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Comment Re:Competitors don't get it (Score 1) 112

It is use cases.

The pie is not a cheap computer. It is for camera, robots, sensors, and IOT type devices.

The original design brief of the Raspberry Pi was as a cheap computer. If it was intended for cameras, robots, sensors and IoT devices, it would have battery management onboard -- all the use cases you mention are much better server if the device can be powered without wires.

Comment Re:Hardware better? Matter of judgment (Score 1) 112

Onboard battery management with standardised support would make the Pi a real prospect to me. Battery management daughterboards for the Pi are almost as expensive as the device itself and block up GPIO pins other hardware might need. I'm also unclear on whether I'm going to have to roll my own operating environment to take advantage of it.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 1) 186

I'm not saying it's a bad thing -- quite the opposite: redundancy is often a good thing. But the justification seems half-hearted, because it doesn't eliminate redundancy, so it's not about eliminating redundancy. It's a block_start token, even if some people choose to play semantics and claim it's part of the command syntax: a block is always preceded by a colon. I don't like the explicit start marker without the explicit end marker. Yes, start marker only does seem a little more like human language, but computer languages aren't human languages.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 2) 186

>There is no reason that indentation levels couldn't be automatically displayed based on the parenthesis data

Yeah, but nobody does that and even Apple and other huge companies have created horrible security bugs because they extended a branch of an "if" statement to two statements without adding the parens around the two statements that one would need then. Huh.

Yes, but automatic indentation in the editor would have automatically highlighted the mistake, and the programmer could have fixed it immediately. Why are computer programmers such luddites? We try to fix other people's problems with technology, but insist that our jobs should be carried out using 1970s technology.

Meanwhile, you can just have the indentation signify blocks which is how every human alive understands it anyhow and which require no special editor support and no weird manual fixes by the person editing it.

Humans may not vary much, but computer screens do. Consider that the whole point of things like HTML is to abstract out formatting in order to allow the same content to be rendered on various devices, including print.

I really think it's time we started getting smarter with our coding environments. Customisable display doesn't just mean indentation levels. Maybe you want to see an argument list in one line: result = functioncall (size=1, number=2, somethingelse=3)

but maybe I want to see it tabulated, with the arguments lined up on individual lines, and both the parameter names and values lined up in two columns. Or maybe just the arguments on different lines, but within setting up columns.

These sorts of differences exist today as "programming style", even in Python (indentation is meaningless in continuation lines in Python). But because the style (rendering) is an integral part of the source code, the programmer is forced to adapt to the chosen style of the team, project or company they work with. This is inefficient and distracts the programmer from the main goal: writing the code.

I'm more efficient when the information is laid out in the way that I find clearest.

But even that may change with time and with what job I'm doing. Maybe I want to be able to "unfold" a single line into a tabulated form for closer examination, or "fold" a tabulated form into a single line to get the "bigger picture" of the code.

But what I shouldn't have to think about is how anyone else is going to see the source code.

Comment Re:Whitespace takes the most space (Score 1) 186

doesn't sounds all that unique. Lots of languages let you muck with memory allocation. For example C++

But C++ doesn't have a garbage collector, and more generally most languages have [i]either[/i] implicit garbage collection [i]or[/i] explicit memory management -- Nim has both, allowing you to ignore memory management completely until you're ready to optimise -- that's a very useful thing. I'm no expert on languages, so I don't know which of the more advanced multi-paradigm languages have similar options -- but it's something that's still missing from mainstream languages.

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 1) 186

The fact is you should be indenting consistently anyway, so braces and semicolons are superfluous, and ugly.

How is Python's colon any less superfluous? Every block is preceded by a colon, and there is no situation where anything else can go in place of the colon. As far as I can see, the colon is 100% redundant within the syntax. (Excluding list syntax, naturally.)

Comment Re:They took the worst part of Python (Score 1) 186

As I say every time this debate comes up: every code editor I use carries out parenthesis matching. There is no reason that indentation levels couldn't be automatically displayed based on the parenthesis data and rendered to screen based on the user's preferences. If people still want to be able to read the code in a plain text editor, then have the editor save a set number of spaces per indentation level. (2 maybe? 4?)

Comment Re:Whitespace takes the most space (Score 3, Interesting) 186

Show me some code that shows how Nim can do things better. It's more convincing than a list of bullet points anyway.

Wrong question. The single most interesting idea I've seen in Nim isn't something you can see in a piece of code: it's how it aids the programmer in optimising code late. It's only the memory management system, but the idea is that you prototype your code with a garbage collector switched on, and once the code is working, and assuming you need the performance gain, you code up your own memory management routines tailored to your code.

It's an idea that seems logical, but is frustratingly uncommon, and is not normally an in-built feature of the language, but rather just a part of the dev workflow (for example: use a generic sort algorithm from a library during prototyping, then analyse the data you're working with in large-scale tests and select or code a more efficient implementation for your situation). The weakness in doing this manually is that it first means tying your codebase to a library, with its various quirks, and then potentially rewriting vast chunks of code to get it to work with a different library (and then there's the risk of cascading changes).

I think Nim's approach is a small step in the right direction, taking us towards logic first, optimisation later.

Comment Re:all becoming more closed-minded (Score 1) 163

Not all of us of course. Mainly those who unreservedly supported either of the two major candidates. I don't know the breakdown among those who supported the other candidates or like me didn't support any.

At the risk of starting a fight, isn't it closed-minded to forget that there are other countries out there, and that your presidential race wasn't a global election...?

Comment Re:Dramatic contemporary issues (Score 1) 163

Or in short, we're all becoming more closed-minded and insular; trying to invent a tight, uniform group identity and to put up hard borders (build walls?) between our chosen "tribes". This is that good old-fashioned "nationalism" that messed up the world so badly in the mid-20th century.

Comment Re: Sounds like wrong approach... (Score 1) 163

And yet the reboot movies have been hugely successful, bringing in a wider and more varied audience than the aging autistic weirdos that were associated with the franchise. You're out of touch with reality, sorry. :)

Imagine Ford relaunched the Fiesta as a sofa. Now imagine it was a really good sofa and really popular. Is still wouldn't be a Ford Fiesta. It wouldn't bring a new audience to the "Ford Fiesta".

Or imagine I built a theme park and called it Edinburgh Castle. Would it be bringing a new and young audience to Edinburgh Castle? No, because it wouldn't really be Edinburgh Castle.

My point: if you want to make something new, go ahead and do it; just don't pretend you're not making something new. JJ Abrams' Star Trek is not Star Trek -- it's just a lazy story built by borrowing a handful of names and ideas from Star Trek.

Why lazy? Because we accept a heck of a lot of nonsense when someone does a reboot. We accept characters because of their name, not because of their story. If you renamed everyone and redesigned every set and prop in Star Trek, it would look like an even weaker film than it already does.

Comment Re:Jumped the shark a long while ago (Score 1) 163

The new Trek is when it finally decided to grow some balls and get good.

When someone objects to an old song for using gender specific terms and tries to rewrite it to be less offensive to them, I tell them if you don't like the song, don't sing it. This is my view about reboots too. If the story is not good, don't tell it. If you want to tell a different story, tell a different story. Changing an existing story leaves you something that is not new and is not old. Move on and do something else instead.

Comment Re:Over The Top subscription streaming content (Score 1) 163

There is no such thing as empty space in a spaceship -- the voids are all filled with air, as the internal pressure must be maintained at pressures and gas concentrations suitable for the lifeforms within. This air has mass, and will need to be accelerated when the ship is accelerated. It will also put additional load on the artificial gravity generators, as the gases will be affected by gravity too. And the more air that's free, the tougher it's going to be to run the whole thing through filtration and heating/cooling systems.

Comment Re: Dramatic contemporary issues (Score 1) 163

Social justice is a term dating to the 1840s. The concept is to treat everyone fairly. There is no one group that has a monopoly on the term, and while there a few hypocrites who use it to do down others (completely missing the point), that does not invalidate the basic idea that social justice is a Good Thing.

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