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Comment: Short modules / Clear variable naming (Score 1) 298

by blueshift_1 (#49356863) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?
I agree with most of the earlier posts, but the main thing I look for is conciseness and clear & consistent naming of variables. If your methods/procedures/classes/functions/subroutines are are obnoxiously long, it makes it less readable, harder to test, and just longer to debug. Modular design also lends itself to be more reusable. I've always been of the mindset to name your variables what they are. You shouldn't have to go to a comment or read the code to see what it does. It should speak for itself - even for someone who isn't super familiar with your code/project. Or at least that's what I think...

Comment: OOP (Score 1) 177

by blueshift_1 (#49233089) Attached to: Preferred programming paradigm?
I've always been a fan of Object Oriented just in the way I like the way it works in terms of communication and just application flow. However, it naturally doesn't it lend itself to certain problems. It's definitely my preferred method, but I think it's the mark of a solid programmer to be able to have a flexible enough skill set to be able to not do extra work just fit their style.

Comment: The real issue was the Saturn (Score 1) 153

by blueshift_1 (#49114205) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?
Before there was sony entering there was the Saturn - which is really what caused the demise of Sega. The Saturn was basically the genesis - but a bit better. But not enough better to merit mass purchase. The last ditch attempt at the Dreamcast was really solid, but then they protection on the disks was too poor and piracy was just too easy. Though, I still occasionally dust off the game gear, genesis, or even the saturn if I want nostalgia kick, but it's easy to see why they went to the wayside.

Comment: Re:Visualization (Score 1) 175

by blueshift_1 (#48942567) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?
Just to add some additional thoughts: It's great if you already have some code written. Let them modify it and see what happens. Like for example with the planetary simulation. It starts off with earth in standard orbit with a trace on it's path. Then you can use a slider (or even hard code and recompile) to adjust the mass of the earth/sun and watch it change. Or make an asteroid hit the earth at an angle and see - adjust the mass/velocity/dirction and watch it change. And with the path trace you can make cool patterns. This helps keep them from having to deal with having to understand a lot of the boring stuff that if they really enjoy it, they can learn later - while still keeping the interest of those who just want to make pretty things.

Comment: Visualization (Score 3, Informative) 175

by blueshift_1 (#48942483) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do I Engage 5th-8th Graders In Computing?
You definitely want to jump into visually doing stuff as quick as possible. That age group wants to see things happen. "hello world" is nice, but not super exciting. Naturally, minecraft has been mentioned. So maybe doing command blocks or things like that (Maybe even some java to make a plugin or mod - but that is probably a bit advanced for an into).

I've use EJS (Easy Java Simulations) before to make quick visualizations. It's a bit more science/physics based but might be pretty neat. Like showing a rocket go the moon (and physically accurate!) http://fem.um.es/Ejs/

Another tool is vPython. It's nice because it is in python and can be neat - again, I mostly used it for physics stuff, like simulating planetary orbits, but being python, you can show these things in just a handful lines of code. It'd be a great way to crossfunctionally do science and computing. http://vpython.org/

Comment: Mix purchasing model. (Score 1) 570

by blueshift_1 (#48868693) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade
I really don't think that M$ (or maybe that is hope) will go into only OS subscription, maybe an OS + office + other goodies subscription that'll allow users to not have to lock in their versions. However, I feel like they know some will always want a buy it, keep it style. Similar to how Adobe now has the creative commons subscription as well as the standard buy it for their products.

With regard to the free update, it just makes sense. It'll allow earlier adoption, improving the new OSs market share from ther very beginning so they aren't banking on PC sales and the early adopters who want the latest thing and then reduce issues when the phase an OS out.

You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford

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