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Comment Re:I'm Sorry, but... (Score 1) 333

I don't think the Post Office deserves ridicule. It survives without funding from Congress and is self supporting. It doesn't make a profit but it's not supposed to. One of the big reasons it currently has financial problems was with Congress meddling and requiring them to pre-fund pension plans which no other government agencies have to do(not even its unions want this). Granted this is not the only financial headache. But this requirement from Congress really feels like an outright attempt to force privatization on the only agency that's self sufficient.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 144

Google Glass is the hipsters way of saying "I need a wedgie". For real geeks you just look for pocket protector, tape on the glasses, or a calculus textbook being carried. But this new hipster who thinks he's a nerd merely because he watches Doctor Who and know how use social media is much more insidious and deserves the wedgie much more. If someone wants to call themselves a nerd then they need to be prepared to accept the downsides that come with it. Ie, you can't be a cool nerd, it is against natural law, and sooner or later the wedgie will catch up to them.

Comment Re:Scheme looks scary and unreadable to me (Score 1) 107

Actually I never liked that style. I can learn a language inside and out and know it's nuances, but that is useless if it turns out the only thing that language is used for is to tie together building blocks that are pre-built by someone else. With a lot of environments it seems it's more useful to know the frameworks and libraries that the project is using than to know the language itself.

Comment Re:Scheme rocks, but lost the race (Score 1) 107

Monoculture is pervasive. Sometimes it shows up just with all the currently popular language following the same old style with just minor variants in syntax. You get a batch of developers all used to Java or C++ or Python and so every new language they create just can't help but resemble that style. There just aren't that many programmers any more who have used languages that are radically different from that style, much less many programmers who are experts in those languages. We need more devs who are very familiar with Lisp, Prolog, Smalltalk, Forth, and so on, languages that fundamentally change how you think about programs.

Some profs back in school used to have an insult they'd use; "he can write a Fortran program in any language."

Comment Re:Scheme rocks, but lost the race (Score 1) 107

Ruby kind of messed up blocks though, which makes closures a bit messy. It seems like Ruby wanted to copy Smalltalk but in a more textual style, but then it messed out on flexible blocks. Ie, Ruby blocks only at the end of an expression and to turn a block into a first class object you have to jump through some hoops. Compare to Smalltalk's "[a block] on: Exception do: [another block]".

Comment Re:Emacs and Guile need each other (Score 1) 107

I dunno, I still prefer Lisps with good old fashioned dynamic scoping (aka, special variables). Scheme is statically scoped and thus can be a very different style of programiming. Not that there's a whole lot of stuff in Emacs still that uses dynamic scoping, it would just feel wrong to kill off the last bastion of that style. I haven't used Guile much but I always got the impression that it was bulkier than Emacs Lisp (but then most FSF projects seem to bulk up fast, ala GNU Hello World).

Comment Re:Spaces vs. tabs (Score 1) 107

This fails in practice. I don't do Python so I don't know how they solve it, but when I used Occam it was a major hassle. Problem one was that youc ould not visually see the difference between spaces and tabs and very few editors enable this (no fair using language specific editors. Additionally once you have multiple programmers touching the same file it all goes to hell, because everyone has a different notion about spaces vs tabs and tab width. Similarly, it's a pain in the ass in Makefiles, it's a pain in the ass in some versions of Fortran, etc.

With "normal" languages there is no such ambiguity and no reason to impose style guidelines just to make code compile. The tiny benefit from reducing the number of characters being typed does not exceed the drawbacks that arise.

Comment Re:Guile supports curly-infix, too! (Score 1) 107

A real lisper would find (+ a b) to be easier to read and less ambiguous. This is similar to someone going to the HP calculator fans and telling them that you have a patch to allow it to work like a TI calculator, they're just not going to be impressed. The real reason perhaps is that people want to get rid of what they mistakenly think are redundant parentheses, however in order to do that you dont need infix what you really need is operator precedence, and that's an ugly bag of worms with no business appearing in a functional language.

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