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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 Re:Bitcoin was not dead, nor is it "back" (Score 2) 106

It could go sky high and still fail in its mission.

Indeed, it couldn't go sky high and not fail in its mission. With those kinds of rapid value changes and deflationary tendency, it would, under those circumstances, prove itself to be a valuable commodity, but it would be a very poor choice for a currency. Alas, goldbugs usually don't understand the difference...

Comment Re:How did they calculate? (Score 4, Informative) 36

In the physical literature about the n-body problem (n 3), sometimes reference is made to the impossibility of solving the n-body problem (via employing the above approach). However, care must be taken when discussing the 'impossibility' of a solution, as this refers only to the method of first integrals (compare the theorems by Abel and Galois about the impossibility of solving algebraic equations of degree five or higher by means of formulas only involving roots).

See here.

Comment Re:We can only detect planets they pass their star (Score 1) 90

We can confirm the ecliptics for billions of star systems; no exoplanets are required, given that the majority of stars are part of multiple star systems. And there's no reason to think that some bizarre unknown force causes systems with only one luminous member to align their ecliptics in a way that systems with multiple luminous members don't.

Comment Re:True, but statement is too narrow. (Score 1) 90

Almost as disturbing as their failure to acknowledge that there may be dozens of species of jumping spider that are currently unknown! Indeed, these are just two of the many things that might be true that they fail to acknowledge in their paper on a particular study that wasn't studying those things....

Comment Re:poorly researched article, if at all (Score 1) 528

And it took only actually watching the video to note that it reads -45.9ft when it hits the ground, so if that is to be taken seriously (assuming it isn't damaged), the take-off point was about 45ft higher than the house, and true altitude above ground was over 300ft at the point it was shot.

Comment Re:80 versus 200 with no points of reference (Score 2) 528

200 feet is still pretty close.

Yes, but if I shoot someone's car who parked is on the street 200 ft outside my property and assert it was my right because he was parked "too close" to my property, the law is not going to consider "pretty close" to be close enough.

Airspace in general is the public domain. At what point it above your property it becomes yours is a legal grey area.

Comment Re:Why does his telemetry show ground being -46ft? (Score 1) 528

So when it hits the ground, telemetry shows -45.9ft which means he was actually over the neighbor's house at 154ft and not the 200ft he claims.

You fail basic math; the difference between 200 and -45.9 is 245.9.

Also, it was well over 200ft at the start. I didn't go frame by frame, but I did manage to pause at very close to the right point and it appears to read 262ft when shot. That would suggest a fall of over 300ft if the -45ft at the end is taken seriously, but I suspect it might just be damaged at that point...

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