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Comment: Usually its a lot more simple of mortal humans... (Score 1) 335

"One curious corollary is that if the human brain is a Turing machine, then humans can never decide this issue either, a point that the authors deliberately steer well clear of."

Usually it goes like, "Oh shit this dude is pointing a gun at me, I better kill him before him kills me..."

And usually this is a pretty abbreviated thought process since anyone that actually goes through all that decision making is already dead before getting half done with it.

Comment: Re:Just the trilogy, I hope (Score 1) 242

by jjn1056 (#48363199) Attached to: HBO Developing Asimov's Foundation Series As TV Show

Yeah I felt the later stories were fair stories but not groundbreaking in the same way. I think the whole thing where he wants to connect the Robots saga stuff with the Foundation stuff felt a bit forced, although as a fan of his work I recall enjoying it at the time of reading (when I was much younger.)

And I tremble at the idea they might be trying to do this. I think Foundation and Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant stories are two series I read when I was much younger that I always wondered if someone might want to cash in with a visual interpretation. I do think Foundation, particularly the earliest books don't have a ton of action and might not lead to interesting novels. And HBO seems to like to do stories with more 'adult themes' so to speak and I can't think of a single sex scene or anything even close in any of the Foundation stuff. I think Foundation was really teenager aimed (at least I read it when I was that age). I could see HBO doing the Donaldson works, seems more in line with what they are known for.

Comment: Perl 6 =! Perl 5 (Score 1) 547

by jjn1056 (#48103609) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

It would be incorrect to say Perl is dying because Perl6 has not delivered on its original goal of being a worthy successor to Perl5. Although Perl6 was originally slated as that replacement, the two languages (Perl5 and Perl6) have drifted significantly and there is no syntax compatibly between them (although there are some projects around who goal is to make it easier for Perl6 programers to load and use Perl5 libraries, and vice versus). As a result the Perl community no longer sees Perl6 as the replacement for Perl5. Now there are two separate development teams and the Perl5 team has recently release an update to version 20, and work on version 22 is in the works. The Perl6 team continues to work on Perl6 but many people in the Perl community see it more as a hobby and as a lab rather than as a language one would expect to use on the job. Nevertheless lots of ideas have emerged from the Perl6 'lab' and has influenced the more iterative development of Perl5.

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.

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane