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Comment: Re:Why stop there? (Score 1) 104

by demachina (#47553681) Attached to: SpaceX Executive Calls For $22-25 Billion NASA Budget

Didn't say it was. I just said NASA should abandon it to whomever wants to pay to keep it operating. Prettty sure its past its original end of life anyway which I think was 2010.

If Russia doesn't want to play nice, or pay to run it themselves, I doubt ESA, Canada or Japan will be able to keep it going if the U.S. pulls out.

Comment: Re:NO, all candy bar (Score 1) 390

Depends on the pants. The iPhone5 fits nicely in my front jeans (deep) pocket . The larger phones make sitting down difficult as the phone now presses up against my hip. I was thinking about upgrading to an iPhone6, but now i'm not so sure. The "phablets" can die in fire for all I care. I want my smart phone to be a phone first and foremost; that includes a small form-factor.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Six

Journal by mcgrew

Drills
I got woke up early again, about five thirty this time. Fire in passengers quarters number forty seven. God damned drills, but I had to get up and inspect forty seven anyway. I put on a robe and trudged down there.
Yep, just a stupid drill. I noticed that Tammy was in the commons with the German woman as I walked past on my way back home. It was still early enough that I could still get another hour's sleep or so.

Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 1) 140

You don't have to understand everything, but you do need to at least understand the basics, like how networking works, how crypto works, etc. at a conceptual level. I feel like too many developers learn how to program by learning JavaScript and other scripting languages on their own, then jump into app programming thinking that it's only one step harder because you can sort of do it in Python/Ruby/other Obj-C bridged languages/other .NET languages, or because Swift looks like JavaScript, or whatever their logic might be. Unfortunately, it's not one step harder if you care about doing it right; it's a hundred steps harder, but the apparent accessibility of app programming tries to hide that fact, resulting in a lot of people getting in way over their heads.

Too many developers then balk when we tell them that they need to read conceptual books, insisting that they just want to learn how to solve their particular problem. The result is that they understand just enough of what they're doing to be dangerous. It's like deciding to build a house and telling someone, "I just want to know how to cut a board and hammer in a nail." You're likely to get a very strange looking house with no right angles. You really need to start with higher-level design and philosophy texts, then work your way down to the practical texts. That's equally true in programming, but the short-attention-span instant-gratification crowd just doesn't get that.

And I understand the desire to just learn how to solve the problem. I've been there, and I've done that, but only in areas where I was reasonably comfortable. Even then, I've often later discovered that snippets that looked right weren't quite right in certain edge cases, but at least this happens fairly infrequently, because I've taken the time to learn what I'm doing. Developers who don't do this aren't just hurting themselves; they're hurting their users. There's just no reason for that.

Comment: Re:Technical Merit really overrated (Score 1) 653

by drinkypoo (#47549911) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

No... ISA was a pretty shitty bus even in it's day. Compare to Zorro in the Amiga, which was fully plug and play from the outset.

Yeah, hindsight is fun. Since Zorro is four years (and change) newer than the ISA bus, there was plenty of it to go around when it was created.

Comment: Re:You are one ignorant jackass (Score 1) 211

by mcgrew (#47549375) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

You, sir, are an abusive moron who is obviously not intelligent enough to realize that the Mars rovers are spinoffs from Apollo. Were it not for Apollo there would be no Hubble, no Martian robots, no ISS, none of the space exploration done today. Obviously unlike you, I remember Sputnik. We can thank the Russians for Apollo.

Now crawl back to 4chan where flamebait like yours is welcome. Where in the hell are the moderators?

Comment: Re:maybe (Score 1) 486

But nooo, let's not let it go, hurrah, time to rub this in a whole nation's face! said the Jewish Association.

Wah wah wah. Oh no, let's not have this rubbed in our faces. As long as a nation is still producing holocaust deniers, it badly needs some face-rubbing. Nobody really cares if you will feel defensive.

Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 5, Informative) 140

Code recycling is one thing, but not understanding what that code does when you put it into a production app or not following best practices is another. As Android gains popularity as a platform to develop for, we're going to lose quality as the new folks jumping onto the band wagon don't care how their apps work or look beyond the end goal. This mentality is already popping up with Android Wear developers who cram as much information as they can on the screen and claim that design guidelines are "just recommendations."

The exact same thing happens on every other platform, though perhaps to varying degrees. I refer to it as the Stack Overflow effect. One developer who doesn't know the right way to do something posts a question. Then, a developer who also doesn't know the right way to do it posts how he or she did it. Then ten thousand developers who don't know the right way to do it copy the code without understanding what it does or why it's the wrong way to do it. By the time somebody notices it, signs up for the site, builds up enough reputation points to point out the serious flaw in the code, and actually gets a correction, those developers have moved on, and the bad code is in shipping apps. Those developers, of course, think that they've found the answer, so there's no reason for them to ever revisit the page in question, thus ensuring that the flaw never gets fixed.

Case in point, there's a scary big number of posts from people telling developers how to turn off SSL chain validation so that they can use self-signed certs, and a scary small number of posts reminding developers that they'd better not even think about shipping it without removing that code, and bordering on zero posts explaining how to replace the SSL chain validation with a proper check so that their app will actually be moderately secure with that self-signed cert even if it does ship. The result is that those ten thousand developers end up (statistically) finding the wrong way far more often than the right way.

Of course, it's not entirely fair to blame this problem solely on sites like Stack Overflow for limiting people's ability to comment on other people's answers unless they have a certain amount of reputation (a policy that is, IMO, dangerous as h***), and for treating everybody's upvotes and downvotes equally regardless of the reputation of the voter. A fair amount of blame has to be placed on the companies that create the technology itself. As I told one of my former coworkers, "The advantage of making it easier to write software is that more people write software. The disadvantage of making it easier to write software is that... more people write software." Ease of programming is a two-edged sword, and particularly when you're forced to run other people's software without any sort of actual code review, you'd like it to have been as hard as possible for the developer to write that software, to ensure that only people with a certain level of competence will even make the attempt—sort of a "You must be this tall to ride the ride" bar.

To put it another way, complying with or not complying with design guidelines are the least of app developers' problems. I'd be happy if all the developers just learned not to point the gun at other people's feet and pull the trigger without at least making sure it's not loaded, but for some reason, everybody seems to be hell-bent on removing the safeties that would confuse them in their attempts to do so. Some degree of opaqueness and some lack of documentation have historically been safety checks against complete idiots writing software. Yes, I'm wearing my UNIX curmudgeon hat when I say that, but you have to admit that the easier programming has become, the lower the average quality of code has seemed to be. I know correlation is not causation, but the only plausible alternative is that everyone is trying to make programming easier because the average developer is getting dumber and can't handle the hard stuff, which while possible, is even more cynical than the original assertion and makes me weep for the future.

Either way, there's something really, really wrong at a fundamental level with the way we search for solutions to coding problems. There needs to be an easy way to annotate the fact that a code snippet was derived from a particular forum post, and to automatically receive email notifications (or bug reports) whenever someone flags the snippet on the original forum as being wrong or dangerous. And we as developers need to take the time to learn enough about the OS and the programming environment to ensure that we at least mostly understand what a piece of code does before we ship it in a product.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

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