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Comment: Strong like bull (Score 1) 307

by msobkow (#48902471) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

"Strong like bull; Smart like tractor." -- old Ukrainian saying about dumb people

No wonder the world is in trouble when people of such high intelligence are allowed to vote and "have a voice." People voting in support of this are stupid enough that they should just shut the hell up, sit down, and watch their damned NFL and NBA.

Comment: Re:This. SO MUCH This. (Score 1) 310

by rjh (#48901439) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

This is true and good, so long as you're interested in making software that can be done entirely with existing technologies. As soon as you hit the brick wall of "but there isn't anything in the standard library that does this," you need the old graybeards who spent their entire careers making the standard libraries you rely on.

Speaking as one of them, the pay and hours are both good and it keeps me on the cutting edge of some fascinating technologies.

The common idea is that we over-40s who've been doing this professionally for 25+ years can't adapt to modern software dev practices. Quite the opposite, really. Mostly we're kept so busy that we don't have the time.

None of this is meant to disrespect what the younger generation does with (as you say) "connect the dots library calls". That code needs to be written, and it's best if it's written by smart people who care about their work. :)

Comment: Re:Early fragmentation (Score 1) 310

by HiThere (#48901055) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Did you ever try to run C on the Apple ][? UCSD Pascal was available, and worked well. C required an add on z-80 chip, and it was still a subset implementation. (Check out "Lifeboat C", though I think that was a later, and more capable version.)

So the situation is more complicated than you are assuming. I didn't get a full C compiler until AFTER I had gotten an 8086...which means probably that the IBM PC was already around.

Comment: CA requires commercial licenses for pickup trucks. (Score 3, Interesting) 176

No, but money changing hands (commerce) impacts whether it is "commercial", and requires a commercial license.

"Impacts", perhaps. But it's not definitive. Especially in California.

For instance: I bought a pickup truck, to use as a tow vehicle for my camper and my wife's boat. Then I discovered that CA requires pickup trucks to be tagged with a (VERY pricey) commercial license, regardless of whether they're used for business. (You CAN petition to tag a particular pickup truck as a personal vehicle - but are then subject to being issued a very pricey ticket if you are ever caught carrying anything in the truck bed - even if it's personal belongings or groceries, and regardless of whether you're being paid to do it. (Since part of the POINT of having a pickup truck is to carry stuff home from the store this would substantially reduce its utility.)

The one upside is that I get to park for short times in loading zones.

If we aren't going to require commercial licenses for commercial driving, then why even have them at all?

And if we ARE going to require them for clearly personal, non-commercial vehicles that happen to be "trucks", why NOT impose this requirement on putatively commercial vehicles that happen to be cars as well?

The real answer to your question is "because the state wants the tax money, and the legislators and bureaucrats will seek it in any way that doesn't threaten their reelection, reappointment, or election to higher office" - in the most jerrymandered state in the Union. The Uber case is one where an appraent public outcry arose, bringing the bureaucrats' actions, and public outcry about them, to the attention of elected officials.

The full form of the so-called "Chinese curse" is: "May you live in interesting times and come to the attention of people in high places."

Comment: Re:Advantages are gone. (Score 1) 310

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) 310

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) 310

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: Overblown nonsense. (Score 2) 78

by fyngyrz (#48899401) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

From TFS:

...there's no clear way within the law to actually declare something in the public domain. Instead, the public domain declarations are really more of a promise not to make use of the exclusionary rights provided under copyright.

Ok, so the statement is about a clear way to put something in the public domain. Here's how you clearly put something in within the law: (1) You declare it public domain. (2) Now, keeping it there: You simply exercise a level of ethics even a 5 year old understands: You don't go back on your word, because (for one thing) that would make you a major fucktarded scumbag. (3) Whatever it is, is in the public domain, stays there, totally within the law, end of story.

Sometimes the ideas of law -- which is a hugely flawed instrument -- and the result of actions taken/not-taken get all confused in people's minds. If you want to put something into the public domain, do so, and subsequently just exercise a minimal level of personal honor, and you can be sure that your intent will carry through. The only one who can screw this up is you, and to do that you have to act in a particular way which guarantees you are knowingly acting like a dickhead. So when this clown tells you that you can't get it done, he is impugning your honor, not describing reality, and the only reaction you should have to that is annoyance.

Given that you are honorable and simply don't go back on your word, the user has nothing to worry about either.

So this really isn't about law. This is about your behavior.

Now, I grant you that most an entire generation having grown up with the idea that it's ok to steal IP, and the toxic idiocy of the "information wants to be free" crowd additionally muddying the waters, and the proliferation of people who just can't seem to keep their word, one might have reason to be cynical about this. But remember: TFS is saying that it is hard to put something into PD. It isn't. There's no reason you or I have to act without honor, and there are many reasons, starting from simply sleeping better at night, that we ought to act with honor.

Yes, I've got stuff out there that is PD. No, I will never, ever revoke that status. See how easy that is? 100% effective, too.

Comment: Re:Insurance (Score 4, Informative) 176

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.

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.