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Comment: Re:Corrected Title (Score 1) 430

by qzzpjs (#47602347) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

I can't speak for Apple, but Microsoft and IBM do have great documentation. The MSDN is extremely extensive in documenting every API they've released in C/C++/C#/VB/F#/OS/WMI/etc, and every release of those can still be looked up so you can see if an API has changed over time. They even provide code examples for most of the API calls so you can see how they are used. All of this is out there for everyone to use, for free. Microsoft understands that by giving out that information freely, it will help more developers write more applications for their platforms, and that is what helps them in the long run. Staffing a call center with knowledgeable support people does not make them money. There is a reason those calls cost so much.

I do remember the documentation for OS/2 that IBM had. It was also super useful, especially in a world before we had good internet sites and search engines. Every API again had descriptions, parameter explanations, code samples, references to related API's, etc.

There are some OSS projects that still try to be this good like GCC, Perl, Python, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Apache, but so many other projects just don't make the effort any more. You mention there is no profit in documentation, but like the free application itself, the profit should not expected to be in money. The profit to everyone is in actually building a user base around your application and If you are not willing to teach people how to use it, then why would you release it in the first place.

In general, if I cannot read about your application or library and how it works then I'm not going to waste my time with it, even if it is the best app in the world. As a user, I don't need to see docs on your code, but I should at least be provided with an installation and user's guide. As a developer, I would expect to see docs in the code so that I can see how things work so I can use existing functions properly and I can make new code fit in properly with the original design.

Comment: Re:Write some! (Score 1) 430

by qzzpjs (#47602053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

The patch to the man page should have been included with the patch to the code. If the developer is adding or changing a parameter for their application, the documentation update should be a requirement before the commit is accepted. If you're not going to tell the user how to use your new options, why bother creating them in the first place?

This is how I feel about all project documentation. If you aren't going to bother teaching the user how to use your app, then don't release the app at all. You're just wasting everyone's time. If you're lucky enough to have volunteers to write your docs for you, then give them the information they need up front to write them.

Comment: I have a different idea (Score 1) 468

Instead of replacing the windows with screens, leave the windows and replace almost everything below them. All or a lot those controls on a plane could be put onto visual displays and have the cameras project the ground and surrounding area onto the areas between controls. This would be like a flight simulator on our PC's.

As long as you have some physical controls still available for wing level, altitude, speed, etc up above the windows, it should still be safe if the monitors go down.

I've watched all those Mayday episodes with airline crash analysis and one thing I've learned is that all power on a plane is usually provided by one engine. Lose that engine and your power goes out. They need to fix that and add a lot more redundancy before I'd ever trust them to replace a window.

Besides, anyone who has watched the end of ST2 TWOK can tell you why a big view screen is no match for a nice window. No nebula would have messed up a window's view!

Comment: Re:OF COURSE THEY HAD A CHOICE (Score 2) 406

by qzzpjs (#47034563) Attached to: Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

no one is forcing Mozilla/Firefox to make this choice, except their own unscrupulous non-tech business people

I see this as Mozilla giving US the choice instead of making it for us. If they choose not to support DRM, then I have NO choice in watching DRM material with Firefox and I have to use another browser I dislike. By supporting a DRM plugin, "I" now get to choose whether to use it or not and if I choose not, then it doesn't affect my browsing experience at all.

Comment: Re:YOU CAN'T MAKE CALLS IN FLIGHT (Score 1) 340

by qzzpjs (#45988535) Attached to: Americans To FCC Chair: No Cell Calls On Planes, Please

That was my perception as well. The plane would be passing cell towers pretty fast so keeping a steady signal on the phone is going to be very hit or miss depending on what the plane is flying over. They would have to put local cells repeaters on the planes with a satellite connection to make it reliable. And a nice $1-5/min charge to discourage its use so it doesn't annoy other passengers.

I always thought the whole reason for putting away devices during takeoffs and landings was more of a safety issue to stop things from flying around the cabin if the plane is in trouble. But I guess if your plane is going down, a flying ipad isn't going to make it much worse...

Comment: Re:Responsible disclosure, anyone? (Score 1) 287

by qzzpjs (#45926869) Attached to: Australian Teen Reports SQL Injection Vulnerability, Company Calls Police

I completely agree. He has no way of knowing his email to any of the company addresses wasn't just tossed in the spam box, or if it ever did reach someone who could understand it and act on it. If he wanted to properly disclose a security issue, he should have picked up a telephone and called them and asked to speak to their security department. Never trust an email to get through especially if you're putting a response time limit on it.

I'd bet the newspaper reporter picked up the phone when he contacted them about it and that's the first that PTV got the notice about their problem.

Comment: Re: and so meanwhile... (Score 1) 245

by qzzpjs (#44921947) Attached to: Will Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Stay With MySQL?

The code red worm was a specific problem with SQL Server and was pretty nasty, but not a reason to cause installers to stop listening on the network altogether by default. I guess in the open source world they just assume your app and database will always be located on the same server. Other vendors like Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft, etc know that databases usually get placed on dedicated servers which means the network should work by default.

I guess I just dislike getting application support calls because people couldn't get the app to connect to its back end database automatically. Having to ask them if they made all the cryptic changes to cryptic configuration files they don't understand or should never have had to look at in the first place is a pain in the neck. Things should just work out of the box AND still be safe.

Comment: Re: and so meanwhile... (Score 1) 245

by qzzpjs (#44921835) Attached to: Will Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Stay With MySQL?

The network connections one has some merit. The normal install of PostgreSQL last time I checked does not enable the TCP listener and you have to edit the conf file to allow network access and the startup scripts to add the comand line option for it.

This is a major pain if you're trying to tell a customer of your application how to do the install. You don't have to do this kind of extra configuration with any other database system just to get your app to connect.

Comment: Re: I have mixed feelings about this. (Score 1) 225

by qzzpjs (#44881245) Attached to: Doubleclick Cofounder Responds to Patent Troll by Filing Extortion Lawsuit

Maybe patent troll is the wrong term. We need to use a word that the government understands. They are patent terrorists! They use the fear of litigation and fines to extort people or companies into wasting their money in lengthy lawsuits or giving up their businesses outright. All to destroy competition, not to foster innovation.

I think we need one simple fix. Patents should not be transferable and if you are not actively creating and selling the item you have a patent for, the patent is cancelled immediately.

Comment: Vine Videos? (Score 1) 152

by qzzpjs (#44881209) Attached to: Firefox 24 Arrives: WebRTC Support and NFC Sharing On Android
Did they fix Vine video playback without us resorting to hacking around in about:config or downgrading our systems to XP? Apparently it worked in v21 and earlier but then they changed something in how they interpreted the media tag or something. Vine's play in all other browsers just fine.

Comment: Re:none (Score 1) 322

by qzzpjs (#44787533) Attached to: What's your favorite medium for Sci-Fi?

I agree. I don't think that science fiction needs to be about any specific time period or level of technology. It simply needs to provide a "what if" like an alternate type of society or culture and explore it, or how we would interact with it. We might split that into smaller sub-genre's like space, fantasy, super-heroes, etc but it's all still sci-fi in some sense. What if it was 400 years from now? What if the world had magic? What if we just had a global war? What if everyone contracted some rabies like disease? Etc.

Some of the best episodes of Star Trek I've seen had nothing to do with the tech or special effects used but simply how we interact with other societies other cultures, or even ourselves. For example, the TNG episode where everyone dies at 60 years of age voluntarily, or in ST-VOY where the doctor is on a planet for a thousand years (planet time) and watches their people progress from caves to the stars because they saw Voyager in the sky. And to me, B5 was more about how different races and cultures learned about each other and different views on how people should advance (cooperation vs conflict) - not the space battles themselves.

The shows that are just about tech and special effects and don't ask a question might as well just be action flicks.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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