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Comment: Re:No, we need one *better* language, not "more" (Score 1) 421

by major_fault (#38324502) Attached to: Why We Need More Programming Languages

There is no way I could agree more with what you said. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say that we need a better natural language that is closer to a programming language not vice versa. Although it's obviously a difficult thing to get right and almost impossible to get it adapted even if it were good enough.

Natural languages are terribly ambiguous in their meaning. It's so very easy to tell something wrong by making an error in wording or grammar. Especially since different regions actually understand language differently. I live in a small non-English speaking country with a bit more than a million people in it and even here there are native dialects that I can barely understand if at all...

I think that even SQL is not a good idea and too close to a natural language. I still can't remember which order some statements should be especially in complex queries. Why would anyone think it easier to use and read (not that it's even complex query):

INSERT INTO `table1` (`col1`, `col2`) VALUES ('1', '2')
SELECT * FROM `table1` INNER JOIN `table2` ON `table1`.`col1`=`table2`.`col2` WHERE `table1`.`col2`=2

than it would be something like this. A fictional stricter language where the exact order of statements won't matter at all and where possible syntactic errors are pretty much limited with wrong placement of brackets or quotation marks:

insert( tables('table1') columns('col1' 'col2') values('1' '2'))
select( tables('table1' 'table2') columns(all) join('table1 col1' 'table2 col2') where('table1 col2'=2))

Comment: Re:It doesn't matter. (Score 1) 368

by major_fault (#37004536) Attached to: What Today's Coders Don't Know and Why It Matters

In a way I find this kind of view contradictory. I agree that it is human time that is most expensive. Therefore computers should work as fast as possible to limit the time that people need to wait on them. Naturally it is questionable whether the time of the developer is more expensive or the time of millions of users. Especially since economically for a company the time of users does not cost almost nothing even if it sums up to millions of hours of wasted time each day. On the other hand, software might save millions of hours as well, if shipped earlier. So technically it would be incredibly great if it would be identifiable early, which case is it: Does earlier shipping give more return than savings of user time during software lifetime? Or is it possible to determine it at all?

Comment: Re:You're implicitly assuming dualism (Score 1) 78

by major_fault (#36493576) Attached to: New Imaging Technique Helps Explain Unconsciousness

It sounds more like he is upset, because of wording making it sound as if consciousness is close to being fully explained by medical science and because of assumption that consciousness is just a physical thing. Although his being upset might a be misplaced feeling, since there seem to be two different definitions for what it means to research consciousness. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that the two are not the same thing:

1. One is used by medical researchers and means exploring the self-referential reasoning capabilities of existing biological neural networks.
2. The other is used by philosophers and means exploring the reason behind personal experience that answers to the questions: "Why am I me? Why do I observe what I observe? Is my consciousness just an illusion created within deterministic world? What will happen when the memory will be gone and the system called brain will cease to perform it's duty and is no longer capable of reasoning?" And so on...

The material investigation of consciousness is problematic, because as far as I know, we are even incapable of determining existence of consciousness in anybody other than self. There could easily exist consciousness in non-linear time that is actually the same for all people, dogs and birds. Or there could be any number of consciousnesses that need to correspond to material configurations. Or maybe everything has consciousness including trees, books and stones.

All that does not mean that the path to understanding the second definition of consciousness might not lie with medical research of brain. Maybe consciousness is a thing that can be explored with completely material investigation. It would be really interesting to know. So good luck with their research.

Comment: Re:Eclipse and Netbeans (Score 4, Informative) 1055

by major_fault (#28106467) Attached to: What Free IDE Do You Use?
I have to recommend Code::Blocks. I used Dev-Cpp for a long time before Code::Blocks and I've tried Visual Studio, but Code::Blocks wins at least for now because: 1) it starts up and is mostly faster on my machine than Visual Studio, 2) it supports more than one compiler (can compile with both gcc and cc), 3) and the best part is that you can have the project directory respond to actual directory layout when you have made the project before without an IDE. If someone gets a fatal error in case of Code::Blocks was probably because of not downloading extra package with .dll-s. Also, it's safe to use it's nightly builds.

Comment: Re:Just a Thought... (Score 5, Insightful) 168

by major_fault (#27710575) Attached to: A Vision For a World Free of CAPTCHAs
No algorithm will do. Ultimately the question that must be solved is whether the user is malicious or not. Best possibilities so far are the tried and true invitation system and excluding malicious users from the system. Malicious users are also users who keep including other malicious users. Easily detectable with proper moderation system that needn't be gotten into right here and now.

Comment: Re:no update for Windows, or "bad" people in the E (Score 1) 140

by major_fault (#27103635) Attached to: Shaming Russia Into Action On Cyber Crime
Firstly as far as I know Microsoft does issue security patches even for cracked versions of Windows. Also most Eastern Europe countries have forced the laws about selling cracked versions of software quite strongly. The last time I remember seeing someone sell cracked software was more than 5 years ago. AFAIK Eastern Europe just downloads like the rest of countries do. Secondly, while it is true that the attacks were performed by individuals, the media in the supposed attacking country did encourage the attacks and it is hardly suprising to find who controls the media there. Thirdly at least in first attacks only the connection with other countries collapsed due to internet backbone being overflooded with packets from outside, not in the intranet. Most computers in Eastern European countries are not significantly less secure than in any other country - I am yet to see a metric about it though. Which doesn't that mean most are in good shape :)

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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