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Comment Re:It's a nice framework (Score 3, Insightful) 110

Could you give some examples from your own experience where the community has been problematic or not "grown up"? I've been using Rails for awhile now and have yet to run into anyone besides people trying to get good stuff done for their clients or companies, just like everyone else. What I *have* run into is a willful ignorance on Slashdot surrounding Rails, and more seriously, Ruby, which is a great language and really very similar to perennial Slashdot favorites Python and Perl.

Comment Re:I like the PHP suggestion. (Score 1) 346

I thought we were talking about good languages for beginners? If so, I think the size of the community is only relevant if there is not enough documentation or code to read - definitely not the case for either ruby or python. Now, if we want to enter the realm of professional programming, I agree that the number of able and available programmers for a given language is a very important concern. I personally think both python and ruby have sufficiently sized communities to be worthwhile, but certainly not the size of any of the other languages you mention (well, more than ObjC, but that's a bit of a special case, eh?). In any case, we don't need to saddle beginners with the same boring concerns we have when choosing technologies for professional work. (Also, you missed C# and Java for app and server side web programming - both are far from irrelevant - and I agree that node.js is very interesting and the future of server-side may well be javascript)

Comment Re:learn the standard way (Score 1) 346

1. The people referred to in the submitter's question. 2. They are non-technical people who only want to spin up something useful quickly - regardless of your biases, the web (or perhaps mobile) is their game. I'll take your bait - if you are writing code that makes a computer execute in a particular way, you are programming. Your view is very narrow and pointlessly insulting to many people. Perhaps re-think it?

Comment Re:learn the standard way (Score 1) 346

Eek! Makes me wonder if you're 1) trolling, 2) realize that's absurd but think it's 1337, or 3) think it actually makes sense. Whichever it is, these people have *no* use for asm or tcp/ip, little use for C, and should learn something simpler than PHP, like Python. Maybe a good list for their next iteration through the "what now?" knowledge acquisition loop though, if you reversed the order. Also, I would note that a great way for non-technical people to actually understand how computers work, perhaps on their path toward your number (1), would be Petzold's Code.

Comment Re:what do they want to do? (Score 1) 346

Seems to me the implication of the poster is that they want to get ramped up quickly doing things that people can use easily, soooo... no, not kernel hacking or high performance networking or high reliability system design. You're right about iP(hone|ad) apps, Android apps, web apps to run on those and other mobile platforms, web apps to run in normal browsers, javascript games, facebook games. Actually looking at that list it's fairly obvious where to start - javascript (and I would go ahead and add jQuery right from the get-go).

Comment Re:Q: How should a non-techie learn programming? (Score 2, Insightful) 346

Hmph. This reminds me of a recent article about how the author had been scared off of Vim numerous times because people kept telling him to turn off his arrow keys, don't use "simplified" versions like GVim or MacVim, etc. No. This is wrong-headed. We don't teach people number theory right off the bat because that's what "real" mathies work in, why would we teach non-technical people C and (good lord!) Haskell just because that's what "real" techies use? These are great, useful languages, and there is plenty of time to learn them, but learn something simpler first. Scheme is a great suggestion, but you throw it in the list with the other two like they're all equally good for learning - they aren't. Scheme, Smalltalk, Python, Ruby - these are all simple languages with great depth to them with (especially the first two) wonderful teaching-oriented communities surrounding them. Agree with the sentiment that D&D tools, like how most people learn Visual Basic for instance, give a pretty skewed view of what programming is about and are not great ways to learn.

Comment Re:I like the PHP suggestion. (Score 3, Insightful) 346

This seems to be the basic content of ~80% of replies in this thread. Acknowledging the danger of being accused of fanboi/hater-ism, I simply don't get what makes PHP good for beginners. All criteria you've mentioned are true for all modern web stacks. Let's take python for instance (even though I think ruby is in fact easier for beginners, it seems Slashdot is a ruby-hostile crowd) - hosting, check - well documented (disagree that PHP is but ok...), check - error messages (the fact that there even *is* a crazy hebrew one in PHP makes this laughable but ok...), check - immediate reward and feedback when you refresh a page, check - real world uses, check - natural learning curved towards better/more advanced programming, check times a bunch over PHP. It is also far more readable and consistent, does not encourage shoot-yourself-in-the-foot-isms to the extent of PHP, has generally better libraries, a very similar scalability and performance story, and equivalent if not better frameworks surrounding it. So I ask - what actually makes PHP better for beginners? Is it just because we all began our web programming in PHP so we think that's the right way, or does it actually have redeeming points? Now, Drupal and Wordpress are a couple of the most excellent and hit-the-ground-runningest of the world's myriad content management systems, so if that's what we're talking about then yes, by all means, use one of those to spin up an easily extensible site or blog very quickly and bring PHP along for the ride, but I see no reason to start from *scratch* with PHP. (Not meaning to flame, though it comes off that way - I'm very curious what you (or anyone else) believe makes PHP easy for beginners.)

Comment Re:Notification seemed like phishing (Score 1) 71

Yes! And when I got it there wasn't much info about it online - I'm still not 100% convinced that it is real, even seeing it on Slashdot. It *screams* phishing - it's from domain that sounds similar to facebook, but isn't and it entices you to go somewhere that presumably will ask for personal information (the opt-out part). I'm not touching it with a ten foot pole until I hear more about it.

Having said that, I *would* like to opt out of the settlement. While I don't feel that any of my privacy rights were violated by a public site where I knowingly put certain personal information, I also don't have any interest in being a part of the legal extortion perpetrated by law firms who bring class action suits against large corporations where the class gets nothing and the firm gets millions. Read the fine print - the law firm is entitled to a third of that $9.5 million that will be donated to some random non-profit (anyone have information on them??). So for those keeping score at home, law firm - $3,166,666.00, facebook users whose privacy was supposedly invaded - $0,000,000.00. Makes my skin crawl.

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In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle