Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Documentation is rarely valued as a contributio (Score 1) 198

I can't speak for other people, but personally I do value documentation. Not that I want to spend all my time documenting someone else's work, but when I need to learn about something, documentation is invaluable. No, it isn't as fun as writing code, but that doesn't make it useless. If someone else wants to contribute to FOSS and isn't a coder, but can do tech writing, I for one would appreciate their contribution to documentation.

I value documentation as well.

The problem is that the people changing the code out from under the documentation, so that the documentation quickly becomes out of date, or, worse, incorrect and misleading, is those people who are doing that to the code *not appreciating* the documentation effort.

At worst, there needs to be an agreement that things will stay the same for a while, or for at least a major version number, before the documentation goes out of date. And as you've noted with git: when things grow organically and incrementally, it's going to be near impossible to keep the docs in lock-step with the code -- particularly if the only way to make them match up is reverse engineering the code until you know enough about it to document it accurately and completely.

At one point in time, I wrote a rather complete internals book on FreeBSD; but the OS changed out from under the book too quickly, and so it was inaccurate, except for a particular major revision. And even then, there were sufficient differences even in the point releases (to the odd minor version number) that, unless I'd included a CDROM set or DVD with the book itself, there was no way that it was going to be useful for its intended purpose as a college textbook.

So yeah, documentation would be nice, but it's only going to get there as a divided labor effort if we agree to write design documents up front, and then follow a cathedral model for both the docs and the code that come out of those designs.

I think one of the major problems is that when you make something understandable by documenting it ... it makes it a whole lot easier for someone to step in and know how to "improve" things, until the docs are out of date again. At least, that has been my personal experience.

Comment Documentation is rarely valued as a contribution. (Score 1) 198

If women don't care about making code faster and more compact, maybe they should work on other aspects of FOSS. For instance, most of it could use a lot of help in the documentation department.

Documentation is rarely valued as a contribution. We specifically had to go out of our way to hire a technical writer for Mac OS X to get the man pages covered for the UNIX Conformance requirement. And those were just command line commands, Libc, and the kernel interfaces that had coverage requirements.

It's definitely not valued nearly as well as code. The most common comment with regard to it is advice to "RTFS" and some variant of "If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand". This is seen in the tools, as well. For example, git is written in such a way that you pretty much have to understand all of it to use any of it. This steepness of the learning curve appears to be intention, and viewed as a merit badge for when someone gets their head around it and Groks it. In the same way that you can do anything in Perl in half a dozen or a dozen different ways, the same is true of git.

Also, your verbal vs. visual thinking bias is showing. Personally, I process software in the same part of my brain that does auditory processing of music (meaning I have a hard time coding if I'm listening to music, as verified by FMRI of the dorsolateral frontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus, Broca's, and Wernicke's areas, among other areas). Language centers tend to be common for processing both sound and software in many coders.

Ironically, if you are good with languages, you tend to be good with code as well, assuming you have a number of computer languages under your belt to generalize from. But if the tools have a crappy learning curve, then it takes a bit of OCD to be willing to invest the time necessary to overcome it. Staying overnight in a computer lab so that you can get time on the machines is not something most people do these days.

Comment Re:Win 10 (Score 1) 58

is fine with 4. I put another 2 gigs in after the upgrade and didn't notice any difference. When Vista hit it was barely functional with 6. Win 7 fixed that so it worked with 4 again. Hell, I've got an old AthlonX2 5600 I play Streetfighter IV on that's only got 3. Basically, there's not a lot of demand.

I think it is disgusting that we think it is just awesome for an OS to ONLY need 4 GB.

Comment Re:Are there anti-gambling laws anymore? (Score 1) 145

When the online gambling sites first came out, they got shut down really quick. I am not sure why the same is not the case for the these online sports gambling sites.

They got shut down when Congress passed anti-online-gambling legislation in the form of UIGEA. It specifically says that fantasy sports of this sort are exempt: (1) Bet or wager.— The term “bet or wager”— ... (E) does not include— ... (ix) participation in any fantasy or simulation sports game or educational game or contest in which (if the game or contest involves a team or teams) no fantasy or simulation sports team is based on the current membership of an actual team that is a member of an amateur or professional sports organization (as those terms are defined in section 3701 of title 28) and that meets the following conditions:

Wow, that must have taken a lot of dollars to get such an exemption. Some congressman somewhere must have gotten about a 100 foot yacht off of that clause.

Submission All Malibu Media subpoenas in Eastern District NY put on hold

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: A federal Magistrate Judge in Central Islip, New York, has just placed all Malibu Media subpoenas in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island on hold indefinitely, due to "serious questions" raised by a motion to quash (PDF) filed in one of them. Judge Steven Locke's 4-page Order and Decision (PDF) cited the defendant's arguments that "(i) the common approach for identifying allegedly infringing BitTorrent users, and thus the Doe Defendant, is inconclusive; (ii) copyright actions, especially those involving the adult film industry, are susceptible to abusive litigation practices; and (iii) Malibu Media in particular has engaged in abusive litigation practices" as being among the reasons for his issuance of the stay.

Comment Re:Obvious ruling (Score 0) 178

They'll just use payment processors in the US (or elsewhere) and tell the EU to stuff it in their ass. The EU has no power outside of the EU. If they don't want people accessing, say, Google then the onus is on them to stop it at their borders. Good luck with that. The US isn't going to be able to afford to bail them out again so hopefully they don't go all mental midget and bomb themselves into rubble as they're wont to do.

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 269

I'd love access to that information displayed in real time and in aggregate in a customizable display that takes up where my current instrumentation panel exists. What I do not want is a third party to have access to that information. However, I'd love a touch screen instrument display that enabled me to configure a number of "dashboards" with varied metrics and display formats for alternative driving scenarios. I just don't want Google, Apple, Microsoft, or Cannonical to have access to that.

I'd also love to be able to access that data for further review in a manner of my own choosing. It would be awesome to be able to compile that information and crunch some numbers and mash it up with things like a map. I'd then like to be able to choose to share it, if I wanted, with other interested parties. I think it would be good fun and amuse me for hours. I'd pay quite a bit for it, actually. Now that I think about it, I may see if someone can do it. It'd be neat to have a whole integrated information panel as well as an info-tainment panel that can be easily customized and skinned. I'll look around and see what's out there. Maybe someone's already done it and I don't know about it.

Comment Retired now but... (Score 1) 256

The single best methodology I ever used was R.U.P. from IBM.

It identified and placed high risk first.
It had a set of shared documents which the team actually used since they made sense and were useful.
It had time boxes and naturally supported controlling scope creep.

We never had a late project. And we identified two projects as impossible in the 1st stage before a lot of work was done.
It was a lovely and successful methodology to work with.

On the article. BigO time for debugging is exponential. You really can't change that. If you do twice as much work in the same time period by whatever method, debugging will take 4 times as long.

We had an agile group for a project. It was very expensive. It delivered a product that only functioned well in the development environment. This was partially political and a lot of arrogance. We TOLD them the customers wouldn't pay for that level of environment but they thought the customers would comply. It wasn't a horrible process and they kept their scrums to 15 minutes every morning. The entire project relied on a new, risky technology which was discontinued by the provider (Adobe) about 2 months after the 30 million dollar project was completed (so then they had to drop millions more redeveloping it in HTML5).

From what I saw, agile did not protect from scope creep and it had problems with chunks that difficult to decompose enough to fit in one build cycle.

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller