101 reputation
3
bio website silverbacknetworks.net
location Fresno, CA
age 30
visits member for 3 years, 6 months
seen Apr 1 at 10:02

Part-time programmer, full-time compression & encryption junkie.


May
18
comment Why use a database instead of just saving your data to disk?
Worrying about the difference between a hash-based and b-tree based implementation is a premature optimization. If data is in the index, it'll still be a dozen times faster than reading it off of disk.
Jul
30
comment Why can't the IT industry deliver large, faultless projects quickly as in other industries?
Also, LOTS of concept airplanes have been funded and canceled over the years, particularly military contracts. Airplanes are not good examples at all, because we don't hear about many of the (classified) failures until many years or decades later.
Jul
30
comment Why can't the IT industry deliver large, faultless projects quickly as in other industries?
To expand on what sydd said, there's a limit to how much duct tape and bondo you can put on a project before you get shut down and have to start all over. In software, duct tape and bondo are largely invisible even to your fellow engineers unless they deeply inspect your code, and project managers have no idea of what the difference even is compared to good design, so they'll demand more of it to make up time. Big software is often more body shop than mass manufacturing.
Mar
13
awarded  Commentator
Mar
13
comment Why are statements in many programming languages terminated by semicolons?
This is a great theory, but the reality is that keypunches required a shift key to get to the semicolon anyway until modern keyboard input appeared in the 70's. (There are several good photos near the bottom of the wiki article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keypunch ) It's most likely just based on natural English language rules, a fad that was particularly popular at the same time. (I would include all of the late 50's languages: ALGOL, FORTRAN, COBOL, and SQL, excluding LISP.) ALGOL's semi-colon is only one of many English-language conventions used, which BASIC later expanded on further.
Jan
15
comment How to convince my boss to improve code quality?
+1. If you don't get your team on board, getting management buy-in is going to be worth diddly squat. In my experience older teams get too comfortable this way after so many years and won't change.
Dec
22
comment Is anything in programming truly evil?
@Jas: No, my definition isn't just infliction of harm; it's infliction of harm for its own sake - obtaining pleasure in making others suffer greatly. Other rewards are secondary to the primary goal of hurting others. That's evil, in my book. You can call careless & reckless behavior evil, that's for each to judge.
Dec
21
comment Is anything in programming truly evil?
Really? "I don't care if this fails or not" is never valid, not in any possible context? Not everything done needs to be guaranteed to succeed or fail, especially in small throwaway utilities. Another case where not thinking first is the real evil.
Dec
21
comment Is anything in programming truly evil?
@Jas, if you want to go there, evil is defined as "profoundly immoral and wicked"; in other words, it's the farthest on the scale of morality. There is no hard and fast way to differentiate it from simply immoral, especially given how most people judge immorality based on their own experiences. (In my opinion, evil is causing suffering primarily for pleasure. It is the motivation, not the act, but not everyone agrees.)
Dec
21
comment Is anything in programming truly evil?
Then again, using Visual C++ 6 could be considered evil. I know some people who still do, because it's too much effort to bring the code up to standard C/C++, and in one case it breaks backward compatibility with plugins to use ANYTHING else.
Dec
21
comment Is anything in programming truly evil?
Someone will always come along and optimize a previously impossibly slow algorithm, that using previously was "evil". Times change, but superstitions rarely seem to.
Dec
21
comment Is anything in programming truly evil?
@HLGEM: Using null to mean maybe is dumb, but it isn't evil. It's just architects (using the term loosely) not thinking through the consequences of a decision, but in certain contexts it can be a valid choice. ("Null/unknown is not possible, therefore we define null to mean maybe.")
Dec
21
awarded  Supporter
Dec
21
awarded  Autobiographer