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Comment Re:TCAS, Mode S, and IFR (Score 1) 72

Will your computer take into account that the small C172 VFR guy just picked the wrong taxiway and is now making you miss your 5minutes slot, and needs to recompute the whole thing? And if you only rely on TCAS, good luck avoiding the PA28 pilot who forgot to turn his transponder on once engaged on the rwy (because you know we need to turn that stuff off when on ground frequency to avoid wrong TCAS alarms from landing airliners). Computers are good, but planes are still piloted by humans...

Comment Shared libraries anyone? (Score 1) 193

I mean like supporting writing of shared objects without having to deal with inconsistent mangling approaches between compilers, having to resort to manually-maintained export files? Or having to use the exact same version of the compiler between the library and the code using it? Being able to expose functions throwing exceptions through a library (gasp! who wants to do that?) or to reliabily use an std container through the library interface?

Without all this, you can't write C++ code spliting the logic into multiple binaries in a platform-independant way...

This is the main reason why all libraries are still written in C, or at least expose interfaces in C.

Comment Don't fear (Score 1) 637

I'm doing a lot of programming interviews these days, and I can tell you that it really doesn't matter.

During interviews I couldn't care less about pointers: I will check problem solving skills, I will assess how they react to existing code they are not familiar with (this is the real challenge you face when getting a new job). I will use good old FizzBuzz test, I will play with basic recursion (insane how most candidates will fail at even the most basic recursive logic). None of this is language specific.

C developers might also be lacking notion of proper data abstraction and will scatter global variables all over the place. This is as bad (if not worse). And believe me, most C developers don't understand memory management neither (is this virtual memory? is this page committed or just reserved in the address space? how comes you get an out of memory in your process and yet you still have tons of free physical memory? what is heap fragmentation? is malloc slow? is it thread-safe? what are heap protection canaries?) A lot of C developers will be using static data with constant size in order to avoid dynamic memory allocation. The result? Java developers are typically more versed in dynamic structures such as double linked lists than C developers...

And by the way, Java has "pointers", we just call them references, and any Java developer worth working with knows the difference between a value-type (int) and a pointer (Integer), they just have different names, you can't assign arbitrary values to your references and you don't need to free them explicitly, that's all.

Comment Existing law (Score 1) 186

This could be a slippery slope if this was a new law or a new application of the law, but it is neither of these: this is just the existing application of existing EU laws that exist for, what, 30 years or more? There are very precise and well-understood laws in many countries of Europe stating that yes indeed, it is absolutely forbidden for a company to retain information about EU Citizen that can be processed automatically without these citizens having their say about it. Having that information as part of an index, meta-data or whatever doesn't really matter. You have that kind of information, you must abide by the law. The companies storing personal information are very aware of these laws and have processes in place to cater for the "having their say about it" part. And believe me or not all the newspaper are fully compliant with the law, for many, many decades. And no, this part of Europe (that is, not UK) is not well-known for its strong censorship stance. So there is no problems. At all. What you are depicting here is for some kind of arrogant US company that believes it knows better than the people of Europe how to deal with their own laws. Surprisingly enough, that will not end up well for them.

Comment Malaysia (Score 2) 280

I’m a European expat working in Malaysia. I never heard of WhatsApp before getting into the country one year ago. Now I’m using it every single day. It seems the whole country gave up on SMS and using nothing but WhatsApp for everything from photo sharing to group messaging.

Submission + - /. Beta comments don't work, users upset. ( 4

magic maverick writes: Since the new /. Beta came to light, many /. users and commentators have tried it out. However, they are almost universally condemning the new commenting system. It simply isn't as good as the so called Classic system. Some users, however, haven't a bad thing to say. Mainly because they haven't had a chance to even use the new system. It simply doesn't load. One user, Magic Maverick , who lives in a third-world country with crappy Internet, had this to say:

I come to /. for the comments, but with the new Beta, I can't even see anything! It just says:

''Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments. Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

It seems like the "developers" need to take some advice from people who actually know what they are doing. I'm happy to help explain what graceful degradation means if they like...

Submission + - Dice Holdings, Inc, deleting unflattering stories from Slashdot firehose 4

An anonymous reader writes: Stories submitted to the Slashdot firehose that take a negative view on the site's redesign are being deleted. 4 hours ago, it was full of anti-beta posts. Now they are gone. That's right. A forum that usually leaves V14GRA spam in place for posterity is deleting user content.

Submission + - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

s.petry writes: What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years.

Comment Re:But what does it really mean in practice? (Score 1) 147

I couldn't disagree more: I've been doing SWT development for many years, and I can tell you that SWT applications are impossible to distinguish from native applications, on any platform. Sure Eclipse looks like nothing but Eclipse, but if you take well-written SWT applications (Azureus for instance), no-one would be able to tell you that it is made out of Java. From a user point of view, SWT is just invisible. On a programming point of view, I would agree though: SWT is extremely low-level and the first think you need to put in place is a higher-level API. It has nothing to compare with Swing, which is a real pleasure to develop with. SWT is a pain in the ass, difficult to extend and very difficult to use. So it really depends what matters more to you: the integration of your application with the user desktop and preferences, or the convenience of the development framework itself? One of the (many) reasons why Java never really took off on the desktop is because, unfortunately, many developers chose the latter.

Comment Re:But what does it really mean in practice? (Score 1) 147

Well it depends, observe how the package explorer tree is actually the native tree widget. How the tables are actually native tables with proper look&feel for the sorting and column resizing. Observe how the menu bar on OS X is actually properly positionned. Observe how the buttons in the configuration sreens, all the scrollbars are native. Notice that drag&drop from and to the desktop or the Windows Explorer actually works, and also proper copy/pasting of files from external applications. These are all these smalls details that make a big difference at the end of the day.

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