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location Argentina
age 38
visits member for 4 years, 3 months
seen 14 hours ago

Software developer and science fiction fan.


Nov
2
comment Does a programmer really need college?
Maybe a programmer doesn't need a college degree, but remember: "do not call yourself a programmer".
Nov
1
comment Can Scala be considered a functional superset of Java?
@RobertHarvey That should be posted as an answer :) Though the author was a self-admitted newbie when he wrote it, so there might be some omissions and mistakes (I'm a Scala newbie myself, so I can't tell).
Oct
30
comment Why did memory-managed languages like Java, Javascript, and C# retain the `new` keyword?
Um, what's wrong with Person me = Nil or having Person me be Nil by default and using Person me = Person() for non-Nil? My point is that it doesn't seem that Nil was a factor in this decision...
Oct
29
comment What kind of programs/solutions can only be written with OOP or are too hard to achieve without it?
@user1598390 Maybe it's specific to your country? I also live in the third world, and almost everyone assumes OOP by default. Granted, sometimes it's "horribly broken OOP" or "what I think must be OOP", or "whatever-Java-does kind of OOP", but nevertheless, few jobs consider the alternatives. By what I mean, indeed a lot of people have trouble grasping OOP concepts (myself included!), but still they assume it must be the default.
Oct
29
comment What kind of programs/solutions can only be written with OOP or are too hard to achieve without it?
@user1598390 But OOP doesn't necessarily result in cleaner or smaller code; sometimes it's quite the opposite! You'll need better arguments if you want to convince your project leaders to use it.
Oct
29
comment What kind of programs/solutions can only be written with OOP or are too hard to achieve without it?
@KeithS First time I heard XML being called OO. I guess for some horrible broken definition of OO it can be.
Oct
29
comment What kind of programs/solutions can only be written with OOP or are too hard to achieve without it?
@user1598390 That's backwards. OOP is all juniors fresh out of school know, the One True Way that's taught everywhere almost by default. On the contrary, better solutions (as suggested by SK-logic in the comments) are way harder to promote in the workplace. Everyone knows about OOP, or at least thinks they practice it. Talk about almost any other paradigm and you'll get puzzled looks.
Oct
29
comment What kind of programs/solutions can only be written with OOP or are too hard to achieve without it?
Be careful not to try "selling" OOP to programmers who are using a better paradigm for the problem at hand :) Also, I wonder whether OOP need evangelizing anymore... Even junior programmers these days know about it and try to use it by default.
Oct
29
comment What is Object Oriented Programming ill-suited for?
@Steve314 Python supports OOP, but it can be used with other programming styles. I bet TheLQ meant those other styles in his answer.
Oct
26
comment What's so difficult about SVN merges?
@MasonWheeler A Successful Git Branching Model. Where I work we do something similar. We even use feature branches on SVN. This implies that merging back to trunk is a very common operation.
Oct
26
comment What's so difficult about SVN merges?
@MasonWheeler I'm puzzled. What do you use a VCS for, then? I've seen and read that one (of the many) recommended practices is to have feature branches. Merging back to trunk is mandatory in that case. Or did I misunderstand something? (yes, the tree metaphor breaks, but it wasn't all that useful to begin with IMO)
Oct
26
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Tacroy I disagree; I think it is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of code in scientific research. Lack of code availability is like lack of availability of a mathematical proof: sure, it's awesome if you can derive your own proof. But you must be able to review the existing proof as well. Anyway, I suggest you read the Science Code Manifesto :)
Oct
26
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Tacroy I also do not expect the actual program text to be included in the paper; just a link to it. But if it IS used in your research in any meaningful way, it must be available for review.
Oct
26
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Tacroy I classify code as part of the "here are my methods" section. The purpose of having source code available is to review said methods, not to blindly run it again (which except for the case of blatant fraud, will surely produce the same results). Code IS specification, i.e. the actual method. It is NOT an afterthought; otherwise you could skip it entirely without harm to your research. Note that having a detailed step-by-step specification in pseudocode is almost the same as making the actual code available, but it seems less effort to just make the source available.
Oct
26
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Steve314 True. For the purposes of this topic, I consider a sufficiently detailed specification almost equivalent to the actual code (but remember that code itself is a kind of spec!). However, an independent review is less feasible the fewer details are available. A complex enough result will never be reproduced without a little help from the original authors -- which is why I suspect many times the code isn't available it's because the actual research is on shaky ground. Which I guess is what SK-logic above me was hinting at.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@Paul But code is important. Even if the research is not code-related, if code was used in any meaningful capacity to compute or validate the research, then it is a fundamental part of said research. Otherwise it's like publishing a new mathematical result and omitting the proof. Code IS the proof. If, on the contrary, code played no important role, then why mention it at all? Best to omit it altogether, or at least relegate it to a minor footnote.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@JimboJonny Of course, privately funded, in-house research still qualifies as research whatever they do. And indeed, plenty of research is privately funded. However, it's not conducive to scientific research if the means to fully reproduce/review it are kept unavailable. Closed source and secretiveness is just another symptom of a bigger problem with current scientific research. Therefore, my opinion is that it is indeed "a bad thing".
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
+1 Great presentation. I'm glad there are people pushing for change :)
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@JoeTyman It's fair to say we aren't talking about the case where you aren't the target audience, but about the case where you are, and still the paper is impenetrable and there is not enough info to validate and reproduce the results.
Oct
25
comment Why don't research papers that mention custom software release the source code?
@JohnL I'd say a paper can critically depend on the software without being about the software. Like an interesting property of the world that is demonstrated/found using a software tool. If we cannot review the tool, how can we know the conclusion is correct? (Or rather: it is way easier to validate it if we can see the tool!)