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Comment: Re:Linux developer arrogance (Score 1) 589

by louic (#46926527) Attached to: Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says
This may be partly true, but the main issue IMHO is that there are two types of "user friendiness":
- the "windows" type of user friendliness makes easy things easy and everything else hard or impossible. The software decides what is best for you.
- the "linux" type of user friendliness makes easy things a little bit harder and everything else possible. You decide what is best for you and your computer follows your instructions exactly if you talk to it in the right language

Compare this to a coffee machine:
- Machine 1 has a single button and makes reasonable espresso when you push it. EASY! But it is not possible to adjust the water temperature and the grain size
- Machine 2 has the potential to make excellent espresso, but it obviously requires more maintenance: someone needs to set the grain size of the coffee, the water temperature, etc. Most people will get their settings wrong and blame the machine. Is it arrogant of developers to think that these people are incompetent? No, it's the truth (they may be good at other things not related to coffee but that is besides the point here).

So what is the point? Linux and Windows are different and have a different purpose. Linux can behave like windows (Ubuntu comes close, which is why I do not use it) but Windows can not behave like Linux and it does not want to. There is no need to compare because it is not a competition. Each of them suits its purpose and the article above states that for this particular purpose Windows is more suitable. Great.

Comment: The solution is software (Score 1) 157

by louic (#46637811) Attached to: Should Patients Have the Option To Not Know Their DNA?
1. Sequence everything
2. Screen for the disease as requested, and only give this information to the doctor
3. Keep the data in case more questions are asked
4. You can thank me later

I don't see a problem. A patient undergoes a DNA test to answer a /certain/ question. So answer this specific question only but keep the data to answer potential other questions later.

Comment: book recommendations (Score 2) 306

by louic (#46514327) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can an Old Programmer Learn New Tricks?
Read the following two books, that is how I learned to go from qbasic to object-oriented python using design patterns:
- code complete
- design patterns
After that of course you need practice.

By the way, it is worth it and makes code more easily reusable because it allows to make small changes to existing code more easily. Although this does not teach you to use frameworks, the logic of thinking in patterns and how to do object oriented programming properly is a very good start.

Comment: answer (Score 1) 233

by louic (#45523921) Attached to: Is a Postdoc Worth it?
The answer is easy

If you care about money, it is not worth it. But you probably should not have done a PhD either.

If you care about science, a postdoc is ABSOLUTELY GREAT! You will never in your scientific carreer have the opportunity to do so much work by yourself. As soon as you become a lecturer/professor/whatever equivalent your country has you will have to write grant proposals, go to conferences, teach, etc. all getting in the way of science. Given the choice (read: if I can afford it) I take a postdoc position any day above any other academic place.

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken