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Comment Re:Give up (Score 1) 435

I'm 39, I've been programming since I was 6. I relate to this completely.

I observe, as Alan Kay has observed, that the industry is fad-driven and youth-focused. I remember when Node.js was exploding out, and asking myself, "What's the big deal here?" People were getting insanely excited about... ...call-backs. As if it were this bold new paradigm in programming.

I think what happens is that young people get into programming, discover some idea, and then hype the fuck out of it. Other new programmers hear this idea, their brain explodes, and they start tapping the shoulders of all the other young programmers. Next thing you know, they all want to learn this programming language and it's the best thing in 4ever.

I have a very hard time getting excited about most "new" technologies; I have a very hard time getting excited about most "new" **ideas.** Reason being: I see very little that is new in them, a lot that is very old, and I see terrible implementations behind them most of the time.

I often find myself asking:
* "Why not just use TCP sockets, cron, and a couple hundred LOC, rather than importing this entire massive technology stack?"
* "I hate to be a jerk, but do you know it should only require about 12 bytes of data to store each entry here?"
* "Have you thought about using shared memory here?"

I see far more work going into sorting out and arguing for technology stack X vs. Y, rather than in what the problem actually is, and what would be the simplest and most direct way of solving it. Then our energy is lost in upgrade hell, attack vectors, and work-arounds for simple things that are very basic but didn't happen to be included in the stack.

I have seen more code written in work-arounds and patches and side-solutions and configuration systems, then it would take to simply just write our own solution -- with total control, all versatility required, easier flow, and far fewer places for bugs and attack vectors to arise.

So, I don't care about New Language X, or New Technology Y. I can learn the pieces of it as needed, but I just can't work up the exuberance for it.

Television

Men Are Sabotaging The Online Reviews Of TV Shows Aimed At Women (fivethirtyeight.com) 858

FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article today which accuses men of sabotaging the online reviews of TV shows aimed at women. The publication cites an example of "Sex and the City", a show which apparently won plenty of awards and ran for many years on TV, getting hammered by males on IMDb. Compared to women, who amounted to 60% of the people who rated the show with an average of 8.1, men gave it a 5.8 rating. It's not an isolated case, FiveThirtyEight says, citing several other instances where the male audience has downvoted shows aimed at women audience. From the article: The shows with the largest proportion of male raters are mostly sports, video game web series, science fiction and cartoons. The programs with the highest proportion of female voters are -- at least the American ones -- mostly from The CW and Freeform, the new name of the network previously called ABC Family. This list is pretty hilarious. Beyond the top 25, shown in the table above, male-dominated shows of note include: "Blue Mountain State" (92 percent male), "Batman: Beyond" (91 percent), "Batman: The Animated Series" (90 percent), "The Shield" (90 percent), "Ballers" (90 percent), "Justice League" (90 percent), and "The League" (88 percent). "Star Trek: Enterprise" is the most male-heavy of the various official live-action Trek enterprises, while "Battlestar Galactica" still managed to grab 15 percent of its ratings from women, which is somewhat shocking. For women, other skewed programming includes "Private Practice" (71 percent female), "Gossip Girl" and "Gilmore Girls" (67 percent each), "Grey's Anatomy" (60 percent), "Scandal" (60 percent), and "One Tree Hill" (59 percent).

Comment Reverse Calculate Average Lifetime of Civilization (Score 1) 267

I'd be interested in seeing a paper that estimates the maximum lifetime of a technological civilization, on the basis that : (A) the estimates given are right about the number of stars, how many habitable planets are in the goldilocks zone, etc.,., (B) we are not atypical, and then (C) that we have not encountered signals from any radio emitting civilizations.

We might find that there would be so many technological civilizations, that technological civilizations should only exist for a few dozen years. Or we may find that they are so rare, that it's extremely uncommon that they overlap, and they may well last for several millennium.

Comment A More Radical Position (Score 0) 197

I have developed, in 30 years of programming, to a much more radical position. Technical debt and mounting complexity are major problems, and I want to see a splinter movement within programming that defies the contemporary orthodoxy on how to solve these problems.

Object Oriented Programming is not a solution.

Refactoring is a failure as a solution. INSTEAD: We need to say "NO," from the get-go, to unnecessary technologies. Yes, refactoring is needed, but we've been talking about refactoring for decades now, and we still have so many problems. We need to say "NO" to new technologies, wholesale; To be much more skeptical and dubious of technologies. Don't import a whole system, when you're only really using only 1% of the technology in it. I see so many technologies in use in workplaces, where only 1% of the functionality is needed. (I'm looking at you, Celery.) These massive systems have security flaws, bugs, and inflexibilities, that require custom patching and regular necessary upgrading and updating. They are built on top of other massive systems that have security flaws, bugs, and also require patching and updating. Yet because of "We don't want to implement something that someone else has already implemented better, and actively maintains for us," I see decisions made to get the huge big massive honking thing that ** isn't actually needed. **

When you have 10,000s of lines of glue code, to glue your systems together, and you're actively maintaining them against one another, ... and the alternative was to write a 500 line program that would do EXACTLY what you want, and is easy to modify and understand, ... ... something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

When you're sending massive REST calls in series, with HTTP headers and payloads and everythings, ... ...when a single maintained TCP stream would do just fine, sending 4-byte packets back and forth, ... ... something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

I said above that Object Oriented programming is not the solution. I maintain that. I think we need to seriously re-evaluate what the heck we're doing. I propose that we look at the notations we are using in writing programs. Forth has a radically different notation. APL has a radically different notation. There is great expressive power in these systems. They are compact and powerful. I have come to see that smallness is a great virtue -- not baroqueness.

A great **design** can make a dramatically smaller technology footprint. We're so focused on agile methods, that we don't see that a design can have a dramatic minimizing power. It's not about waterfall. Designs can be iterated after all. If the design has a small footprint, modification is quick and easy. The entire program can be rewritten in a reasonable time, if the design is little.

I am not writing this to convince anybody. Rather, I am writing this so that fellow programmers who resonate with what I'm saying are encouraged. These ideas are very much in the minority, and are drowned out by the mainstream orthodoxy of programming. But I believe that serious programmers who have been looking at what is going on can recognize what I'm saying here. I would like to see more expression of challenge to the orthodoxy here.

My Pointers for more information, for the interested:
* http://suckless.org/philosophy
* deep study of Chuck Moore's ideas on programming
* http://www.colorforth.com/1per...
* Alan Kay's ideas on programming
* the design of the TempleOS, which is extraordinary and powerful while minimal
* "Software Survivalism" and "Neo-Retro Computing" (Sam Falvo)

Comment Electric Motorcycles (Score 2) 130

I'm eagerly anticipating affordable electric motorcycles.

I think Brammo and Zeros are rated at ~ 200-500 MPG equivalent?

That's way better mileage than even a fully loaded (everybody standing) bus gets in peak hours.

The problem with the electric motorcycles today is the price tag. The prices have dropped recently (from, say, $19,000 to $14,000, with ~$12,000 for very low end bikes that can't go very far,) but they need to go down further and increase in range.

Comment Re:LARP? (Score 2) 16

That'll have to be a pretty sophisticated VR system. It'd have to be one that taps into your nervous system, can make you feel like you're actually exercising your muscles as you walk, and one that has a hell of a force feedback mechanism, so that you not only can't walk through walls, but can actually feel them with your hands.

In case you missed it, check it out at: https://thevoid.com/ .

Comment Music is a parasite (Score 1) 189

Music itself is largely a social parasite that feeds on various cognitive triggers for opportunities or rewards. It is much like a masturbation device used to trigger sexual reward mechanisms. At its best, music relieves frustrations.

I only say largely, as music also has social functions, akin to giving a masturbation device as a gift to others, or using a masturbation device in group sessions to further social cohesion. Only coincidentally, music concerts are more popular than "jackathons".

Going further with the analogy, music industry is not very different from porn industry, neither in how it abuses people's primitive reactions, nor in its ruthlesness. And to say that music industry is just as dependent on musicians, like Albini, as porn industry is on porn stars. They are free to do something else, but they choose not to.

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