Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:Banking in Space (Score 1) 131

If nothing is holding them up (ie in free fall if they turn off their engines) then the proper bank would be at 90 degrees, not some smaller angle. Also (more importantly) the engines need to fire exactly outward from the turn (basically it will make a circle around some point the engines are pointing toward and cannot do anything else).

Best design for a ship would have the engine firing straight down when the humans are in a comfortable position. A highly maneuverable ship would fly "sideways" during maneuvers, the engine firing crosswise to maximize it's ability to change direction as it approaches an enemy. It would only fly parallel to the engine when accelerating. And it would have to spend an equal amount of time decelerating, and that is what it would likely be doing when approaching an enemy. This also points the engine at the enemy, and considering how fast the exhaust must be (seeing as these ships seem to contain very little reaction mass) that engine is much more powerful and destructive than any other weapon they have.

Comment Re: Only One Question (Score 1) 222

Ding ding ding! Somebody has actually identified the reason you cannot migrate from 2 to 3.

In 2 you can read arbitrary bytes into a string without throwing an exception. Only if you try to convert to a Unicode string would an exception be thrown, and you can do lots of stuff with strings without converting them to Unicode (such as read and write the to files and examine the bytes).

In 3 reading into a string can throw an exception if the stream of bytes has an encoding error. The "solution" is that you have to read into a bytes array. But almost certainly what you want to do with the data is pass it to another function that takes a string, and that will throw the exception (either for the wrong data type or because it tried to convert the bytes to a string). You have to rewrite every single function you will call to take a bytes array, rewriting every single thing they call, etc. This is not possible for any reasonable sized software project. It also is really annoying in that 99.99% of the time the data is a "string" in that it is valid UTF-8, and you have thrown away any easy methods of looking at them or comparing them to quoted string constants.

The "string" should have remained a byte array so it could be used for arbitrary bytes, and indexing returns the bytes. "decoding" to Unicode should have been done with iterators, which have the advantage that you can choose the iterator to handle errors in different ways, and to do Unicode normalization if wanted. The "unicode" strings (which are arrays of 16 or 32-bit items) could remain for back-compatibility but deprecated.

Something about Unicode turns otherwise intelligent people into idiot savants, where they will figure out obscenely complex "solutions" for a problem (encoding errors) that should be no more difficult than figuring out how to make your word processor not crash on misspelled words.

Comment Re:what Trump is, and isn't (Score 1) 296

No fan of Trump, but he certainly is not doing "what is profitable for himself". As a business decision running for president is a really stupid idea so he is obviously not making decisions based on what makes him the most money.

He does want to feed his ego, which is going to be a lot less predictable than "what makes Trump the most money".

Comment Re:Gnome 3 (Score 1) 402

Gnome 2 disabled the ability that existed in almost all earlier X11 window managers to work with overlapping windows, by forcing you to raise windows on click.

There was an option in gconf to turn off raise-on-click, but for some reason it also disabled the ability of a program to raise its *own* windows. This effectively makes the option useless. The obvious reason is because the designers did not want that, because it might confuse those poor Windows users (Windows also forces clicks to raise windows). The gconf included a long comment about how absolutely logical and necessary this was and how any program relying on the ability to *decide* whether to raise on click was "broken". Surely one of the biggest pieces of bullshit I have seen in a long time. And these people are still working on this, making it worse and worse.

Comment Re:How safe? (Score 1) 109

The text is designed to be copied and pasted into a terminal.

Generally this is a lot easier than "find Registry Editor here on the start menu, now click here, here, here and then scroll down to find this item, now paste in this text which is just as mysterious as any Linux command".

It is true that when it does not work there is not a lot of help.

Slashdot Top Deals

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without commenting. -- T.H. White