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The Schizophrenic State of Software In 2014

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the forgot-to-take-its-meds dept.

Software 209

jfruh writes: "The current state of the world of software is going in two radically different directions. On the one hand, server-side software is maturing, with wide consensus on tools and techniques that can be used across platforms. On the other hand, client-side programming is an increasingly fragmented mess, with the need to build apps for the Web and for multiple PC and mobile platforms, all natively. But of course, the server and client sides have to work together to deliver what people actually want."

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Another fluff ITWorld article subbed by ITWorld (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120803)

and mindlessly frontpaged by the "editors" at DiceDot. Yawn.

common platform (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120827)

If only we had some standardized, ubiquitous platform for delivering information and applications to all sorts of devices. A platform that permitted linking between apps in a sort of "web" instead of having everything be isolated and separate. A platform that didn't require approval or payoff of competing third parties. Man, I must be dreaming.

captcha: mourning

Deliberately missing browser features (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121211)

Yes, you are dreaming. Operating system publishers leave features out of their browsers on purpose to push their proprietary native app platforms. Ever tried using WebGL, the Stream API, or <input type="file"> with content types other than pictures and videos in Safari for iOS?

Re:Deliberately missing browser features (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 9 months ago | (#46121499)

Operating system publishers leave features out of their browsers on purpose to push their proprietary native app platforms.

Well, that and the fact that every technology in history that has attempted to offer native access and functionality to remote web sites has gone on to become one of the biggest Internet security problems of its generation.

Re:common platform (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121361)

Dude, you should definitely start programming in HTML5, I'm pretty sure it's exactly what you're looking for. Seriously, you can just write once, test on one device, and it will work exactly the same on every browser on every device in the world....

Re:common platform (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#46121515)

Dude, you should definitely start programming in HTML5, I'm pretty sure it's exactly what you're looking for.

Thinks that you can NOT do in HTML5:
- Use local storage exceeding 5MB.
- 3D graphics (WebGL is poorly supported so far)
- Tilt and shake gestures
- Device location and orientation
- Audio recording
- Camera
- Text to speech
- Speech to text
- much more.

Re:common platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121759)

local storage more than 5mb, you're right, can't do that. The rest of your list though... that's all doable.

Be Thankful (5, Insightful)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 9 months ago | (#46120865)

Programming is always going to be a mess and there will never stop being new platforms.

This is something to accept in an industry that is by definition always going to be on the bleeding edge of change.

It is part of the fun --- go back 30 years and it was mainframe vs. personal computer and IBM PC vs. Apple vs. Commodore --- in the 1990s hardware graphics acceleration and web browser and GUIs were the agent of change.

Ask if anyone thought Objective C or Java were going to be important programming languages on phones in 2005?

Re:Be Thankful (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120961)

Java was an important programming language on phones in 2005.

Re:Be Thankful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121019)

However, programming on phones wasn't very important in 2005.

Re:Be Thankful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121155)

Programming on phones was important in 1999 (when they hailed java as soon-to-be-on-your-phone). Mobile phones have always been programmed in something.

BREW (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121289)

Java ME might have been popular in Europe. But in Slashdot's home country (the United States), I seem to remember that mobile phones were more likely to support BREW than Java ME, and BREW's digital signature policy blocked developers from self-publishing their applications. I'm told that trying to develop an app and get it approved for all the phones of all the carriers was at least as bad as trying to develop for a game console, and few companies tried.

Re:Be Thankful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121087)

COBOL was an important programming language on phones in 1066 during the battle of Hastings.

I too can make complete sentences without providing reasoning or evidence. The extent to which Java is important on phones today is, I dare say, much greater than in 2005.

Re:Be Thankful (2)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#46121065)

*nods* and, if nothing else, it is a good indication that there simply is not one right solution and that various domains will always have pieces that suit them best. Though I do find the OP rather odd in that they are describing a single domain as 'across all platforms' and then expresses surprise that other domains have gravitated towards other solutions. Of course server-side technology is going to start looking similar to itself, just like if you go into embedded stuff a lot of it has gravitated towards a more mature consensus. So the OP kinda strikes me as having blinders on.

Re:Be Thankful (3, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 9 months ago | (#46121071)

Ask if anyone thought Objective C or Java were going to be important programming languages on phones in 2005?

Java is indeed a resource hog, but I think it's ubiquity was already embedded in the ARM platform long before 2005 - actually pretty much a given for mobile development. Objective C is much more of a surprise. Had it not been for the advent of "iphone apps" I think it would have remained relegated to the cubicles of NeXt geeks. The syntax is simply too obsucre (manufactured to obscure it's underpinnings) to attract sane developers already invested it other popular high level languages.

Re:Be Thankful (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about 9 months ago | (#46121943)

I actually find it quite delightful to work with. They managed to make something with the speed and low-levelness of C, yet with very straightforward reasonable memory management, mostly enforced by convention - so much so that ARC was possible.

Re:Be Thankful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121103)

Well, maybe. I mean, sure, programming is, in a sense, pouring thought into machine instructions, something that requires endless cleverness. So much so that programmers tend to get a little hung up about their own cleverness. You know how that works.

As an interesting aside, there's very little rigour in that process, giving a lie to the science in "computer science", despite the mathematical foundations and things like the analysis tools provided by complexity analysis. The process itself is rather un-scientific. This isn't bad, just something to be aware of. Computer scientists are much less of a scientist than the title might make you think you were.

To illustrate the point, look at just how rigorous the "white hats" are in their application of scientific method to their "research" into whatever the "black hats" come up with. It's more reminiscent of tom and jerry than it is of science. Yet they call themselves researchers and even claim to be giants of creativity, when the evidence doesn't support either claim.

But apart from that aside, most of those at the forefront of technology are neophiles, they like their newest gadgets and things. And lucky for them, there's always something new on the horizon.

The downside there, though, is that people who actually need to use all that technology and the newest programs and things are often left out in the cold because they're not quite as ready to pour money into another upgrade.

That, as well as interoperability in general, thus both the making the new thing work on older hardware as well as making it work with other people's (and *cough* other companies' *cough*) things, is a bit of a blind spot for us techie technologists.

Point in case: The article appears to mostly talk about http, and little else. Bit of a myopic worldview, no?

Re:Be Thankful--Good news (1)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | about 9 months ago | (#46121123)

Excellent! More jobs for tech weenies...at the cost of turbulence.

Re:Be Thankful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121141)

This seems to actually mirror the organization within the company I work for. The server teams have their shit together everything designed and specced out, and generally work 9-5. Client teams are full of tired and frightened people frantically hacking one mess on top of the last mess, with 'design' passing as something somebody sketched on a post-it note once.

If I was being charitable about it, I'd say it probably has something to do with client software being visible to executives, who love to throw new requirements out whenever they feel like it, seemingly on a whim.

Re:Be Thankful (1)

Twinbee (767046) | about 9 months ago | (#46121159)

Programming is always going to be a mess and there will never stop being new platforms.

That's like saying text encodings will always be a mess. They have been, but UTF-8 [youtube.com] has come along to save us all from the hell of multiple incompatible encodings. It's fast getting towards the stage where everyone has standardized on it. Something similar could be said for USB too.

If a beautiful OS takes off (something that ISN'T OS X, Windows, Android OS, iOS or Linux before anyone thinks I'm taking sides), and with it, comes a beautiful language (fast, terse, flexible, and allowing code that's easy to write, maintain and read), then it's very possible we could all unify our tools towards a single solution. Whether this takes a decade, century or millennium is anyone's guess, but it's surely the way forwards.

Re:Be Thankful (3, Interesting)

unimacs (597299) | about 9 months ago | (#46121345)

I agree that from a developers perspective this IS part of the fun. And what's even more fun is that there's going to be an explosion in the use of micro controllers as people figure out what's possible from messing around with arduinos and the like.

But from the business side it sucks. Also as a developer you have to be careful you don't get yourself locked into one technology. To me learning new stuff is part of what makes my job enjoyable but far too many of us get comfortable and find ourselves reaching into our middle years with skills that are no longer in demand.

So He Dislikes Spring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120869)

> "It’s a pity some people still build important apps in PHP and Spring..."

Or perhaps he means specifically the combo of PHP + Spring.

I've never had much trouble with Java + Spring, but maybe he hates that, too.

I don't see him listing any alternatives, so what are they?

Re:So He Dislikes Spring (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121517)

I don't see him listing any alternatives, so what are they?

Try Python/Django.

Java/Spring has always been a mess. Every time they try to fix it they tell you "this is the proper way to build an application". Then the next year they'll admit that it sucks, but that year's version is the proper way to build an application.

Adobe Air (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 9 months ago | (#46120879)

isn't this what Adobe Air was supposed to solve-- write one client to rule them all?

Re:Adobe Air (1, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46120899)

Adobe products are an interesting case of trying to solve systemic problems, and inevitably creating new, worse ones. Except photoshop. Photoshop is software that is just useful and nothing else.

Re:Adobe Air (4, Interesting)

gaspyy (514539) | about 9 months ago | (#46121029)

I fail to see how AIR is a problem worse than Phonegap or what Chrome is offering right now as a wrapper over html5.

Making a cross-platform game is world of pain, especially when you're small.

I was able to make my chess game [sparkchess.com] available on web, as a chrome app, as a native app for PC, Mac and Linux and for mobile on iPhone, iPad, Android tablets and phones, even the now-dying Blackberry Playbook. The game is quite complex but 99% of the code is cross-platform, there are very few platform-specific lines.

I've been considering porting it to HTML5 but the amount of work needed is too much for one man. The AI is straighforward (Javascript and AS3 are closely related), but porting the UI, the multiplayer code and then tweaking it to make sure it works with all major browsers is not something I'm looking forward to. With AIR I can keep my sanity and concentrate on features.

Re:Adobe Air (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 9 months ago | (#46121051)

I'm thinking about how flash "solved" the dynamic web page problem. Or how acrobat "solved" the persistent document problem.

Re:Adobe Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121849)

PDF was designed to solve problems for print publishing from DTP environments. You know, those guys in the corner shops you take your PDF file to in order to have 10,000 copies of it printed out, trimmed, and delivered to you in a neat little box? It was never intended to be a solution for persistent, searchable documents.

If you complain that PostScript was perfectly adequate for print publishing, I'll just assume that you've never actually worked in the graphics/print industry or read the PDF print publishing specs.

Re:Adobe Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46122137)

Being a developer for a document imaging company, I'm pretty sure that Adobe has presented it as intended to be solution for persistent, searchable documents. Which, is basically the working definition of "intended".

Given they have the facility to embed searchable text in the PDF file, and, er, search it... what would you suggest this functionality "intends"?

Stop trash talking native code (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120883)

This sounds like a sales pitch for yet another compatibility layer. Just recognize you need to compile for different build targets and set aside the time.

When a platform allows only one language (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121245)

How can a developer "Just recognize you need to compile for different build targets" if one platform runs only Objective-C++, one platform runs only verifiably type-safe .NET CF bytecode, one platform runs only Java bytecode, and one platform runs only JavaScript?

Re:When a platform allows only one language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121469)

Which platforms run only one language?

XNA, iOS, and the web (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121635)

Windows Phone 7 ran only verifiably type-safe .NET CF bytecode, and standard C++ isn't verifiably type-safe. Xbox Live Indie Games on Xbox 360 was the same way. The only language that was really usable on WP7 and XBLIG was C#; other languages required unsafe constructions (forbidden by the platform's policy) or the DLR (not present in the Compact Framework) or both. Java ME phones ran only Java ME bytecode. For a few months, iOS ran only Objective-C++ [slashdot.org] as a measure to fight the use of Adobe AIR, though Apple removed this restriction after it started to affect games' scripting. And of course, someone developing for the web platform can use any language he likes as long as it's JavaScript.

What is the problem... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120885)

... is not programs what software developers do? Oh, wait... this is 'I know cobol and I am not going to bother learning/using another language!!'...

Become a priest (or a nun). Their job hasn't change in more than 2000 years.

A Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120893)

Ditch the unnecessary desktop and mobile apps, and build web applications.

Problem solved.

Re:A Simple Solution (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121165)

I would, except the Web is the worst platform for delivering applications EVER.

So-called "standards" are not consistently supported, even when they're not shifting under your feet... CSS, JavaScript, XML, etc. all hacked-together kludges to add interactive functionality to a medium designed for statelessly delivering static documents... broken security models, latency issues, content management systems that are more time-consuming and painful to use than just programming the damn site...

I say scrap it and start over from scratch!

Unsupported web APIs (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121261)

That doesn't help if the user is offline more often than online and the user's browser doesn't support IndexedDB. This is the case for a Mac, iPod touch, or iPad running Safari. (source: caniuse.com) Nor does it help if the user runs into error messages like "Hmm. While your browser seems to support WebGL, it is disabled or unavailable. If possible, please ensure that you are running the latest drivers for your video card." (source: get.webgl.org)

Schizophrenic (4, Insightful)

uncle brad (1989490) | about 9 months ago | (#46120909)

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Schizophrenic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121199)

schizophrenic (skts-frnk)
adj.
1. Of, relating to, or affected with schizophrenia.
2. Of, relating to, or characterized by the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic elements.
n.
One who is affected with schizophrenia.

Re:Schizophrenic (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121253)

Mod parent up. This use of "schizophrenic" is both inconsiderate of the mentally ill and ineffectual for the speaker. It's based on the confusion of schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder, which is an unrelated illness. "Schizophrenia" doesn't mean "split brain", as you might naively guess. It's more like the brain bring broken. The author wasn't trying to say that software is psychotic. He should have chosen his words better.

Re:Schizophrenic (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | about 9 months ago | (#46121639)

Mod parent up. This use of "schizophrenic" is both inconsiderate of the mentally ill and ineffectual for the speaker. It's based on the confusion of schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder, which is an unrelated illness. "Schizophrenia" doesn't mean "split brain", as you might naively guess. It's more like the brain bring broken. The author wasn't trying to say that software is psychotic. He should have chosen his words better.

STFU schizo.

Wiktionary: Schizophrenic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120915)

Schizophrenic (comparative more schizophrenic, superlative most schizophrenic)

1) Of or pertaining to schizophrenia.
2) (of a person) Afflicted with schizophrenia; having difficulty with perception of reality.
3) (slang, DEPRECATED) Behaving as if one has more than one personality; wildly changeable.

Fear Not! (2)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 9 months ago | (#46120917)

We can hire 25 Elbonian programmers to deliver on time and under budget! ... no, um, we call those "features" here.

Origin of schizophrenia (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#46120937)

Feeling insecure (specially after the NSA revelations) could be the cause of that problem.

Insensitive Clod (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 9 months ago | (#46120939)

I'm writing stand alone Desktop programs.

haxe language (3, Informative)

submain (856941) | about 9 months ago | (#46120959)

That's why we need more people using languages like this: http://haxe.org/ [haxe.org]

I discovered it a couple of months ago. It has its quirks, but not having to worry about rewriting your entire app for another platform is a blessing. And no messy VMs needed.

Re:haxe language (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | about 9 months ago | (#46121013)

Wow, that's some ugly syntax for a modern programming language.

Re:haxe language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121237)

From a cursory glance of their sample code, [Haxe] looks like the bastard lovechild of Javascript and C++ to me, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

Re:haxe language (1)

spongman (182339) | about 9 months ago | (#46121529)

It's derived from Actionscript3, which itself is derived from JavaScript which is loosely derived from C. If you don't like squiggly bracket and full-featured type systems, then it's not for you.

Re:haxe language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121881)

If I want full-featured type systems I'll look at Haskell and Scala first.

Re:haxe language (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#46121053)

yet another language doesn't solve anything, the issue is one in the realm of managemnet

Re:haxe language (1)

Capt.Albatross (1301561) | about 9 months ago | (#46121209)

That's why we need more people using languages like this: http://haxe.org/ [haxe.org]

It seems as if have seen a hundred new languages, all allegedly solving the problem of programming, and none of them succeeding. That's because the difficult problems are not at the level of syntax.

Re:haxe language (1)

submain (856941) | about 9 months ago | (#46121413)

Agreed. The strength of haxe is definitely not it's syntax, but the fact that you can compile to whatever other language you want.

What was the state of server side progamming? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120985)

Is there a consensus on a common server side platform and language? If so what is it?

Re:What was the state of server side progamming? (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 9 months ago | (#46121083)

Well, there is consensus if you ignore detractors within your own community. I have noticed that companies where a particular web developer culture is strong tend to hire people who agree with the current development teams and exclude those who do not, so you rapidly get clustering that feels like consensus, but is really just group think.

The common server side platform is x86 VPS (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121359)

The consensus at least among shared web hosts appears to be CGI using PHP, Perl, or Python, and possibly Java. The next step up from that is a Linux/x86 virtual machine into which you can install whatever language you want. Desktop and mobile devices, on the other hand, aren't really built to run a separate VM per application, and they haven't even standardized on a single machine code.

Re:What was the state of server side progamming? (1)

greg1104 (461138) | about 9 months ago | (#46121685)

His point was that any number of language+library stacks give such similar abstractions for everything from HTTP to database persistence, it doesn't even matter which one you pick.

Ameliorated somewhat by cross-platform APIs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46120987)

Java needs no explanation. There are c++ libraries like JUCE and Qt that build high-level widgets for all platforms including iOS and android. As someone in the trenches of developing cross-platform client-side apps I'd say it's becoming less of a mess.

Nothing New (5, Funny)

Akratist (1080775) | about 9 months ago | (#46120995)

Programming always has been, and always will be, a mess. There is a reason that maybe two percent of the people in the world can actually do this work -- the other ninety-eight percent are sane and don't think like psychotics locked in the Red Bull factory.

Re:Nothing New (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121085)

Mod up! The days of Windoze domination were boring. Bring on multiple platforms! I grew up in the 80's, we had C64, TI-99, CP/M, Atari and many many others. That was cool and a lot of fun!

Re:Nothing New (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121239)

you guys made this mess yourselves

and you just wallow in how hard it is and how special you are

yeah for you

Re:Nothing New (2)

Akratist (1080775) | about 9 months ago | (#46121693)

Ironically, the only people affected by snark would be anyone with a normal level of self-esteem, which is typically not found in the coding world.

Re:Nothing New (2)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 9 months ago | (#46121429)

They're not locked in. They can leave at any time. They choose to stay.

Re:Nothing New (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121603)

Most of us choose to leave. Not because we can't code, but because it's not worth the effort.

Whine, whine, whine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121001)

TRANSLATION: "Whine whine whine people are using things other than the latest and best version of Microsoft(r) Windows(tm) on desktop computers, whine whine whine computers are haaaaaaaard, whine whine whine my job should be easy."

Wikipedia Schizophrenia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121009)

"Common symptoms include delusions, such as paranoid beliefs; hallucinations; disorganized thinking; and negative symptoms, such as lack of emotion and lack of motivation."

Sounds a lot like a typical day on /.

Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121017)

But of course, the server and client sides have to work together to deliver what people actually want.

The server/client communication has never been simpler. There might be several ways of doing it but all of them are well documented and mature (probably because they originated from the server side as a response to the "fragmented mess" that is client applications). Therefore, why is this sentence typed with what seems to be snark?

Offline mode (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121399)

Applications not primarily intended for real-time communication have to work even when communication between the client and server is interrupted for tens of minutes to hours at a time, such as when the user of a tablet has boarded transit. This means the client has to use some sort of caching, and with Safari not supporting IndexedDB at all (source: caniuse.com), that's sort of hard to implement in a web application.

Stop Whining! (1)

jjb3rd (1138577) | about 9 months ago | (#46121037)

That's why we make the big bucks.

omg ! (1)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#46121047)

omg, the world is complicated, the sky is falling and we're all going to diiieee!

It's called "diversity", not "mess", and one of those days you'll be fucking glad that we have it, because otherwise, as me and some other researchers have proven ten years ago, in a monoculture one zero-day in the wrong hands means game over, Internet [lemuria.org] in something like a few hours.

Be glad we have this "mess". It's going to save our collective asses one day.

Server not fragmenting?? (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#46121049)

Perhaps you can run what you like on nearly any OS but...

Do you use NoSQL? Relational?

PHP? Some kind of CMS, or roll your own with Rails?

Store content on AWS? Or some other cloud? Or just local?

Or perhaps you want to simply use the Google App Engine or other systems like it, and have everything hosted without fuss... or rent an elastic compute server and run your own custom Erlang server.

Not to mention you really can't run everything on every OS, as there are still plenty of Windows server specific technologies I didn't even mention but tons of people use.

And you think server stuff is LESS fragmented?

Re:Server not fragmenting?? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 9 months ago | (#46121877)

I can answer one of your questions for you:
PHP? Please, please don't. There's simply no good reason to use it, especially when there are CMS's in other languages that work at least as well as Wordpress, Drupal, or Joomla.

Re:Server not fragmenting?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46122149)

If they don't work better than wordpress, drupal, joomla, then it doesn't matter what language it's in.

Like slashdot? (0)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 9 months ago | (#46121151)

But of course, the server and client sides have to work together to deliver what people actually want.

You mean, like Slashdot?

Like, automatically refreshing every x minutes, jumping the page even while I'm in the middle of reading it?

Or refusing to let us link to a specific comment? (Pick any comment and try to come up with a link you can send to someone.)

Or like adding new styles and layouts [slashdot.org] that, at each iteration, reduce the information a visitor sees per page? (Reading Slashdot through an ever-dwindling portal - sort of like reading a newspaper through a straw.)

I'd mention "friends, foes, freaks, and journals, but there may be a compelling need to "unfriend" someone. I wonder how many millions of Skashdot accounts there are, and the number who actually write in their journals. You can't delete your account, because theres no need to [slashdot.org] (of course!).

Useability experts exist for a reason. Software experts don't seem to realize that other experts exist and that good systems have multiple facets of "good". Instead, it's "good software is all you need, and the more features the better."

(Tooltip: "Documentation is boring! I'll just pit up a wiki and let the users fill in pages for me.")

Re:Like slashdot? (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121447)

Or refusing to let us link to a specific comment? (Pick any comment and try to come up with a link you can send to someone.)

From the classic interface, try this:

  1. Look for a line like "by Okian Warrior (537106) on 2014-01-31 12:16 (#46121151) Homepage Journal".
  2. Right-click or long-press the comment ID (#46121151).
  3. Choose "Copy Link". (The wording may differ in your web browser.)
  4. Paste elsewhere.

Re:Like slashdot? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 9 months ago | (#46121559)

Or refusing to let us link to a specific comment? (Pick any comment and try to come up with a link you can send to someone.)

This guy [slashdot.org] seems to be complaining about that too.

Re:Like slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121667)

Or refusing to let us link to a specific comment? (Pick any comment and try to come up with a link you can send to someone.)

This guy [slashdot.org] seems to be complaining about that too.

This guy [slashdot.org] found the solution!

How is this not ideal? (3, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | about 9 months ago | (#46121185)

IMHO, the ideal situation is, you define standard formats and protocols, and then you give everyone the freedom to use whatever technology they want to interoperate using those protocols.

Want to write your mail server in Java? Python? Prolog? I do not care as long as it speaks IMAP. Want to write your mail client in C#? Objective-C? Ruby? I do not care as long as it speaks IMAP.

Isn't this exactly how things should be?

Re:How is this not ideal? (1, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | about 9 months ago | (#46121455)

Yeah, sure you want your mail server talk IMAP. SMTP on mail servers is so nineties!

Incoming mail access protocol (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121673)

DdJ was probably talking about the side of the mail server that stores received mail and presents it to the MUA, not the side that accepts outgoing mail from the MUA (SMTP AUTH) or forwards it to other mail servers (SMTP). Though the I in IMAP doesn't officially stand for incoming, you can think of it as if it did.

Recovering the cost of running a server (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121477)

How would a custom protocol ensure that the the user sees the advertisements selected by the server? Or should server operators recover the cost of maintaining the server by charging users for the privilege to use third-party clients? I think that's part of why Slashdot hasn't implemented an NNTP gateway.

Re:Recovering the cost of running a server (1)

DdJ (10790) | about 9 months ago | (#46121563)

Ah, so it's a problem for the people with a specific business model that requires having precise control over both ends of the connection, making them fundamentally incompatible with openness and interoperability. Okay.

Myself, I'm not very sympathetic, as I actively want to see those business models fail and get abandoned. But now I have a better understanding of why someone might dislike the situation. Thanks!

Re:Recovering the cost of running a server (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121713)

So what business model should such a service use other than being ad-supported, especially in markets whose users have soundly rejected paywalls?

Re:How is this not ideal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121669)

Problems are boundless when people save costs by providing a browser interface as a front to javascript as a front to html as a front to jsp as a front to java as a front to xml as a front to java VM as a front to databases as a front to OS as a front to OS VM as a front to physical server as a front to business processes as a front to marketing as a front to customer ID as a front to customer programs as a front to potential customers as a front to real people and families with real needs, expectations and means.

No wonder somewhere along the way you lose something important..

Captcha: penguin

Call your recruiter! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121197)

Maybe you can get into a new trade like making screw drivers or something. Screw drivers rarely change.

This guy doesn't get it. (1)

Kremmy (793693) | about 9 months ago | (#46121251)

I only had to read far enough to see that he says you have to compile a web application three times, once for the browser, once for Android, once for iOS. His methodology is so broken that he's unable to comprehend the idea of a cross platform website.

Web APIs unimplemented in Safari (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121489)

You try using a web application that relies on WebGL, IndexedDB, Stream API, or file uploads (other than images or video) in Safari for iOS and see how far you get.

Re:Web APIs unimplemented in Safari (1)

Kremmy (793693) | about 9 months ago | (#46121789)

If the platform outright fails to support the necessary underpinnings to run web applications, why are we talking about writing web applications for it?

Don't repeat yourself (1)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121887)

Assume there is a web application that does not run on a particular platform. Assume further that there is a demand for that application on that platform, be it in the form of a web application or a not-web application. So how should this demand be served? Translating each line of code by hand into the platform's native language violates the principle of not repeating yourself [wikipedia.org] , which introduces errors in translation and doubles development effort whenever someone makes a change to the original web application.

I don't really see it as being that bad (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 9 months ago | (#46121267)

I've had to use a lot of different code/languages for my little Firefox Plugin [mozilla.org] and it's not that hard to keep up with. For the most part I can find libraries (I use Poco and QT) that do all the heavy lifting when I'm in C/C++. For my site [glimmersoft.com] a little jquery goes a long way.

For the most part there's only minor syntax differences in modern languages anyway. It's all arrays, hashs/dictionaries iterators and if statements with a bit of gui programming.

Heck, even the gui programming follows the same basic paradigm. Again, wrote a few toy Android [glimmersoft.com] apps and found I was using Java to do the same stuff I do with HTML/JavaScript. e.g. Get a reference to a gui element then call methods to get/set it's state and attach a callback to it.

What I'm finding is that until you're writing math heavy programs everything is more or less the same :P

Change propagation; resource management (2)

tepples (727027) | about 9 months ago | (#46121545)

For the most part there's only minor syntax differences in modern languages anyway.

For one thing, if I make a change to a program in one syntax, how do I propagate the change to corresponding programs in other syntaxes? Having to make the same change manually every time introduces violations of the DRY principle [wikipedia.org] that lead to errors. For another, management of resource lifetime differs. Some languages, such as C++ and CPython, use reference counting, which allows deterministic semantics for finalizing objects [wikipedia.org] and releasing their non-memory resources. Others use tracing garbage collection, which requires finally clauses that are trickier to handle when a non-memory resource outlives the method that allocated it.

I call BS (0)

Warbothong (905464) | about 9 months ago | (#46121579)

1) Why [wikipedia.org] distinguish [impredicative.com] client [opalang.org] from [wikipedia.org] server [weblocks-framework.info] ?

2) Server [openmirage.org] technology [haskell.org] is [wikipedia.org] advancing [bloom-lang.net] .

3) Client [wikipedia.org] technology [wikipedia.org] isn't [wikipedia.org] that [wikipedia.org] fragmented [wikipedia.org] .

Emacs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121589)

If people would only start using emacs, so much of this problem just goes away!

Thanks for the update Forrest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121593)

Thanks for the update Forrest!

Isn't it supposed to be this way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46121597)

With separation of concerns, MVC patterns, etc. server side code only needs to primarily spit out XML/JSON data. Because every client is different, each experience is going to be different and many times this is what the developer wants. My desktop version should be different than my iOS version.

Client side code has to be as diverse as the end users who interact with it.

Xamarin solves some of this (3, Informative)

codemachine (245871) | about 9 months ago | (#46121611)

Client side can be made a bit less painful with Xamarin. You can use one language (C#) for all platforms, and share a fair bit of code between platforms.

Of course you still need separate code to give a native UI on each platform, and different packaging to get the application out there.

Gone are the days of being able to target Windows to get over 90% of the client side market. There is real fragmentation, and innovation is happening quickly. There are many benefits to this, but stability in client side frameworks is not one of them.

PLEASE LOOK UP SCHIZOPHRENIA (4, Funny)

Yew2 (1560829) | about 9 months ago | (#46121637)

I so hate when people confuse it with multiple personality disorder. And so do I!

Re:PLEASE LOOK UP SCHIZOPHRENIA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46122017)

Yeh, totally wanted to make this point. Schizophrenia is marked by hallucinations and delusions. Not by multiple personalities.

Patents (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 9 months ago | (#46122089)

Software patents are destroying software. I used to develop software. I'm glad I no longer do that because I don't want to deal with all the patent trolling going on. I watch friends who are still in the field, the news, etc and am so glad I'm not them. Time to kill the trolls. Patenting in general needs to be killed. It has gotten far out of hand.

Exactly two kinds of software (1)

jtara (133429) | about 9 months ago | (#46122247)

So, there are only two kinds of software, eh?

You've got your server software.

And you've got your client software. And your client software is a mess.

Wish I were in "IT" and could sum things up so succinctly.

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