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Comment Re:It depends... (Score 1) 343

A friend of mine once released some code with a hash named "%global". Labeling it clearly didn't stop purists from complaining about it.

But yeah, I know, global state exists because there's a real world that exists, and the code is supposed to have something to do with it.

My point is that no programming discipline is complete until it re-invents global variables under some other name-- but it has to be called something different to get it by the censors.

Comment Re:Wow, another paid-for article (Score 2) 343

This site used to be a respite, A place for techies to go to get away from those evil advertisers.

Look, what makes you guys think this lukewarm whining is even going to register on the slashdot editors? They've been listening to programmer's bitcing and moaning for decades, you're going to have to amp it up if you even want to begin competing.

(You think you've got it bad now? You have no idea what kind of stupid shit Commander Taco could come up with.)

Comment but this is truly a breakthrough... (Score 1) 277

But this is truly a breakthrough, in solar journalism at least. This may be the first time in decades I've seen a story about some new solar power idea that isn't drowning in gosh-wow enthusiasm . This is so impressive, I was toying with the idea of jumping in and defending the possibility that this technology might someday be perfected... The trouble is, I think I'd rather have a roof over the roadway where it can act as a sunshade (in CA) and keep the snow off (in places you probably don't want to rely on solar anyway, but what the hell).

Comment Re:And this is why (Score 1) 295

You know what's really fun? I've had UPS delievery refuse to leave a package on my doorstep in West Oakland-- there are limits even to their stupidity-- and take it back to the central shipping office way over at the Oakland Airport. They gave me only a few days to get over there and pick it up before it would be returned to sender.

I know this is a wild and crazy idea, but if the place that's shipping to you is actually closer that your local post office... why didn't you just go and pick it up there?

Seriously gang: tradeoffs. Either you run a recieving office with someone on staff during business hours, you send you packages to your work place presuming they have a recieving office, or you just use something like the USPS with a place nearby you can pick up missed deliveries.

What you don't do is insist on using a delivery service that abandons your packages outside and then act shocked when they get stolen.

Comment Re:It's an US problem only? (Score 1) 295

Most other countries leave the seller or courier liable until they get a signature, meaning they don't just leave boxes out in the open like they seem to do in the US.

It's really only the private delivery services that compete with the federal post office that use this abandon the package and hope for the best approach.

This means that there's a simple fix for the problem, but that idea goes against the still-dominant ideology that The Free Market always knows best.

Comment Re:huh.. isn't it the carrier responsibility? (Score 1) 295

...when they get it wrong, hardly anyone cares.

Yes, and everyone loves working in their warehouses. But y'all have a nice life.

Me, I've always appreciated that little checkbox at to only use the USPS for my address. If you check that little box, the entire theft problem we're talking about goes away.

You too can join the commie socialist revolution: support your local post office.

Comment Re:And this is why (Score 1) 295

Pollux wrote:

I'm a fan of the USPS.

Yup. They do their best to get it into your hands-- they don't just abandon it outside and hope for the best-- and if they miss you, you get the package at a convenient post office located nearby, and they have a lot of them (yes, "brick and mortar", how pass).

This whole issue reminds me of the recurrent claims that some latest fad technology is so much more faster than an RDBMS-- they're "faster" because they're not doing as much for you, but there's reasons RDBMS do what they do to preserve data integrity...

Comment Re:The simplest solution would be (Score 1) 295

many companies have exclusive contracts with shipping carriers that cannot deliver to PO boxes

Yeah, but if you don't use Amazon, that problem goes away and you help make the world a better place.

Many companies, huh? There's a remarkable inability to diagnose a problem, if the result requires one to admit y'all fucked up by making some idiotic fad the "new standard"...

Comment Just use the post office (Score 3, Interesting) 295

Look, this is getting ridiculous. If you just use the post office for package delivery, you know what happens if they can't deliver it into your hands? It goes back to your local post office, and they hold it for you-- you go by and pick it up whenever convenient. A postal worker is not just going to abandon your package on your doorstep pretending that you live in Mayberry RFD...

This is the key thing here: UPS sucks. They don't maintain anything like the network of post offices managed by USPS, and instead they like to gamble with the safety of your packages in ways the post office simply won't.

Blaiming the USPS for being "less efficient" is crazy: they *do more* for you. UPS cuts corners, and the result is a theft problem everyone is looking for slick technical fixes for.

Comment Re:fast, efficient code? (Score 1) 37

I was trying to respond with a perl code example showing some features it has -- which are admittedly optional -- to write readable code, but slashdot is refusing to let me post them because of it's "Lameness Filter", which I think has actually let quite a bit of lameness through.

Comment Re:fast, efficient code? (Score 1) 37

You've no doubt had much occasion to experience this shittiness in your 20 years of experience, but nevertheless you see, the reason I am objecting here is that the example that springs to your mind of a perl oddity is one of the things that in point of fact never causes a single problem, and it seems peculiar that you can't come up with a more cogent criticism, particularly when one takes into account your 20 years of experience.

Comment Re:fast, efficient code? (Score 1) 37

I've been a perl programmer for decades, and the number of hours I've spent debugging issues with automatic type conversion are in the single digits, and the number of problems I've encountered with string-to-numeric conversion is literally zero

How nice for you. You must not be writing very interesting or complex software.

On more complex software you tend to use an object system that does additional type-checking for you (usually "Moose", "MooX" or possibly "Mouse"... like I said about lack of standardization...).

But I'm completely serious about this point: the perl culture has never been fanatic about the way it does things, and there are any number of issues where it was decided that things were too loose and needed to be tightened up: string-to-number conversions are emphatically *not one of them*. They don't even throw a warning, not even running with "use warnings" on (you heard of strict and warnings, right? In your 20 years of experience?).

There's something profoundly weird about the strong-typing-or-death fanatics... they've got a bad case of obsessive compulsive disorder and using a string as a number drives them up the wall, even though it *never* causes any problems. Verily, not even you in your 20 years of experience can cite a case where it caused any problems for you.

Comment Re:fast, efficient code? (Score 2) 37

My understanding is that it used to be the fastest dynamic language around, but some others have caught up to it-- it's not something I care about really, I just know it's fast enough I don't need to think about the issue.

I more interested in the fact that it's unicode support is better than almost every other language.

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