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Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 158

My problem is (and always has been) that Larry Has Opinions. And lots of those are expressed in such a heavy-handed manner: the language syntax, the intrusive keywords, the proudly gnomic and condescending tone that early on propagated down through Perl user groups, that they are off-putting ...

You see, this don't sound like a technical dispute to me.

Comment Re:Stupid python comment (Score 1) 158

Ah, well, "local" assigns a temporary, dynamically scoped value to "$/", defaulting to an "undef", i.e. undefined.

"English" is a module that provides alternate, more readable names for the old-style globals like "$/". It hasn't really caught on, so my point is that using it would be a source of confusion for different reasons.

It is however, pretty funny that on a typical unix box a "man English" will take you to the docs for an odd perl module.

Comment Re:Stupid python comment (Score 1) 158

By the way, the Perl 6 way of doing this is:

# read entire file as (Unicode) Str
my $text_contents = slurp "path/to/file";


And the same thing can be done in perl 5 with the CPAN module Perl6::Slurp:

I look forward to hearing why Python's chained method call syntax is so much more newbie-friendly than a single, colorfully-named built-in command.

Comment Re:Stupid python comment (Score 1) 158

Well, in some ways this isn't a bad thing to bust perl on, because most of us would agree that doing something like a "local $/;" is a bit of cruft we're stuck with for legacy reasons. But on the other hand, neither form is something that a beginner would know without being told, really you're going to need to be handed an example to learn it, so the actual practical difference between the two isn't that huge.

Interestingly, there have been multiple attempts at cleaning up this particular cruft but none have really caught on: the trouble is all perl programmer's understand it already, so if you do something even slightly different, like: use English; local $INPUT_RECORD_SEPARATOR = undef; You can end up damaging readability in an attempt at improving it.

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 1) 158

The Death of Perl has been greatly exaggerated. The difficulty of doing useful work with Perl has also been greatly exaggerated. It is nice having folks like yourself come out of the closet on what your Real Problem is... all of that pretense about making astute technical judgements is all a cover for "Larry was *mean* to me!".

Comment Re:The Hunting of the Snark (Score 2) 158

wheelbarrio wrote:

I understand you're proud of Perl 6: that's great, but I'd be more convinced as a developer or manager of developers to take a deeper look if you could demonstrate with examples how teams of mixed experience and aptitude have built complex, performant, maintainable software with it, rather than throwing ill-judged stones at the competition ...

Oh yeah? Well if you're so smart you'd tell us how you managed to avert world war and achieve world peace in our time before you take pot-shots at someone who's software was instrumental the development of the world-wide web, the human genome project, etc...

I know it's a terrible, terrible thing having to listen to someone say something nasty about Python for once, but you know, perl programmer's like myself have had to deal with several decades of treatment like that, you might just suck it up and keep rolling...

Comment Re:Or bash it with actual proof... (Score 1) 470

"I'm fine putting it in starving nations and letting nature sort it out, but I think eating it directly is premature, since I have a choice." We've already done a large-scale experiment. England banned GMO foods, but the United States didn't, and eats a lot of them. The major health problems that have resulted in the US because of this are...

Comment Re:Stopped using it after they fucked up the UI (Score 1) 97

Are you *sure* it's an improvement when using a touch screen? I've tended to assume that that must be the idea, but when I actually talk to people who use, say, Android phones, they're often bemoaning the fact that the "native apps" never work right, and they'd really like to switch to the web interface, but many sites make that hard to do...

Comment Re:The Google Maps UI is fucking unusable. (Score 1) 97

My complaint is a little simpler: the UI keeps changing, and never works with my preferred browser settings. I continually need to move to a virgin browser profile just to figure out what it's supposed to be doing, and whatever improvements they're going after, it's never apparent to me at all. Yeah, for simple stuff I almost always just use The search feature is fussier, but I can deal with that. For public transit directions seems to work a little better (though that's Bay Area only, I think).

Comment Re:What in the world is a snap? (Score 5, Insightful) 207

Okay, so software libraries were invented to have a standard place to put shared, common code, which allows bug fixes and so on to be applied in one place.

And so stuff like "snap" packages are much less annoying, because every app gets it's own different versions of the libraries.

But this means that if, for example, you try to fix a bug by updating a library, the snap package that uses that library won't get the fix, because it's go it's own variant of the library.

And to actually fix a bug in a library, you need to update the version embedded in each snap package...

(Someone please tell me this is wrong.)

Comment Re:I see this with nuclear power (Score 1) 416

"So you have 'big oil' and 'big wind' both fighting to keep nuclear power from becoming a viable option in the minds of the public and the policy makers." That's not Al-foil hat territory, it's pretty well documented that the fossil fuel industry was using solar power freaks as "useful idiots" back in the 70s when the Shoreham nuclear plant fight was going on. See "Pandora's Promise".

Comment Re:The Wizardty of Chemistry (Score 1) 221

"Yes.. sugar does in fact have calories and amazingly those drinks have their calories and sugar content listed on them.. "

Yes, it's just thermodynamics! Except that it isn't because there's a human being in the loop acting as a control system, and so there are complicated psychological and physiological effects going on that no one seems to understand terribly well.

Are high carbohydrate diets bad? Then how do you explain the Japanese?

Are high fat diets bad? Then how do you explain the French?

Could it be that sugar is a particularly bad form of carbohydrates? Well sure it could be... but if all you've got is an argument from correlation (sugar intake up => obesity rate up) then you don't actually know much, because it could easily be something more complicated (economy up => sugar intake up plus economy up => gasoline intake up).

In conclusion: (1) Shit is complicated. Don't believe anything but a full lifestyle, cross-cultural comparison, (2) What you shove in your mouth matters less than if you get off of your butt, (3) "We need more willpower" isn't a solution or there wouldn't be a problem. Kill your automobile.

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