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Comment Just plain wrong (Score 1) 414 414

Java lacks high-level control structures written in simple, understandable ways. This means that java programs are longer than they need to be. YES, you can look at three lines of java code and know just what they do. CONGRATULATIONS. But when the java program is 300+ lines long and only needed to be 30 in R, for example, which one will a person with any competence in a language understand faster?

C# (an MS trap language you shouldn't use) is better than java. It has better syntax and makes things cleaner and shorter.

Java is getting praise here because of its success. If it were put out today, it would be ignored. The fact that we would not have the VM-based code world we have without java is immaterial to an evaluation of the language. We should not lie to ourselves. Java programs are too long. This makes them hard to read and hard to pass on to other programmers. Period.

Comment I hate python (Score 1) 414 414

Python's no fun to work in at all. But it's the right choice for business coding for precisely this reason.

Boring is good. Rigid is good. The next person who works on your code is not going to understand anything you did. He/she will need to pore over your code and figure it out. The easier you make that, the more you can accomplish and walk away from -- leaving a trail of success in your path. Otherwise, you're either bound to the code and swamped with old projects, or trivial issues you missed never get fixed, leaving a trail of unhappy clients/users behind you.

Comment Re:"Easy to read" is non-sense (Score 3, Informative) 414 414

I'd put it differently: When you keep legibility and understandability in mind as a goal when writing in perl, the many syntax constructs available in it which are not in Java (for example) allow you to write much more understandable code in perl than you could in most other languages.

The fact that it also allows you to write stuff non-perl people cannot fathom is a problem, and any coding projects started in perl need a day-two code review and some conversations with the people involved. They need to know they're coding for the next user of the software more than they're coding for themselves. If they have trouble with that, then they're too young to be trusted with your business.

Comment Re:Privacy? (Score 1) 776 776

3. I suspect - but cannot prove - that US education costs from the study include the cost of providing health insurance to educators and other school staff, while most countries with nationalized health care budget those expenses separately. Even if the comparison does include health care costs from both countries, the US spends three times as much on health care per capita as most countries with nationalized health care. So that could account for the complete cost difference all by itself.

This is an excellent point. Our absurd healthcare system is a cost factor we have to fold into everything. Add to this the (arguably much smaller) costs of dealing with sickness/absences amongst children with no healthcare, or who spend time helping parents with no healthcare.

Comment One Word: Offices (Score 3, Interesting) 261 261

Read Tom DeMarco on this -- I think the book is "Managing Programming People". In order to be productive, people need quiet and unmolested time. This means offices.

Also read "Slack" by DeMarco. In order to be happy, they need PROGRESS. And in order to get progress, they need time to solve the problems which come up which are not directly related to the deliverables. If you give them slack, you get less deliverables in the first part of any project, and way more by then end. You also have programmers not quitting.

Take a weekend and read everything DeMarco wrote.

Comment Re:Dust and Bugs (Score 1) 253 253

I agree with all this and think this is a fun project idea. I'd go cheap, because you'll fail, and then you fix it and repeat. So you should have something reliable backing this thing up.

That said, make a case out of furnace hepa filters and duct tape. You can just mount everything on a board to be one wall of the 6-walled box. Hang that from the ceiling with wire to reduce visits by crawlers. Spray some raid around the top where the wire (and any cables) hits the board.

Just to be certain about the humidity, put a chemical humidty-wick in there. If humitity is a problem, you'll know in a while. If it's not, no harm done. Here's an example of one:

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen