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Comment Re:Why has perl6 flopped? (Score 1) 281

Strange, I could have sworn that I replied to this with a very detailed and lengthy response... urg.

Anyway, upshot is this: Perl 6 hasn't yet had a chance to flop. It was released in beta in December of last year and continues to make steady progress. Users are checking it out slowly, but I don't expect a landslide migration. P6 will have to prove itself as a language.

Comment Re:Why has perl6 flopped? (Score 1) 281

I won't say, "I don't think it has," because it demonstrably has not.

The language has been released in open beta. It still has many properties that I think chase away those who approach it outside of language research communities. As a Perl 5 nostalgia fix, the learning curve is just too daunting, so as the beta progresses, I expect it to continue to build its own base of enthusiasts, the same way Perl did when it was first released.

So the language has not "flopped" yet because it hasn't had a chance to succeed yet.

It took Perl many years to go from a small toy that a trivial number of Usenet enthusiasts had heard of to a standard part of the Unix and Unix-like toolset. I don't think Perl 6 will gain traction any faster, especially given the learning curve. That's not flopping.

However, it has some substantial advantages over other languages. High on that list is the trivial nature of slinging highly functional grammars as first-class objects. That's something that you just can't do as easily in any other language that I know of. Perl 5 parsers and those of many other high level languages have some pretty severe performance penalties; yacc and its kin aren't dynamic enough; the various parser generators for Java are fast and mostly complete, but really painful to use.

Basically, you need a language that closely integrates grammars with the language itself in order gain the benefits of Perl 6. Here's and example parser I posted to reddit the other day:

A few other notable things that I think will draw people in:

The generalization of operators over iterable sequences and the hyper-operator version of reduction are features that you're going to hear a lot more about, I suspect. Perhaps in Perl 6, perhaps in other languages that adopt these ideas. I'm especially stunned by the utility of hyper-method-invocation (foo>>.method) which dispatches a given method over any iterable sequence of objects (whether they are the same type or not).

Full macros have not yet landed, not least because we've never had a full understanding of what macros would be. We know that they need to operate on the ASTs that represent code, and all of the self-hosting properties necessary to support that are there, but the exact syntax and semantics that are most Perl-friendly haven't fully gelled, yet. Once they do, I think that every language to have true macros in the past (mostly Lisp variants) has demonstrated the power of this tool.

A few other languages auto-generate accessors for classes, but I find the way Perl 6 does it to be a substantial improvement on the field, and it really is a joy to use. I think others will feel the same.

Speaking of objects, role composition will take some time for people to get used to, but as in other languages that have had similar features, I think this will be critical to Perl 6's adoption.

There are dozens of smaller features that are just quality-of-life benefits ranging from lexical variable/named parameter passing to the way any block can be turned into an anonymous closure and even curried. Some of these will be important to some, but not to others. It will be interesting to see it play out.

Comment Waze has ways of dealing with this. (Score 1) 767

Waze has methods of dealing with this. It's called a private installation...

But we don't just go putting them anywhere arbitrarily. We rely on local governments and DOTs to tell us where to put them. How? By determining if it's a private road or if there are regulatory signs prohibiting through traffic.

So if the homeowners don't want traffic routed through their neighborhood they need to go to their local government and get that done. Then soon as that's legally accomplished, then us editors for Waze will take the steps to prevent through routing through the neighborhood.

Comment Volume license users don't get any option.... (Score 1) 370

Meanwhile many companies don't get that option. I managed a few small companies ... like 10-20 computers each. I took the OEM version of Windows 7 Pro and replaced it with a standard install using a volume license key that each company purchased to make management easier. Well unless you have Software Advantage, they can't upgrade to Windows 10 without paying. That's ridiculous. They paid for Windows 7 with purchase of new PC. If I hadn't wiped it and replaced it with a vol license install, they could upgrade to 10 for free. But no.... So you have to pay for Windows once, then again for the volume license install, then again to go to 10.

Comment Supply and Demand (Score 5, Insightful) 605

It's the free market at work. If these jobs keep paying better and better, more and more people will get the training to go into the field and balance it out. But that's not happening because...

I teach computer information science at a college. We have a hard time recruiting students into the program because they pretty much all say they don't want to spend years learning how to be a programmer when all of the jobs are being replaced by foreigners or outsourced overseas.

The Internet

India Blocks Facebook's Free Basics Internet Service ( 137

An anonymous reader writes: India's leading telecom regulator, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), has today voted against differential pricing, ruling with immediate effect that all data prices must be equal, and that companies cannot offer cheaper rates than others for certain content. The call is a significant blow to Facebook's Free Basics (previously initiative and Airtel Zero – projects which work to make internet access more accessible by providing a free range of "basic" services. The watchdog confirmed that providers would no longer be able to charge for data based on discriminatory tariffs but instead that pricing must be "content agnostic." It added that fines of Rs. 50,000 – 50 Lakh would be enforced should the regulations be violated.

Comment Re:Being an analyst means... (Score 1) 428

Apple's non-iPhone revenue is comparable to Microsoft's *total* revenue.

As a guy who bought a 128K Mac in 1984 and has been with them all this time (except for a brief period in late 90s) I would have never dreamed a statement like that would someday be true (and oh do I wish I had, and bought the stock!)

Comment My wife got shafted for $2,000 (Score 1) 540

Last Summer we had our cousin and her two kids stay with us for a week. The boy at some point asked my wife to buy him something on his Android phone for $5, so she plugged in her payment info. He apparently saved it or she saved it accidentally. Two weeks later she noticed numerous $49.99 charges to Google Play totaling just shy of $2,000.

Comment Is it really that bad? (Score 5, Insightful) 279

OK, so $27.45 * 24 months is $658.80, that's $109.80 more expensive than the unlocked iPhone by itself. AppleCare+ is included, that's $99, so that brings the leasing premium down to $10.80 over the course of two years in Apple's pocket for financing the hardware. And then, halfway through the 24-month financing period, you get an upgrade to the latest device. Sounds legit to me, and a much better deal than carriers are offering.

If you purchased outright each year, you'd spend $648 the first year, $648 the second year, but get back approx. $300 for selling your previous-gen iPhone, bringing the total hardware cost over 2 years to $996.

This program also puts a whole lot more power into the hands of the consumer, as they are unlocked and can be used on any network. If more and more people are using unlocked phones, we might actually see some real competition in the wireless industry when it comes to things like customer service.

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