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Comment Re:enable it? funny... I did the opposite (Score 1) 141

Accesible UI design is only needed in accessible UIs. Major browsers are now configurable enough that UIs can be customised to individual needs. I have a friend who drives cars with heavily modified controls. These controls would be illegal for fully able-bodied drivers as they make the car more dangerous, but they are permitted in his car as they make it possible for him to drive without using his feet, which have very limited movement.

A one-touch-back key isn't likely to kill anyone, but it's still an error hazard.

Comment Re:But Backspace as Browser-Back really sucks. (Score 1) 141

Haven't you cave dwellers heard of mouse gestures?

The GO referred to people with accessibilty issues, and not everyone with accessibility issues can use a mouse. Many who can cannot use it with enough accuracy to use gestures. So please, don't start flinging insults at people who physically can't use a computer the same way you would.

Comment Re:Why isn't this configurable? (Score 1) 141

But, I'm also annoyed that it's gone, because I used it frequently.

Instead of them being so binary, they could have just made it a configurable option.

They should simply be promoting Alt+left arrow hard as the alternative. It has existed in all browsers since the days of Netscape Navigator, it is not shared with any other common operation, and all-in-all is very difficult to do unintentionally. There are webpages out there that switch focus away from form elements unexpectedly, and that's where backspace-as-back-button gets very dangerous.

I recently used a site where if you delete all the text in a textbox, the keyboard focus goes back to the page. Major design flaw - if you delete by holding down backspace, you're almost certainly going to end up going back a page. It took me ages to buy that ticket....

Comment Re: Why isn't this configurable? (Score 1) 141

Freezing the state of a page would break the intended functionality of a lot of pages, because either you save the state before doing the onexit and onunload events, and have data that may have been invalidated by them, or you save the state after them... when the state is absolutely nothing.

Comment Re:HTML (Score 1) 671

Applications? HTML was never meant for "applications". It was meant for web *pages*. Websites.

And it's not even very good for those, because the guys that wrote it were still thinking of paper publishing. What was the first major use for unnecessary JS bloat? Interactive menus. Even now, the least JS you can use for a menu hierarchy is a quick change of hidden/visible attributes in an onClick attribute.

But if they'd had a <menu> tag, we could have done the whole hierarchy in nested HTML and then only needed to invoke Javascript at the last minute. And even then, if the nodes at the end of the tree hierarchy were links (as was the case in c.2000 JS menus) there would be no script needed at all -- pure HTML.

Comment Re:8 levels deep normally means function too big (Score 1) 671

On a different note, the nesting of procedures is generally another of the bad-ideas-that-work, because they introduce unnecessary context switches. Unless you have a decent compiler, in which case it optimises smaller procedures out as macros, in which case it is better all round. One of the things that niggles at the back of my head with Python is that when I try to write neat code, I'm always aware that ever single call is a call, so there's the efficiency hit in context switches. But I do it anyway, because I want to understand my code in a week's time.

Comment Re:8 levels deep normally means function too big (Score 1) 671

Indeed, if code is nested 8 levels deep, four or more of those levels should probably be separate functions. The first function might be:

That's a procedure, not a function.

OK, so I'm being pedantic, but I'm actually a big fan of functional programming as a way of thinking, and the more I reduce my code to short subroutines, the more it bugs me that I am still writing procedural code rather than functional. In your example, procedural imperative code works best (by avoiding the need for recursion), but it's still true that FP (where suitable) very quickly forces you to produce functions that can be analysed within human working memory.

Comment Re:Why all the focus on the STEM jobs? (Score 1) 105

Don't get me wrong, if it weren't for math and technology my career wouldn't exist, but why exactly do we need entire generations of programmers? Shouldn't we be teaching kids to pursue their interests instead of forcing some ideal on them?

Erm... look at the summary/article more closely. This is not about teaching computer skills, but using computers to personalise and individualise learners, and this would indeed offer the opportunity for kids to pursue their own interests, and for these to be related to curricular goals... if done properly. But it would take billions, not millions, to really do this properly.

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