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Comment: Why not a quick, non-invasive fix? (Score 1) 94

by paskie (#49016309) Attached to: The Bizarre and Complex Story of a Failed Wikipedia Software Extension

I really wondered while reading the wild stories behind the talk system why a "good enough" solution wasn't first created quickly and deployed.

IMO the 20% effort (or much less) that would fix the 80% (or much more) of UI issues would be simply automating the mediawiki markup editing on talk pages! Just add “add new topic” button to the page, “reply” link after each ~~~~ that’ll show up a textarea for your comment and upon submission simply edit the wiki source automatically, adding your comment. New users don’t have to learn all the syntax rules and discussion can proceed quickly and with much smaller amount of editing races. Power users can still just edit the page when it’s needed in the very long tail of uncommon cases.

This could all take days to develop, weeks to push through live beta to full deployment. What am I missing? I guess part of it is that TFA never properly defined what problems are being solved here, so maybe my assumptions about that (UX while adding comments) are wrong.

Comment: Re:Perl is more expressive (Score 1) 192

by paskie (#48955305) Attached to: Perl 6 In Time For Next Christmas?

C++ is the wrong language to compare Perl to. Python is what you need to align with it. And it is so much tougher to build a good case for Perl in that light. (Not impossible, but it probably won't be very convincing. Perl is the anarchocapitalism of programming languages - you have near-absolute freedom to choose your ways, which is delightful for the top 20% users, but unfortunately most people choose the most awful and dirty ways in the face of this freedom, typically just for lack of experience.)

(I love both Perl and Python. But in the past few years, I find myself writing vastly more Python that Perl code, except the oneliners of course.)

Comment: Re:Enjoy years of splitting between 5 and 6 (Score 1) 192

by paskie (#48955269) Attached to: Perl 6 In Time For Next Christmas?

^ this. You have (i) existing modules in your project that are not python3 compatible, (ii) existing external modules that are not python3 compatible.

The situation is a lot better now than it used to be, but for example you still cannot use the deep learning theano-based libraries. This means people still produce python2 code at this point, which means issue (i) will be going to be an issue for even longer... (Even if you are starting a project from scratch, you often want to borrow some code from a different project you have access to - which may be python2.)

(Actually dealing with unicode was always painful for me in python2 and python3 typically results in less code therefore. Depends a bit on what you do.)

Still, the transition to Python3 is much smoother than it'd be to transition to Perl6. It seems to me kind of unfortunate that they chose "Perl 6" as a name for this newfangled language that has not that much to do with the current Perl. C++ is more "backwards" compatible to C than Perl 6 is to Perl 5, it seems to me. I think the idea of transition is not on the table at all for 80% Perl developers; you just go to Perl6 if you want to pick up a new language that seems fun. Whereas regarding Python I think even most 9-to-5 code-grinding guys recognize that migration makes sense (in a few more years).

Comment: Not convincing at all (Score 3, Insightful) 433

by paskie (#48593789) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Audio is just a crazy world of snake oil and placebo.

Really, the argument that's supposed to convince us is this?

> That warm vinyl sound: "I think this is what people like about it: it pins very closely to the way that human beings hear music organically," Gonsalves said. "It's very mid-range-y and very warm," a sound that flatters the fuzzy guitars of rock 'n' roll.

I'm sorry but I just don't buy it. There seems to be no obvious reason why you couldn't easily hack up a digital audio filter that makes stuff "sound like a vinyl". I'd even wager that it already exists?

Especially when you skip the compression and use FLACs. (But no, I'm not that kind of person who would claim to be able to distnguish 320kbps mp3 from a FLAC.)

Comment: Re:You're Doing It Wrong (Score 1) 567

by paskie (#48573903) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

I don't really use side-by-side windows but I still like portrait mode - because I get to have enough room for sideways tabs!

Seriously, I don't get it why by default the browsers still ship the tab bar at the top. As soon as you have more than 6-10 tabs open, tab bar on the side becomes incredibly more convenient to work with.

Comment: Re:Almost made it ... (Score 4, Insightful) 48

by paskie (#48479825) Attached to: Philae May Have Grazed Crater Rim

I don't know why are people looking at it as failure. We got plenty of data, we even got the very important chemical analysis data in the last session. It would have been great if it worked further, just as it was awesome that the Mars rover worked much longer than their projected mission lifetime was. But if that did not work out, we still got a lot of value out of this, so I don't follow why should it be a failure.

Comment: Vojtech Pavlik is awesome :) (Score 5, Insightful) 61

by paskie (#48429345) Attached to: A Brilliant Mind: SUSE's Kernel Guru Speaks

Vojtech brought me to SUSE Labs where I then worked on git and glibc for several years; since I did home office, we didn't meet that often but whenever we did, even because of something banal, it was a little awe inspiring for me. SUSE Labs is packed with brilliant people, but I always got the feel he's the smartest guy around. *And* at the same time it's a place that feels as un-corporate as possible in a corporation, I'm sure mostly thanks to his managing role.

So, I'm generally a bit sceptical about revering articles. But this one is spot on. When I think about it, I guess I still consider him one of my role models. :)

P.S.: Don't you guys feel kind of bored by the systemd spam under every Linux article too?

+ - Debian Votes not to Mandate Non-systemd Compatibility

Submitted by paskie
paskie (539112) writes "Voting on a Debian General Resolution that would require packagers to maintain support even for systems not running systemd ended tonight with the resolution failing to gather enough support.

This means that some Debian packages could require users to run systemd on their systems in theory — however, in practice Debian still works fine without systemd (even with e.g. GNOME) and this will certainly stay the case at least for the next stable release Jessie.

However, the controversial GR proposed late in the development cycle opened many wounds in the community, prompting some prominent developers to resign or leave altogether, stirring strong emotions — not due to adoption of systemd per se, but because of the emotional burn-out and shortcomings in the decision processes apparent in the wake of the systemd controversy.

Nevertheless, work on the next stable release is well underway and some developers are already trying to mend the community and soothe the wounds."

+ - Organic molecules detected on comet by Philae->

Submitted by Shortguy881
Shortguy881 (2883333) writes "Carbon-containing "organics" are the basis of life on Earth and may give clues to chemical ingredients delivered to our planet early in its history. The compounds were picked up by a German-built instrument designed to "sniff" the comet's thin atmosphere. Other analyses suggest the comet's surface is largely water-ice covered with a thin dust layer. The European Space Agency (Esa) craft touched down on the Comet 67P on 12 November after a 10-year journey."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:People (Score 0) 481

by paskie (#48064943) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

Based on Kant's imperative, I don't want to do myself what I wouldn't want others to do. I wouldn't want others to eat me (at least if it involved killing me first), so I wouldn't eat others either.

The question is, who are the "others" - in this context, clearly those that are also capable of guiding themselves by the Kant's imperative. Is any animal intelligent enough to make a choice based on this imperative? (I.e. it would willingly choose not to eat me based on observing me not eating its kindred.) I'm no expert on animal intelligence but I really doubt so.

Let's feast!

Comment: Re:Opensource remake (Score 1) 93

"Clearly not concerned about the AI's performance?"

It uses Python, indeed. And for the computationally intensive tasks, it uses numpy and theano. Theano is general symbolic computation framework that will automatically accelerate your vector computations on a nearby GPU, etc.

I don't know how it compares with (likely Lua, torch-based) deepmind's implementation. But assuming that scientific python programs actually do their expensive computations in the Python VM is really rather silly.

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