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Comment Re:Blindness / Bad Idea (Score 1) 376

Good. My favourite is a human failsafe -- a Russian officer who refused to classify radar anomalies as an American ICBM launches, hence preventing WWIII.

Now I ask - are these really 'great towering achievements'? Or rather, are these just accounts of near-disasters narrowly averted by the failsafes that they sorely needed.

My point is simple - when the incremental risk is out of all proportion to incremental benefit, its best to scrap that technology.

In my book, that includes nuclear power (with the failsafes on offer now), nuclear weapons, and now... 'laser headlights' on cars.
The reasons:
  incremental benefit = 30% off on the small fraction of gas which powers headlamps, doubling the range of headlights.
  incremental risk: dazzling other drivers, blinding accidents (when lenses break), ubiquitous availability of technology that can be used to permanently blind large crowds of people

Comment Re:Blindness / Bad Idea (Score 1) 376

What a stupid riposte to a cool new technology.

Repeat that to the first person blinded by these headlights.

The dangers of this have aready been taken into consideration, being a lot of safeguards and cut offs that fail safe.

Hmmm... Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island. Your turn now -- tell me three great towering achievements of "safeguards and cutoffs that fail safe." :)

Your response has been used against anything possibly dangerous that has ever existed or been created. You must be a conservative.

Pleased to meet you! You must the laissez-faire capitalist. :)

And besides all this... I'm tired of all the rich kids with ultra-bright headlights making it unsafe for the rest of us to drive at night.

Comment Blindness / Bad Idea (Score 0, Troll) 376

For the Audi system:
"The lighting system works by using a blue laser beam to back-light a yellow phosphorous crystal lens;"

And what happens in an accident... when the lens is smashed open, when the blue laser beam accidentally shines into a first responder's eyes?

This is an accident waiting to happen.

Comment Re:if you "get coding" so well, why arent you codi (Score 1) 876

Yes, there are benefits unique to text representation.

But if you look at the context, I'm not arguing against the written word (see note here: "Perhaps, a printed executive summary of bullet points in your hand.")

I'm saying is text is just _one_ mode of interaction - it shouldn't be the only one. Effective multi-mode interaction is always better than single mode. We are full-spectrum creatures.

Comment Re:if you "get coding" so well, why arent you codi (Score 1) 876

A better representation would be me speaking these phrases to you in person

So, essentially the same TEXT in audio format? Doesn't that simply proved the point that the TEXT is already the, conceivably, most concise and precise representation of your idea?

No. First, there are benefits unique to audio interaction (immediacy, tonal emphasis, emotion); next up, benefits to physical presence (enhances interaction - e.g. pointing, gestures, a wider visual canvas), and finally you skipped this last bit with the pretty pictures... :)
"...code editors open in front of us, trying to demonstrate certain use-cases where visual coding is superior."

Regarding your comment "Good luck trying to debug a program from its visual representation.", do you remember savePipelineToFile and restorePipelineFromFile? :D Those features make it trivial to debug and replicate errors between environments.

On and off, I've programmed in both Java and Perl since the mid-nineties. I still use both in my 'webMethods' job when Flow js unsuitable. But for core integration work, webMethods Flow programming beats text-mode programming hands down. It wouldn't survive so long (neither would my job), if this wasn't the case. In fact, my personal view is the only reason for webMethods to thrive is Flow makes even average coders (like me), way much more productive then they ever would be CTRL+SPACEBAR-ing away in Eclipse.

Sadly, Software AG (and webMethods Inc. before them) have let webMethods Flow wither on the vine. There's so much they could have added to it by now - both in terms of visual language enhancements and visual tools. For example, diff and merge tools, environment comparison tools, code metrics and estimation tools, temporal debugging, automated test case generation (by using the input pipeline persisted on error), automatic documentation, some form of AoP...

Comment Re:if you "get coding" so well, why arent you codi (Score 1) 876

> show us a "better" visual depiction of your own post above without using text?

A better representation of my post? A better representation would be me speaking these phrases to you in person, code editors open in front of us, trying to demonstrate certain use-cases where visual coding is superior. Perhaps, a printed executive summary of bullet points in your hand.

Note, I'm not against text. I'm saying that's just _one_ mode of interaction - and it shouldn't be the only one.

As for me, I've work in visual coding for over a decade (in an integration middleware product line named 'webMethods', that uses a graphical language named 'Flow', Owner: 'Software AG'). Its based on Java, its been successful for the almost the last 2 decades. I've had a job in it for 13 years.

Comment Re:if you "get coding" so well, why arent you codi (Score 2) 876

Nah, I'm actually with the poster. I get text-based traditional coding too, but find the ROI (time and effort) quite poor and the work dreary. You have to be either well disciplined, or get the sort of joy banging out code that running get when pushing their body through the next mile.

So one can get 'coding', or get 'running', but find themselves searching for something better. (visual coding/visual abstractions swimming)

Comment Re:HP used to be greatl (Score 1) 385

Eh? A whine? Not to the 'rest-of-us' world.

Talk about missing the point. He (and every other customer) had to wear the hardware cost of the extra RAM, and then have Agilent nickel-and-dime them to activate it . Consider this the next time your car charges you to get past 60mph. Or use more than 3 cylinders. Or heat your seat in winter. Cars manufacturers don't do this (*)

  (*=not yet... but see http://tech.slashdot.org/story...).

There's a good reason for that - the rest of us consider such behavior greedy and trashy!

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