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Comment: Re:Java or Python (Score 1) 412

by danlip (#47412891) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

I think the Perl solution is fine (not that I'm a fan of Perl syntax in general). The Java solution is fine (as you point out errors get detected at compile time). The Python solution is not: having to call "str(i)" everything I want to put an int into a string is too verbose (which makes it harder to read) and very error prone (especially when you are used to other languages, but I imagine even if Python is your only language it still is). And the fact that you don't detect the error until you hit the statement it's in (which might be rare if it is in some error handling block) is what really makes it suck. Dynamically-typed languages in general suck - try to be quick-and-dirty in upfront development time and you'll pay for it later.

As far as ternary operator reading like an English sentence: making things read like English always goes badly in programming languages, e.g. COBOL. And I find the Python example particularly vexing when trying to understand a chunk of code, because it is inverted to the logical flow; logically you execute the test first, then decide which branch to take based on the results of the test. That's the real problem, it's not the English, it's the order.

Comment: Re:Pascal (Score 1) 412

by danlip (#47410215) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

The nice thing about Pascal as a learning language was you knew it was a toy language that you wouldn't use in the real world. I fear the programmers who learn Python in school and then try to apply it to major projects in the real world. I learned lots of other academic languages in school too, there is no problem with the fact that I never used them outside that class; it taught me to pick up new languages quickly.

Comment: Re:Java or Python (Score 1) 412

by danlip (#47410163) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

The whitespace sensitivity is not the thing I hate most about Python (although I hate that too). I hate that I can't build a string by doing "Foo" + i (where i is an integer) and I can't catch the error at compile time (because it's interpreted, but more because variables aren't declared to be a type); it's a "worst of both worlds" combination of weakly and strongly typed language. Also the ternary operator is a huge WTF: a if test else b . Why the hell would you put the test in the middle of the 2 possible results! And why not do it like C, Java, and just about every other popular language.

Comment: 1989 (freshman in college) (Score 1) 204

by danlip (#47272223) Attached to: X Window System Turns 30 Years Old

Undergrad CS lab had SGI and HP machines, and another lab had some Suns. Also 3 button mice and a scroll wheel that was a separate unit from the mouse.

The fun of making things pop-up on other people's screens on the lab. Nothing was locked down by default so unless you changed the permissions anyone could launch a process to display on your screen.

Neko was fun too.

Comment: Re:Logical Consequences (Score 1) 398

by danlip (#47265831) Attached to: Why China Is Worried About Japan's Plutonium Stocks

While I think Gore should have won in 2000 I think it is a bit much to call it a sham and completely ridiculous to compare it to Iraq under Hussein. The levels of corruption were quite small, and it only mattered because the election was really close. The real blame falls on the electoral college structure and the plurality-takes-all method of deciding elections, both of which need to be changed in my opinion.

Comment: Re:Oh I get it... (Score 1) 474

by danlip (#47211565) Attached to: Comcast Converting 50,000 Houston Home Routers Into Public WiFi Hotspots

Just to give one example of many: they gave me an 8 hour window for their installer to show up - Comcast will at least narrow it down to 4 hours the day before, but Qwest won't. So I wait at home the whole day, and they never show up. They don't call to apologize or tell me they are running behind and when I call them they aren't even sure where the guy is. It turns out they just massively overbooked they guy. The tone of the phone flunky just made it sound like this was business as usual. The service, once they finally managed to hook it up, was unreliable and slow.

Comment: Re:If people would fight their tickets... (Score 2) 286

by danlip (#47167069) Attached to: How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

Got a speeding ticket in Denver, went to court, I was offered a plea: they had me plead guilty to a broken tail light instead - it carried the same fine (plus court costs) but no points on my license. That's right, they routinely have people (dozens each day) plead guilty to an offense they didn't commit. I took the plea, mostly because to actually fight it in court I would have to come back another day; you don't get to argue your case on your originally scheduled court date.

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