People love certain types of change. They love cool new features.
I fear you're missing the actual driver. People love getting into the same crap that everyone else is getting into, and it barely matters what it is. The "cool new features" are just fig-leafs they use to justify being trendy crowd followers.
I have two favorite examples: I grew up during what now appears to be a fad for "high fidelity" audio equipment, and people competed for large speakers, loud amps, and "clean" sound. After a number of odd flips and flops, everyone switched to competing to see how many mp3s you could squeeze into a gadget (and never mind what they actually sound like). Many households no longer have anything like a half-way decent sound system at all, and hanging around the house you probably listen to music on whatever speakers came with your TV (if you don't get by with whatever came with your laptop). So: what happened to "HiFi"? Did everyone get into HiFi because of what it could do, or just because it was The Latest?
Second example is more recent, which means it'll get a lot of pushback from slashdot quibblers: digital cameras. Remember when everyone wanted more and more megapixels? And then they all switched to crappy cellphone cameras, didn't they? So did they care about image quality, or could it be that was just The Latest?
(Responses I expect: "But I have a MegazillaPixoid for some purposes, and the cellphone camera for others." But the MegazillaPixoid has been sitting at home gathering dust for a year, and you aren't even thinking about upgrading it.)
Where things get interesting though, is even once you know all this, once you learn to recognize yet another deranged fad, you still need to keep half an eye on the fad, because economies of scale and competitve pressures are driving the evolution of some technology that might actually have some utility to something you really do care about -- e.g. in my case I suspect I've got multi-core ARM processor servers in my future, even though I couldn't care less about those smart phones everyone is stupified by.
"Is not a Dyson Sphere also grandiose hype?" I can't tell if you know what a Dyson sphere is. The idea is that civilizations may tend to evolve to the point where they need to capture all the output from their sun-- and presumably they would do this with layers of orbiting collectors, not literally a solid "sphere". This would imply that SETI efforts should look for radiation shifted down into the infrared. (Dyson credits Olaf Stapledon with the original notion, by the way.)
If you're looking for visions of the future, you might look at Dyson's books, e.g. "Infinite In All Directions". His imagination leans in the direction of things like colonizing the Oort cloud with genetically modified plants.
Nope: you don't understand DLL hell at all. The real problem Windows had was there was no way for an app to know it was going to have the right version of a library without actually shipping a copy of it with itself. So every time you installed an app, you could potentially change versions of any of your DLLs. What versions you ended up with were path dependent: if you installed apps in one order, everything might work, if you did it in a different order, half of your stuff might be broken.
Library version management is handled pretty well by dpkg/apt and (as far as I know) it's competitors, like yum.
There is still a problem with linux in that it can be difficult to install multiple versions of the same thing and switch between them, and that's actually a pretty common need. In the Debian world the work around has been for major versions to leak into the package names, so, for example, you can install postgres8 and postgres9 and run them on the same system fairly eaisly. Of course, this doesn't help so much if you'd like to compare version 8.5 and 8.6...
Is it possible - maybe not likely, just possible - that the submitter is in the right?
No it isn't. Or not a possibility worth considering. Take a look at the original question and actually read it: the OP has nothing. He's whining about style and elegance, but the one thing he touches on that might be a real maintenance problem is inconsistent naming, but without more info it's hard to tell if that's for real.
Software is a collaborative process, none of us really know anything about the right way of doing it, and that means when you're starting work in a new group you've got to find out something about the culture of the people you're working with and try to blend in with it. You may be able to gradually change that culture if you've got a good case, but the OP is just egotripping about how he knows the Right Way to do everything. If the senior programmer is changing things back to the way they were, we're talking about the equivalent of tab wars.
And if you're going to make changes to a group's practices the way to start is talking to them about it You don't try to slip in changes in the hopes they'll be impressed with your brilliance after the fact.
Software development == collaborative process --> communicating with human beings.
I thought it has been long established through research that even a hands free cradle talking on the phone is a dangerous distraction while driving, Can't see how this can be less of a distraction than that even if it is better than manual texting. People have enough accidents without additional distractions.
Oh please, issues like that pale in significance compared to the important business of selling the latest consumer crap electronics.
Why are you pretending that you have expertise in an area you provably do not- climatology-
You need to review Dyson's bio a little more closely. He was one of the first physicists to work on global warming at all, and I would venture to say that a lot of the experimental work that's been taken place in the last 20 years has happened because of his prompting.
and making dramatic pronouncements which are directly counter to what people who DO have the requisite educational and research specialization are making?
If you'd like to know why he said what he said, you might start by reading his argument: The Question of Global Warming.
It's great that you have cultivated an impish, child-like , authority-resistant public persona, but science is not really interested in any of that.
Interestingly enough, this book did not provoke any great controversy. We all like the idea of intellectual rebels and heretics in principle, but when they go up against one of our own beliefs, then they're just incredibly arrogant for going against the authorities.
(By the way... speaking of arrogance, it takes some balls to lecture Freeman Dyson about science... but whatever.)
If you want to attack Dyson's policy recommendation on global warming, by the way, I suggest going after him on the economics. I guarantee you that he knows more about climate science than you or I do, but on a subject like the costs of imposing heavy carbon taxes he's got to defer to economists, and they've got they're own problems with objectivity.
Yes, many publications are available on-line and in print form, and myself I actually think they complement each other fairly well. I read "The New York Review of Books" in print form on the train or in the bath, and occasionaly search their on-line archive to see what they were saying several decades ago.
It was particularly interesting to notice that they published Noam Chomsky regularly in the sixties, and then suddenly stopped, with his last publication in 1970. Your guess is as good as mine why they cut him off, but I've a strong suspicion it has to do with the Israel-Palestine issue...
I went through an Economist phase, but gave up on it during the run-up to the Iraq war. I was getting enough stupid war propaganda from home-grown sources, I didn't need to pay for an import on top of that.
Since the Iraq war thing, there have been other things that turned me off... e.g. a cover photo of a demonstration in Indonesia-- as I remember it-- carefully selected to make it look dramatic and violent, when the actual event was fairly peaceful.
I sometimes wonder if the Economist has ever done any market research... the people I know who read it-- admittedly a selected set-- are all relatively liberal types who like the fact that it writes about places outside the US as though they really exist. They read it in spite of the silly conservative "leaders" up front, not because of them...
As good a place to attach my list as any, since I'm another "Otaku USA" reader:
- Otaku USA
- The Nation
- New York Review of Books
- Science (from the AAAS)
- The San Francisco Bay Guardian
- The East Bay Express
Plus some common newstand buys:
- High Fructose
- Giant Robot
- A Devil and Her Love Song
- A Certain Scientific Railgun
- The Black Butler
- Skip Beat
- Flowers of Evil
Printed media has advantages over on-line, of course... both durable and portable, with displays that are large, high-resolution and low-power. Each issue is relatively low value, so you don't need to worry about losing them on the train, or water damage from reading in the bath
Nor is the cell phone magically more distracting than other objects in a car.
They sure as fuck are, and you would know that already if you'd bothered to follow any of the news about the subject. The fact that we need research to presuade someone like yourself that using a goddamn computer while driving a car is a bad idea is evidence that you're in the grip of horrible denial (or an obnoxious troll, in which case, nice job).
The california law requiring handsfree gadgets is a completely ridiculous sop to the phone industry, that thought they'd use their public relations crisis to sell more gadgets to people, and succeeded.
Hydrogen is everywhere and Helium is running short and getting more expensive. New hydrogen barriers are developed all the time, and Helium requires special barriers as well.
Heh. Your point is that a careful assessment of modern technical capabilities would conclude that hydrogen-filled lifting bodies can be built and operated relatively safely, and have technical and economic advantages, and therefore will be used.
Now, let me introduce you to the nuclear power debate.
...but part of the design of the core of the Internet is that it is, in fact, designed to survive a nuclear war.
Perhaps this is some subtle internet humor, but if you actually follow that link, it contradicts what our ubiquitous friend Anonymous Coward says. The bit about surviving a nuclear war is discussed in a section labeled "Misconceptions of design goals".
(And as long as I'm responding to trolls, may I point out that Al Gore does indeed have a plausible claim to being the guy who created the internet.)