1,700 reputation
716
bio website MarkDontBlog
location United Kingdom
age 43
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen 2 days ago

Developer in scientific fields.

  • My world is vertical market shrinkwrap. Do you know your world?
  • VB6, VB.NET, C, Fortran, Perl, PHP...
  • User interfaces, graphics, data manipulation, numerical models.
  • Database stuff with Access/MySQL/SQL Server.
  • Physics degree, little formal training in development

In my young days I used to write things like compilers and chess programs for fun - but that was last millenium :)


Aug
14
comment How much should we spend on improving software security?
See also how much does a security audit cost on the IT Security Stack Exchange site. Apparently it depends on many factors including program size and type, as you'd probably expect. Similarly how much does Secure Development cost
Aug
14
comment How much should we spend on improving software security?
What sort of software is it? Do you store sensitive personal data - military data, data on identifiable individuals (health data, criminal records, bank details, credit card numbers, phone numbers, addresses)? If the answer is yes to some of the earlier points, then it's possibly a criminal offence for your boss to ignore security (depending on your jurisdiction).
Aug
14
comment Is it possible to reach absolute zero bug state for large scale software?
+1 Ran without errors for 135 missions from 1981 to 2011
Aug
14
comment How is a Java reference different from a C pointer?
+1 Doesn't garbage collection deserve mention as a specific bold point? It's another way that C pointers are more powerful but also more dangerous (risk of dangling pointers to freed memory causing memory corruption, risk of memory leaks)
Aug
13
comment Is it a bad decision to release code that is not open source
I'd also like to suggest 3. Providing the source of public libraries and APIs so that third-party developers can debug complex integration problems. For example Microsoft provide the .Net framework source for this purpose, with a restrictive license which prohibits reusing or even recompiling the code.
Aug
11
comment In what order are rows fetched absent ORDER BY clause?
Duplicate of this stackoverflow.com/questions/3764475/…
Aug
11
comment In what order are rows fetched absent ORDER BY clause?
+1 AFAICR the order is even allowed to vary each time you execute any given query on a particular database instance.
Aug
10
comment How can I deal a team member who is irresponsible and shows no commitment?
+1 and also 3) deliver key features in a first release by the deadline and others in a later release 4) delay the release a week 5) talk to employee about problems with weekend working & see whether employer can help, e.g. help with care for children or other dependants, offer paid overtime Mon-Fri, extra paid holiday after the deadline in exchange for working weekends etc
Aug
9
comment Why is VB so popular?
VB is indeed horizontally verbose due to the longer keywords. Although you don't often type them, because the IDE puts them in for you. But IMHO C# is often vertically verbose due to the curly braces. Some other advantages of VB: avoid debating the brace style because there's only one style in VB; (tongue goes into cheek) avoid developing overmuscled right little finger due to endlessly typing semicolon and brace boilerplate.
Aug
9
comment What does it mean to “promote” a file?
+1. But wait: shouldn't some specs say what should happen if someone pulls the plug? :) Transactions, data integrity, failover...
Aug
8
comment Keeping track of projects
+1. Email junkies can use a tracking app that accepts emails, stores them, and silently forwards them. They continue with an unchanged workflow (write and read emails) but the app is storing and organising them.
Aug
8
comment When comparing floats, what do you call the threshold of difference?
+1. I do always hope people ask their coworkers about these naming questions as well as posting here.
Aug
6
comment Writing Tests for Existing Code
Would you really add failing tests to a program that is working well (the OP says)?
Aug
6
comment How much time can I spend learning at work?
An enlightened employer will realise that a permanent employee needs to improve themselves in order to maintain & improve their productivity, and will encourage it. An enlightened employee will work with the employer to strike the right balance between personal improvement and actually delivering products by deadlines.
Aug
6
comment How much time can I spend learning at work?
What does your boss think?
Aug
4
comment Is there a way to prevent the editing of HTML and CSS contents in a page using Firebug-like tools?
+1 for a simple, clear, question that is relevant to many people. We were all noobs once.
Aug
2
comment How to incorporate existing open source software from a licensing perspective?
+1 You do not need to be a lawyer to answer this question. These are well-known licenses, popular because their terms are well understood & simple & tested in court, and therefore you do not need a lawyer to answer this question. That's precisely why the licenses are popular.
Jul
27
comment Is it OK to learn an algorithm from an open source project, and then implement it in a closed source project?
@Andres Algorithms are patentable, but not copyrightable! Like the answer says. Patent issue is irrelevant to the question, if we assume the open source project isn't violating any patents. If it is, then you can't use it as open source, nor can you re-implement it.
Jul
26
comment How does a non-technical manager add value to team of self-motivated software developers?
Joel quote probably adapted from here?
Jul
25
comment Why use an OO approach instead of a giant “switch” statement?
@alternative The full Knuth quote "There is no doubt that the grail of efficiency leads to abuse. Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the speed of noncritical parts of their programs, and these attempts at efficiency actually have a strong negative impact when debugging and maintenance are considered. We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." Describes the OP's coworker perfectly. IMHO back2dos summarised the quote well with "premature optimisation is the root of all evil"