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Comment Re:It is great, just don't make a religion out of (Score 1) 116

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) 116

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 1) 116

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 Re:What's changed? (Score 3, Interesting) 136

The problem is that social media reduces us to the way we present ourselves. While that certainly is part of who we are, it's not the whole story.

One of the most popular maxims of ancient Greek philosophers was "know thyself", and the reason they considered it important is that it turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds. You think you know yourself, but chances people who spend a lot of time in close physical proximity to you understand you in ways you don't.

But online your identity is mediated by how you present yourself. This is not only inevitably somewhat dishonest (in ways that may be more obvious to others than to yourself), even when you are trying to be honest you at best are presenting who you think you are.

Comment Re:"The science is settled" (Score 1) 52

Some of the science is settled, certainly. Methane is a greenhouse gas; nobody expects that to change. Atmospheric methane decays primarily through a long, well-documented chain of reactions starting with oxidation by the hydroxyl radical; the carbon in the CH4 eventually ends up in a CO2 molecule. This is nothing new, and nobody expects it to change.

The precise dynamics by which CH4 interacts with hydroxyl radicals in the atmosphere is far from settled science, and nobody should be particularly surprised that there are things about the process we don't know. Not knowing some things about a process doesn't mean we can't know other things about that process.

But some people obviously do believe it means that. They do not distinguish between not knowing everything and knowing nothing. Implicitly requiring scientists to know everything before you consider science credible makes everything a matter of opinion, and all opinions more or less equally valid, at least as far is evidence is concerned. And it's easy to see the attraction: if everything is a matter of opinion you can believe whatever you find comforting. Why not believe Adam and Eve rode around on dinosaurs? After all scientists don't know everything, which means science is never "settled".

But of course settling questions with evidence is what science is all about. True, there is no science so settled it cannot be attacked; but there *is* science sufficiently settled that claims to the contrary require extraordinary evidence.

Comment Re:I believe it (Score 1) 65

I've been saying this for years: the reason that the same stupid security holes keep popping up is that they keep showing up in the tutorials that people use to learn new systems and languages.

The cognitive burden of learning a new system is rough on most people, so it's tempting to make things easy on them. In fact you might have higher satisfaction from students if you do. It certainly makes them feel like they're learning more for less effort if they can make something happen that looks right. But you should never, ever model a bad practice for beginners, even if you have the intent of going back and explaining to them that they shouldn't do it that way. It's better to say, "OK, you don't understand this particular bit, but don't worry I'll come back to it later."

Comment GPU (Score 1) 63

So it is basically Android x86 which is indeed an unstable pile of shit - unless ran on the hardware that the "owner" of the x86 project provides from a parallel commercial company he runs

I strongly suspect that most of the problems with android kernels are the hardware drivers : for the GPU, the wireless chips, etc.
(because there aren't much kernel drivers which support android's unusuall ABI.
Most free/libre linux kernel drivers use GNU/Linux's DRI API for graphics instead of Android's Flinger)

Here the situation is a bit different :

- in the special case of the GPU, anbox uses a facility which is normally used by the emulators (like QEMU) for accelerated emulated graphics.
Graphics command are recorded by the container android compositor, and then sent to a daemon on the host whose role is to draw them on a regular Linux desktop over OpenGL.
There's no requirement for the host to support Android's ABI.

- network is isolated. guest can't have access to the actual network device (no direct Wifi chip control). container usually sees only a bridge device.

- Bluetooth isn't currently supported inside the container.

So once anbox leaves beta, it might end up being more stable than x86 android counting on special kernel API/ABI

Comment Microsoft tax vs. Bloatware (Score 1) 94

Dell sells Linux laptops.

Not on all of them, and not in all market.
But still, Dells are so much popular, that even for the few Lattitude that you can directly get with Ubuntu pre-installed, you can just pop your Suse CD in and install a tumbleweed, because of popularity, lots of people would have tester a tweaked what is necessary for the distro to work out of the box.

And the Microsoft tax is a myth. All the demo software they tend to put on pays for windows plus a bit more so Linux laptops can often be a bit more because they are unsubsidised.

Yup. Totally agree with you. That's why I was saying :

linux laptops not only come *without the Microsoft tax* (making them a bit cheaper), they also come *without the Bloatware/Crapware bonus* (making them not heavily subsidized by "Punch the Monkey to win big prizes !" and "Let's siphon all your data straight to all the marketeer we an find".

Comment Go and try (Score 1) 63

Except virtually no Android apps even bother to make their apps work well on slightly larger tablet screen. {...} But for the vast majority of Android apps, the actual UI experience is designed for an approx. 6" diagonal vertically oriented screen with only touch-input. Virtually no apps are designed or redesigned to even work well on a slightly larger tablet screen.

My personnal experience differs (10" asian tablet here).
Of course, your personal annecdotal experience is just one data point as well as mine.

But I've seen several applications which work flawlessly on the 10" portrait (16:9 widescreen) tablet.
None of those that I regularily use pose any problem.
(Of the top of my head: Firefox, VLC, Google Maps, Google Calendar, the finding/renting software of a couple of car-sharing services, a few games, several chat programs both personnal (Skype, etc.) and professional (Cisco WebEx, Adobe Connect), Orbot (=tor), ConnectBot, ES Files, Netflix, Spotify, etc.)
They are either trivial (e.g.: Orbot - it's just a single "Start TOR" button in the middle) or they are correctly adapted.

And again, what the parent poster misses most are a few key apps (banking OTP / 2FA) which tend to have a trivial layout.

Any non-trivial app will absolutely suck to use on a 27" horizontally oriented screen using a keyboard and mouse.

Yes, I get it, like me and most other people on /. you're a dev. We tend to have our IDE open full screen on giant 27" 4k desktops, full with tools box and other small windows which completely clutter the screen.
But you, me and the rest of /. aren't typical users.

Most more "regular people" I know - even those with Linux installed on their laptop - tend to be of the 13-15" laptop HD screen crowd.
And again, thank to the same extension that enable side-by-side display on tablets, Anbox should allow you to open application in windows.
So in the end, it's not the a smartphone game will be so much scaled up, that you can see individual pixels, each the size of your normal desktop icon.

It's more that a laptop user will be able to open a small/medium window with an android app running inside.
Not that much different than any flash games.

Hell, WINE or a virtual PC environment will give you much better apps than Android will.

If the app do actually have a Windows desktop port.
There are a lot of people who use their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet as their main computing platform.
Thus there are a lot of things which are primarily targeting pocket devices.
e.g.: There is no such thing as a desktop Windows or Mac OS X verison of Instagram.

the typical non-dev hobbyist who's likely to install Linux on their laptop, would be also more likely to be interested in trying android-only apps on a laptop.

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