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Comment: Re:Proprietary (Score 1) 648

by sydneyfong (#48859525) Attached to: Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

The argument goes both ways -- I've spent hundred hours of my life learning POSIX, and if my boss wants me to run a POSIX program in Windows, I'm pretty much doomed. (I know a bit of Win32 API if that helps...)

"Open" does not mean "supported on all major platforms". It only means "can be supported by other vendors if they choose to". And if you choose a language or technology that is out of fashion, it doesn't really matter whether it is open or not.

And yes, I know Microsoft Windows is POSIX compliant.

Comment: Re:OracleVSGoogle: Judge can program, you still fo (Score 1) 187

by sydneyfong (#48147849) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights

clean-room reimplementation is legal

Clean room reimplementation is legal as long as the specification used by the implementors is free of copyright (and other I.P.) issues.

I definitely agree that some of the prior cases of clean-room implementation is at odds with the notion that APIs are copyrightable. To be honest, copyright law has never been logically consistent to me -- which is why I don't even pretend to have knowledge of it unless I'm arguing about legal topics on slashdot ...

Comment: Re:OracleVSGoogle: Judge can program, you still fo (Score 1) 187

by sydneyfong (#48138999) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights

The "wrong decision" referred to the GP isn't about the trivial range check, but rather the notion that APIs are not copyrightable.

It would be really shitty if APIs were copyrightable, but, as the GP said, that has been the conventional understanding of copyright law for a long time.

It would be interesting to see how the story unfolds, but really, there's nothing funny about the notion of APIs being copyrightable.

Comment: Re:Obj-C (Score 1) 316

by sydneyfong (#48012707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Swift Or Objective-C As New iOS Developer's 1st Language?

Furthermore, because of deallocation cascades, a release message in such schemes can have a very high latency

Right. When gc happens, good garbage collectors don't freeze the whole application for hundreds of milliseconds to scan through the allocated memory looking for objects to free.

Comment: Re:The FSF overreached with GPL v3 ... (Score 1) 183

by sydneyfong (#47920889) Attached to: Why Apple Should Open-Source Swift -- But Won't

It is legal paranoia. Just like how IT-types have network security paranoia and ban a bunch of software/tools that *could* *potentially* introduce security issues to the company network...

I mean, sure, if you spend time looking at an individual license it could be OK. But why spend the time to investigate? Just blanket deny, and if somebody thinks it's worth fighting the bureaucracy to use a damn piece of software, *then* it might be worth looking into making an exception...

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 309

by sydneyfong (#46978111) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Computer Science Freshman, Too Soon To Job Hunt?

What you say is true, but "not being the most brilliant people I know" is not necessarily "failure", and definitely not "the floor".

I know a bunch of really brilliant CS people as well. Almost all of them graduated with CS degrees and doing quite well. There are different kinds of "smart". The person who becomes a competent sysadmin at 16 is different from the one who drops out of college to found a successful startup, and is different from the one who gets a CS PhD and then a researcher job at Princeton.

The 16-year-old sysadmin probably can't do my job, at least not as well as I (software engineering), and I probably can't do her job well either.

There are different paths to "success", although I must agree that the value of getting a degree is diminishing every day, it's not necessarily a bad thing to do. It really depends on the circumstances of each case.

Invest in physics -- own a piece of Dirac!