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Comment Re:Recursive? No, very iterative. (Score 1) 622

I was making the arguments that others make to dislike the languages, not my personal feelings. There's no such thing as a perfect language. The arguments against Ruby (as I understand them, I haven't used the language all that much) is that it's very slow and the community is full of asshats.

Comment Re:Java Not Realtime Capable (Score 1) 622

To be fair, Minecraft is a (surprisingly) quality program that is written in Java. It's also a total memory pig and is much slower than other 3D games, though also to be fair, it's a quite complex 3D environment (infinitely changeable), so it's hard to compare to games with more static worlds. But it does show that it's at least possible to write a good game in Java. It does occasionally freeze up, however, probably doing garbage collection to my son's infinite annoyance. :)

Now, a fair comparison is comparing the Java version of the Scratch environment to the Flash version, and the Flash version is about 5-10x the speed.

Comment Re:Recursive? No, very iterative. (Score 1) 622

Java can nearly as fast as C for very small pieces of code where the runtime can do straightforward JIT compilation, that is true. If you define that as "where Java is used", then your claim is true. However, for code of any size or complexity, Java slows down tremendously. Why do you think Java is "slow on the desktop"? It's because desktop apps are applications of size and aren't trivial pieces of glue code.

Or, to put it another way, if Java isn't inherently slow and is "as fast as C" as you claim, why would there be an exception around desktop apps or "graphics in general"?

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.

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