Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment Fundamentally Analog (Score 2) 220

The summary is way off. Transistors are analog devices, so TTL may behave digitally but that's only because a lot of work was done to make that happen. All that's happening here is taking analog devices with certain characteristics and using them to model an analog process with certain other characteristics. No small feat mind you.

Comment Re:TDD (Score 1) 460

The problem that I've found with TDD is that it encourages people to write code that tests the wrong thing. I like using it, because I gradually grow a set of regression tests and can be reasonably confident that I haven't broken anything, but I've seen a lot of people write tests that check for specific details, so you make a 5 line change to their code and then have to modify 100 lines of tests - not because you've broken anything, but because their tests were checking for implementation details rather than valid semantics.

I don't think it's TDD per se that encourages such bad practices. It's a complete misunderstanding of the purpose of tests. I guess I'm not big on low-level unit testing because it generally ends up breaking things down so much to the level that you do end up testing implementations rather than interactions. And thus you end up with Development-Driven Testing, an anti-pattern if I ever saw one.

So the problem is again with the application of processes and best practices without any understanding of what they're for and why they work. Because the people doing the work aren't good enough to understand and the people managing them aren't good enough to explain.

Comment Re:TDD (Score 4, Insightful) 460

TDD is a painful waste of time that at best serves as a crutch for unskilled or insecure coders and at worst a smokescreen behind which serious bugs remain unfixed because they aren't picked up by any test cases.

No, TDD is painful, but it's a long-term investment. If you code once and never have to touch it again, you can get away with making it work right without tests. But if you want to be able to grow your system, you want something to make sure that you don't kill the old functionality in the process of building the new. And sometimes it's just helpful to spell out the expectations of new functionality ahead of time so that you know when you've achieved it.

Process for the sake of process is pointless. And if you have good reason to work around or jettison a given process, go for it. As I told the other programmers at my job, the only piece of our process we would probably consider an absolute necessity is source control. Code review is highly recommended, tests are very strongly pushed, formatting standards are there for good reasons, but there are times when they are not helpful.

The problem always comes down to whether or not your developers are adults with good decision-making capabilities. Process is too often employed as a way to allow you to get stuff done with people of average or less ability, but process also hurts them because they can't figure out when the process is unhelpful. And if process is imposed by fiat, those who could figure that out are frustrated by having to go through the motions. But if you have trustworthy people and you actually trust them, you institute the process for their benefit, and when it's not useful they know not to use it.

Comment Re:I don't think you understand. (Score 1) 735

No it doesn't. You can be religious and think ID is a bunch of hooey. This isn't an either-or proposition.

Of course it isn't.

But it IS "an either-or proposition" if you insist on a LITERAL interpretation of The Bible.

You can be religious and understand/accept evolution and understand that "The Garden of Eden" was a parable.

You CANNOT believe that The Garden of Eden was a physical location on Earth and understand/accept evolution.

Insistence on a literal intepretation is not a pre-requisite for believing in Adam, the Garden of Eden, eternal sin, or Jesus dying for our sins. You've resorted to a straw man. I don't insist that all the details were exactly as reported. I do believe in the vast majority of the Jesus narrative. I'm open to there having been an actual physical Garden of Eden in some form or fashion, and possibly there being a key ancestral couple like Adam and Eve.

Comment Re:Makes sense. (Score 1) 386

You're right in that there findings are not a big deal. But its also a good thing that they looked into it. Imagine if it had been the computers' fault and nobody checked into it. This kind of shit would just keep happening...

So instead, it's the people's fault, and this kind of shit will just keep happening...

Comment Panopticon (Score 1) 1018

Basically Wikileaks is trying to change the world so that we are so afraid of things we do in private being revealed that we don't do anything bad. They are doing this in the name of the public, and there is something to that, but they don't seem to care if they are crossing the lines between appropriately private matters and ones where the light of day would do significant public good. They absolve themselves of responsibility by adopting a pretty much filterless approach to revelation. There are great costs accompanying the benefits they provide, and though in the grand balance they may have done more good than harm so far, the magnitude of the stakes could tip the scale the other way very quickly.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman