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Comment counter strike (Score 2) 254

IANAL, but almost none of the original series or movies used "officially licensed" uniforms or props. They just used whatever the costume department or prop department came up with for an episode. From movie to movie the outfits were always different. Even from season to season, in many cases. What then, do any of the genuine-looking costumes or props have anything in common with the licensed ones which are generally plastic toys, or are made of cheap fabrics that are poorly stitched or just outright glued together? I'm sorry, if Paramount is going to put this bird-cage fodder in their requirements then they, too, need to seriously commit to improving the quality of the products they're trying to force on the fans. The only other logical option is revise the requirement so that people trying to make a believable fan fiction are allowed to use self-made articles of, unquestionably, higher quality than the mass produced garbage and NOT SELL THEM. Because that's how you respect the trademarks and copyrights, to not sell knock-offs to undercut their bottom line. Maybe something for the CBS folks to consider is that THE STAR WARS FRANCHISE DOESN'T DO THIS CRAP TO THEIR FANS. (They do other crap, but not this. ;) )

Comment You get what you pay for. (Score 1) 222

[Caveat: I've worked for large companies in this space since 2000 and do this for a living. I also am a avid supporter of open-source software and an active contributor to GPL and Apache-licensed software projects.] In order to try to sidestep some of my personal bias, I'm not going to recommend a solution, but I will let you know what the drawback is to using an open-source solution for this kind of thing and where the line in the sand is for what a large implementation would want, say a Fortune 500 company, vs. a small brick-and-mortar company or medium size business. For a small company who runs their own hardware, and has a few IT guys selecting the stack and has little or no budget; then the most likely solution that will work is one of the popular open source frameworks. Even more so for a medium-sized company because if IT is running the show then there is enough hands-on-keys to work around all the obstacles and find solutions to common problems, growing pains, customizations, etc. There comes a point, though, where the inflexibility of these systems shows through and the design of these have you painted in a corner so much so that you're virtually rewriting half the stack to do things they way you wanted it. On the other hand, if you wanted a simple solution and the design fits your needs then that's fantastic. You don't get security as a guarantee so unless you have a network admin with a brain, you're going to have some serious problems one day. Once you get out of that space, though, in larger companies the first thing that you don't have is an IT-run solution. Sure, you get a server maintained by a more general IT group of admins who really don't want to look at someone's code to figure out why the server is performing or not performing. It's not a question of ability or talent, it's because they're much more worried about keeping the exchange server running, keeping sharepoint up, and possibly 25 other production systems. So troubleshooting a server used by the marketing department is not something they would want to sign up for willingly. This is generally the point at which all open-source solutions fall flat; because once you want to customize them, apply regular updates, etc then it requires some level of support. The open-source products generally require so much customization that the supportability and upgradeability is questionable at best. So either you use a commercial product designed to be upgraded, or you use an open-source product and put more sweat equity to keep it patched over time. More importantly, many of these solutions do not scale terribly well in some areas compared to the larger enterprise systems. If you're trying to serve 50+ internal users and publish content to be viewed by folks in the millions, chances are you're also willing to actually pay money for a system that was designed for that kind of thing. As scary as they look, this is where the scale of things like J2EE start to make a lot more sense. It's no good to try to have a single point of failure (aka one single Authoring content server) when the daily operation of your website can be monetized in the hundreds of thousands. Putting J2EE aside (as I have for the last five years), unless you're using platform built for horizontal scale then things like failover or on-demand scaling will really bite you hard the moment the server goes down during that critical close of the quarter -- when everyone and their cousin is trying to meet their deadline. So back to the recommendation: Use an open-source solution but only after you've assured yourself that you have the resources on-hand to keep it running, and it will absolutely meet your demands of scale now and in the future. Otherwise whatever you put together today will just get chucked in the bitbucket within 2-3 years. Same goes for commercial products too, but generally speaking if you're in a position to pay for one of those then you're also likely to invest in your people to support them as well. Either way, you get what you pay for whether it's the license/training cost of commercial vs. customization and salary time for someone to maintain something that was "free." Free software means freedom, it's not always free from an operational perspective at the end of the day.

Comment Re: The biggest bug is still present... (Score 1) 126

Install the open jdk if you want to avoid the nag of bundled software. It's curious to see how easily people complain about freely provided software when the advertising partnerships are part of how some people keep the lights on. You may not like the ask toolbar, nobody does, but would you rather pay for a license to use the JVM?

Comment Re:Netbeans is looking just fine (Score 1) 141

I assume that there is some type of application for which NetBeans is as good as (or better than) Eclipse - that application is NOT desktop/standalone Java application.

As someone that maintains a java-based emulator for several years I couldn't disagree more with that.

As a long-time Eclipse user, I moved to NetBeans for just short of two years before the delay when starting an application and the very flaky dependency building (when multiple projects are included in the final application) drove me over the edge and back to Eclipse. In Eclipse you hit "debug" and it starts debugging the application. In NetBeans you hit "debug" and it starts to compile. Change code in Eclipse, hit save, and quite often the application continues with the new code. In NetBeans the on-the-fly debug changes are unreliable and slow (another compile cycle).

Then you are doing it wrong, dude. You should make sure to check "Generate debugging info" under the compile settings for the project, which eliminates the need for the IDE to do it on-demand later. You can connect the debugger to a running instance by clicking "Attach debugger" as long as the process has JPDA enabled already. I do it all the time when I do J2EE or Sling-based dev work since the app servers I run locally have JDPA enabled for that purpose. If you're debugging a desktop app then, yes, you must tweak the parameters ahead of time, or just remember to run with debug instead of clicking "run", but that's minutiae and can be easily resolved by a little self-organization (e.g. decide if you are debugging or not before you launch the app) As for the flaky dependencies, were you using a Netbeans-defined project or a Maven one? If you define your project as a maven project then not only do you get simplified dependency management (which I use without any issue with both large reactor project structures as well as sibling-level dependent ones) but you also get CI support for Hudson/Jenkins. Incidentally, Netbeans can talk to Jenkins directly if you configure it to do so. If you were using a maven project structure and you still couldn't get it to work then you might have been doing something wrong (or just violated the KISS principle somehow.)

Comment Netbeans is looking just fine (Score 4, Insightful) 141

I've been using Netbeans since version 3.6 and am quite pleased with how it works, even in the recently released 8.1 beta. I've tried JetBrains and it seems fine enough for what you pay for (except the maven support feels very clunky and not very seamless, IMHO.) But feature comparison vs. price paid? Netbeans wins, hands down. I've tried Eclipse many times over the years also, but come to the same conclusion: I still don't personally like using Eclipse. Therefore I keep going back to Netbeans because it has 90% of what I need and there's plugins for the other missing 5%. The rest? I have a command line and I'm not afraid to use it. You can use whatever tool(s) you like, but I've been coding in Java professionally since 2000 and you can uninstall my copy of Netbeans when you pry my harddrive from my cold, dead hands.

Comment It's supposed to look that way (Score 3, Interesting) 167

There are a number of titles on NES that I can think of such as Empire Strikes Back which only look correct on CRT or anything that does proper NTSC color artifact emulation. (and actually sonic games on genesis too!) I've written a game editor for Apple // graphics which uses NTSC artifacts as part of the editing experience -- and also part of the image dithering/conversion algorithms -- and believe me: It makes a huge difference when you are designing graphics with a 6-color palette where you actually get an extra handful of extra "fringe" colors when using some combinations. If you are still unsure, use an emulator with NTSC emulation (Blargg's is great) and then switch over to plain RGB. There is a huge difference. Also, a final note on this (Caveat: I am an emulation author and this information is in a very well written wikipedia article on Y'UV if you want to fact check me...) You will NOT EVER get the same colors from RGB than you get from a CRT. The color spaces are different. Emulators can simulate (and in some cases very well) what an analog display does, but it only goes so far. In the NTSC-to-RGB conversion process you wind up having to transform from one color system (Y'UV) to another (RGB) using some rather simple math but then you also have to alias the results to fit the values (which are often outside the 0-255 range). There are colors in the Y'UV spectrum (I'm talking about the Apple colors but there are some on Atari and NES too) that are so saturated that they look completely neon, and those colors actually don't exist in the RGB spectrum at all so you wind up with a rather muted look compared to the real thing. A scan doubler is okay I suppose for this, but really if you want it to look old school nothing beats the real warm glow of a CRT. If you want to play retro games on an RGB screen, just use an emulator. They're cheaper, and if done correctly you're lucky to ever really notice a difference. :-) I think that you can take a Raspberry Pi and make a dedicated emulator solution for 20% the cost of this scan doubler solution and be just as happy if not happier.

Submission + - OpenShot Video Editor Achieves $35k on Kickstarter, Final Goal in Reach! (kickstarter.com) 5

JonOomph writes: The popular open source video editor, OpenShot, has less than 39 hours remaining on popular crowd-funding site, Kickstarter.com. The lead developer, Jonathan Thomas, has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot.

Comment Re:Low tech solution (Score 1) 301

Linux users could use the Gnome-shell-timer extension, which is perfect for Pomodoro. Of course cell phone timers work well. My most productive weeks look like this: 1) Spend the first hour of the day going through the list of to-dos. If anything is too vague or undefined, I either need to set aside time to research it, or if I break it up into small measurable pieces. These are key because crossing them off later lets me know I'm not a total f**k-up. 2) I keep this to-do list in a very simple editor called "Focus Writer" which occupies the full screen when it is active. This prevents me from getting immediately distracted. 3) Once I get the tasks listed, I prioritize them. Usually the ones that are absolutely important go to the top (criteria: If I skip this will the customer or my boss yell at me?) 4) I stick to the list. I really should try pomodoro because I too get way overly distracted. You're not alone. Damn internet. My core non-web programming tasks get done faster. Why? Because when I'm testing non-web apps, I don't have a browser open. I don't have to google how to solve basic javascript problems. I just get stuff done. But when I'm dealing with a quirky browser behavior with extJS or jQuery.... yeah, where did the time go? And why am I reading TheOatmeal again???

Comment This is old hat (Score 1) 149

I don't see how someone reinventing the wheel should get /. coverage. WorldEdit, a very popular plugin, already has javascript integration. Also, check out GroovyBukkit for groovy integration that is incredibly easy to use. I did one-liners in Groovy to, say, lay rail tracks wherever you're standing if you are holding a rail in your hands -- that way you just walk and the tracks follow you. I have a 100-line bot named "David" (named after the Prometheus character) which helps non-op people obtain things without having to bug me all the time -- it's basically a switch statement and a lot of regex. Anyway, back to the point: It is extremely trivial to write a minecraft mod if you know how to code already. Writing a mod that is actually useful and doesn't crash the server -- that's another story. My only advice is to learn how to manage threads (so that uncaught exceptions don't crash the main server thread) and write watchdogs into your code to avoid infinite loops. :-D -B

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