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Comment Re:The correct order (Score 1) 624

Code Complete is a very important book in terms of trade craft, and was written at a time when MS was writing credible code. I, However, consider it part of a trilogy that includes Writing Solid Code.

A dissenting view about the usefulness of this book. I read the book, and I found that while often technically interesting, it was lacking in general principles and too focused on C. IOW, unlike Code Complete, it's no classic.

Comment Re:The correct order (Score 1) 624

For theory, a book that I seldom see recommended, but is deeply important as at least some programming is procedural, is Composite/Structural programming.

That would be because you have got the name wrong.

So could you please give the correct name, or the author's name? I am actually interested in finding out more about such a book, but I couldn't locate anything seemingly relevant after a quick Google search. Thanks in advance.

Comment Re:car show analogy (Score 1) 277

Where have you been for the last fifty years? Ever heard of that new electronic gizmo that's all the rage now, "television"? :) (Or maybe I've just been wooshed hard... :)

Moreover, the top executive of the most popular French TV channel TF1 once even tricked himself into aknowledging as much: Patrick Le Lay. The link refers the French language Wikipedia, sorry, but let me translate quite literally the key sentence: "What we sell to Coca-Cola is time of available human mind." And that sentence is not an accident, it is part of a very elaborate line of reasoning he was exposing there. Another earlier sentence reads : "basically, the job of TF1 is to help Coca-Cola, for example, sell its product." Etc.


Comment Re:The smell of slashdot in the morning... (Score 1) 298

Wow ! Your post is full of amusing self-references. Let me me point them out for the "unwashed masses" that have now come to populate this very site, Slasdot.

What a misleading title, it is not even in the same continent as the article.

I mean, having a title as benign as "You're Doing It Wrong", what could go wrong, indeed. I mean, people and their hyperboles!

A large number of people obviously didn't read the actual article.

You're new here, aren't you?

And I guess Knuth has quite a fanboi community on slashdot. I wonder if he really appreciates that ?

Yeah, the grapevine has it that he's become complacent, reveling in fan adoration, procrastination, undecision and maybe various drug abuse (but what will not old age excuse?), leaving him unable to finish or abandon his major opus that he began more than forty years ago... Maybe he needs counsel about what to do from Brian Wilson, or maybe some coder luminary?

Some of those who did read the article, does not seem to know the difference between a binary heap and a binary tree, and even the pretty strong clue to the difference in the text, did not make them go check wikipedia.

I know of someone else who could have checked Wikipedia about cache-aware/oblivious algorithms...

10 out of 10 for selfesteem, but 0 out of 10 for clue.

I have a feeling your own self-esteem goes up to eleven.

Those who think CS should be unsullied by actual computers should make sure to note this belief on their resume. (Trust me, everybody you send your resume to will appreciate that.)

And what about those who thinks they can shoot from the hip computer scientists without spending half on a hour researching prior art in their favourite search engine? Especially when said research matter has been opened for at least a decade, is taught in the Introduction of Algorithms course (as "advanced subject") at the very unconspicuous, fly-by-night operation known as "MIT" (I mean, academic institutions located in a "Cambridge" city in the USA? So obviously a scam to part the gullible students from their tuition money!), and even referenced in the eponymous text book (3rd ed. at least), also very unconspicuous. And I'm not going to google it for you, I'm sure you can learn to do it yourself.

Not one comment rises to a level where I feel a need to answer it specifically.

Particularly the ones showing you wrong or not as original you think you are.

Sic transit gloria mundi...

At least you seem to be getting better at latin citations... True, it's not that difficult with this newfangled IntraWebs. You should try it sometimes.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm just having a bit of bad fun here. Abyssus abyssum invocat, I guess.

Nevertheless, I have to say that you've deservedly gained your status as a hero coder, whereas I'm a nobody from the IntraWebs, and even I can tell that your article is interesting and informative.

But you sure have a way to come across as an overly obnoxious guy with a chip on his shoulder, and not as a guy who could have a paper accepted in a peer-reviewed publication. And one wonders when hero coders get a bad rap...

YMMV, some restrictions apply, and all that jazz.


Comment Re:Seems odd... (Score 1) 546

And the graph would be many-rooted, since up until at least the 80's, compilers were often implemented from scratch in assembler, just as it happened for e.g. C.

And then it becomes much more hairy: it's been a good long time since the habit was taken to separate compilers into a front end (lexing, parsing) and a back end (optimization, code generation) with an intermediate representation; and then there are virtual machines and translators. Imagine all the possibilities! The graph would larger than Wikipedia itself!

Comment Re:Seems odd... (Score 2, Funny) 546

So you're saying that this "Grace Hopper" character, far from being the role model for (female) programmers that the official history posits, was actually a spawn of the devil, the mother of the business programming scourge?

And by the way, what kind of name is "Grace Hopper"? A thinly veiled reference to the Plague of Locusts, I tell you! Isn't that definitive proof? Brace yourself, Jiminy!

Comment Re:Sci Fi to the Rescue...Again (Score 1) 177

Who would ever defend people who even looked like there was a CHANCE that they were guilty.

In the universe we are talking about, the legal system in question is an alien one, and not every legal case has to be argued that way (with the losing lawyer dying in the end at the hands of its victor), only the most important ones: in other less important cases, honor can be restored with some kind of settlement ...

If the government had manufactured evidence [...]

You're mostly right up to this point: in the book (which is actually not Whipping Star, but The Dosadi Experiment, the second book in the series), a powerful alien faction commits massive (planet-scale, multi-generation) human and alien rights violations...

you would never find out [...]

... except Jorj X. McKie, agent extraordinaire of the Bureau of Sabotage (a government agency outgrown of the need of curbing bureaucratc efficiency, if you can imagine that!), finds out...

all because no lawyer would take a hopeless case.

... and takes on the hopeless endeavour of fighting the case on enemy ground (the byzantine alien legal system, of which he is the only registered non-native lawyer), knowing full well that he must win (for the sake of all what's good, but also love and revenge), and that if he wins, he'd have to kill his opponent (a female from the alien faction) and by doing this he'd be committing murder / stellar casus belli / trespassing jurisdiction / being rude or some other gross and terrible thing, I can't remember. How will he get out of this quagmire? ;)

I hope that was how all those Frank Herbert books ended. Corporations running the planet and corrupt governments going unchallenged.

Sorry to disapoint! :)

From my summary, you can see clearly all the pulp elements in the book (Rightful Retribution, yeah!), but they make for an enjoyable read, and really there is a lot more to it than that: in true Frank Herberts's style, the book has very typical themes that every reader of the Dune series should be familiar with (individual behaviour and adaptation under pressure, immortality, mind games, etc.) And of course it's also a book that makes you think, so I highly recommend it.

Hope this helps


Comment The text (Score 1) 165

Here you go:

I have found a truly wonderful proof of the existence of God, but the margin of this letter is too narrow to hold it.


In all seriousness, here is an excerpt from the letter (with original syntax but modern spelling—all in all, it is still readily legible even today—don't know if it meets the "human language requirement, though... ;), as found from TFA :

[Mr Picot] m'a parlé en tels termes du Sieur Petit que cela m'a obligé d'adoucir ce que j'avais écrit de lui comme vous verrez en la préface au lecteur; que je vous envoie pour la faire imprimer s'il vous plait au commencement du livre après l'epître dédicatoire à Mrs de la Sorbonne et on n'imprimera point la 4e partie du discours de la méthode ni la petite préface que j'avais mise en suite ni aussi celle qui précédait les objections du Théologien mais seulement le Synopsis.

The heart of the matter is that after hearing well of one his opponents (Petit) by some visitors of him in Holland, Descartes has decided to tone down his rhetorics (presumably bitter attacks towards Petit) in his Meditations. He therefore sends this letter with explanations ans instructions to this effect to his good friend Father Mersenne in Paris, who is in charge of printing the book there.

Hope this helps


Comment Bringing in natural selction = lame (Score 1) 564


Why, oh why, do they have to compare a cultural phenomenon (the emergence of an elite caste (sp.?), viz. the Wikipedia editors, those who are "more equal" among the equals) with natural selection? It makes no sense at all. Darwin would make a double take on this one.

Ob. old geezer lament : where are the social science of yesterday? Do these youngsters even know of "methodology" and "skewed metaphors"? (Actually this exact text was found carved in clay on sumerian tablets. I kid you not.)

Ob. disclosure : I haven't read a word of the actual article. But it goes without saying, this Slashdot after all...



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