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Comment Re: An unreadable sentence (Score 1) 86

Yes, there were national fads that came and went—and the practice wasn't always universal, albeit beneficial for legibility to an inexperienced reader and safer for the type. By making the spaces not a fixed part of the block, it was still possible to remove them for tighter typesetting in limited spaces and to make sure there weren't unnecessary gaps at the ends of lines. Here's an example from 1808 that puts spaces around colons and semicolons, but not apostrophes, periods, or commas—and quotation marks are handled irregularly (they're hard to find, but there's an example on page 132, at the bottom.) For a comparable debate, German can be typeset with four different quote patterns (normal English-style quotation marks, using double low-nine inverted quotation marks, guillemets, and inverted guillemets, which is the style used in Switzerland.)

Comment Re: An unreadable sentence (Score 2) 86

Spacing around punctuation has been steadily declining as time goes on. Books from 200 years ago might go so far as to put spaces around commas and semicolons on both sides, with the following space also being larger—a convention also used for periods at the time. This is related to the practice of putting quotation marks and parentheses on the outside; slender punctuation blocks of metal type like periods, commas, and semicolons were fragile, so surrounding them in sturdier blocks made them less likely to get broken when the word was added to the page's master negative (the frame) or if the text needed to be reflowed. Double spacing originated as a typewriter-user's emulation of this practice, and as literacy and equipment improved, convention came to cater to both minimalism (thereby also saving paper) and skilled readers.

Comment Re:Word limit not helping (Score 1) 160

It's also that fact that everything has to be a hedge. You can't simply say, "My original research results show that stimulus A causes response B with p<0.5, and this is what I did". The first problem with that sentence is that you have to be both original (work not done before) and not original (work based closely on work someone else has already published, or else it's too much of a leap). The second problem with that sentence is that you have to hedge, saying instead "seems to indicate", or "possibly blah blah". Also you are forced to spend more time explaining what other people have done with references, than explaining your own work. If it takes you more than a paragraph to explain your own work (which shouldn't have references, because it has to original right?) then you "don't have enough references" because every statement you make must be supported by a reference, never mind that the interesting statements are the stuff you shouldn't be able to to reference because it's new stuff.

Regarding word limits: instead of having a strict word limit of 2500 (for example), instead have a hard limit of 5000, and discounts for every hundred words below that, assuming the publishers are taking money to publish... sorry, silly me, of course they are

Comment TL;DR GitLab/Git (Score 1) 325

As far as your basic requirements are concerned, pretty much any major (git, svn, mercurial) open source version control system will cater for them, with some third party (mostly) free tools. Local server, well established, open source, email notification via hooks, extensive (if not easy to read) documentation ... all of these would be covered by the VCS itself. Single sign on integration with Active Directory (AD) can probably be set up using an LDAP extension. Many windows clients exist, most catering to several VCSs at once; which are good and which are bad, I often find is a matter of personal taste. Tortoise* and sourcetree seem to be the most popular at the moment. Tests are generally a matter for the project itself, i.e. part of the code, and automating testing based on source control activity (e.g. test on new commits) can also be done using scripting hooks, although you might prefer some kind of continuous integration system like jenkins.

For your 'nice-to-haves'; you would be looking at a third party stack. I personally would recommend gitlab. It comes with baked in issue tracking, project wikis for documentation/planning, email notifications without you having to script hooks, LDAP/AD integration (iirc, never used it myself), merge/pull requests (i.e. a form of code review). You can attach/upload files of any type to issues/comments/wiki pages, not sure if that's what you are looking for. Alternatively, you could look at gitstack, which just fits into your price range and covers most of the maintenance/admin headaches by the looks of it. I've never used, found it by googling.

Finally, git (and possibly mercurial and svn) has a way to sign off commits using a GPG key. This work flow is also accessible through gitlab. Basically, a change is made and committed to branch which is then pushed to the gitlab server. This generates a pull request to some pre-designated branch (e.g. trunk/development/whatever). When the pull request is approved, it can be signed using the approver's GPG key. I'm not sure is this covers your specific use case; I'm afraid I'm not sure exactly what you want from the signing part of your requirements

DISCLAIMER: This advice is based exclusively on personal experience, does not constitute legal advice, makes no guarantee of merchantability or fitness to a particular purpose implied or otherwise, did not harm any kittens in the making thereof, and may cause the reader distress by making them learn something.


Microsoft Uses US Women's Soccer Team To Explain Why It Doesn't Hire More Women 212

theodp writes: "It is not surprising that the U.S. women have been dominant in the sport [of soccer] in recent years. The explanation for that success lies in the talent pipeline," writes General Manager of Citizenship & Public Affairs Lori Forte Harnick on The Official Microsoft Blog. "Said another way, many girls in the U.S. have the opportunity to learn how to play soccer and, as a result, they benefit from the teamwork, skill development and fun involved. That's the kind of opportunity I would like to see develop for the technology sector, which presents a different, yet perhaps even more significant, set of opportunities for girls and young women. Unfortunately, the strength in the talent pipeline that we see in female soccer today is not the reality for technology. The U.S. is facing a shortage of Computer Science (CS) graduates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year there are close to 140,000 jobs requiring a CS degree, but only 40,000 U.S. college graduates major in CS, which means that 100,000 positions go unfilled by domestic talent." Going with the soccer analogy, one thing FIFA realized that Microsoft didn't is that if you want girls to play your sport, you don't take away their ball!

Comment Re:Infinity (Score 1) 1067

I mentioned the +/- zero thing in another comment elsewhere in this tree, actually! So we're all on board there.

It's not really that signless infinity is a contender for 'consensus' inasmuch as number systems which use signless infinity have utilities different from systems that have signed infinities, just like integer math continues to exist despite the 'improvements' of fractions and decimals.

Comment Re:Exceptions in Python list comprehensions (Score 1) 1067

Same reply: Python is not fully functional, and so list constructors like that cannot be counted upon to work elegantly in all situations. This is a completely normal thing common to basically every imperative language, and it's just something you have to accept—and write a special-purpose function for.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux