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Comment: Beware The Advanced Editor (Score 1) 260

by jd (#47587435) Attached to: Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Functionality comes at a price. Complexity introduces bugs by necessity, reduces performance and increases memory footprint.

Below some given threshold, adding complexity is fine. The reduction in wasted time/money exceeds the increase in overheads. Above that threshold, the reverse is true.

As with all systems, for any given variable, the plot of efficiency vs complexity follows the standard S curve. Memorize this curve, it will save you much grief. The aggregate will be more complex because the variables have inter-dependencies and unique characteristics. You need to resolve to orthogonal components if you want to do anything useful.

Since nobody can be bothered to do that much maths, it becomes a simple question - do you get anything out of using them?

For me, the answer is usually no. There are no editors out there that handle more than a small fraction of the languages I use. Several critical languages use specialized formatting rules and it is a syntax error to not follow them. It would be nice to actually have an editor remember the rules for me, but formatting editors prettify code. The notion of languages having rules is beyond them.

Most code editors I've used also insist on adding truly ugly dummy code. And by "ugly", I mean I would demote a first year student by a year for writing such crap.

Maintainer convenience is not a factor I allow in mitigation. NetBeans and Eclipse score poorly. Eclipse doubly so, as I've seen it suffer seizures when updating purportedly compatible extensions. If I can write code faster by chiselling it into rock than typing it into an editor, the editor's coding isn't being written for the benefit of users. If portability and compatibility are claimed, I expect that claim to be true or rescinded. Transactions, including updates, should be bulletproof - which may include rollbacks for the irretrievably mangled.

Good code isn't the problem. Good code is never a problem. Finding good coders IS a problem, finding good coders who can work together is almost impossible. (Ergo, Linux is the byproduct of alien experiments on the brains of Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox, coinciding with a freak quantum entanglement with Dread Cthulhu in a parallel universe.)

Comment: Re:Samsung: so sue us (Score 1) 59

Your aren't talking about ethics or morals, you're talking contract law. And we don't know what the contract amounts to. We do, however, know that MS was treatening to sue people right and left over secret patents, so it's quite reasonable that Samsung may have felt that they were coerced into signing the agreement. If so, then it's quite ethical to look for any escape hole.

Comment: Re:Get the concerns addresssed (Score 1) 151

Given the history of government, expect the voting mechanism to be bought from a company which has little transparency, and little interest in fixing problems.

The history a voting machines in the US is a history of fraud and probable fraud. If you switch to an on-line voting system, expect it to be vulnerable to fraudulent voting and difficult to check. And illegal to validate. ("That's our proprietary code your'e trying to inspect!")

Do not support it. Were it an open system, I'd be cautiously supportive, but recent history tells me not to expect that.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the Next Level. (Score 1) 181

by msobkow (#47586363) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

Well, while he's busy sitting on his "proprietary" meta compiler, here's a tool that uses XML to define a business application model and which can be used to produce any text-based language code you might desire. I'm focusing on building Java applications with it.

Unlike some people, I have no where near enough ego to "sit on it" until I "retire." I'd rather people gain whatever use they can as early as they can. Sure it's not perfect and it's not what *everyone* needs, but it works for what it does so far: six database products, a Java ORM, XML parsers, XML messaging for RPC-type behaviour, and I'm working on a prototype/demo Swing GUI right now.

So download, play, have fun, try it out. No charge, no strings, no bullshit.

But most of all, no ego. I know I'm not "brilliant" or "innovative", just stubborn and persistent.

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 436

by HiThere (#47584071) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Well, yes...but if it's illegal (under Irish law) for the company in Ireland to transmit the data to the US, they they are demanding that the company chartered in Ireland under Irish law comit a crime.

I don't know that that applies in this particular case, but there is much information that the EU forbids export of to any country that doesn't protect the information. And that definitely includes the US, where personal information is seen as a corporate asset over which the individual has no right.

In fact, I find it quite plausible that the demanded information might be illegal for the Irish company to transmit. (This goes contrary to the assertion made earlier that the agent of MS merely needs to push a button located in the US and the information will appear...unless there's criminally sloppy systems design.)

Comment: Re: Criminals? Not the word I'd choose (Score 1) 121

by HiThere (#47583987) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

Traitor doesn't fit the definition given in the Constitution. OTOH, they do appear to be guilty of multiple counts of malfeasance and conspiracy to commit malfeasance. So criminal would fit if they were prosecuted.

However, since they have not been formally accused by any prosecutorial authority, I think the best word may be "lying scum".

Comment: Re:or credibility of the government (Score 1) 121

by HiThere (#47583971) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

That's oversimplifying, but it was certainly a big part of it. People are incredibly much so that they don't even notice it. If something isn't affecting them or people that they know directly, most people will just ignore it.

Please note: This is not a criticism of the anti-war movement in the Vietnam era. It was a totally stupid war for no reason that was ever explained ... or rather the explanations did not justify it, and were often lies. The ani-war movement was just, moral, and proper. It also woudn't have happened if people who had access to power weren't forced to face what the war might mean to them.

Please note, the current wars in the middle east are much more justifiable, though nobody in government dares to mention the real justification: oil. The wars are a blatant resource grab. (I'm not sure this extends to Afghanistan. I think that may be basically a war to test out the new military toys in a live exercise. But I'm not sure.)

Please also note that the "military toys" currently being developed and debugged are designed to allow a government to attack an armed civilian uprising. And note that simple verstions are being distributed to various police forces all over the US. This may explain what the real purpose of that "war" is.

Comment: Re:Does anyone still believe anything they say (Score 1) 121

by HiThere (#47583863) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

No. Some agency is necessary. The CIA and the NSA as currently constituted are not.

To claim that they are needed is as silly as claiming that because a limited copyright is good, one that extends forever it needed. It's as silly as claiming that because some patents are needed, a patent on something that everyone has been doing for decades is justifiable, and that allowing it is mandatory.

Scale the NSA back to what it was in the 1950's, and the CIA back to what it was back in 1944, when it had a different name. Those agencies were probably necessary, but that's not at all the same as saying the current agencies are necessary, or even desireable. They are currently SO bad, that we'd be better off just totally abolishing them, even though that's clearly a bad idea except as one stage of a "redo from scratch" operation.

Comment: Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 121

by HiThere (#47583797) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

Excuse me, but many of us, or at least myself, do believe that they broke actual laws as well as being blatantly immoral. IANAL, so I can't be certain, but I believe that they did.

OTOH, I don't normally condemn people for breaking the laws if I feel the laws are unjust. I'm much more upset that they acted immorally than that they acted illegaly.

Comment: Re:It's better to hear people you might disagree w (Score 1) 121

by HiThere (#47583735) Attached to: The CIA Does Las Vegas

I understand your stated expectations. This is to be expected of one who blindly trusts authority. However it is worth noting that most of the statements by CIA/NSA/etc. spokesmen cannot be checked by anyone not a member of those organizations. (And this is why the "blindly".)

Just not being able to prove them wrong is not grounds for trusting them, when they (i.e. the organizations collectively) are the reason that those statements cannot be checked.

OTOH, statements from "techno libertarians" aren't always correct, but if they can't be checked, then it's clear that they can't check them either. This is a very significant difference.

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley