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Comment because you can have powerful abstractions in text (Score 1) 876

The reason is related to bootstrapping. The computer runs its instructions, you have to still have a translation from what ever layer over it to the form the processor handles.

Yes you can use images and graphics that represent functionality and bolt things together. But customisation will still be required and that will probably fall back on using a keyboard. And that same abstraction can be turned into another graphical representation that just happens to be built from a few quickly entered taps on a keyboard such as "map(some_function, some_data)" - that for someone experienced in their chosen language assuming it is expressive enough to have an equivalent is able to be typed in about as much time as it takes to reach for the mouse and start moving to the appropriate button to click or icon to drag.

When you add context sensitive completion in your chosen advanced IDE filling in items is made even quicker.

Then when you need to drop to some lower level to create some new abstraction you are already there.

What's lacking in text based coding packed with powerful abstraction (increasingly so in newer languages to the point I see lots of good programmers reinventing rather than learning the facilities already there - shows there could be too many) is the strategic overview. That is where I think good visualisation tools come in. People scoff as outdated things like Data Flow but it's the kind of thing that gives a good overview of the system but every tool for that or (to me the rubbish) OOD tools fail to give an easy flow.

The failure of linking code to the design adequately is probably that too much code even on large things like GCC are hacked together (I mean coded) rather than as is done in places having a design at the top and the functionality in each region coded. In other words decomposition because in reality no one person can understand the details of each area along with seeing and reading all the lines of code.

What I'm getting at with the design separation from coding is that up to a point just code with the powerful abstractions in text form is more than adequate for the job. It is only when a system passes a boundary of complexity that the graphical overview grows valuable. Even then you can probably represent the assembled system textually more than adequately using another form of abstract, but still textual, representation.

Finally there's a practical difficulty. We still mainly use keyboard and mouse. Personally I think that will always trump touch and visual input and only be surpassed when we start wearing communication caps and think to interact with the computer (I'm bypassing speech input as always being pants).

Comment In affect Google aren't allowed to advertise (Score 1) 292

Seems mad. Google might want to advertise their services so they seek out the most successful on line advertiser which is hmmmm Google? So they place their adds with them self and charge the going rate for advertising your own products which is nothing; meanwhile the users are completely able to go use a different search because unlike the world of OS or proprietary office formats the users aren't locked in?

I don't get it unless members of the EU Commission all happen to be iPad users:-)

Comment Re:It's also worse for the environment (Score 5, Insightful) 497

That's crap.

In the long run intensive farming destroys the productivity of the soil and the side affects of the run off fertilisers severely harm other neighbouring eco-systems like waterways. So in the short term yes "modern" intensive farming boosts production but long term the balanced more "natural" organic approach is sustainable because it nurtures a healthy biodiversity. Go and read the UN millennium report on biodiversity and human health, perhaps the biggest pulling together of science on the affect of man and farming practises.

Comment great artists die young (Score 1) 247

OK no evidence for that.

My first thought was "if you don't know then don't do it unless you want to die young.". Realistically you have to as others have said treat it as very dangerous unless you know just because you know that circuit boards and potentially components are made with chemicals and metals. Although they do get made into mouse mats so can't (you'd think) be that toxic.

Comment Confusion (Score 1) 194

What will inevitably be the case is confusion. Like now with phones and mobile phones people barely know what their bills mean or if the option they have is the cheapest for them according to all the bit of this and that deals available. Thus will be the case with provision of the internet until some genius comes up with a simplified service where you charge one fee and just use it, how radical would that be (in 3 or 4 years time I mean:-).

Comment Re:Where can Nokia compete? (Score 1) 475

I think Nokia brought in a former Microsoftie to run their company because they knew they were going to be licensing WP7. I'm sure they are getting a crazy good deal and plenty of promises from Microsoft. It's probably the biggest gamble that Nokia was willing to make and I think it's only going to prolong their descent into irrelevance.

I think they brought him in with the expectation that all roads would then lead to Microsoft. Rather than the way you put it; but the result is the same. Which is a sign Nokia are desperate.

Comment Re:Qt (Score 2) 475

I disagree with regards Qt; Qt has moved along beautifully to this point where QML really is the best solution to quick production of apps for devices as targets that I've seen and comes as a great SDK. The problem has been taking too long to commit to Maemo/MeeGo, if they'd thrown themselves fully at it two years ago the OS under Qt/Declaritive apps would perhaps be quick enough for the applications to appear as slick as Android and iPhone ones. The hardware and facilities on the N900 are as good an anything in the market but they put the wrong type of screen on it and the OS just isn't quick enough (compared to Android).

Comment Re:Same phenomenon as the mobile app market (Score 1) 154

I've bought about 12 books for my Kindle so far and 11 of them have been priced at £0.00. So I'm with the suspicion that they are including those in the numbers for what sells the most.

And I'm disappointed with the one book I have paid for; it doesn't really fit well even in landscape so I think I'll be sticking to web pages, pdf and Gutenberg items after that one failed purchase.

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