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Comment Re:Good Idea (Score 1) 41

If systemd causes problems, use a non-systemd distribution. Devuan was on the front page yesterday, but Gentoo is optionally systemd free (well, so is Debian for now), and Slackware is free of systemd. There are other choices. (I don't consider Gentoo acceptable unless you have multiple computers on your desk, as the install instructions are on multiple html pages, and needing to print those out is unreasonable.)

As for Firefox, I haven't experienced the problems you are reporting. I'm using the Debian default install with Adblock Plus, and just about no installed add-ons. I commonly leave several windows with multiple tabs open for days. But I do generally forbid the use of Javascript. Usually if I allow it, it's only a temporary permission, which I soon cancel. So I'm guessing that you have a flaky add-on installed, for which it's not proper to blame Mozilla.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 2) 379

Functional languages are a bit more difficult to think about, but that may be a combination of my inexperience and the implementations I've seen. OTOH, some problems do not deal with with lack of state. I'd really like to use Erlang, e.g., but I need mutable state. You can do it in Erlang, but you've got to fight the system to do it.

Note: I don't need externally visible mutable state. That's clearly dangerous in a concurrent system. I need internally mutable state. In Erlang that means either storing things in a hash table, a database, or a block of uninterpreted bytes. All ways that are clumsy to handle (and, I presume, slow). That Erlang allows this indicates that it is seen as something that is concurrently safe. But the difficulty in doing this shows that the designers of Erlang didn't see this as anything important for their use cases.

Now it's a good question whether or not you consider immutability a part of the definition of functional programming. Lisp allows mutable state, so does Scheme. So does Erlang. But they all discourage it and make it difficult to use. It's my contention that the definition should restrict itself to shared mutable state, but I'm not sure that this is the consensus.

Comment Re:Damage from BASIC (Score 1) 617


I used BASIC as it was what was available on the machine I was paid to write.

My BASIC, though, looked more like good FORTRAN than most basic, with thought out calls, etc.

If the language you need to use doesn't have the control structure you need, just write it.

Although I don't miss worrying about what line number to put routines at for efficiency (MBASIC until 5 or so would search through memory on a GOTO or GOSUB, making low-numbered calls faster than high-numbered).

And it's amazing that noone has pointed out the adage that a sufficiently skilled programmer can write bad FORTRAN in any language . . .


Comment ALGOL-W (Score 1) 617

I played with Basic in high school but did my first undergrad stuff in ALGOL-W. As an undergrad I messed with Pascal, Fortran and PL/I. One of my profs at the time was an author of the ALGOL 68 report, thought BCPL was cool and that C (a relatively new language at the time) was a mental disorder. He gave us an assignment in APL once. I guess I'm showing my age.

Now I do 99% of my work in C. My boss and I agree to disagree on scripting languages. I like Python. He thinks Python is ridiculous and insists on Perl for production work.


Comment Re: Fortran (Score 3, Interesting) 617

Frankly, modern Fortran (F-90 or later) is a very well-structured programming language, at a higher level than (more structured than, and safer -- not as subject to buffer-overruns -- than) C: character-strings and multi-dimensional arrays are first class citizens in Fortran. And for what it's worth, I've written more than 15K lines of production Fortran in the last month...

Comment Re:Why pay the Microsoft tax? (Score 1) 214

Slashdot commenters are generally not good at reacting to abuse.

So the proper response is to join the NRA and come out with all guns blazing? Didn't work out well for Jimmy Cliff, did it (I here, but I disappear)?

Come on, we have all switched to Linux, moaned about Unity till it was scrapped, and use LibreOffice or Google. I have had Linux on my desktop since 1776. Looks like we are doing reasonably well.


Comment Re:Systemd! (Score 3, Interesting) 341

Actually, Linux does reflect the personality of Linus. It's a precisionist and a correction freak. And the error messages can be a bit abusive. Fortunately, few people directly interact with the kernel, and for the kernel those are benefits. Even the error messages, because they are short, pithy, and relatively predictable.

The problem is when you say "asshole" you are painting with a broad brush that includes many different characteristics, some of which would be damaging and others of which are beneficial. Linux happens to be generally beneficial in his position. I wouldn't want him writing user interfaces. And I'd be dubious about him writing end-user documentation.

Comment Re: My experience... (Score 1) 438

I had a programming job before college (hey, it was silicon valley in the early 80s) and got called back a few months later.

They had hired an Indian with an MS, and weren't getting anywhere.

I sat down with him to work with code he didn't understand, and he was baffled by the whole "sort" concept.

I tried again at lower and lower levels, finally having to pull out some cards to physically demonstrate a bubble sort . . .

(yes, I know there are many more efficient sorts when more than a few objects are involved; that's not the point here).


Comment Re: Oh, shit. (Score 1) 230

Well, that's the allegation, and it's a pretty believable allegation. There are apps that do all sorts of shady things, all the way up to placing calls to pay-me numbers that the user never authorized...and probably beyond, though I haven't heard of any. And companies usually have someone who will do something shady to increase some stat. Often even something criminal that doesn't even really benefit either them or the company.

But the question is, "How is Bose dealing with this case?". If they just deny it I'm going to want proof, which this case may yield. Or my not. Because of the trial, I really doubt that they'll acknowledge that they did something they shouldn't have.

FWIW, I've put Bose on my "tentative boycott" list. If I hear something convincing I'll take them off. If they brush it under the rug, eventually I'm move them to the "solid Boycott" list, with an "I forget why" reason.
Additionally this has refreshed in my memory a post someone wrote (who? when?) that claimed that Bose audio equipment was no longer top quality. I've never been sure how accurate it was, but now it's going to come to mind whenever I hear their name.

OTOH, this has reconfirmed my desire to avoid apps. Especially those where the source code is not available. (If it is available, I'll want to build it myself from the source code, because who knows that the downloaded version is the same as the one the source code that it purports to be an instance of.)

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