Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Microsoft docs (Score 2) 418

Information about the study is here (as in listed in summary):
Documentation usage of Android Developers

Lethbridge's study about rarely consulting and updating general software documentation is available here:
How Software Engineers
Use Documentation: The State of the Practice

Robillard's study about problems with API documentation can be found here:
What Makes APIs Hard to Learn? Answers from Developers


Submission + - Developers may be getting 50% of their documentation from Stack Overflow ( 1

gameweld writes: "Software companies, such as Microsoft, create documentation for millions of topics concerning its APIs, services, and software platforms. Creating this documentation comes at a considerable cost and effort. And after all this effort much documentation is rarely consulted and lacking enough examples. A new study suggests that developers are increasingly consulting Stack Overflow and crowd-sourced sites over official documentation, using it as much as 50% of time. How should official documentation be better redesigned? What are the implications of software created from unruly mashups?"

Submission + - The Accidental Betrayal of Aaron Swartz

theodp writes: The anarchist dictum when it comes to grand juries, explains Salon's Natasha Lennard, is a simple one: 'No one talks, everyone walks.' It's a lesson journalist Quinn Norton tragically learned only after federal prosecutors got her to inadvertently help incriminate Aaron Swartz, her dearest friend and then-lover. Convinced she knew nothing that could be used against Swartz, Norton at first cooperated with the prosecutors. But prosecutors are pro fishermen — they cast wide nets. And in a moment Norton describes as 'profoundly foolish,' she told the grand jury that Swartz had co-authored a blog post advocating for open data (the Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto), which prosecutors latched onto and spun into evidence that the technologist had 'malicious intent in downloading documents on a massive scale.' Norton sadly writes, 'It is important the people know that the prosecutors manipulated me and used my love against Aaron without me understanding what they were doing. This is their normal. They would do this to anyone. We should understand that any alleged crime can become life-ruining if it catches their eyes.' Consider yourself forewarned.

Submission + - Programmer Interrupted (

gameweld writes: Some key findings from a study of 10,000 programming sessions recorded from 86 programmers using Eclipse and Visual Studio:
A programmer takes between 10-15 minutes to start editing code after resuming work from an interruption.
When interrupted during an edit of a method, only 10% of times did a programmer resume work in less than a minute.
A programmer is likely to get just one uninterrupted 2-hour session in a day.

Comment Difficulty or Popularity or Medium Popularity? (Score 2) 185

-Do we ask questions because of difficulty or because the underlying technology is more popular?
-Are javascript developers more likely to use sites like stackoverflow vs traditional means (books, mailing list, forums, etc).
-Do we underestimate javascript usage? Does javascript span more projects, i.e. I have a C# based web-project, but still use javascript for the UI.

These are the underlying questions that would have to be answered before we could derive anything from this sort of analysis. That said, in our recent study of stackoverflow questions (publication pending), we found that there was a strong correlation between the frequency of using a particular API class (as defined by google code search), and the numbers of questions asking about those classes. This could suggest questions have a large popularity component, or it could mean people are more likely to run into difficulty with popular components!

Comment This is already happenning (Score 1) 132

CNN uses this for comments on many of their stories.
The quality of discussion tends to be better, people self-regulate more crazy responses, and the comments are longer (rather than one sentence rants).

Blog sites use comment hosting systems such as disqus.
In my experience, a blog post will receive much more comments when hosted in this manner, rather than just the site's internal comment system.

Comment Different types of intelligence (Score 1) 716

Dogs have communication hands down. I've seen many dogs understand numerous commands and engage with humans well (we don't have bomb-sniffing cats).

On the other hands, I think dogs lack more "frontal" intelligence. The type of top-down intelligence that involves planning, top-down control. Perfect illustration: one of my stupid dogs trying to get to a squeaky toy with a fairly see-through blanket would try running through a blanket barrier to get to a squeaky toy. This was non-stop aggressive behavior lasting for many minutes with no top-down consideration. This would even continue if there was an opening in the blanket.


Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Submission + - Fans Convice CBS to Bring Jericho Back. (

had3l writes: After receiving a lifetime supply of nuts from fans, CBS finally decided to revive Jericho. However, they did so under one condition: "We want them to watch on Wednesday at 8 o'clock,", "And we need them to recruit new viewers who are going to watch the broadcast.". According to the network, the main reason why Jericho was threatened to be canceled was because a lot of its viewers either watch the show on TiVo and DVR or download it from the internet, making it less attractive to advertisers.

Slashdot Top Deals

The IBM purchase of ROLM gives new meaning to the term "twisted pair". -- Howard Anderson, "Yankee Group"