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Comment Re:PHP alternatives (Score 3, Insightful) 622

I notice that most (not you, obviously) of the PHP defenders are posting as A/C. :)

There is no doubt that PHP has some deep flaws, but they give you an escape from a lot of the flaws. It's possible to have a reasonable codebase written in PHP if you have good experience in the language.

The main reason I like PHP is that it's ubiquitous. I learned a long time ago that it SUCKS to work in an unpopular environment, even if it has some sort of theoretical advantage. It's hard to find information, libraries are nonexistent or buggy, programmers are hard to find or expensive, etc, etc.

As I see it, there are only four viable language if you want to stay mainstream: Java, C++, C# and PHP. If you want to avoid Microsoft, you're down to three. If you hate Java's verbosity, slowness and pain, as I do, you're down to two. And if you want quick productivity and rapid development for entrepreneurial reasons, that eliminates C++ and also eliminates Java again, and that leaves one to rule them all: PHP.

I don't particularly like PHP. But it does have a lot of modern language features, and it's really easy to get code written and out. And it's reliable, if you put in the work to establish a framework (E_STRICT, turn on exceptions, etc).

I would love to see a better mainstream language emerge, but PHP just plain wins out for certain purposes. If I was working for a large organization with plenty of time and money, I'd probably pick C++ or Java. But for a small, hungry organization, it's hard to beat PHP, which was forged by necessity. And I wish I could beat it, because it does have some pretty big flaws.

Comment Re:Recursive? No, very iterative. (Score 4, Insightful) 622

Very few serious programmers will say that they are stupid or awful.

Huh? Have you just fallen off the turnip truck?

C: Unsafe at any speed. Un-bound-checked array, null pointers, etc, etc. Many people HATE C because it's unsafe, though they grudgingly admit that it's sometimes a necessary evil for system programming.

C++: Overly complex, insane learning curve, no garbage collection. There are no shortage of people who hate C++.

And Java is possibly your most absurd point. Overly verbose to the extreme, slow, insane memory requirements, slow, crazy libraries, and slow (please don't bother to claim that isn't slow).

Comment Re:Environmental Questions (Score 1) 540

Don't know why you're putting the scare-italics on bacteria. I probably should have said microorganisms to be as general as possible, but are you thinking bacteria requires oxygen? Anaerobic bacteria evolved on Earth, so I would think it could possibly evolve on Mars (assuming there isn't trapped oxygen in the soil, for whatever reason).

Comment Re:Environmental Questions (Score 2) 540

Of course our sterilization wasn't perfect, but at least we did it, and there wasn't an easy way for them to grow and spread into the environmental soil. That's a far cry from putting dirty humans there along with hydroponics with literally quadrillions of bacteria actively growing, not to mention the living space located within the ground and tapping the native water supplies.

Like I said in another post, I highly doubt there is native life there. But doubt is not the same as proven, and the fact is that contamination from a colony is a real possibility. The point isn't really about the factual question of life or no life, the question is whether there are sufficient scientists who believe it's likely enough to be an issue, and then it becomes a political issue.

Comment Re:Environmental Questions (Score 1) 540

For what it's worth, I agree with you. I highly doubt there is life on Mars, but our opinion doesn't matter to the big picture that there are a lot of people who believe there might be. And really, we're just guessing. The point is that once we have contamination, it might kill off something that was there.

Comment Environmental Questions (Score 5, Interesting) 540

I've always been of the opinion that once a private Mars mission gets close to becoming reality, scientists and the government will go in league to shut it down because of environmental contamination. The question of whether there is life on Mars is still open, and once you have a group setting up a settlement, the planet is potentially contaminated forever with Earth bacteria, which might even kill off native bacteria, if any.

My question is, are you concerned with the contamination question and do you think you might be prevented from going if scientists get the right politicians to listen? You sort-of have a FAQ question about this ("Will the mission be harmful to Mars' environment?"), but you don't really answer it.

Comment Re:God's experiment in free will (Score 1) 1226

Christians today (since Christ's time, actually) are under a new covenant which we call the New Testament. The Old Testament is no longer applicable as law.

You are (sadly) mistaken. There is a reason the OT is included in Christian bibles.

"It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid." (Luke 16:17 NAB)

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." (Matthew 5:17 NAB)

“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

Every single word of the OT was commanded by Jesus himself to be obeyed. Why this doesn't tell people that it's all a bunch of mythical hooey I will never understand.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 192

I use Perl nearly every (damn) day, on a very old codebase project. There are things about Perl I like, but there are also things that I really despise. Not through fault of Perl, really -- it's simply old, slow (yes, slow) and outdated compared to other modern languages.

There is no way I would start a new project in Perl, and the only people who would are people who are willfully ignorant of the rest of the industry. Perl is beyond its life. There is nothing it does better than other languages, and there are a whole hell of a lot of things it does much, much worse.

Comment Re:Putting his money where his mouth is (Score 1) 460

What you clearly don't get is that much of the reason you can get a good OS and applications for free is the GPL, for which you can thank RMS. I remember what it was like to install *BSD before the various BSDs were shamed into modernity by Linux. No thanks, you can have that.

I don't believe you can make the case that Linux wouldn't be Linux without the GPL, had it used some other license. Linux is Linux through force of Torvald's personality. It would be identical if it had used, say, the BSD license. Granted, the tools developed by the FSF gave Linux a good start. But that's software, not a license.

Comment Re:Cool rich guy (Score 2, Insightful) 162

You know what, I imagine it probably does take "bulldozing" to overcome the entrenched existing entities in order to do Really Big Effective Things.

If it takes hurting some feelings to ELIMINATE Polio and Malaria forever (!!), and who knows what other diseases in the coming decades, then that seems fine to me. Polio has been eliminated in India. I'm pretty sure all the millions of children saved aren't too concerned about the fact that Bill Gates is in a bit of hurry to get things done.

Comment Re:Funny you mentioned that (Score 2) 501

How do you think the concept of Separation of Church and State would fare under President Romney?

Far better than under a 'mainstream' Christian. Who understands better about religious persecution than Mormons? The last thing they'll do is legislate so that one religion is able to dominate more than others, because that dominant religion won't be theirs.

How about your rights to be left alone even after death?

You know what? I'm dead. If it makes my family happy to baptize me in whatever they want so that it eases their mind that they'll eventually meet me in the afterlife, that's fine with me. I'm, you know, dead, so it doesn't matter anymore. If they want to stuff me and put me in the living room, hey, that's great. Whatever makes them happy. Funerals are for the living, not for the dead.

Comment Re:Religion (Score 4, Insightful) 501

Of course, many Catholics claim that Protestants are "not really Christianity", either (and vice-versa).

I will say one thing about Mormons... of all the people I've met of different religions, Mormons were by far the nicest and most genuine people. They actually try and live the tenants of their religion. I'm an atheist, but if I had to pick a religion to follow because I wanted the culture, I'd pick being a Mormon. I hate alcohol anyway. :)

They're not perfect of course (their support of California's Prop 8 is particularly troubling), but overall having Romney be a Mormon is a positive in my book, compared to, say, Santorum who is a full-blown religious wack job.

Comment Re:....and it still is useless. (Score 1) 402

Are you a non-native English speaker? Then I could believe you might have trouble with it. But for what it's worth, I find it remarkably accurate, and even more remarkable, I find it useful. I don't have to memorize any voice commands, I just speak in normal English and it figures out what I mean much of the time. It is true that it needs a constant Internet connection, but I think that's why it actually works -- Apple can bring to bear a large amount of processing power. So I'm okay with a useful AI system that needs the Internet to make it work, versus previous attempts that totally suck, but can suck even without an Internet connection.

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