big rigs should be paying drastically more in fees than they do. However, industry lobbyists will always trump common sense.

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 4, Informative) 129

by Rei (#48898643) Attached to: Calif. DMV Back-Pedals On Commercial-Plate Mandate For Ride-Share Drivers

That falls into statistically normal usage. Being a commercial driver absolutely does not. Statistically, a commercial driver drives way more than a noncommercial driver, and they're much more likely to be sued, and for more money. It's absurd to argue that they should be able to drive on insurance rates calculated for statistical norms of noncommercial drivers. If you allow that sort of ignoring of statistics then you might as well get rid of all statistical tables period and charge every last person the same rate for all types of insurance.

Comment: Insurance (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by Rei (#48898577) Attached to: Calif. DMV Back-Pedals On Commercial-Plate Mandate For Ride-Share Drivers

Why, exactly, should Uber drivers get to drive passengers using regular non-commercial drivers' insurance? Commercial insurance costs more because people who drive people around for a living are much more likely to cost the insurance companies more money. If you're letting them drive on non-commercial licenses than that means that regular drivers are subsidizing Uber-drivers.

"Being against torture ought to be sort of a bipartisan thing." -- Karl Lehenbauer