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Comment It's all about people machine interactions (Score 1) 692

Can't believe Acer chairman made such remark. Seriously it doesn't matter if it is a tablet, a laptop or a calculator. It is about how you can make a device that makes people machine interaction much friendly and fun to use. An kudos to Apple, their iPad is aiming at that direction. Even the tablet market is saturated, people will keep buying device that is friendly and fun to use. In fact, with more tablet software, working and learning can also be done easier on the tablet. Saying that doesn't mean that there is no chance for laptop to survive in this market. There are still many good aspect of a laptop that tablet can't provide. However, the laptop manufacturers need to be creative, and make their devices easier and fun to use. Otherwise the tablets market, especially for the iPad will continue consume the PC or laptop market.

Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

Interesting. Currently the product I am working on is targeting small to medium size enterprise. At least the clients that we deal with generally either has no formal IT department or their IT department has lesser restriction. I am not in management, but if you are correct, we may be missing those clients that have restrict IT policy, like no plugins,or IE only. A good question to ask is how often will these kind of IT requirements will be put into the RFP (Request For Proposal).

Comment Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 2) 580

I am a .NET developer and my company also uses Silverlight. I don't personally use Silverlight, but the team that code using Silverlight said that there are still many things that HTML 5 doesn't support, or at least not easily implemented compare with Silverlight. At the end, it really depends on the type of the web application you are developing and who are your target users. For enterprise users, as long as they decided to buy a solution that require Silverlight plug-in, they will install it. For consumer web app, it is definitely tougher to convince them to install Silverlight. Unlike Flash, which is well known and used, My guess is that the typical web users would have no problem install Flash since Flash is well known, while they would be hesitated to install Silverlight because they may not want to install another plugin for the sake of the current webpage that I am browsing. One thing I feel is that MS has invested a lot on .NET, and Silverlight in the past that most likely it won't stop supporting it. However, future development on Silverlight may no longer be the MS prime focus. We should still embrace HTML5, it isn't easy to get a standard for the web. Silverlight won't replace HTML5, but it has its importance on the web.

Wine 1.2 Released 427

David Gerard writes "Stuck with that one Windows app you can't get rid of? Rejoice — Wine 1.2 is officially released! Apart from running pretty much any Windows application on Unix better than 1.0 (from 2008), major new features include 64-bit support, bi-directional text, and translation into thirty languages. And, of course, DirectX 9 is well-supported and DirectX 10 is getting better. Packages should hit the distros over the weekend, or you can get the source now."

Comment Re:Rigor? That's not the issue. (Score 1) 519

Hi, I have to disagree the following points about software engineering:
A. "there's no way to learn software engineering the way Engineering disciplines are learned."
B. [Software] discipline simple doesn't exist.
C. "cannot use mathematics" design system software.

From my study in my computer engineering courses, we learn what is software engineering. Software Engineering doesn't mean just "programming", it involves many other aspect of software development, like collecting specifications, designing, implementation, testing and software maintenance.

In design phrase, software engineers have to consider the cost, quality, reliability, delivery time and many other matters just like any other engineer in the traditional disciplines.

Although it seems to there is no mathematically involve in general software design, but if you take computer science courses, you learn that your software performance rely on mathematical calculation (i.e. O(n)). If you are working on assembly level software development, you definitely require mathematically skills to solve complex problem because your software is limited by your hardware performance (memory and speed).

Just like any other engineering, software quality also based on statistic and software engineering models. Think about highway engineering, the quality of the road material is mostly base on statistical calculation. In software engineering, we have Lines of Codes, function-points, function metrics measurement and many others determine the software quality, maintainability and flexibility.

So, what is the obvious difference comparing to other traditional engineering fields? 1. The cost of correcting an engineering mistake is a lot less. If your bridge design is incorrectly, it will cost a lot rebuild or re-enforce bridge compare with solving software deflect. 2. Software "usually" doesn't have a direct impact on public safety. Billing system maybe a bad example, but think others, like automobile, airplane, traffic light, it is controlled by software. If the software crashes, it could cause death.

Unfortunately because software engineering doesn't have a total clear understand among the public, and mostly not even to CCPE I bet, therefore it is hard to distinguish one from a software engineer to just a programmer. It is probably very hard to have regulation on software that require engineer's stamp because the definition is not clear.

Does medical charting software require an engineering stamp before it can be use in a hospital? What happen if there is a defect in the software and doctor incorrectly prescribes drugs which cause a patient to die?

It is pretty much impossible to write a useful software that is flawless, even a bridge cannot participate every possible environmental hazards and combinations. It can be statistically said a bridge can last for 200 years, but it is not definite.

If you do claim yourself to be a software engineer, you have to do your job professionally with high standard and due diligence. This is a standard and common ground for all engineers in Canada. And yes, software engineering stream (usually from Computer Engineering discipline) does exist in a number of Universities in Canada.

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