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Comment Re:Here's the list (Score 1) 116 116

We don't need engineering, we need mind-readers. If users had enough time to sit and be thoroughly interviewed about needs and preferences, they wouldn't need automation to begin with.

And further, how to make software maintainable in the longer run is highly disputed largely because it depends on "wetware" and unknowns, such as developer perception of code, and unknowable future domain changes.

It's more akin to writing technical documentation than to building a bridge: how do you write documentation that's clear to the audience, but flexible enough that it doesn't have to be largely reworked for every change.

There is no magic modularity formula: domain issues inherently intertwine (or can intertwine in the future even if not at original launch.) You can't hide intertwining, you have to find a way to manage it well.

To deal with this what we do is go quickly to the UI.. once you show them they can give you better feedback. There's also some research supporting this.

Comment The statement about clear social instructions (Score 3, Interesting) 36 36

I had trouble with my social development as a child. Some of it's clearly genetic. My father isn't completely socially incapable (although he did benefit from 1950's parenting methods and two older sisters who were not socially handicapped in any way), but he shows signs of high-functioning autism. But it isn't just that. My father shows signs of having at least mild narcissistic disorder, and my mother is unmistakably borderline. (Not sure what my father's excuse is, but my mother was the victim of child abuse, and her parents were much worse than mine.) So my parents didn't do a good job of teaching me social skills. Mostly, I just got into trouble for things I just didn't understand. Even after I developed empathy in around the 8th grade, I didn't know how to use it, and there was nobody I could talk to who was insightful enough to help me figure it out.

But then when I was in my 20's, away from my parents, and perhaps having outgrown some of the innate problems, I encountered co-workers who had the patience to explain to me my social mistakes without all the "what the fuck is the matter with you" kind of reaction. Instead, they explained to me clearly and calmly (albeit with concern in their mannerisms) what I did, what it meant, and how people perceived it. I was receptive, and they were willing to help, and this lead to a rapid growth in my social ability through my 20's.

What I've learned to do is PAY ATTENTION. I know that I have a disconnect, so I have developed a conscious habit of opening my eyes and just listening to and watching what's going on and associating people's emotional reactions (which I can read) with the social circumstances that lead to them. I'm also a bit of a goofball, which I have learned to leverage. So I smile, make jokes, and get people to talk about themselves, and people now find me to be rather charming.

It's been a long road getting from there to here. :)

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

I did scraping before (and note that we aren't talking about screenscraping here, but rather website scraping) - I once wrote a scraper that presented an entire online forum as a newsgroup. Based on my experience with that, and on the layout of the RCW website, scraping this particular thing is absolutely trivial.

I agree that we shouldn't have to do that. I'm just saying that I find it doubtful that they do it to extract money from people, because I just don't see that working well when it's so easily scraped. If someone were to hire me to do that, it'd probably take me something like a few hours, and I wouldn't ask more than $200 for such a job.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

All I can say is that I regularly look up RCWs pertaining to different things where I have doubts or am just curious about it, and so far I haven't found any trouble finding the relevant bits.

From a lawyer's perspective, perhaps this all is still missing crucial bits. If providing, say, a single-page HTML download would be immensely useful, then sure, they should do it (especially as they already likely have some kind of script along these lines, as you do have a single-HTML option for individual chapters).

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 1) 565 565

So far, all the people responding to my example have overlooked one crucial word in it: "force". Does Finland merely provide incentive for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Or do they actively force people into such a lifestyle. That's the main distinction here.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

Um, the search is by keyword also (click on the "Search RCWs" link to see the full UI). And PDFs are refreshed once per year because paper publication of the complete thing is also once per year, it's not like they're deliberately slowing things down.

Comment Re:The article should use "ridiculous" 0 times. (Score 1) 292 292

Here's a better example, then - Revised Code of Washington:

Most recent version is searchable online HTML. It, and all the previous editions, are also available as downloadable PDFs, exactly as they are published on paper. All of these are free.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel