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Comment Yes and no. (Score 1) 430

See, the flip-side is:

I don't care how good your algorithm is if it's written in an obtuse, unmaintainable manner.

There are plenty of coders (especially those new to the profession) who don't understand the value of tidy code. The smart ones quickly understand and tend to ask for some tips. That's the first (and for me, primary) reason for having a Coding Standards document.

The second reason is to reduce friction when viewing each others' code. Local vars should be 'someVariable'. Instance vars should be '_anotherVariable'. Methods should be 'SomeFunction'. I physically twitch when I see underscores in variable names.

But, a Coding Standards document should be clear on 'must-do' vs recommendations. We state that you should split multiple-clause IF statements tidily to avoid excessive horizontal scrolling. But we only provide recommendations on how to do brace placement.

Every single point in a Coding Standards document should have a defensible reason to be there.

Our CS doc is in a Wiki which lets us have a comment section for each page (and there aren't many pages overall). If anyone wants to ask why something's in there, or suggest an alternative, they're free to. The doc's existed for 9 years and is largely unchanged other than to add explanations and extra languages. We most recently added some docs on SQL stored procedure styling, since ours were abysmal - copying and pasting SQL from Management Studio's view designer is a 'go back and do it again whilst we laugh at you' offence now :)

Comment Engineering Success (Score 4, Interesting) 769

Now, I'm not a huge fan of nuclear power. Not for the usual "GAAAH! RADIATION! WASTE! YOU'RE MAKING GAIA CRY!" reasons, but because humanity (and more precisely, human bureaucracy) is often far too gaffe-prone to be trusted. Running a nuclear plant isn't amenable to cost-cutting or tight-fisted cost-benefit assessment.

But the way the affected reactors and their operators have performed has been almost perfect. Consider the fact that the buildings themselves are intact after what nature just threw at them. Pretty astounding. Sure, by the look of it, we've already breezed through several failure modes, but reaction has been halted and sea-water is readily available to keep the thing cooled without the core making a bid for freedom. Still, as I understand it, worst-case is the core splurges itself over the inner containment floor and eventually cools anyway.

Of course, there'll be a post-mortem over why standard cooling couldn't be restored, the results of which will be interesting (and no doubt, instructive).


Submission + - Commercial firewalls overpriced for what you get?

Anthony Walters writes: "We recently did some traffic throughput testing on an OpenBSD server firewall using 'nttcp' and I would like to ask slashdot readers firstly if anyone has performed similar tests on commercially available firewalls and what sort of throughput they measured, and secondly if they think that expensive commercial firewalls are overpriced? We found that at worst case on the OpenBSD firewall, with a packetfilter rulebase loaded, we got a throughput of about 850Mb/s. Which means that, when disk I/O and protocol overheads are eliminated as much as possible, an 800MB file would get transferred in under 8 seconds. More details on the test setup and results can be found here"

Submission + - Wii Laptop?

PHPNerd writes: "Now you can take your Wii with you anywhere! Engadget is featuring an article about how someone has created a Wii Laptop. Detailed Instructions on how to build your own are soon to follow. The article lists the laptops specs, has details photos, and even a video of it in action. Car rides and plane trips just got a lot more interesting."

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