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Comment C'mon — 73.6% of all statistics are made up. (Score 1) 546

Those numbers "about half of all software engineers have a degree" [wikipedia]. "Nearly half of the software developers in the United States do not have a college degree. Many never even graduated from high school" I haven't been able to find a single study that confirms those statements, and it isn't corroborated by my own experience. Even if they were real, what would they even mean?

If all people who write programs of all type are included, the number may have some validity, but in my team which builds software that runs an advertising network 6 of the 8 software enigneers have a degree. The two outliers are a developer with twenty years experience building software, and a senior graphic designer who is holding an internship level software engineering position because the company wanted to support his desire to change careers. Across the engineering department, a hand full of engineers have degrees which aren't computer science, but very few of them have no degree at all.

Building software is a lot like other skills, skill sets vary. You don't hire a detailer who you pay $20/hr to wash cars to paint a car if you want car-show quality results; you hire an auto-body expert and pay him $100/hr. Similarly, you might hire any old contractor to build a garage, but you don't hire any old contractor to build you a thirty story building — you hire a real architect, and a real engineer. On the same note, you can't hire someone who just "can program" to build a system that runs a business of much scale.

Comment The torch release was similar (Score 1) 260

The device was virtually unusuable due to the sheer volume of bugs in the touch-screen interface. I've had one, for almost a year, and it's now quite reasonable (a dozen firmware updates later) but at first, I had such problems as not being able to select an email or phone number if it was not on the first page-full of a list, because when I did, I would get the item that used to be at those coordinates when I was on the first page full.

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 1) 348

And developers using file access APIs in Windows can get case sensitive behavior. It's just a single FILE_FLAG_POSIX_SEMANTICS flag to CreateFile and friends. It's actually easier to do that in Windows because it doesn't require a reformat and reinstall.

Only on slashdot would anyone take this kind of time, to talk in this level of detail about the windows API regarding case sensitive file names in a thread of commentary which had nothing at all to do with what you are talking about. The shame in /. is to tap into the wealth of knowledge that's is it's reader base, you apparently have to float around and make baseless trollish remarks and you will get in response a wealth of information, no matter how tangential.


Firefox With H.264 HTML 5 Support = Wild Fox 477

Elledan writes "Two countries have software patents which make it impossible to freely use video codecs such as AVC (H.264). This has led to projects such as Firefox not including AVC support with the HTML 5 video tag in their releases, which makes the rest of the world suffer indirectly the effects of software patents as well. To rectify this situation at least somewhat, I have created the Wild Fox project, which aims to release Firefox builds with the features previously excluded due to software patents. This software will be available to those in non-software-patent-encumbered countries. Any developers who wish to join the project are more than welcome."

Comment Only if you don't use VIM (Score 5, Insightful) 394

VIM renders text-area as a grid. This is compatible with column-area selection, and other features it supports which frankly I use nearly daily. While I've honestly considered using proportional fonts — I've tried living without VIM, switching to Eclipse or IDEA for several months at a time to give the IDE experience a full opportunity. Doesn't work for me, so neither will proportional fonts.

Besides there seem to be more reasons not to use proportional fonts than to use them:

  • Lot's of people align assignments, this will look terrible.
  • Several formatting techniques (newline before curly bracket) depend on the width of whitespace.
  • Occasionally code contains tabular data which is easily formatted for digestibility using fixed-width fonts.
  • Occasionally, although rarely, comments may contain diagrams or ascii-art figures which would be rendered useless with proportional font.

Reasons to use them:

  • You might be able to read the contents of your code up to 14% faster, if you don't run into the issues above...

Comment Re:Oh, Dear (Score 1) 532

Are you guys crazy? Microsoft has "troubles"? Microsoft is laying off 5000 people...out of 91,000. That's 5.5%, relatively light for this economy. Sony is laying off 16,000 of 185,800 people leaving it's slashes at 8.6% (incase your arithmetic isn't up to it, that's 63% more people relative to the size of the company). The company I work for (I won't mention the name) last year cut a total of 139 of 800 people including three senior executives, registering at 17.3%. Now that's a troubled company. Microsoft is running very strong. Their profit margins remain in the 20s despite the hardening economic times they continue to run without an annual net operating loss and maintain an enormous cash position. Microsoft is in no way "troubled". They're being very conservative about even being prudent, given the state of the economy. They could probably afford to -- and might benefit their shareholders if they did -- live without double the number of people they are cutting.

Comment Re:Language Compatibility vs. Class Libraries (Score 1) 271

OOP is not one tool too many, it's just a tool that's used inappropriately all too often.

Object Oriented Programming *can* lead to incredibly elegant application designs, high separation of concerns, easy feature-scalability and very flexible and agile code.

The problem typically is, that programmers focus on the wrong things when building an object oriented application. They worry about things like how to use inheritance, which is probably the most over-valued feature of OOP. They create objects which are large, upside-down in structure (utility base classes!?) and couple data and functionality arbitrarily (making data objects have functionality that is not intrinsically exclusive to that data, is a common error in OOP).

Java programs can be elegant. But usually, they aren't. The fault is not the language, or OOP. The error is the operator.

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