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Comment Re:It is great, just don't make a religion out of (Score 1) 398

So if regular programmers who form the bulk of the workforce can't grok them, the languages need to be fixed, not people.

I know what you're saying, but there's a real danger here that the industry will find itself caught in a local extremum. An engineer of 1880 could easily have said that if regular engineers who form the bulk of the workforce can't understand this "electricity", then it needs to be fixed to conform to the world of steam.

The worst thing we can do as an industry is think we know what we're doing. And in a sense, we're already there.

Comment Re:It depends on the use (Score 1) 398

If one is well versed in category theory or has spent a significant amount of time working with functor spaces, monoids, and monads, then it's much easier to understand a non-trivial application written in Haskell than the equivalent object hierarchy in an object-oriented language. The up-front cost is greater in terms of study and learning the semantics, but the end result is significantly more powerful.

I strongly suspect (but can't yet prove) that the supposed up-front cost in understanding Milner-esque functional languages is just the same as the up-front costs for Simula-style object oriented languages. The difference is that in the case of Simula-style object oriented languages, most of the up-front cost has already been largely paid by the time you come to them.

If it's any help, consider that there seems to be a significant learning cost in wrapping your brain around "real" object-oriented languages such as Smalltalk when coming from "broken Simula" object-oriented languages such as Python or C++.

We teach set/function theory and basic logic to high school students. It shouldn't be that much harder to make the very small amount of generalisation to explain the fundamentals of a modern logic-based type system.

Comment Re:functional composition (Score 2) 398

It only makes code more readable if you're familiar with it (functional programming).

Well that's a truism. Object-oriented programming is the same: it only makes code more readable if you're familiar with it.

The main distinction between the two, however, is that object-oriented programming was invented, but functional programming was discovered.

Comment ALGOL-W (Score 1) 623

I played with Basic in high school but did my first undergrad stuff in ALGOL-W. As an undergrad I messed with Pascal, Fortran and PL/I. One of my profs at the time was an author of the ALGOL 68 report, thought BCPL was cool and that C (a relatively new language at the time) was a mental disorder. He gave us an assignment in APL once. I guess I'm showing my age.

Now I do 99% of my work in C. My boss and I agree to disagree on scripting languages. I like Python. He thinks Python is ridiculous and insists on Perl for production work.


Comment Manufacturing at home, not that impossible (Score 1) 101

I know several people who have the equipment to build motherboards at home (in garages and basements). I agree that it's not common and consists of surplus equipment they were able to get cheap and would not be as efficient as a properly equipped manufacturer, but they're out there and they can do the high BGA counts of processor sockets with a high degree of success.

Manufacturing the PCBs isn't the problem; see my other post.

Comment Datasheets, not electronics or cases (Score 1) 101

To make a competitive system, the real issue is, is the ability to convince Intel or AMD (or any other processor manufacturer) as well as BIOS/EFI vendors (if you're not going to write your own) that you are serious enough with enough resources to be successful in designing a system and maintain their IP.

Probably the most difficulty somebody who wants to design/build motherboards will have is showing these companies that they have sufficient security systems and protocols in place that the processor and support chip manufacturers (if they're different) can provide you with the datasheets and other documents necessary to design systems without them becoming public knowledge (ie available to their competitors).

Next on the bill is showing that you have the financial resources to make a serious go of it as they will have to provide you a ton of support (the processor manufacturers have to have at least one person dedicated to you full time if you are going to be successful).

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