Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Anthropomorphism / analogies can be useful (Score 1) 303

The original analogy involved a principal (a fairly complex process) who instructs a group of students (a collection of complex processes) to go to various classrooms (a fairly expensive / time consuming task). The pseudo-code he has breaks most of these assumptions and results in a simple single threaded task calling move-to-classroom routine that is so trivial that the implementation is not even shown. His straw man analogy is thus not correct.

It could easily be the case where the analogy is correct. e.g.

  1. This is distributed system run on a server farm so the principal and each student could easily be run as separate processes and thus giving responsibility via messaging would be more efficient.
  2. Assigning a student to a classroom is an expensive operation. Perhaps many transactions have to be made, email needs to be sent, humans need to approve, etc.

In this case, implementing this system (especially with a technology such as actors) would very closely parallel the analogy and the anthropomorphism would aid in communicating the design. The straw man argument that the author dredges up is a very simple example not worthy of most tasks a software developer faces in the 21st century.

Any analogy can be incorrect. Don't use them if they're incorrect.

Comment Scala development? (Score 2) 115

Has anyone been using this for Scala development with the android-sdk-plugin? I've been working on my first Scala android app and see it as a big improvement over Java. The only negative is that I've been using sbt+emacs instead of the blessed android dev environment (which used to be Eclipse) so I've been missing some features.

Comment When to Do It Yourself (Score 1) 554

This is a pretty healthy conversation but I can still add my $0.02

I hosted my own email server (webserver etc.) from 1995 to 2005. It was very enlightening but eventually grew to be a big pain in the ass. The last straw was a power surge that fried the motherboard. (raid and backups can't help with that) and looking at the the time and effort of getting a new hardware (and getting more redundant hardware) I decided to go with a hosting service. Eventually I pointed my domains to gmail.

Every geek friend I know has at one time hosted his own email. I'd be hard pressed to find a techno-nerd worth his cred who hasn't tried this. I also don't know anyone who has continued to host their email after a number of years of feeding and caring for the server beast.

I think the big issue is figuring out where to separate you hobby from your job. If you have a classic car in your garage that you like to tinker with is fine. If you decide to do you daily 20 mile commute in your classic car you're signing yourself up for some headaches as there will be days that you will need to bumb a ride, take a bus or taxi, etc. Hosting your own email is like commuting to work in a car that only you are able to fix in an environment where there are no buses, taxis or other cars. You have to be prepared to drop everything at a moments notice to fix your email server.

You can have someone else host your hardware but then ask yourself, why not have someone else configure and maintain the software as well?

DIY is great but realize what your signing up for if you want to DIY a critical system.

Comment FIFO Queue (Score 2) 371

Like any other data storage problem you have to ask yourself how you will access this data. For me there is a high probability that I will never look at an old phone bill or gas bill. In this case you want to optimize for insertion into the data store not selection from the data store. so I stick all of these statements into a big box. The more recent ones are on top so they are automatically sorted by date. When the box fills up I shred the bottom half of the box. This makes the most common case (insertion) really efficient; I just throw the paper in the box. In the rare case I need to find an old statement, I just hunt through the date sorted statements.

Comment Re:What? No Due Process? (Score 2, Interesting) 301

I agree with you that this sort of publication of charges instead of convictions sucks.

However, your characterization of drunk drivers is just wrong. They ARE incredibly dangerous. They ARE reckless, and while they may not intentionally be seeking out people to mow down, they are showing a tremendous disregard for those same people.

Buying Chocolate when you wanted Strawberry is a bad decision. Getting behind the wheel while drunk shows a fundamental contempt for human life.

Attempting to trivialize it in the way you have is honestly quite disturbing.

Comment Re:*First post.. (Score 1) 590

Royalties for a text-book, yes. However writing a text book is not an expected part of a university professors job.

Creating lesson plans, however, is a very different animal. It's an expected and required part of your job. We (the taxpayers) pay teachers to create these plans. For a teacher to claim ownership of these plans doesn't make a lick of sense to me. Just because you 'do it at home' doesn't change it. If I write software for a company at home, I'm still being paid for that work and have no right to claim it as my own. There is no difference here.

Comment Re:The System (Score 1) 863

How does this generate extra revenue for the city over the traditional system? The real problem these systems solve (and they are very widespread) is making it easier to support credit cards for payment. That's a huge convenience for most folks who don't generally carry change. I get that cynicism is ultra-cool these days, but it's hardly warranted in this case. This is an attempt to alleviate a real problem for folks (like me) who rarely have change. I've used the system in Portland, Denver, and several other cities both here and abroad and I see no issues with it.

Comment Re:Are there more than 20 apps for it? (Score 1) 384

Simply not true. Nokia S60 has a veritable ton of apps available. Palm has roughly a billion.

It's not quantity, it's quality of experience. Neither Nokia nor Palm have really made the process of locating and buying apps very easy. The iPhone has.

Google has built a promising system for Android, and as they get more phones to market you'll see more and more applications built for it. I think this battle is going to be fought on balancing 'open' versus 'reliable'. Is apple right? Can developers not be trusted to build high quality applications if the phone is largely open?

Time will tell.


Woman Hires Stripper to Impersonate Her At Reunion 16

Andrea Wachner, like many other people, was dreading her high school reunion, so she decided to have some fun and hire a stripper to impersonate her. Wachner, a freelance comedy writer, made a documentary about it called, "I Remember Andrea." Some of her classmates didn't think the prank/film was funny, and when she posted clips on YouTube from her 40-minute documentary, there was an outcry from '95 alums. "There's definitely a contingency of people who hate me because of this," she said, adding, "I can't think of one thing you could do there where you weren't competing against hundreds of other kids. I didn't really relate to a lot of what the others accepted as the norm, and I was OK with that — it just didn't make it great. Most of the girls I knew had eating disorders. A huge percentage. I'm not scarred by it. It wasn't torture. It was not a miserable experience. But I think high school in and of itself is kind of awful."

Comment Re:Um (Score 4, Insightful) 334

The point is you don't have to do even that. The routine would look something like:

- User initiates action with the floppy drive
- Run the auto-detection routine to see what answer you get
- Spin up the drive and check to see if something is in the drive
- Compare that with the pre-spun result to see what answer you get.

Something along those lines. There are several variations on this that would work and never require you to interact with the user at all.

Comment Re:Ask for Revenue Sharing and Shares (Score 2, Informative) 315

Taxes is EXTREMELY important here. Those shares are going to be taxed as income, even though they have no cash value (they will be taxed at the current valuation of the company at the time of the award). This can be a very significant amount of cash..

You should be looking for options, which allow you to defer much of that tax burden till at least they are liquid (but be careful how the contract is worded in terms of vesting and term of availability.

Slashdot Top Deals

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley