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Comment Re:a counterpoint on "no regressions" (Score 1) 132

One goal of refactoring is to not change the functionality of the code.

I think Torvalds is completely right here, it's all too easy to let the most convenient/nice way to code something dictate the user experience; which is fine if the user is the programmer (e.g. writing library code). Applications with a complex UI often suffer from this; getting something that works the way the user expects it to often means doing 'dirty' things to the codebase to make it work.

Comment Re:Depends on finger strength and coordination (Score 1) 362

I was never formally taught how to touch type, and I sort of developed an ad-hoc style on QWERTY. It was fast enough for me, but after a few years I was getting quite bad strain in the back of my hands if I typed too much. I don't really type faster on Dvorak, but it has fixed bad habits I developed with Qwerty and I don't get hand strain when typing. (It has probably made me a better touch-typist because I never rearranged the keys on my keyboard)

Comment Re:Yeah, and I am a Pony (Score 1) 291

Both techniques are useful. New hardware tessellation features in DX11 capable cards mean we should start seeing games using displacement mapping. A relatively low polygon model is rendered, a displacement map texture is used to deform each triangle. My understanding is that each triangle is subdivided and then a displacement map is used to shift each new vertex. This allows models to have detailed geometry when close to the camera, but not waste time rendering the detail when it is going to be pointless. ((I haven't actually played with displacement mapping, so I could be wrong about the details))

Comment Re:How Microsoft of Them (Score 1) 250

I think Wave's key problem was direction. Wave did a bunch of technically cool things, but when it came down to it, most people who got Wave invites went on there, created a couple of meta-waves and found a bunch of shortcomings of the implementation. They didn't know why they wanted it.

I think in that sense, Gmail and Google+ both had a better start. It is annoying having to clear out your inbox, hunting for that important email is annoying. Gmail has lots of storage space and searching. We interact with lots of different groups of people in our lives. Sometimes it is good to know only certain people can hear you. Sometimes posts that are important to you get lost amongst the chaff. Google+ gives you control over who you share with and who you listen to.

Comment Re:Common knowledge (Score 1) 670

A good garbage collector already has memory set aside to allocate new objects in. No searching is required, just like allocating memory on the stack.

When the pool of memory for that gets full, the live objects are copied to a new location and the entire memory pool is emptied.

The "generation 0" collection is normally pretty painless, as most objects are short-lived anyway.

Comment Re:Same with 1080p (Score 1) 666

It's basically using as much of the 'bandwidth' that is available on the picture and leaving the black bars to the playback equipment. In cinemas this means a widescreen film is 'stretched' (optically) onto a 35mm frame (which are ~4:3) and then unstretched using the lens on the projector to be the correct aspect ratio. Making the most of what you have.

Comment Re:Don't do it... (Score 2) 427

Powershell might be better than cmd batch files, but don't expect to be able to write a script that will run on machines that haven't had Powershell explicitly installed. I attempted to use Powershell for a simple automation task, but couldn't write a script for automating something and expect it would work at all on a client's machine like I probably could if it were a Unix shell.

Running software in Windows is a massive pain because there is no good way for the shell to find commands, so scripts that depend on external programs need to jump through hoops to find the appropriate binaries.

I ended up whipping up a quick program in C# to do the automation; it took less time than trying to figure out Powershell, didn't require many dependencies and could provide UI for selecting directories etc.

Comment Re:Java's and Adobe's updates suck. (Score 1) 86

I quite like the approach of just installing to your home directory by default, and offering to install for all users as a secondary option. It works well for single user systems and somewhat limits the damage that can be caused on a multi-user system.

In my opinion too much software is packaged to target some experience in between individual use and corporate use. I like that Google Chrome just installs somewhere and updating just happens without me really being involved or having to prod it along. Minecraft is another popular app that uses that model to good effect.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.