Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Sounds right (Score 2, Funny) 660

It should be obvious what the code is doing just from reading it. If it isn't, then the code should usually be refactored. Comments are for explaining why the code is doing that. If your grammar is poor in the English then it's probably poor in the code too (unless you are not a native speaker). If you make spelling errors in comments then you probably do in code too. The compiler will catch some of these, but when you accidentally type the name of an instance variable or a global instead of a local, it won't spot it. If you're not checking your comments for this kind of error, you're probably not checking your code for it either.

Just as with online comments, poor grammar displays a lack of care. Hopefully, more people will be reading your comments than will be writing them. A little effort in writing them can save a lot of effort in reading them. If someone on the Internet thinks that their time is worth so much more than their readers' time then that just makes them an asshat[1]. If a programmer thinks his or her time is so much more valuable than that of people maintaining the code then he or she is a terrible programmer.

[1] I am fully aware of the universal law that means that, by writing this, my post will have a significantly above average number of typos. Please be nice...

Comment Re:Evolutionary Prototyping (Score 1) 193

Yeah, this is the only type of approach that really works at my job. Most of the time the system owners and end users don't *know* what they really want at the start. They have a vague idea of a few things, and thats it. Trying to develop detailed specs has never worked out based on that, they agree to anything you put under their nose then in 6 months realize its all wrong.

Instead, start building based on what you do know. Refine that. Get a lot of feedback. People may not know what they want, but they know what they don't like.

At the end of the day, we've found that people are much happier with systems devleoped this way then ones done using a waterfall method. So it works well for us. YMMV.

Comment Re:Nothing to see here, move on (Score 5, Insightful) 402

Valid point and it's a tricky argument. Obviously it is nice to be able to take care of your family in the event of a tragic situation occurring.

How about the estate gets the copyright for the duration of the original copyright? Lets use the 14 year copyright the GP mentioned.. if the artist dies ant there are still 9 years left on the copyright then the estate could retain the copyright for 9 years. If there is only 5 months left then the estate only gets the remaining 5 months.

This way, the copyright is honored to it's entirety and the estate benefits, assuming the copyright hasn't expired already. True, it would suck if the copyright only had a month left on it and the holder died and didn't leave much for his/her estate but that could be chalked up to bad planning (for emergencies) as the copyright has already payed out as much as it was ever going to.

Much of anything more, I'm afraid, could be easily abused (as it has been already). We could use the argument that there should be an extension so the family can continue being supported... but then what if a corporation gets the copyright.. just think of all the people working at the corporation and their families....

Copyright should not be a retirement plan.. not for the artist and not for their estates or corporations.

Comment Re:Trying to make something from nothing. (Score 1) 69

Note the difference between "ones you've bought" and "ones provided by the cable Internet vendor".

My experience has been, any software provided by an ISP is to be treated as worse than malware.

Since I never used 16-bit Windows, I never understood "Internet Dialler" software that Windows users seemed to always install from their ISP... and was always the first thing in the way when trying to fix a busted system. But it has served to convince legions that ISP-provided software is necessary to get on the Internet. (Whereas even Windows 95 had enough stuff to dial a modem and set up PPP or SLIP. For non-PPPoE broadband--typically cable--you need no extra software on any Ethernet capable OS.)

More recently, "Internet Security Suites" provided by ISP should be never installed. If found installed, it should be removed by re-formatting the system from read-only media. (Should of serious registry hacking, that's the only way to get rid of the stuff Bell Sympaticrap provides.)

So I'm not surprised they ship modems or routers with "PWN ME!" as the default setting.

Buying your own router immediately puts you in the top percentiles of "tech skill".

Comment Re:*First post.. (Score 1) 590

looking at it from a strictly IP standpoint teachers are the truest form of salary employee as they're always "on the clock" for teaching, events, and lesson planning. Traditionally, teachers are expected to make their class plans outside of "working hours" typically at home, with their own resources. The copyright for the material would clearly belong to them using similar standards we expect in our IT jobs.

A secondary issue is that any teacher using these is plagiarizing (i.e. not doing their own original lesson planning) and while plagiarism is not necessarily legally copyright infringement it's still academically "illegal".. as educators are paid to do their own work of teaching, not to mooch.

or at least that's how my school's rules work, for instance if you took a class two times, you would have to do original assignments for the second class, even if you got a good mark first time or it would be "plagiarism". I don't see why the same rules wouldn't apply to teachers generating THEIR teaching materials as we pay them to teach US uniquely for each class, not regurgitate material they've been reusing, or was "canned" for them.

Comment Re:*First post.. (Score 1) 590

I see your point, and creative work I do belongs to my employer. But lets look at this from another angle.

Lets say some teachers are better than others. They can only teach so many children, but they have dedication and produce excellent plans. Their students do very well.

The next teacher can't manage his/her time as well, or has a bunch of her own children and would rather spend weekends at soccer games rather than writing lesson plans. There is no reason she shouldn't be able to use her own money and buy an excellent plan. It lets her assign her own value to her time not in school.

As this goes the best teachers producing the best plans get the best compensation. The schools should still make sure that the students of every teacher are learning.

In large companies one department bills another. This is different with one teacher billing another, but not far off.

Now if the school districts start allocating funding to buy these plans, and some teachers make them and sell them it changes the economics A LOT. I think it should be a zero sum game (for the $, not quality) for the tax payers if it is to work at 100%.

Comment Re: A fresh start (Score 1) 859

An act like this *should* haunt the perpetrators for the rest of their lives.

That fact(murder) does haunt any person. Just ask any soldier, what were his feeling before and after his first kill. And it haunts any normal(not clinically insane), even if murder was an actual mistake(a.k.a accident -> death from severe allergic reaction comes to mind).

Comment Re:it might not be a "freak" (Score 1) 5

luckily i am on the black list for modding

Two ways to never get mod points:

  • have bad karma
  • Post a lot of (too many?) comments.

I'm in the second group; I'm an opinionated s.o.b. and I read fast.

I've had my share of modbombs; the week before last they tried their damndest to wreck my karma. Still excellent, the bombers are epic failures.

I wish they'd do two things -- not let journals be moderated, and bring back meaningful metamoderation. I'm invited to metamoderate at least daily and usually more often, but I stopped metamoderating when it stopped mettering. I'd rather read comments and maybe learn something, or at least be amused.

Comment Re:It's a bad thing. (Score 2, Interesting) 1164

This is an absolutely amazing bit of creativity, on par with the entire ID != creationism enterprise itself:

You science guys don't get it. Religions are high-level compsci protocol abstractions, and everybody's just arguing over the RFP content.

Ladies and germs, we have here an entire alternative explanation for the thousands of obvious errors of fact in the world corpus of religious tracts, and the millions upon millions of murders performed in the endless battles over which of those sets of erroneous facts are The One True Word. And all we need give up to achieve this glorious synthesis is the silly belief that words mean what they say, that a prediction isn't a prediction unless it can be relied upon, that human reason has some value, and that an explanation of good hygeine positing possession by unseeable non-material entities is a wee bit less valid than an explanation where we have *photographs* of the possessing *material* entities.

My hat's off to you, sir or madame. I honestly don't know whether you're the dumbest creationist troll Slashdot has ever seen or the most brilliant apologist for nonsense to ever walk the Earth. I suggest a career with the Society of Jesus, and hat in hand, ask you nice: Please STFU.

Slashdot Top Deals

PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5