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Comment Where's the money? (Score 4, Informative) 299

A cynical answer is that even if the language or framework author/project head was a technical writer worth his or her salt, it makes more sense to write a book and sell it. Because asking money for the language (compiler/interpreter+libraries) itself is not going to fly in the flooded market of programming languages unless it is really really good and only very few of them are actually that good. Maybe not even then, because the price tag of non-zero value is poison for easy availability which is a must if you want someone to look into your project or language on his or her free time. With frameworks you might get more leeway but not much, especially not if you count on having a hobbyist/hacker community to flourish. Of course, getting someone like O'Reilly to greenlight your book about your own virtually-unknown language or framework might prove to be tad difficult too... Of course, if you're someone like Apple or Facebook or Microsoft or Google who offer a platform with sizable userbase with monetization prospects, this isn't really a problem.

And then there is the fact as noted in submission that writing a good manual takes a different skill set than designing and implementing a good programming language. If you don't have it, someone else has to take up that work if it's going to be of any use. And for that to happen, the language or project has to exist in some kind of usable, stable state long enough for those "outsiders" to actually study and learn how this thing actually works.

Which brings me to the last point. The really good books about a given programming language or framework give also "learned in real world use" insights about the pitfalls, deficiencies and suggested "usecases to avoid and the usecases to strive for" of the language which might only be discovered afterwards. This also might or might not be easier for someone who is not intimately knowledgeable with the inner workings of the language or framework by the virtue of being the one who created it. You kind of become blind for the real merits and sore spots in your own work, so to speak.

And fwiw, I actually have no problem with the idea of paying for a book to help me learn a language / framework I want to know how to use. I have even done that! I do, sometimes, lament the fact that online documentation is lacking because looking up things is usually easier on those than on dead tree (or PDF files simulating dead tree).

I do share some of the sentiments of TFA though. Most infuriating is when there's a "quick and easy tutorial"... which also doesn't cover very much beyond the simplest of use cases and then theres a very terse api reference. And virtually nothing in between. At that point I usually ask myself "do I really have to / want to (+ have time to) learn this thing, and is there a good book on it?"

Comment Re:Why go after Youtube ? (Score 2) 455

So, the basis for denying GPL code made by others in proprietary-closedsource-only software is based on emotion, not principle? Or there doesn't exist any "principles" outside of the scope of Free(beer) vs. Libre(freedom) vs. Paid-and-proprietary?

The copyright holder has every right to allow or disallow any use of his/her work as he/she sees fit, and they are under no obligation to justify their decisions or the basis of said decisions. Of course, after a license has been granted, it binds the copyright holder but excluding certain uses on whatever basis while allowing other uses certainly falls within the rights of copyright holders. The audience can either take it or leave it as it is.

Now, we might argue whether or not the guy should have anticipated stuff like this and expressly deny all religious marketing with his work, but given the infringing parties response so far it might not have done any difference.

Comment Re:Clarity (Score 1) 472

I, for one, am of the school of thought that within the method, stuff should be so clear that it isn't necessary to add any comments clarifying a line or two. Of course, sometimes, somewhere needs to exist a big function or method which does a whole lot of stuff to bring everything together. That one can get its inline comments. Even those should be used sparingly.

But every (and yes, I do mean * every single one *) method/function (1) has to be given a heading comment block that explains what it takes as arguments, what it does with them and what it returns (and especially important is what happens on those nasty corner cases).

And if your method is really so dead-simple one-liner thing ... it should be asked if the method really needs to exist at all?

(1) Well, okay. Depending on the language, sometimes the simplest of closures do not need this.

Comment Hack-proof? (Score 2) 127

"There is nothing like this operating system on the market. It is hack-proof," Mikhailov claimed. "There are people who are clamouring for this."

(emphasis mine)

I can see this going over juuuust fine.

Or maybe he thinks that all the good hackers are russian and won't touch it because they "love their country" or something?

Comment iOS has already eaten the market (Score 1) 1

As much as I hate to say this, iPad and iPhone are already there.

Sure, iOS is not "open" in the same sense that Android ecosystem is, but what matters is that it's not "closed" in the sense that Nintendo and Sony ecosystems are, either. And honestly, Android tablets are being used for mobile gaming, too:


Don't get me wrong, I really like to use physical controls more than a touch screen. But mobile gaming has already shifted away from dedicated devices like PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS to multipurpose devices that in addition to playing games, make phone calls (ok fine, many tablets don't do that but anyway), browse the internet etc. And now that the Android market is already filled with games that cater to touchscreen-only devices, I wonder if this is the kind of platform fragmentation that most developers are going to shrug off as "not worth it, thanks"?

Comment Re:Some suggestions on whats needed (Score 1) 622

Well, I have actually found the vendor-bundled display resolution/setup thing that came with a work-supplied Thinkpad actually better to use than the Windows XP Display properties dialog window. This was on a X series Thinkpad that still said "IBM" on the case. I moved on from that job (and away from that laptop), and haven't had any experience on Thinkpads ever since so I can't say if it's gone south or not.

I'm very confident that this is the sole exception to the rule of mandatory suckiness of system tools by vendors.

Comment Re:My last virus clenaup involved BitCoin processi (Score 1) 216

One thing to remember is that handling physical cash isn't free, either. Those security guys transferring money from salespoint to bank (or your employees doing it, running the risk of robbery, insurances against such risks, etc) doesn't magically happen just because security firms or insurance companies feel generous.

Where do you think those costs are bundled into?

Comment Re:Why Python? (Score 1) 65

IMHO, this editor thing is very much a non-issue. Every remotely sane (and wishing to retain that state) Python programmer I know of uses spaces, and ONLY spaces. And they make sure to set their editors to treat hitting tab button as a shortcut to insert a set number of spaces. And hitting backspace in front of at least the same amount of spaces to chuck away that same amount of spaces. And if your editor can't handle stuff like tab/spaces replacement, you really should look for alternative editor anyways.

Voila. The problem... goes away. Really. It just does. There is no spoon - I mean, problem.

FWIW: I, too, mainly use gedit and vim to write Python and after setting them to insert spaces instead of tabs I have hard time seeing why everyone is making up such a fuss about this "issue".

And if I'm understanding your second point correctly, I have hard time seeing having to include self in the methods' parameters lists as a big problem either. What is that... 5 or 6 additional characters per method definition?

Comment Re:A little thing called trust (Score 1) 446

All it really is then is a long, awkward, very-hard-to-remember password.

Worse yet. I addition to those negatives you said, it's also impossible to change. For me, that's the real deal-breaker. Identity theft is bad enough, but when you are physically unable to revoke and replace the compromised crecedentials, stuff could get real ugly real fast.

Comment No-Compete Contracts? (Score 1) 200

So... they are effectively continuing to use the stuff that was made on Nokia's money. And they are obviously as "tainted" with inside information about it as they could possibly be. They are launching a company which is in direct competition of their late employer...

This just screams that the No-Compete Clauses (I would bet they have signed such contracts with Nokia) would kick in pretty hard. Never mind the patent quagmire where just about everyone, not just Nokia & MS, is having a full-blown thermonuclear war at this point.

Then again, depending on how much Nokia still values the inside-Finland PR thing, they could very well turn a blind eye to it. At least (and not the least because I'm Finnish) I hope they do, and that they are actually able to, considering whatever deals they have done with MS.

Comment Re:It *should* be part of the marketing (Score 1) 326

This kind of thing is more complicated than that. At the end of the day, businesses only care about the bottom line. While it's true that hitting companies will also hurt their workforce in reduced work to be done (and be even somewhat paid for), sometimes it's the only way to drive the point home to those companies that the customers simply do not want to have this work done under slave-like conditions.

But then again, customers have to care enough to fork over the cash, in the form of so-called "inflated" prices. I'm not holding my breath to see that happen, sadly.

At the end of the day, the only language the manufacturing companies (actually, any companies) really understand and obey is written with numbers on their financial statements. Driving petitions, customer demonstrations, shouting on top of soapboxes and whatnot is all fine and dandy in the feel-good way but unless it also shows up as numbers on company finances, it tends to amount to... absolutely nothing.

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