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Comment: Re:A consultant's experience (Score 1) 109

Funny that, your point 2 is in direct contradiction to point 1a. You are effectively stating that your needs as the vendor are more important than the needs of the customer organisation.

Apparently you're a good example of "there's money to be made prolonging the problem".

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 396

No, England is closer to the rest of the Anglophone world. There is a reason SNP supporters are making noises about a second independence referendum for Scotland should Brexit become a real possibility.

To be fair, Nicola Sturgeon is keeping mum on the subject, but I don't think (from across the North Sea) she's against the notion.

Comment: Need to understand it's not a memory typewriter (Score 1) 302

by WillAdams (#49728633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tech Skills Do HS Students Need To Know Now?

The problem for how most people use technology is that they accept the defaults, then laboriously, manually, at each necessary point, alter things by hand so as to achieve the desired effect.

Understanding how to set up:

  - style sheets (even in a basic word processor)
  - macros (yep, word processors have these too)
  - piping commands at the command line
  - semantic tagging

will go a long way towards making them more productive (and me much happier when I get book manuscripts which are properly set up).

Hint, if you find it necessary to turn off the viewing of special characters 'cause of the visual noise, you're doing it wrong.

Comment: Use pandoc on incoming files (Score 1) 200

by WillAdams (#49691331) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Open Document Format?

Convert to your choice of XML and store that

Use pandoc to convert to whatever format is requested. If a document is requested and edited, use pandoc to read in the edited version and store that.

Once you've trained everyone to accept the lowest common denominator, it'll work.

For bonus points you could go straight to MediaWiki markup and put everything into a wiki.

Comment: Tried hard w/ the Shapeoko 2 documentation (Score 1) 244

by WillAdams (#49689487) Attached to: RTFM? How To Write a Manual Worth Reading

Available here:


Some awkward aspects are imposed by the source being Markdown on Github, so lowest common denominator for special characters such as what should be em-dashes.

Interesting footnote to the project is that the note explaining how to use the interactive diagrams was deleted by a person who thought it was unnecessary --- less than half of the people who responded to a poll figured out the interactivity and almost all those who did find it were surprised by it.

Part of the reason it's hard to write good documentation is that it's hard to get people to make use of it --- similarly we've tried to get everything about this CNC router onto the wiki, but there are still an awful lot of forum posts which I answer w/:

``That's on the wiki:

Comment: Re:Are they actually dialing up... (Score 1) 153

by WillAdams (#49673423) Attached to: Closing This Summer: Verizon To Scoop Up AOL For $4.4 Billion

AOL will allow one to convert a paid account to a free one when one cancels --- one keeps all one's old e-mail addresses, and they've increased the number of free ones allowed per account so one doesn't have to delete any.

I had a paid dial-up for a long, long while and would probably still have it if they hadn't cancelled the members.aol.com webhosting --- if they'd charged for that separately and maintained it, I'd still have it.

Comment: How are they competent to train but not retain? (Score 1) 612

by WillAdams (#49663275) Attached to: FWD.us To Laid-Off Southern California Edison Workers: Boo-Hoo

I don't get it. If they're so incompetent that they can't be kept as workers, how can they be competent enough to be training their replacements?

Why don't all the workers collectively agree to not impart their obviously flawed work skills and knowledge to their replacements?

If my boss came to me and said that he was replacing me, I'd say fine. Documentation is on the wiki, the source for everything is written up as literate programs, the only things out-of-date are and --- if you want me to up-date those, call me tomorrow and we'll work up rates.

Dynamically binding, you realize the magic. Statically binding, you see only the hierarchy.