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Comment: Re:RFCs are not laws (Score 2) 53 53

The market not IETF process decides which protocols will continue to be used going forward.

The market loves when we have formal documents laid down by the Formal Documents People confirming what we've been telling our bosses for years. I would bet large sums of money that some tech, somewhere, just walked out of a meeting happy because he finally has permission to deprecate a long-broken system.

Comment: Re:More stupid reporting on SlashDot (Score 1) 192 192

At least MS isn't as bad as Apple where the literally force you to buy new hardware along with the new O/S (Ipad 1 anyone?)

You seem to be under the impression that backward and forward hardware compatibility are easy things:

1) That an arbitrary OS could be expected to run well on hardware made many years in the past and many years in the future, and
2) That arbitrary hardware can easily support ancient software.

Suppose you'd said this about DOS. Microsoft should support it in perpetuity! OK, then, but where are you going to buy a mouse today that supports the hardware ports that DOS knows how to handle (or would you think mouse makers would spend the effort to write MTRACKPAD.SYS so that a new Apple Magic Trackpad would work on it)? And it's not exactly free or cheap for a modern i7 to maintain 100% 8088 compatibility.

Conversely, should iOS 9 be expected to run on an original iPhone, with CPUs and GPUs many times slower, an eighth the RAM, a fraction of the storage, and utterly obsolete in many other ways? Even if the minimal core could be made to run, so many features would have to be stripped out (at great development and testing expense) that it'd be pointless.

There are good reasons for dropping compatibility. Software isn't easily made to scale down to ancient predecessors, and hardware leaves stuff behind regularly - I don't have serial ports or ISA slots on this motherboard. It's not plausible for Apple to carry iOS all the way back to hardware that almost no one is using, and it's not realistic for Microsoft to drag Windows 7 all the way forward to hardware that hasn't even been conceived yet. At some point, you just have to let go.

Comment: Re:As always (Score 1) 368 368

And yet people think it's fair that the artists man up and shoulder the cost of a few months of streaming.

Apple did not do this unilaterally. They approached the rightsholders who actually own the music - that is, the labels and not the artists - and proposed this arrangement. After much negotiation, everyone agreed that this was a solid plan and started moving ahead with it. How much money Apple does or doesn't have is immaterial because they could not legally do this without the consent of the people who own the material, and those people thought it was a fine idea and signed on the dotted line.

So yes, it's perfectly fair: not because you or I think so but because the people capable of vetoing it said it is.

Comment: Re:Relatively difficult to get a work visa for the (Score 1) 410 410

Intra-company transfers for an existing employer (e.g. IBM), limited to a year if you are making £40,000/year; call it $63,500 at todays exchange rate; this is generally not hard for someone employed by IBM, actually

Did I misinterpret that, or did you really mean to say that £40,000/year is a plausible amount for an IBMer to make while living in London? What would you say is a nice salary for a senior engineer?

Comment: Re:Do they ever follow up? (Score 1) 283 283

but if all this does is provide free entertainment I'm not so sure

Don't underestimate the value of free entertainment. Sometimes that guy coming home from his second job really needs to unwind a little before he gets his 6 hours of sleep, and a little YouTube is probably a healthier and cheaper alternative to an after-work beer. Also, entertainment has traditionally proven useful to help prevent the proles from revolting against the bourgeoisie. It's generally not a great idea to insist that the poorest be made more and more miserable for their own good.

Comment: Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 3, Insightful) 323 323

Software engineers like me who won't touch the kernel with a 10' poll because I don't need the aggravation of dealing with him.

You shouldn't worry about it. From everything I've seen, he's a lot more sympathetic to new contributors making mistakes than he is to old-timers who should know better. It's fair and reasonable to hold them to a higher standard, and that seems to be exactly what he does.

Comment: Re:When does the powerhouse part start? (Score 1) 281 281

PHP was built to be a thin wrapper to C libraries. Don't blame PHP for what is not its fault.

It is at fault. It's the job of the wrapper to present a consistent interface to the things being wrapped. Otherwise, why even bother?

It is trivial to build very high performance web, command line, or GUI apps with PHP

And yet the only PHP command line utilities I've ever seen are shells for controlling PHP web apps. I've never seen a PHP GUI app so I can't speak to that.

For being as allegedly suitable for developing those kinds of things, almost no one seems to be doing it.

Comment: Re:When does the powerhouse part start? (Score 2) 281 281

Yes, it is. There are plenty of languages that can cleanly generate web pages and system and application development. Web frontends are important and popular, but hardly the end-all be-all of modern programming. PHP is losing a lot of ground to single-page frameworks like AngularJS. It never had ground for backend platform development outside a handful of visible companies: for every Facebook, there are 100 companies with Java or Python infrastructure platforms.

I contend that PHP is good at exactly one thing: gathering data from backing stores and formatting it as HTML. That's being quickly superseded by browser JavaScript or portable device apps that fetch the same data through REST and format it themselves.

Comment: When does the powerhouse part start? (Score 4, Interesting) 281 281

PHP is Turing complete, so it's technically possible to write anything in PHP that you could write in another language. That seems to be about the most it's got going for it. PHP does nothing to help programmers write sane, maintainable code. It's almost impossible to develop without having a browser tab open to php.net ("The online docs are great!" "Well, they'd have to be."). There is zero consistency with things like argument order. Dangerous legacy concepts like "mysql_real_escape_string" are only recently deprecated and don't have a set removal schedule. It's a one-trick pony that's nearly useless outside its niche as a web page generation language. It's just a mess - a dangerous, unmaintainable mess.

I won't refuse to use an app just because it's written in PHP, but I do heavily weight it when comparing alternatives. PHP is a powerhouse in much the same way as McDonald's. It may be ubiquitous, but it still sucks and you have to question the judgement of anyone who chooses it to start a new project.

Comment: Re:people content with old machines... (Score 2) 558 558

Well, that and the fact that many of us build ludicrously over-specced machines whenever we actually upgrade. "Well, I'll be watching a lot of Youtube videos, so 32GB of RAM, 16 cores, 16TB of spinning storage, and 2TB of SSD should just about cover it. Oh, and toss in a couple of GPUs because I've deluded myself into thinking I'll write a protein folding simulator some weekend."

Sometimes it takes a while for your technology to become obsolete when you've installed ASCI Red in your garage.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig

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