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Comment Watch the differences! (Score 4, Interesting) 345

Something that we've found incredibly useful here and in past workplaces was to watch the _differences_ between Gimpel PC-Lint runs, rather than just the whole output.

The output for one of our projects, even with custom error suppression and a large number of "fixups" for lint, borders on 120MiB of text. But you can quickly reduce this to a "status report" consisting of statistics about the number of errors -- and with a line-number-aware diff tool, report just any new stuff of interest. It's easy to flag common categories of problems for your engine to raise these to the top of the notification e-mails.

Keeping all this data around (it's text, it compresses really well) allows you to mine it in the future. We've had several cases where Lint caught wind of something early on, but it was lost in the noise or a rush to get a milestone out -- when we find and fix it, we're able to quickly audit old lint reports both for when it was introduced and also if there are indicators that it's happening in other places.

And you can do some fun things like do analysis of types of warnings generated by author, etc -- play games with yourself to lower your lint "score" over time...

The big thing is keeping a bit of time for maintenance (not more than an hour a week, at this point) so that the signal/noise ratio of the diffs and stats reports that are mailed out stays high. Talking to your developers about what they like / don't like and tailoring the reports over time helps a lot -- and it's an opportunity to get some surreptitious programming language education done, too.


Submission + - Teach high school kids all they need in 4 hours

mshuflin writes: I am going to be volunteering in a couple of weeks to teach computer classes for a program with works with students doing community service and/or restitution. They want me to teach 4 sessions of 1 hour each, and they want me to choose things which will be helpful skills for school or a job. Given this limited time, and considering that the students vary in age from 13 to 18, as well as skill level with technology, What should I focus on?

Submission + - AT&T to Block Content For RIAA/MPAA

Nom du Keyboard writes: Several sources are reporting an agreement between AT&T and the RIAA/MPAA alliance to block copyrighted material on their network. And as has been pointed out, AT&T has a lot of network, meaning most packets traverse a piece of it at some point. Money quote: "As AT&T has begun selling pay-television services, the company has realized that its interests are more closely aligned with Hollywood." Nice to know that their interests aren't aligned with their paying customers any longer.

Submission + - Why did Stephen Hawking cross the road? (

iheartkiiki writes: "Stephen Hawking was crossing a highway in his wheelchair when he became stuck in a semi-trailer's grille and was pushed for miles before the unknowing driver was pulled over, police said on Thursday. His wheelchair became hooked onto the front grille of the truck, which reached 50 mph during the 4-mile trip down the highway. Witnesses reported that the light turned green, so the truck took off, never seeing the wheelchair in front of him. Hawking's deteriorating health limits his movement, and he uses a hi-tech gadget to communicate by blinking. Reports are coming in that witnesses saw Hawking blinking like crazy as the truck took off from the intersection. Hawking thankfully escaped unharmed, blinking, "It was quite a ride," police said."

Submission + - MIT powers lightbulb wirelessly

kcurtis writes: According to the Boston Globe, MIT Researchers lit a light bulb remotely. The successful experiment to lit a 60-watt light bulb from a power source two meters away, with no physical connection between the power source and the light bulb. Details about WiTricity, or wireless electricity, are scheduled to be reported today in Science Express, the advance online publication of the journal Science, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said.

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"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer