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Comment Episode 1, The Adventures of Randian Nutbag (Score 3, Insightful) 472

Citizen: Help! Randian Nutbag! My house is on fire!

RN: Contemptible Weakling, if you were strong, I would help you. Or perhaps I would murder you and take everything that makes you strong. That certainly would be an option for a Heroic Spirit. But you are weak and destined for failure.

Citizen: My family is in the house! Oh, save them!

RN: Pusillanimous Conformist Vermin, you have bred hapless, dependent whelps as pathetic as yourself. You are weak and destined for failure. I am indifferent to your suffering. { begins to fly away }

Citizen: W-wh-where are you going?

RN: To collect my welfare cheque. I am *not* indifferent to my own suffering.

Comment Bad code... survives (Score 1) 432

There are many forces apart from incompetence acting upon any non-trivial software project. There are compromises to be made, and risks to be evaluated.

In short, there are factors that have nothing to do with the code that affect the quality of code.

The larger the organisation, the greater the tendency towards failure to understand, failure to communicate, and failure to complete. It isn't simply a question of architects, coders, testers, and documenters doing their very best.

There are some coding projects that are as essential as housing, in the sense that defects might cause death. But the majority of coding done in the world is slapped together and discarded within a five-year cycle.

What the heck, if it's for revenue recognition, release the prototype and hire e-workers to post favourable comments on some Web sites!

To paraphrase the Shat, "Bad code... survives."


Submission + - Software developer says OS X in a state of "rot" ( 1

Dystopian Rebel writes: MPG author and software developer Lloyd Chambers has published his frustrations about Apple OS X, which he says is in a state of "rot" because of serious file-management bugs and Apple's focus on superficial features. He isn't alone in his frustration, to judge from comments that his post has received.

The iPhone and iPad are where the money is for Apple now, but is Apple ignoring quality in the OS that saved the company?

Comment C must be dying too... (Score 1) 379

... except that it's not, despite several similar obituaries having been published.

With all due respect to "language companies" and all the script kiddies coming out of universities today, C and Perl are the stable tools. They will remain important for any work requiring stability.

Most "alternative" languages mentioned in this discussion have broken backwards compatibility at least once, have serious performance and other internal problems, and don't come close to the practical effectiveness of C and Perl.

Perl 6 is a new language. I have played with it and I think it is evolving with the right principles.

The next big challenge to serious programmers is concurrency. Functional programming is the only solution, but let's acknowledge that functional programming is nowhere near becoming the norm. It's very difficult to master, especially for OOP-damaged, pattern-deranged programmers and their IDEs of Desperation.

Having said all this, I'll add that tools will change. Fads come and go, but the tools that do the real work in the most efficient way are always at the top of a smart coder's tool box. Including a Fad Detector.

Comment A constutionally protected gun business (Score 1, Informative) 1591

> We have a messed up society.

What the US has is a constitutionally protected gun business.

There are more than 20 US manufacturers of guns. This business is worth about $30 billion a year (

The US market for guns is more than 300 million people. Gun ownership in Canada and the UK, to cite figures from nations that have gun-control laws, is at about 30%. Gun ownership in the US is at about 80%.

So, the probability of a gun in the US being in the hands of a crazy person is very high.

The probability of a gun in the US being in the hands of a person who will *go crazy* at some point is also high.

The guns won't go away -- there are too many of them now, and a profitable, constitutionally protected gun business with a huge market will do whatever it must to keep producing and selling.

The only practical options for gun ownership are

constraints on types of weapons and quantity of ammunition for citizens, and
annual psychological testing of gun owners.

In short, political suicide.

Comment "It's a moment in time, not an actual problem" (Score 1) 675

Other famous Microsoft Moments In Time (MMITs) that were not Actual Problems:

= 8.3 filenames
= Microsoft Bob
= Windows XP security
= Microsoft Windows Vista, *.*
= Microsoft advertisement in which Seinfeld asks Bill Gates to "adjust his shorts"
= Microsoft Zune, whether brown or not
= Chief Executive Orificer, Squirts Ballmer, *.*
= Microsoft advertisement for the Surface tablet in which ungraceful, robotic people coordinate senseless movements that no one would ever do in reality... if anyone bought a Surface tablet in reality

Comment "mortally wounded" Microsoft (Score 1) 375

at this point it may not matter. microsoft may already be mortally wounded like Motorola was a couple of years ago.

I don't love Microsoft, its tools, its "solutions", its idiotic advertising, or Squirts Ballmer, but you need to evaluate reality more accurately.

Microsoft is a large, rich, powerful company with a MONOPOLY. They have a pinhead for a Chief Executive Orificer and they are having difficulty finding new successes in a difficult economic climate. They are not alone. BUT... It would take catastrophic global circumstances on a scale yet unseen to wound Microsoft mortally.

Comment Linus offers not to curse. Merry Xmas! (Score 5, Funny) 86

And because I'm dragging it out for another week, I'm going to be
*very* bitter if anybody sends me pull requests this late in the game
that aren't for major issues. If you send me small irrelevant stuff
that doesn't fix major issues (oopses, security, things like that),
I'm going to curse at you

In the spirit of forgiveness and magnanimity, Linus has offered not to call anyone a "fucking moron who should kill himself" this Christmas.

Don't screw up the peace and goodwill, people, or there will be hell to pay!

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