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Comment: Re:It would mean the contract has been poorly writ (Score 1) 134

by p3d0 (#35185850) Attached to: Google Brings Design-By-Contract To Java
Ah I see what you mean now. Actually I think you've hit upon the key feature of Design by Contract that most people miss. It's not just tossing assertions all over your code. It's a design discipline that shapes the way you write the system, and that's why it's good at finding design problems.

Comment: Re:It would mean the contract has been poorly writ (Score 1) 134

by p3d0 (#35177726) Attached to: Google Brings Design-By-Contract To Java
The "definition of correct" is the system working the way it should. I'm not sure what you're suggesting here: that a system should stick with the original, possibly flawed, contracts rather than fix them to operate properly? That once you make an error in a contract, you should live with it forever? I fail to see how that perspective is helpful or realistic, and, forgive me if I'm wrong, but I suspect you may be lacking in practical experience with Design by Contract.

Comment: Re:Fail (Score 1) 134

by p3d0 (#35177652) Attached to: Google Brings Design-By-Contract To Java

Contracts can easily have bugs. That shouldn't be too hard to imagine. You could easily have a postcondition "ensure item[index] == 123" when "index" is out of bounds, or when you meant to write "0x123", or when the array is actually called "items".

The fact that contracts can have bugs doesn't negate their value any more than the same fact about software negates software's value.

Comment: It's the instant-revert crowd (Score 1) 632

by p3d0 (#30227646) Attached to: Contributors Leaving Wikipedia In Record Numbers

I know I find it increasingly frustrating to contribute because whatever you add, there's always someone waiting to revert it immediately without any attempt at compromise or discussion.

I also have to say that I think people will find it humourous 50 years from now when they look back at comments from 2009 about how there's not much new stuff to add. That's a bit like the fellow who wanted to close the patent office in 1899 because everything had already been invented.

Science

Computer Reveals Stone Tablet "Handwriting" 42

Posted by timothy
from the so-who-was-this-rosetta-guy-anyhow dept.
ewenc writes "A computer technique can tell the difference between ancient Greek inscriptions created by different artisans, a feat that ordinarily consumes years of human scholarship, reports New Scientist. A team of Greek computer scientists created the program after a scholar challenged them to attribute 24 inscriptions to their rightful cutter. The researchers scanned the tablets and constructed an average shape for several Greek letters in every tablet. After comparing the average letters between different tablets, they correctly attributed the inscriptions to six stone-cutters."
The Almighty Buck

Cash Lifeline For Bletchley Park 63

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hanging-on-by-a-thread dept.
Smivs writes "Bletchley Park, the home to the allied codebreakers during WWII, and a major computing heritage centre, has been given a financial lifeline, reports the BBC. The grant of £330,000 will be used to undertake urgent roof works as the rooms of the Grade II-listed mansion, replete with painted ceilings, timber panelling, and ornate plasterwork, are at risk because the roof has been patched rather than renovated so many times during the 130 years of the mansion's history. The donation follows efforts to highlight the dilapidated state of the huts and other buildings at Bletchley. Discussions are also in progress on a further three-year, £600,000 funding programme for the historic site. 'Bletchley Park played a fundamental role in the Allies winning the Second World War and is of great importance to the history of Europe,' said Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage."
Security

Reliable, Free Anti-Virus Software? 586

Posted by timothy
from the when's-it-positively-gotta-be-windows dept.
oahazmatt writes "Some time ago my wife was having severe issues on her laptop. (A Dell Inspiron, if that helps.) I eventually found the cause to be McAfee, which took about an hour to remove fully. I installed AVG on her system to replace McAfee, but we have since found that AVG is causing problems with her laptop's connection to our wireless network. She's not thrilled about a wired connection as the router is on the other end of the house. We're looking for some good, open-source or free personal editions of anti-virus software. So, who on Slashdot trusts what?" When school required a Windows laptop, I used Clam AV, and the machine seemed to do as well as most classmates'. What have you found that works?
Censorship

Afghan Student Gets 20 Years For Blasphemy 618

Posted by timothy
from the consider-this-a-warning dept.
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Despite nationwide public support for his initial death sentence, a three-judge appeals court has reduced the sentence of Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh to 20 years in prison. Kambakhsh was charged with circulating an article on women's rights that he found online. From the article: 'Family members have said Kambakhsh was beaten and threatened with death until he signed a confession and that local journalists who expressed support for him were warned they would be arrested if they persisted.'"
Mozilla

FireFox 3.1 Leaves IE in the Dust 435

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-just-want-fewer-beachballs dept.
Anonymous writes "Granted, FireFox 3.1 is just a beta and IE 8 is also in beta, but it looks like Microsoft has some ground to make up when it comes to browser performance. Given that Mozilla appears to be on a much faster cycle than Microsoft with this stuff, it's also possible that it could increase the gap even more before IE 8 is GA, no?"
Sun Microsystems

Mainframe OpenSolaris Now Available 135

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the better-late-than-never dept.
BBCWatcher writes "When Sun released Solaris to the open source community in the form of OpenSolaris, would anyone have guessed that it would soon wind up running on IBM System z mainframes? Amazingly, that milestone has now been achieved. Sine Nomine Associates is making its first release of OpenSolaris for System z available for free and public download. Source code is also available. OpenSolaris for System z requires a System z9 or z10 mainframe and z/VM, the hypervisor that's nearly universal to mainframe Linux installations. (The free, limited term z/VM Evaluation Edition is available for z10 machines.) Like Linux, OpenSolaris will run on reduced price IFL processors."
The Internet

Web Singletons? 254

Posted by timothy
from the magrathea-dot-com dept.
tcmb writes "There are an uncounted number of web mail and picture sharing services, there are more than enough web sites for online bookmark management and friend-finding, but as far as I know there is only one Internet Archive. Which are the true web singletons, services that exist only once in this form?" And does anything approach the singular time-wasting abilities of IMDB or Wikipedia?

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin

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