Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re: This again? (Score 1) 242

Why is it fair to group POSIX-C and MISRA-C together but not different assembly languages?

Because the difference between POSIX C and MISRA C is a large pile of custom headers to define type conversions. The difference between ARM64 assembly with Neon instructions and 6502 assembly is more like the difference between C++11 and the original 1983 version of Pascal.

Comment Re:This again? (Score 2) 242

He's not even right in a pedantic way. Assembly languages are programming languages.

No, the OP is right in a pedantic way. Assembly language isn't really a language, but rather a loose collection of related languages.

As for the other poster's comment that it is basically just human-readable machine language, so is C, but nobody argues that C isn't a programming language. :-D

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Interesting) 409

There's precious little written evidence that can actually be linked to any contemporary of Jesus Christ. The Gospels are problematic, and the earliest of them can't be dated any earlier than decades after Christ's death, and the others appear to be rewrites of early versions, with inconsistenticies (like the two geneologies of Christ). The closest to a contemporary document is Josephus's writings, and when you get rid of the helpful "interpolations" of 2nd or 3rd century writers, you're left with what amounts to "there was a holy man named Jesus of Nazareth who had a number of followers, and was put to death by the Romans."

There's about as much evidence for Jesus healing the sick or raising the dead as there is for Thor causing thunder and lightning.

Comment Re:Curly braces = good. Indents = bad. (Score 1) 167

Apologies in advance for the bad font, but Slashdot stopped allowing   because of the trolls, so this was the only way to get indentation.  Ugh.  There's some irony for you.

I've used GNU indent, and it is maybe 1% of the way to a complete solution, if that.  A complete solution needs crazy things like:

* Variable weights for indentation priority between the minimum indentation of a continuation line relative to the first line and colon alignment in Objective-C
* Rules on where whitespace can and can't be inserted to correct alignment (e.g. rules like "Don't put any space between the (strong, atomic) and the subsequent type name in an Objective-C property, in such a way that they can be outweighed by other rules if it makes the line too long
* Choosing whether to indent function parameters by the standard n spaces instead of indenting to the open parenthesis if the latter approach would result in a single parameter getting split across multiple lines and the former approach wouldn't
* Closing up space between certain types of tokens (arbitrarily)
* Adding space between certain types of tokens (arbitrarily)
* Proper handling of comment markup (e.g. HeaderDoc, Doxygen, JavaDoc, etc.) with knowledge of where newlines and whitespace matter
* Ability to handle programming languages other than C and related languages

And so on.  Basically, the set of rules would likely mean that everything on the left side of the language's BNF would be a named token type, and you could specify rules regarding whether spaces could be added before or after that token type.  For example, you might write rules like this:

my-if-statement-whitespace-ruleset  {
    weight 10000;
    if.token {
        space-after: 1;
my-if-statement-whitespace-ruleset {
    weight 10000; {
        space-after: close-up;

To specify that an if statement should be followed by exactly one space before the opening parenthesis, but a function should not, and any such space should be removed.

You'd also need to be able to contextually describe specific tokens like braces.  For example, if you wanted to indent the opening brace of a function by 4 and every line nested inside it by 8, you might write something like:

my-function-body-indent-rule-set {
    weight: 100;
    function.body.first-matching-child("{") {
        min-indent: [previous-line] + 4;
        child-indent: [previous-line] + 8;

So basically, something vaguely like CSS, but with weighting instead of order-based priority, plus the ability to define fallback rules with lower priority that get used if the higher-priority rule fails because it conflicts with another rule that has higher priority (e.g. an indent rule set that uses four-character indent if the first rule set for indenting to the open parenthesis gets overruled by a maximum line length rule).

Comment Re:It's Politics, Not Conspiracy (Score 4, Insightful) 409

Which is why science has built-in processes to deal with bias. It isn't perfect, and it can take time, but eventually fraud or bad science is caught.

And really, at this point, with so many streams of evidence for AGW, to deny that human-caused CO2 emissions are having a significant impact on global climate really is no different than denying that all life evolved from some common ancestor, or that eating high amounts of refined sugar is hazardous to your health, or that smoking cigarettes leads to cancer and lung disorders.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 5, Insightful) 409

Also see Big Tobacco's decades-long war on research into the dangers of tobacco smoke and nicotine, or the more recently revealed sugar industry's war on research showing the dangers of refined sugars to human health.

Creationism was probably the first really sophisticated propaganda war on science, but it has inspired several later pseudo-scientific propaganda wars. Creationism's intentions were more to protect Christianity from the perceived threat that if science could provide answers to the life we see today, it was going to chip away at the edifice of Theism until Atheism reigned supreme. I'd also argue that for at least some branches of Protestant Evangelism, there was the more real threat that the vast amount of social control those churches wielded being undermined if they were forced to accept that vast swathes of the Bible became understood as being metaphorical, and not literal.

The story is a bit different for the tobacco, sugar, and fossil fuel industries. For them, a general acceptance of science has material costs. People reducing sugar consumption would lead to significant drops in profits. Of course, we know just how much damage the defeat of the tobacco companies has cost their investors. As for the fossil fuel industry, well it's the biggest beast of all. The entire global economy, and some of the greatest accretions of wealth ever known to humanity, are tied up in the continued exploration, extraction and use of hydrocarbons. If there is a significant shift to alternative energy sources, the fossil fuel industry will find itself a lot poorer for it, with the long-term outlook not exactly healthy.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 4, Insightful) 409

Why would you believe the Bible more than, say, Greek myth, Nordic paganism, or heck, an even older religion like Hinduism or Zoroastrianism?

And who said the Bible doesn't have motives attached to it? The entire book of Leviticus is about a pack of religious laws whose major purpose appears to have been social control. Seriously, do you think a law banning having sexual intercourse with your menstruating wife has no motive?

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 5, Insightful) 409

Whilie the tactics of the pseudo-skeptics certainly have borrowed heavily from the Creationists (and the tobacco company-funded pseudoscientists), the intent isn't really to tap into belief that AGW is some sort of religious heresy. Rather, it taps into two streams; the tendencies of certain groups, particularly in conservative circles, to adopt a sort of kneejerk contrarianism to anything that requires a significant shift in the way society thinks, and in part of pure selfishness (i.e. I don't want to have to pay more for gas).

Note that not just conservatives are guilty of contrarianism. You see similar views among antivaxxers, who are often liberal or left-leaning.

For the pseudo-skeptics, having identified the audience they need to convince, it's simply a matter of tapping into the contrarianism via the classic path; associating the science with a "Liberal agenda". It probably hasn't helped that some of the chief advocates of AGW on the public stage have been liberals like Al Gore. This gives the pseudo-skeptics the target they need. When you couple that with a general Libertarian-style of anti-regulation, in which any attempt to price carbon will immediately lead to cries of government interference, well, you have a perfect mix; AGW is a Liberal lie whose sole purpose is to increase the power of the State. Finally throw in the pseudo-science itself; find a few like-minded scientists in related fields, get them to write articles in friendly papers, go on speaking tours and the like, and when they are inevitably critiqued, declare those critiques as attacks by the evil liberal scientific cabal.

Again, this was all worked out a very long time ago when the Creationists began their own attacks on science. Tap into inherent contrariarnism in certain groups, attach nefarious motives (those evolutionists are trying to get rid of God), and throw in a few friendly scientists (Michael Behe, for instance, the intellectual forebearer of Frank Spencer), concoct some scientific sounding word salads, and voila, you have your Creationist attack on science.

The AGW pseudo-skeptic community is also progressing towards the Creationists final tactic; accepting just enough of the science not to look utterly absurd. For Creationists, this was the creation of Intelligent Design, for AGW pseudo-skeptics it involves memes like "climate is always changing", or the newer "well yes, it is warming up, maybe we have something to do with it, maybe we don't, but we shouldn't do anything about it and instead should deal with the effects:.

Slashdot Top Deals

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!