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Comment On ColdFusion [Re:and they're abandoned in 10... (Score 1) 152

Actually, ColdFusion is still being sold, and has 2 or 3 open-source alternatives.

Its early selling point was easier web-page coding, and compared to what was available at the time, it was.

Then it became more known for making things simpler for HTML designers to integrate their markup templates with database data. And, it was and still is pretty good at that because you usually don't have to escape in and out of markup versus imperative code. In addition to the built-in CF tags, you can make custom tags for them also.

It's a tool that fits its niche pretty well.

Comment Re:Lambda's plug poor OOP language design (Score 1) 297

I'm more concerned about how others would use them when I have to read or maintain their code. I've seen some really ugly JavaScript because people misuse anonymous functions (in part because JS also has a poor OO model/syntax). Using methods instead keeps things a bit more disciplined in my opinion.

By the way, a correction:

Original: "Flexible methods can usually do that same thing."

Fixed: "Flexible methods can usually do the same thing as lambdas."

Comment Lambda's plug poor OOP language design (Score 1) 297

With better OOP Java wouldn't need stinkin' lambdas. Lambda's just give spaghetti coders more ways to write cryptic "cutesy" code. Flexible methods can usually do that same thing.

For example, if Java blurred the distinction between instances and classes, then one could attach an OnClick() method directly to a UI button object instead of pushing it to a listener doodad, which is silly and unnatural.

If the guts of a button object want to register the button's method(s) in a listener object via instantiantion forwarding (up the tree) or reflection; so be it, but the UI coder shouldn't have to care, that's usually internal UI engine guts that one should only have to study for debugging event handling.

Parent forwarding is when a parent method of the same name could specify BEFORE or AFTER to automatically run before or after the child method. (Without BEFORE or AFTER, the child method just overrides it so that it doesn't run.) Perhaps I'm using the wrong terms.

Comment Re:Its really the library not the language (Score 1) 211

Yep. I went through the curriculum of the top 10 computer science universities in the country, and all of them teach either Java or Python in their introductory programming classes. Only a single one (Stanford) even offered C++ as an alternative.

That's not a problem. The problem is with shitty schools that don't have a non-garbage-collected language required for a class anywhere in their mandatory curriculum. At my alma mater (which is one of the top-10), the required C-based class is sophomore-level and that's fine.

Comment Re:fill in the blanks (Score 2) 152

Companies Are ______ With Fewer ______.

Put me down for "wasting time and money" and "people who know what they're talking about to catch mistakes early", please.

The best example of this I've seen so far was an exercise in futility developing a simple in-house process automation system, essentially a glorified database with a bit of e-mail integration and a pretty browser-based interface.

There were literally months of discussions among a team dominated by middle managers. Along the way, they spent approximately a mid-level developer's annual salary just on external consulting about using someone's workflow automation software, and IIRC that consultation eventually produced a single page of documentation that was basically an ugly diagram of a simple database schema. Finally, one of the few real developers on the team gave up in disgust and just built a basic version in about one day. Which the rest of the team then almost completely ignored, because these things need to be managed and showing initiative to solve the actual problems is a rookie mistake.

It's easy to see why these tools are attractive for companies that don't generally do software development or web development or whatever it might be, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Those of us who remember the joys of Microsoft Access databases and drag-and-drop "rapid application development" tools from the 90s have seen this all before. But now it's in the cloud, with convenient subscription-based pricing! There's a saying about those who don't learn from history...

Comment Re:and they're abandoned in 10... 9... 8... 7... (Score 1) 152

The problem is that nobody can predict the future. Can you point to any currently popular language and say with reasonable certainty that it will be viable 15 years from now?

By the way, Java may now start dying due to Oracle's aggressive lawyers, and McAfee's by-default re-scanning the Java libraries every time you sneeze, and twice if don't.

Comment PHB Alert [Re:Simple or disposable apps] (Score 1) 152

It's long been true that maintenance is a bigger cost than original coding and that doesn't appear to be changing. It's counter-intuitive, but true.

I've been asked to fix or change Excel-based "applications" built by non-techies, and they were a maintenance nightmare.

If it's a short-term project, that's fine. But in the longer run, roll-your-own-pasta for anything lasting will actually require more developers. Pay the piper now or triple later.

Comment Re:AV only helps if you are bad (Score 1) 212

But those organizations [...] aren't adversaries.

Unfortunately, I don't think that's a safe assumption any more. For example, my businesses can't use Windows 10, because installing it on anything that touches client/customer data would immediately contravene assorted contractual and statutory obligations we have regarding confidentiality and data protection. Microsoft's policies regarding telemetry and forced updates appear to mean using their new software is literally impossible for us.

Whether or not their intention is to use data collected via telemetry for anything other than looking for ways to improve Windows, and whether or not they intend to collect any confidential or personal data via those tools, don't really matter. The facts are that technically they certainly could collect that data, their terms and privacy policy appear to allow them to, and even some of the biggest tech firms in the business have suffered both scope creep and serious security leaks in connection with data they've collected.

As I said before, security is mostly about risk management. For anyone working with sensitive data, using systems running Windows 10 or buying systems from laptop manufacturers that covertly preinstall insecure remote "support" functionality or phone-home reporting are way off the scale of acceptable risks in my professional opinion.

Submission + - Weaponizing Disinformation (nytimes.com)

XXongo writes: With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue. As the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.
The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War. Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past, using everything from paid internet trolls to faked documents to dubious news stories planted in conventional media.
The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.

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