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Comment Re:List his peace initiatives... (Score 1) 541

Saying that Tibet must be either an aristocratic theocracy or an imperial possession seems like a horrible false dilemma. Would the theocracy necessarily be re-established in a new free Tibet? I doubt that, given that the world would be watching, and not just hippies: An oppressive theocracy so close to Central Asia would be an intolerable power shift.

Comment Re:"Quality" (Score 1) 131

I should probably clarify that I have no love or hate for Objectivism. I'm merely trying to get a cogent argument out of someone who obviously hates it.

Why? Because it should be amusing. Everyone who comments on it online, it seems, has an almost cartoonish hatred of the philosophy, its adherents, and Ayn Rand. However, it seems that most of them cannot separate those hatreds in a rational fashion, leading to purely ad hominem attacks against the philosophy. In short, it seems like they hate it because some of the adherents are assholes and Ayn Rand was really ugly.

So I'm happy I found someone who has an actual argument.

Comment Re:"Quality" (Score 1) 131

Everyone hates Objectivism but nobody has any arguments against it. Everyone who I've ever heard putting Objectivism down is putting Rand down in the same breath, as if her personal qualities were at all relevant to a philosophical discussion.

In short: Explain to me why Objectivism is evil without once attacking Ayn Rand or any other human being.

Comment Re:One word (Score 1) 153

Stonehenge is seriously claimed by some to be the UK's oldest computer.

Only by people deliberately misconstruing the term ‘computer’ to be cute.

How about this: Single-celled life is, collectively, the world’s oldest computer. After all, it multiplies without external help!

Comment Re:Purpose (Score 1) 252

Wikipedia uses Ubuntu now as its server OS. That should lay to rest any notion of Ubuntu being technically inferior to any other distro.

As opposed to, say, the RPM-Hell

Have you ever used a system that was based on packages other than RPMs? It seems like a lot of Slackware users formed their only opinions of non-Slack distros back in the mid-1990s, when Debian was comatose and Red Hat was the only other option.

Comment Re:One word.. (Score 1) 683

From which point in my post are people assuming I think GOTOs are evil?

From the context of a 40-year-old free-floating flamewar over the topic of gotos, which reignites every time the construct is mentioned, even in passing. It is one of the hardiest perennials in programming discourse.

Comment Re:One word.. (Score 1) 683

OK, so how do you handle deallocation of resources upon finding an unrecoverable error midway through the function? It seems a lot more readable and maintainable to have all deallocation code in one location near the end of the function, as opposed to duplicated wherever an error might be found, which means at least one copy of the code is likely to be wrong, or shunted off into its own function, which would force all of the local variables holding dynamic resources to be made into globals or similar.

Comment Re:One word.. (Score 4, Interesting) 683

decent languages support labeled for/while cycles and apropriate "break label" constructs.

You often cannot develop software with the language you want, but must develop it with the language you have. C has no such features and, therefore, goto is used more often than in languages that have them. Fit the strategy to the tool.

if you do this kind of thing, you are MUCH better off separating lookup code to method or function

This is reasonable, but it assumes some other function can do the needed cleanup code or other data massaging just as cleanly. If the goto is being used because finding the value is an error condition, you often have to do certain things as soon as possible in the code so you do not lose important debugging information.

And, no, exceptions are not part of C, and setjmp/longjmp is, if anything, even less likely to pass code review. An advantage of goto is that you can keep the cleanup code in the same function, visually close to the rest of the logic and sharing the same locals.

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