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visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen May 5 at 0:43

the cows are here to take me home now...


May
4
comment Architectural differences between dynamic and static languages
@Eonil Not really my field, but I think you're asking if it can do hard real-time. I don't think so, since it uses garbage collection all over the place. Singularity hasn't been updated in a while as far as I know, but maybe someone has made something similar with a real-time garbage collector.
Apr
24
comment Why does Microsoft have such a bad reputation with the people involved in open source?
@AndresF. That's the cut throat nature of globalized business. As a developer (open source developer, even), I despise it, and I understand the sentiment of rallying against what was one of the most organized businesses at the time, but I don't excuse it -- especially when it's neither true that open source software is necessarily "superior", or that the open source community is "the little guy", or that open source is grassroots. OSS might be very ad-hoc, but it really isn't grassroots at all. It's just a different -- and often very lucrative -- income model for software developers.
Apr
24
comment Why does Microsoft have such a bad reputation with the people involved in open source?
@AndresF. It's seriously myopic to speak of "goals" whilst ignoring the potential consequences of the process. Anyone in any industry would know that offering something for free is a risk to everyone else in that business. I also mentioned Apache and BSD, but again, GPL was the most prominent and significant by far. Also, whether you think it's "superior" is completely irrelevant, just as you agree that the choice of Java and C++ and C# is subjective and pointless.
Apr
24
comment Why does Microsoft have such a bad reputation with the people involved in open source?
@AndresF. It doesn't matter whatsoever what the goal was; it's absolutely clear to anyone offering software for free that that choice, still has the same effect as dumping, and that they're gambling the entire industry. As admirable as the OSS cause is, to say that the decision to completely devalue software isn't alarming to people who in part created that business model is seriously skewed. Also, the distinction between open source and the GPL is irrelevant in this case, because, as I mentioned, historically, most significant open source software was unified under the GPL.
Apr
24
comment Why does Microsoft have such a bad reputation with the people involved in open source?
@AndresF. I beg to differ. Open source is two things: it's a marketing strategy, and it's an ideological choice. Open source was historically very much unified under a small handful of ideologically driven licenses -- namely GPL. That has changed somewhat now with licenses diversifying, but you simply can't discount the fact that historically, people were discouraged from using anything other than GPL (even LGPL was poo-pooed) or the rather more reasonable BSD license, and that that license was and is designed and maintained by a single individual.
Apr
24
comment Why does Microsoft have such a bad reputation with the people involved in open source?
@AndresF. Offering for free something that's functionally identical to something offered by several other companies at a fee is often a risk to entire industries. Why do you think the solar business in the US and EU are suffering? It's because China is offering the same thing for dirt cheap, ignoring trade laws. You could argue that it's not as bad in the software industry because the material cost of software is 0, but the fact that the current state of the software industry is okay-ish is still after the fact. It's comically trivializing to say that only Microsoft is playing hard ball.
Nov
8
comment What is the difference between Windows 8, WinRT, and Windows RT?
Not to mention, Metro UI = Modern UI = Windows Store App ≅ WinRT app. I've always been a strong critic of Microsoft's ridiculous naming changes, and they've been burnt really bad in the past. They never learn.
Oct
19
comment Which things instantly ring alarm bells when looking at code?
@KirkBroadhurst Bad commenting is bad code, because you can potentially hurt not only the human readability and aesthetics of the code, but also the human ability to keep the code maintainable in the future -- and unmaintainable code is bad code.
Aug
15
comment Which things instantly ring alarm bells when looking at code?
@MarkC I tend to group code in "paragraphs" of several lines of code all needed to achieve a single effect, and then if I do need to comment it, I'll write a comment at the top of the "paragraph": //swap x and y. How much code should constitute a "paragraph" is probably quite subjective, but I go with somewhere around 5-6 lines of code max unless it's visibly repetitive.
Jun
26
comment Should you keep a copy of all the code you write?
The line between code owned by your former employer and your memory of the code you wrote for them seems to me a bit too blurry to say that the code belongs entirely to either you or your employer. I don't claim to have a good answer to this question, but if I did, it wouldn't be predicated on any notion of ownership.
May
8
comment Can a non-programmer successfully run a software company?
Ideally of course if the company had always had a more cooperative internal culture it might not have been such a big deal, but when all the teams are actively stepping on each other's toes, it really matters whether or not the guy at the helm knows what he's doing. Bill knew how to herd all these teams and make the relevant ones work towards a common long-term goal. Steve only knows how to make a quick buck.
May
8
comment Can a non-programmer successfully run a software company?
@MarkJ Ex-vice CEO Dick Brass agrees that Microsoft is failing. Sure, it's still going strong now, but that's only because right now it's riding the residual "too big to fail" (tm) status from the Bill days. Sooner or later it's going to falter, because Microsoft's leadership doesn't know how to steer the company for the long term. The internal politics is already ripping the company apart due to the lack of substantially meaningful direction, and it's only a matter of time until it starts showing in the bottom line.
Feb
25
comment Is it possible to get formal recognition of self-taught knowledge?
-1 -- an agreeable ideal, but doesn't answer the question.
Feb
17
comment How to end my dependency on .NET?
@Rig This wasn't a "rumor" when I posted it. It was a frustrating lack of communication on Microsoft's part, and it lasted for months.
Feb
8
comment Why don't mobile platforms support generational garbage collection?
@TomSquires The GC on WP7 runs once every 1MB of allocations, actually. I think you might be thinking about the task manager kerning old processes.
Feb
7
comment Why don't mobile platforms support generational garbage collection?
@djacobson I don't think that's true. Like I said in the question, if it were just Microsoft's platforms neglecting generational GC, then it'd probably just be a logistical/bureaucratic reason, and I wouldn't bother asking. But Android suffers the same problem too, so it's likely a technical reason, which means that someone on P.SE might have a definitive answer.
Feb
7
comment Why don't mobile platforms support generational garbage collection?
@Ant The precautions that you need to take to make sure an Xbox game doesn't stutter are more or less the same as the precautions that you need to take to make sure that a PC .NET/Java game doesn't stutter. Even if non-generational GC is more predictable, the programmer can only do so much to control it, and for both generational and non-generational GC, they'll end up doing the same.
Feb
7
comment Why don't mobile platforms support generational garbage collection?
That still doesn't answer the question. Even if garbage collection used more power than explicit allocation (which is highly debatable -- and I won't get into it), the question isn't if/why explicit allocation is better than GC on mobile, it's if/why non-generational GC is better than generational GC on mobile.
Feb
7
comment Why don't mobile platforms support generational garbage collection?
Generational GC is much more efficient in most cases, actually, so you'd think that it'd reduce the number of clock cycles. It also doesn't explain why something like Xbox doesn't have generational GC, because Xboxes are plugged in.
Feb
3
comment Studies on how noise affects productivity of programmers
@S.Robins That said, I don't know if distractions that the programmer himself initiates, usually by opening a browser, necessarily counts as a distraction. Ideally if the programmer is disciplined, it wouldn't -- but that's uncertain. I also don't know if constant necessary distraction means that you would build up a tolerance to noise, or if you would be even more prone to being carried away by it, or if it wouldn't affect you any differently. These uncertainties are the reason that this is a good question that is reasonably, if not perfectly, unique to programming.