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Comment IndentationError (Score 5, Insightful) 997

If something like indentation is a show-stopper for your choice of language, then you are missing the point.

Computer languages are about data structures and idioms for manipulating them efficiently. In contrast, whitespace is a cosmetic, superficial thing.

Yes, I adore Python. (I wish I had paid attention to it ten years sooner than I did.)


e1000e Bug Squashed — Linux Kernel Patch Released 111

ruphus13 writes "As mentioned earlier, there was a kernel bug in the alpha/beta version of the Linux kernel (up to 2.6.27 rc7), which was corrupting (and rendering useless) the EEPROM/NVM of adapters. Thankfully, a patch is now out that prevents writing to the EEPROM once the driver is loaded, and this follows a patch released by Intel earlier in the week. From the article: 'The Intel team is currently working on narrowing down the details of how and why these chipsets were affected. They also plan on releasing patches shortly to restore the EEPROM on any adapters that have been affected, via saved images using ethtool -e or from identical systems.' This is good news as we move towards a production release!"

Comment It's all changing too fast (Score 2, Insightful) 638

I've only been programming professionally for 3 years now, but already I'm shaking in my boots over having to rethink and relearn the way I've done things to accomodate these massively parallel architectures. I can't imagine how scared must be the old timers of 20, 30, or more years. Or maybe the good ones who are still hacking decades later have already had to deal with paradigm shifts and aren't scared at all?


Submission + - The New School of Videographers (

Provataki writes: This editorial discusses the impending explosion of hobbyist artistic videographers, in the same way that happened with digital photography just a few short years ago. The article claims that it's time camera manufacturers create camcorders equivalent in principle to the cheap DSLRs that we currently enjoy. Some beautiful HD footage, shot by amateurs, is shown too.

Submission + - Spook Country (

Eater writes: "This weekend, I finished Bill Gibson's latest book, Spook Country. If you haven't read anything by Gibson lately, you may be surprised to learn he's stopped writing about the future. Plenty of future-stuff happening in the present for him, it would seem. No more Ono Sendai decks, Betaphenethylamine, or Russian EMP gliders. This has all been replaced by Google and Wikipedia, Ativan, and WEP cracking. It came off as a little egregious to me at first, but I suppose that's because I always cringe a little when I see "current" computer references in fiction or movies. However, his presentation was better than most.

At some point after Virtual Light, I think I fell out of love with William Gibson. I still think he's one of the most amazing visionaries of our time, but his delivery doesn't immediately suck me in like it used to. I remember being hooked within ten pages of Virtual Light. Now, it feels like the first third of the novel is devoted to disjointed character development and an endless string of names to remember that don't quite gel into an interesting plot until you're well into the story.

This is something he's very consciously aware of. In an amazing documentary, he confessed that readers often complain his more recent books are nothing like Neuromancer. He says this is because Neuromancer was a very young man's book, written by a young man, and that is a cognitive place he doesn't have access to anymore. Futher, he says this is probably a very good thing for his work. I can sympathize with that point, and he's probably right. To draw a parallel, William S. Burroughs was a different man in the 1950s than he was in the 1980s, and his works reflect that progression. I suppose that all writers must embrace that sort of evolution. That said, I personally prefer Naked Lunch to Cities of The Red Night; as writers mature, I don't suppose it's a given that their readers will mature with a similar progression. This applies equally to Gibson as it did to Burroughs.

Spook Country gains momentum quickly in the final chapters. All men love spy stories, and this is one infused with some unique technical and cultural elements. It seems Gibson is just getting comfortable with this new direction of writing, and I look forward to reading more of it. If he's able to harness his born talent as a technical visionary and apply it to the world we currently live in, his new work will become more captivating than Neuromancer ever was."

Comment Re:GTK is alright...but no raves (Score 1) 356

It may not be what the OP (Hosiah) wanted, but it's much better, cleaner, more maintainable code.

Hosiah's code:

No, I'm not kidding: a dialog box with three buttons should be:
D(H:50,W:200){M:"Quit without saving?",B1:"Save"(do_save()),B2:"Don't Save"(no_op&exit()),B3:"Cancel"(drop_quit())};

It's nice and all that he's managed to squeeze 7 or 8 lines of easily understandable code into 1 very long line that needs a fair amount of visual parsing to understand, but:

* Windows like this should not be specifying exact sizes - aside from all the time wasted determining what numbers fit, the end user is going to have a different font size, resolution, and screen size than you do. I hope your default window is resizable!

* It does not specify positioning - yes, it's assumed to be centered, but if you're all that interested in having so much control over the button text, it seems like an oversight to leave this up to the system.

* I hope you don't ever need to pass any params (or deal with any return values) from those functions.

* Yes, it's nitpicking, but his logic is wrong. The "Save" handler should save and exit, the "Don't Save" handler doesn't need a NOP for no reason, and the "Cancel" handler should do nothing (what on earth does drop_quit() do?

The art of programming does not consist in geting your program down to the least number of statements possible. It has much more to do with using the least amount *necessary to do the job and be clearly understandable*.

How is that code any better than this (other than being able to specify the button text)?
// Win SDK syntax off the top of my head from a long time ago...
// What is up with the <ecode> tag?
retval = MessageBox("Quit without saving?", NULL, MB_YESNOCANCEL);
if (retval != BM_CANCEL)
// Save first, then bail
// MB_NO == don't quit without saving
    if (retval == MB_NO)
There. 10 lines, yes, but 2 are comments, 2 are just braces, and one is blank. Not a lot of stress on the old typing fingers, and a dramatic increase in readability and extensibility.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Snails as food

One important thing to know about puffer-fish is that their teeth grow quite rapidly and can get too big if not fed the right diet. If the teeth grow too big the puffer will not be able to eat and will starve. One of their favourite foods in the wild is the snail. The shell of a snail is enough to wear down the puffers teeth as he chomps through it.

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