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Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 338

Have you seen any sign that the Roman Catholics don't believe in birth control? They may consider it a sin to practice it, but they believe in it as a fact.

You need to distinguish between what someone believes to be a fact and what they consider to be a moral or ethical good (or evil). The two can be nearly orthogonal. If the church didn't believe in birth control, they would probably be less active in arguing against it.

Thus, the Roman Catholic church not having the attitude towards the practice of birth control that you believe proper is not a sign that they have an unscientific disbelief in it. Until Ethics, Psychology, and Sociology become real sciences the church's current attitude is not unscientific. If they do, perhaps it will be able to adapt to them, also.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 338

IIUC, there was a group in Egypt that used that as an act of worship, so this is a decree against that group. Is this the reason? That's hard to determine. Certainly the early Exodusees were reported to be willing to follow Apis, the golden calf god. Most of the other gods were less strictly suppressed, and in fact the rule against having an image of the god is probably to allow various sects that worshiped different gods to merge their beliefs.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 338

Speaking as a statistician, that's not logic and certainly not statistics. It also doesn't fit elementary probability theory. You might be able to craft a plausible argument that had that as an element, but it would need to be encircled by rules of deduction that aren't validiateable. There's no valid rule of deduction that says "a lot of people believe this, therefore it's probably true". It's easy to come up with historical counter examples.

Comment Re: This again? (Score 1) 157

Why is it fair to group POSIX-C and MISRA-C together but not different assembly languages?

Because the difference between POSIX C and MISRA C is a large pile of custom headers to define type conversions. The difference between ARM64 assembly with Neon instructions and 6502 assembly is more like the difference between C++11 and the original 1983 version of Pascal.

Comment Re:This again? (Score 1) 157

He's not even right in a pedantic way. Assembly languages are programming languages.

No, the OP is right in a pedantic way. Assembly language isn't really a language, but rather a loose collection of related languages.

As for the other poster's comment that it is basically just human-readable machine language, so is C, but nobody argues that C isn't a programming language. :-D

Comment Re:Microsoft Update Catalog is my new hero (Score 1) 192

Uhhhh...can you read? Because that is really all you have to be able to do to check WSUS Offline since the GUI is really just a front end for some scripts which are in a folder appropriately labeled "cmd" so you can just open them in the text editor of your choice and see what its doing.

It also doesn't try to obfuscate in ANY way what it is doing or who it is calling if you are using the Offline Generator to generate an Offline Update client (it currently supports Vista-10 including the server variants, VERY handy to have) so when you launch it you get a standard command prompt where you can simply look at the screen and see its just calling the MSFT update servers and downloading the updates straight from the source.

Let me give you my personal assurance, I've been using WSUS Offline for so long I still have the DVD with the WSUS Offline for Windows 2K Pro and not once has there ever been an issue with any kind of spyware, malware, or even Windows Update issues because this doesn't use the WU client and just installs them manually via script. I can't even count how many clients I've used it on, easily in the thousands, and its one of those tools I'll always keep on my network share, its head and shoulders better than dealing with WU.

Comment Which programming language! (Score 2) 157

Man I am falling behind... I have never heard of the Which programming language and here we are told that it is the most popular. And I thought I was a software professional. BTW just so I have straight is it WHICH or Which or just which - I don't want to embarrass myself at the next meeting when I propose we do the next project in Which.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 338

Having reread much of the series recently, I don't think it is truer than the Bible. You need to read them both as a certain metaphysical argument on which truth isn't even present. The problem with the Bible is that even as a metaphysical argument it's incoherent, much more so than the Dune series, even though in the Dune series the nature of the argument changes with each book.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 1) 338

You overstate your case. They may have been "ignorant, desert-dwelling sheep herders 20 centuries ago", but they knew a lot of practical biology, some botany, some meteorology and climatology, a bit of hydrodynamics, and a small amount of hygenics. O, and some geology. They may not have been academics, but their life required a lot of applied science knowledge. They theories may have been a combination of unintelligible and ludicrous, but they had a lot of practical matters down cold.

Comment Re:Number of Reciients? (Score 1) 29

which was awarded to E. Topol, R. Califf, F. Van de Werf, P.W. Armstrong, and their 972 co-authors,
for publishing a medical research paper which has one hundred times as many authors as pages.

How about the Wikipedia page for George W Bush, with 46,000 revisions by 14,500 authors? It has about 2 words per author or 1/2 word per revision. https://tools.wmflabs.org/xtoo...

Although I must say that it is pretty impressive for a research paper to be so nearly comparable to one of the most controversial wikipedia pages in terms of authors.

Comment Re:Curly braces = good. Indents = bad. (Score 1) 165


Apologies in advance for the bad font, but Slashdot stopped allowing   because of the trolls, so this was the only way to get indentation.  Ugh.  There's some irony for you.

I've used GNU indent, and it is maybe 1% of the way to a complete solution, if that.  A complete solution needs crazy things like:

* Variable weights for indentation priority between the minimum indentation of a continuation line relative to the first line and colon alignment in Objective-C
* Rules on where whitespace can and can't be inserted to correct alignment (e.g. rules like "Don't put any space between the (strong, atomic) and the subsequent type name in an Objective-C property, in such a way that they can be outweighed by other rules if it makes the line too long
* Choosing whether to indent function parameters by the standard n spaces instead of indenting to the open parenthesis if the latter approach would result in a single parameter getting split across multiple lines and the former approach wouldn't
* Closing up space between certain types of tokens (arbitrarily)
* Adding space between certain types of tokens (arbitrarily)
* Proper handling of comment markup (e.g. HeaderDoc, Doxygen, JavaDoc, etc.) with knowledge of where newlines and whitespace matter
* Ability to handle programming languages other than C and related languages

And so on.  Basically, the set of rules would likely mean that everything on the left side of the language's BNF would be a named token type, and you could specify rules regarding whether spaces could be added before or after that token type.  For example, you might write rules like this:

my-if-statement-whitespace-ruleset  {
    weight 10000;
    if.token {
        space-after: 1;
    }
}
my-if-statement-whitespace-ruleset {
    weight 10000;
    function.name {
        space-after: close-up;
    }
}

To specify that an if statement should be followed by exactly one space before the opening parenthesis, but a function should not, and any such space should be removed.

You'd also need to be able to contextually describe specific tokens like braces.  For example, if you wanted to indent the opening brace of a function by 4 and every line nested inside it by 8, you might write something like:

my-function-body-indent-rule-set {
    weight: 100;
    function.body.first-matching-child("{") {
        min-indent: [previous-line] + 4;
        child-indent: [previous-line] + 8;
    }
}

So basically, something vaguely like CSS, but with weighting instead of order-based priority, plus the ability to define fallback rules with lower priority that get used if the higher-priority rule fails because it conflicts with another rule that has higher priority (e.g. an indent rule set that uses four-character indent if the first rule set for indenting to the open parenthesis gets overruled by a maximum line length rule).

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