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Submission + - What Causes Spaghetti Code? (Not the GOTO)

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Michael O'Church writes that spaghetti code is an especially virulent but specific kind of bad code related to the dreaded and mostly archaic goto statement, a simple and powerful control flow mechanism that makes it difficult to reason about code, because if control can bounce about a program, one cannot make guarantees about what state a program is in when it executes a specific piece of code. Goto statements were once the leading cause of spaghetti code, but goto has fallen so far out of favor that it’s a non-concern. "Now the culprit is something else entirely: the modern bastardization of object-oriented programming," writes O'Church adding that inheritance is an especially bad culprit, and so is premature abstraction: using a parameterized generic with only one use case in mind, or adding unnecessary parameters. Object-oriented programming, originally designed to prevent spaghetti code, has become one of the worst sources of it (through a “design pattern” ridden misunderstanding of it). An “object” can mix code and data freely and conform to any number of interfaces, while a class can be subclassed freely about the program. "There’s a lot of power in object-oriented programming, and when used with discipline, it can be very effective. But most programmers don’t handle it well, and it seems to turn to spaghetti over time," concludes O'Church. "I recognize that this claim – that OOP as practiced is spaghetti code – is not a viewpoint without controversy. Nor was it without controversy, at one time, that goto was considered harmful.""

Technological Genius Is Timeliness, Not Inspiration 255

Hugh Pickens writes "Ezra Klein has an interesting essay in the Washington Post about 'simultaneous invention,' where technology advances to the point that the next step is obvious to multiple people at once, and so they all push forward with the same or similar inventions. While the natural capabilities of human beings don't change much from year to year, their environments do, and so does the technology and store of knowledge they can access. 'The idea of the lone genius who has the eureka moment where they suddenly get a great idea that changes the world is not just the exception,' says Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, 'but almost nonexistent.' Consider Adam Goldberg's CU Community, created in 2003 at Columbia University, a social network that launched first and had cooler features than Facebook, with options for pictures and integrated blogging software. Klein writes, 'Zuckerberg's dominance can be attributed partly to the clean interface of his site, partly to the cachet of the Harvard name and partly to luck. But the difference between Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Goldberg was very small, while the difference between what Mark Zuckerberg could do and what the smartest college kid in 1999 could do was huge. It was the commons supporting them both that really mattered.'"
The Courts

Spanish Judges Liken File Sharing To Lending Books 352

Dan Fuhry writes "A three-judge panel in the Provincial Court of Madrid has closed a case that has been running since 2005, ruling that the accused are not guilty of any copyright infringement on the grounds that their BitTorrent tracker did not distribute any copyrighted material, and they did not generate any profit from their site: '[t]he judges noted that all this takes places between many users all at once without any of them receiving any financial reward.' This implies that the judges are sympathetic to file sharers. The ruling essentially says that file sharing is the digital equivalent of lending or sharing books or other media. Maybe it's time for all them rowdy pirates to move to Spain."

Comment Re:The real problem (Score 1) 745

Citation required. That's not something that happens in practice. Adults are supposed to know better. If they choose to do otherwise, then they should be punished. Now there may be some wiggle room if the adult doesn't know that the other one is still a minor, but in general the adult knows better.

You do realise that well over 1/4 of the total human population disagrees with you today, and pretty much 100% disagreed with you just 100 years ago?
14-year old woman usually had one child in the recent past if she was married "on time". This isn't some amazing exception as hollywood-based morale likes to paint it. It's reality, and is responsible for very survival of our species back when life expectancy was way shorter and waiting for 18 till having first sexual relations would've likely wiped out the species. Woman who stayed unmarried until 18 was considered "defective" in the same way woman who's 40 and is unmarried is considered one today, and marriage was the main way to start having sex back then, and still is in many countries.

Many "think of the children" people use largely same arguments as used by spanish inquisition and similar organisations in the past. That is not really new, or even scary. Scary is how they don't even understand this when faced with contradicting facts, even when they are well educated and smart individuals. No one is as cruel, dangerous and murderous as someone who believes in the cause fanatically, labeling all evidence to the contrary heretical. Which is what the current movement does - if you dare to criticise decisions like these, you're a pedo lover. There's no middle ground. Just like all who dared to criticise inquisition were witches.

And it works. People are SCARED to criticise, even in obvious cases like ones where age difference is minimal, or where there is clear love between parties ending in marriage and happy life together. Because even when all the evidence is on your side, the believing, fanatical masses will lynch the messenger without feeling a shred of guilt certain in their faith that messenger is inhuman monster.

This isn't limited to this topic either. Same goes for many causes which tend to favor fanatisism as their main pillar of support, such as religious terrorism for example.

Comment Re:It does not mean the desktop will go away (Score 1) 331

Apple's products do that for me. After I bought my Dad an iMac, I've spent exactly 2 hours in 3 years upgrading his computer to OS 10.6 last christmas.

Exactly. And Macs can achieve this level of usability without being deliberately crippled. iPhone OS devices are locked down for the benefit of Apple, not users.

Comment Re:No mention (Score 1) 1046

The reason to act now is that even if we stopped increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere tomorrow the warming trend would continue for another 50 years or so primarily because of the thermal buffer of the oceans. You don't think controlling CO2 emissions is important but the vast majority of climate scientists studying the issue disagree. Hmm, who am I going to believe.

Comment Re:Piracy is indeed for the most part meaningless (Score 1) 249

How would what? Your question doesn't make sense. What are you asking?

Reduce casual piracy. How is it supposed to be doing that, given the miserable failure that it is? I give Spore as an example as how it's completely failing to do that.

Ok, so these three points translate as:
1) Not relevant to my point
2) Not relevant to my point (also incorrect)
3) Not relevant to my point

1. Why? It clearly failed to prevent any piracy.
2. Why? What do you mean it's not trivial? Go look on the pirate bay. Download, install a while later. My grandma could do it.
3. Why? Isn't it supposed to be preventing something? Given that it was the "most pirated game of the year" it clearly didn't do what it was supposed to.

You can doubt all you want, but EA hasn't gotten rid of DRM on any of their titles.

They did do some changes. Spore got the activation limit bumped, then released on Steam without the original DRM. Now I wonder, why would they relax those restrictions, if it wasn't losing them sales?

The World Does Not Fucking Revolve Around You

So? All I'm saying, I'm a potential customer, and one that they lost due to DRM. Can't be the only one. So any company doing it has to have in mind that it's going to lose them some sales.

Well, the difference is music "is contained in small files that are useful on their own." That's the fucking difference. You typed it in the same paragraph where you asked what the difference was, idiot.

Well, exactly. Music is much, much easier to pirate. So by all logic, un-DRMed music should be suicide. But hey, what you know, it's selling, and stores are dropping the DRM.

The cost of producing a song (the smallest unit of "music") is orders of magnitude less than the cost of producing an entire video game (the smallest unit of "video game"). That *is* the difference. The economics are all out-of-whack from that alone.

I don't think that has much to do with it. Making music is very risky. Record companies drive a hard bargain and many popular artists end up not earning much, or in debt. Really music artists are probably nervous as heck at the prospect of their game not selling.

Ok then let's go by Wolfire's numbers-- 10% is still massive loss. Christ. Am I debating with a kindergartner or something?

I disagree with the "massive" part. The numbers normally discussed suggest a 90% loss or something equally gigantic. This is peanuts in comparison. And again, the stats show that if you want 10% more, make a Mac version.


I'm sorry, the "THE FUCKING LAW" argument never impressed me much. Some things are legal and shouldn't be, and some aren't and should be. Repeat after me: law doesn't equal morality.

Not that it's my argument anyway, but that point seemed to be worth making.

Whatever the percentage of A compared to B is, you're arguing in favor of assholes who have zero respect for the time and effort of game creators.

No, I'm arguing a very simple thing: ignore the assholes, and make your customers happy, because you know, those are the ones that actually pay you the money, and may choose not to.

Your argument, in short, is: "hey games industry, FUCK YOU."

No, it's "hey games industry, make games without DRM and I will buy them"

I'm NEVER going to agree with that, whether the number in A is 100%, 10% or 0.01%.

Then you have no business sense. Every retail business has to contend with things like product breakage, employees stealing the product, etc. The sane ones recognize that pissing off 20% of the customer base to stop 10% loss doesn't make financial sense, so while they do work against it, they avoid going completely nuts and having military security on the premises.

The same thing here. Too much DRM, and it annoys customers who decide not to buy, tell everybody around why they didn't, and in extreme cases file lawsuits. Things like that aren't a good way of earning money. Fighting your own customer base is suicidal.

If you don't like the law, then try to change the law.

On that already. Proud member of the Pirate Party.

My main interest is in reducing the length of copyright, opposing software patents, and opposing a piracy tax.

But you don't just go around breaking it at a whim because it's hard to get caught. Seriously, the rest of us are trying to run a fucking civilization here.

Please quote the part where I said I pirate anything. Hell, I even plugged a product on sale here because I liked the terms. And yes, I bought it.

If you think it's the "no sale" part of my "conditions" post, then that's not it. "No sale" means precisely that, no sale. I don't pirate it. I simply don't buy it, and spend my money on the DRM-less indie developers.

Then explain Slashdot. Are you brand-new here?

What's to explain? There are lots of people here. Some smart, some completely inane. More or less like everywhere else.

Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not. You haven't acknowledged that it's possible to have DRM and not annoy customers. Of course, since you have an apparent IQ of 75, I guess I wouldn't have expected you to examine the problem from all angles.

It's not possible by definition. DRM always involves working against the owner's interest, by making duplication, reinstalling, running without a CD, internet access, etc difficult. The backlash against DRM is precisely because it's so damned inconvenient.

Yes, but Spore is an EA game. EA.

What does EA have to do with it? Without DRM it's still the same game, made by EA. Just runs with less trouble.

Ok, let's try this one more time:
The World Does Not Fucking Revolve Around You

Holy crap! I didn't realize!

Look, you came in here promising to prove a point. That point was this:
I'm saying companies would make more money if they spent less time on DRM, and more time on making their customers happy.

My evidence is the whole deal with Spore and the blog post from somebody who actually releases software.

Look, I now understand that you know nothing. You're just trying to defend the completely indefensible position that ripping-off people's work is perfectly ok.

Er, no. I repeat, I do not pirate anything. I do not buy games with DRM.

It's not my position that piracy is fine and dandy. It is my position that piracy is a relatively speaking small problem, not worth making such a huge deal of.

Please, just die in a fire. Said on behalf of everybody with a credit in a video game. Die in a fucking fire.

Haha, no. I stand by my opinion and will keep pushing it, whether you like it or not. Deal with it.

Comment Re:The pragmatist (Score 1) 372

There are some things a commercially viable OEM Linux PC must deliver at retail. H.264 support is one of them. It needs to be in hardware. it needs to competitive - and it needs to be there today.

Holy shit -- I actually agree with westlake. This Sam Imperial White must be some good beer...

Seriously, I don't have a problem with how Canonical is approaching this. They are making this license easily available to OEM hardware vendors, if the vendors wish to purchase it. That's important for vendors who want to sell consumer-ready devices with Ubuntu pre-installed, in countries like the US that lumber beneath the yoke of intellectual monopoly laws.

Intellectual monopoly laws are unjust, and we should all work to have them repealed or struck down. One could plausibly argue that, until they are overturned, conscientious citizens have a moral obligation to violate them. It is however much tougher to argue that a company such as a hardware vendor has a right, much less a duty, to civil disobedience.

Comment Re:Worse than nuclear fallout? (Score 1) 913

We worry about nuclear plants going Chernobyl, but how much do we worry about that chemical refinery 20 miles away? If it had an uncontrolled fire, it could spew toxic chemicals into the air that would be about as disastrous as fallout. It's like worrying about a plane crash when you drive like a maniac.

You've heard of Bhopal? Look it up. Makes Chernobyl look like a local hiccough, and was entirely chemical in nature.

Greeks protest and riot when they realize they are going to have to start paying for their entitlement programs,

Is this just a flavor of the month opinon, or do you have actual facts to back up your opinion? The Greek economy has been a minor player in the EU, but a reasonably good one, up until recent years when accounting irregularities underwritten by -- wait for it -- American financial firms caught up with the current government. While the Greek economy has never been structured for a long-lasting boom (nor has the Greek psyche been conducive to sustained growth like their first-world bretheren), it has persisted more-or-less in its present form since 1974 when the military dictatorship collapsed, modulo the explicitly observable shift to the West once the euro was adopted in Greece in 2001.

I'm still a supporter of offshore drilling. Ask me again in a year, when this whole episode has concluded (or not), and I may change my mind.

What, there haven't been enough major oil spills already to make up your mind? Seriously, even if you only recognize the Exxon Valdez (1989), and while it was a very bad spill, it doesn't even rank in the top 15. Quoting the late, great Jacques Cousteau, "we are entirely unable to handle oil safely."

Comment Re:DRM (Score 1) 376

why does that matter?

Because it's potentially an area of significant savings.

the consumer wanted the content... that is what it cost to create.

That doesn't mean it couldn't have been created for a lot less.

some individuals are more talented than others.

Payscales don't reflect talent, they reflect popularity.

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