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Comment: get more involved in open source contributing (Score 4, Insightful) 548

by jjn1056 (#47722017) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

I think the main thing I'd change is I wish I had started becoming active in the open source community around the tools I commonly use. I spent the first 10 years of my career mostly working on my own, or with a few people on the job and was not connected at all with the greater community. I think if I had done so earlier I'd be a better programmer today

Comment: Re:CLA (Score 1) 57

by jjn1056 (#47664711) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Corporate Open Source Policy?

Having a solid Contributor License Agreement process in place would probably be a good idea. That way, it's clear who owns the code that comes in and encourages people to contribute while defining a (necessary evil) process for doing so. You'll lose random passers-by, but just one passer-by who gets litigious could be more of a headache than it's worth.

I'm not sure if the idea of a contributor license as you suggest is in the spirit of open source.

Comment: Its better to contribute to an existing project... (Score 1) 57

by jjn1056 (#47664671) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Corporate Open Source Policy?

One thing I notice is that sometimes a company decides to open source some in-house crapware because they heard its a good way to get free publicity and perhaps attract more developers. Quite often the project ends up with zero adoption because its not that interesting and often there's a bunch of existing projects with already built communities that are doing more or less the same thing. Or the focus is so narrow that it solves nobody's problem. What usually tell people is that its better to learn to contrib to an existing project rather than release some vanity ware and try to pretend the company is all hip and cool because you have a github account.

Its also a good way to get around the legal review and all, since generally if you are just sending patches to an existing project, typically bug fixes and feature enhancements there's not a big need for it. I think its easier for rusty management to accept you contributing documention, test cases and bug fixes to an already existing project than to get them to allow you to take some big in house project and get it out in the open.

If you build your in house stuff around existing open source projects and really leverage open source at all points in the stack (from automation and up) you will find lots of good ways to contribute back to those projects and you will find your custom code is mostly glue and company 'secret sauce' that you'd never give away anyway.

Comment: Normal lawyer stuff (Score 5, Insightful) 54

by jjn1056 (#47605971) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht's Lawyer Requests Suppression Of Silk Road Evidence

We all know his lawyer has the burden to basically try anything and everything between now and (possible) sentencing to get the client off or reduced penalty. The system is adversarial on purpose. What will be interesting to some of us is to see if there was anything used here to find him that is really pushing the limits right. I mean the official story I hear is that he was found with old fashion leg work more than anything else. I am interested to know how true that might be. I think a lot of us are worried some of that mega NSA power is being serendipitously shared with law enforcement, and then they cover it up. We have some reason to think that is and has happened.

Comment: Never heard of them... (Score 1) 213

by jjn1056 (#47574773) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

I've been programming professional since 1995, never heard of them. I work primarily on open source systems and it seems like this organization is not really aimed at that group, at least based on the 'no code, behind a paywall' thing.

I contribute and volunteer on several open source projects, that's what I do to promote my interests and the interests of projects important to me and my career. Not sure how spending time and money on this ACM group would accomplish anything for me.

Comment: Regarding the linked article on Perl... (Score 2) 536

I'm not going to take sides on 'what language to learn next.' You've not given us enough information on your codebase, the size and nature of your company, etc. I would say a rewrite is as likely to put you out of business than not, but that's ultimately your choice and unless I know all the factors I can't tell you if its a risk worth doing.

Regarding the link you gave on Perl 'ossifying', there was actually a signification discussion on the Perl Reddit about that article which I want to point out:

I would say the website that generated that article seems to be some sort of SEO play (they just have a bunch of articles on stuff that has some interest and controversy) and they stick ads on it. There's nothing mentioned in it that hasn't been mentioned 100K elsewhere (including here on Slashdot).

Perl has pluses and minuses but I've made a good career at it, and most of the code I've worked with is newer (seldom more for 5 or 6 years old), not legacy stuff from before the first dot com bubble. I'll probably make 200K this year, so I can't say its a bad choice. I work with lots of fun people as well. I also like Javascript. If I was starting today I might choose Scala, its a nice clean, fast language with a lot of forward looking concepts. Best of luck whatever you do.

Comment: Re:Oxymoron (Score 1) 126

No doubt, I have a few friends that cashed in old Cobol skills back when we were partying like it was 1999 (for the second time). However in my nearly 20 years of writing Perl for web sites I've never worked on an application that was more than 6 years old when I was hired (and about half of them where new applications, the last 3 were startups using Perl).

I realize the Perl community doesn't spend a lot of time adverting all the companies that do choose Perl for new startups, since we are all busy working :)

I do know a lot of people making good money keeping some old financing systems running, down on Wall Street, but I never wanted to work in Finance so I don't know about them. My guess is they fall under what you called legacy, although its likely that stuff is running multi billion dollar a year apps for rich brokers.

Comment: Re:Oxymoron (Score 5, Interesting) 126

Given I'll make more that $200K programming Perl this year, no that was not my first reflex...

My first reflex on seeing this on Slashdot was, "I probably shouldn't read the article because its going to be filled with the same tired, ignorant Perl hate. And then I'm going to waste time trying to respond to it."

You don't have to use Perl if you don't want to. Why isn't that enough? Why do you feel entitled to dump your FUD on my community? Perl isn't the most popular choice but there's a lot of us making a decent living at it, so please if you don't get it, or you don't like it, unless you have a grudge with Perl that hasn't already been mentioned 100K times what's the point of saying anything at all?

Comment: Re:Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by jjn1056 (#46602525) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Eich's beliefs mean nothing, as long as he doesn't practice them at work.

Generally I find that intolerant, bigoted people find ways to practice their intolerance and bigotry all the time. I've never met a KKK member that said "Hey I only wear the sheet at night! When I am at work its all, 'Kumbaya man!'".

Just as the employee's sexual orientation means nothing, as long as he doesn't practice it at work.

There's a big difference between a leader of a company with power, wealth and influence and a general employee. One has a megaphone that they can use to promote their ideology, the other doesn't. Even if they are careful to give the appearance of separation, ultimately that megaphone is there.

What if this guy was like a Nazi, would you say the same thing? My guess is, no you would not.

Comment: Re:Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by jjn1056 (#46602403) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

WTF how is this somehow modded insightful?

Its not a matter of 'demanding my boss' anything. And its not about 'political correctness' or whatever that means nowadays. Lots of shit in life is ambiguous and arbitrary. The trousers of time have many pant legs to fall down, and quite often they are all more or less equal. But there are occasions when history will take sides. And this guy is on the wrong side of history. My guess is the parent poster is as well.

I've traveled around the world and lived as the natives do in lots of places. As in Rome, yeah? But you can hide intollerance under 'all opinions are equal' crap. There is a difference between matters of opinion and matters of ethics.

In terms of what can I expect from a boss, well I would say Mozilla is not just some company, its a big part of an ethical movement around open source / free software and about empowering people with information and technology. Many, many people who are part of that movement share other similar values around notions of diversity and tolerance for difference. I personally do find it distressing that the CEO of this company clearly doesn't share all those values. However I'd be willing personally to find some common ground if possible, on the hopes of influencing him over time. But I can't expect that over everyone.

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.