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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

HiThere Re:Scala (306 comments)

Then you're dong it wrong. For the class of problems I'm interested in each process needs an input queue, and the ability to detect (somehow...there are several plausible means so I'm not choosing) what other processes are around and how to write to their input queues. And you need to be able to examine your input queue to tell whether there's a waiting message without blocking. All fairly straightforwards. You don't synchronize the processes, each one runs as far as it can with the inputs it has available and then waits for additional input. What is queued should be messages as short as possible, but that's true whenever you copy an array. And the queue should hold either a deep-copy of whatever is being exchanged or a reference to an immutable instance. No scheduling, per se, except that you might want to be able to adjust the priority at which the processes execute.

FWIW, I'm currently implementing something that operates in this way, and most of the tools I'm using to do this are excessively slow BECAUSE they are capable of a lot more than I'm asking them to do. I'm only planning on having around 8-16 processes because I've only got about 8 processors. I expect that most of the processes will keep busy all the time without needing new inputs. The messages that I'm planning on passing all have the form (action, key, value), and for my purposes key will always be either a string or an integer, and value will be an array of stuff. The kind of stuff will vary depending on what kind of process is receiving the input and what action is to be preformed. (Which is why I really don't want a static type.) Generally, however, it will begin with a few numbers, then a few (usually 4) arrays of structures(without internal pointers) and then possibly a string. This kind of thing is quite simple to handle in a language with dynamic types, and a real pain in languages with static types.

Do note that this means that most of the messages will be longer than is optimal, and that the length will not be consistent. It's the kind of thing that marshall, pickel, yaml, or json and handle trivially. No class serialization needed.

This means that each process totally controlls it's internal synchronization without external conflicts. Thread synchronization is not a problem. Scaling is trivial. Efficiency...well, I'm not so sure of that. I need to set things up so that most processing happens without IPC, and I'm not sure how possible that will be. I may need to go all out and find or build an even simpler IPC mechanism. (I think what I'm currently planning on has TCP/IP sockets burried within the implementation. I'm using localhost, so that probably gets translated into UNIX domain sockets, but even that may not be as fast as possible. OTOH, I don't want the input queues to be bounded by a pre-determined amount of RAM unless I must.)

8 hours ago
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

HiThere Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (306 comments)

IIUC, Android under the hood is largely C with some C++ on top of that. True, the part that makes Android different from Linux may be largely C++...

yesterday
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

HiThere Re:If you want to earn big bucks... (306 comments)

The thing is, startups pay lousy money, but sometimes you get compensated in stock options, or even stock, and sometimes that stock turns out to be worth a lot later. Granted it's a crap shoot, but there's no safe way to make lots of money unless you already have lots of money, and even then it's not certain.

yesterday
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Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

HiThere Re:Scala (306 comments)

While there is a need for strongly typed languages, that doesn't imply that all languages should be strongly typed. More to the point, however, Scala appears to be staticly typed (I'm believing documentation here, I've no experience). Many problems are addressed only with difficulty via a staticly typed language.

Compatible with Java. OK. So is Jython, so is JRuby. Object-functional? Not quite sure what you mean, but I would guess that so are Jython and JRuby. Also Groovy.

This isn't really a response to the article, but rather to your comment. Unless you are in love with the Scala syntax, you don't seem to justify your point. Even Clojure would meet all the benefits that you list. (As well as several other languages.)

Personally, I dislike intensely Java's 16-bit char system. I much prefer either utf-8 or utf-32. Perfferable either chosen as needed. Alternatively the Python3 opaque string type with conversions to the desired representation also has its benefits. (My real preference is uft-8, but then most of what I work with is ASCII, and I only need occasional double or triple byte characters. But for that to work the language MUST have appropriate library support. As Python, Vala, D, etc. have. Ruby has it via an add-in gem. Java doesn't seem to really have it, and as a result neither do any of the languages that are symbiotes. C and C++ are, admittedly, as bad as Java. You need a large and clumsy external library. Racket Scheme has this aspect handled well, but there are other reasons that it's less than desireable.)

So. Which languages will you need in 10 years? It's one that isn't popular yet. Vala is a possibility. So is D. And prehaps there will be applications for which Swift is desireable. I'm really dubious about Java. C will probably still be necessary, but I'm not sure about C++. Some successor of the current Scheme versions would be desireable, but it MUST implement IPC much better than any current Scheme does. Some dataflow language would be highly desireable, but I don't know of any decent conderes. (The one's I'm aware of are too specialized...though one of them could grow out of that.)

The language really needed hasn't yet been written. It will be designed to be easy to write multi-process programs in. And it will be easy for processes to submit messages to each other's read queues. Erlang is almost right, but it concentrates too much on immutability, which works quite well for a certain subset of problems, and is terrible for many others. The reall concept needed is isolated mutability, where mutability is all "thread confined" (except that I mean process confined). I don't think that it should be possible to pass pointers between processes, but perhaps it could be done if the pointer only pointed to totally immutable data and it's recursive equivalents.

As I said, this language doesn't seem to exist yet, but various languages have implemented pieces of it, so I don't see any intrinsic difficulty in creating the language.

yesterday
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How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

HiThere Re:Arneson (179 comments)

Personally, I count the time that TSR took over D&D as the point at which the game started delcining and rigidifying. Prior to that is was much more creative and interesting.

OTOH, they did make it MUCH easier to mover characters from game to game.

yesterday
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Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

HiThere Re:Oe noes! A compiler bug! (715 comments)

The problem affecting the kernel appears to only be enabled with a specific set of optimizations, and only to matter for a specific class of programs.

Also, apparently the problem has actually been present for a number of iterations of the compiler, but a shift within the Linux kernel code has caused the compiler error to manifest. But the shift within the Linux kernel code was still valid C (C++?) code, so it was a compiler problem, even though it didn't affect most programs.

3 days ago
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Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

HiThere Re:Oe noes! "Naughty" language! (715 comments)

I, personally, dislike swearing even when "sanitized".

OTOH, I do realize that this is my personal taste. I feel it makes the communication less clear.

OTTH, written communication lacks the richness of communication by speech. This means that there is no inherent channel corresponding to tone of voice. When someone uses swearing as a substitute for certain tones of speech, it's really hard to say there is a better option. The alternative work-arounds tend to be verbose. Also, swearing via the use of the term "shit" appears to be something we inherited from our common ancestor with chimpanzees, because if they are taught to sign they will automatically use the term "shit" to describe persons and situations that they dislike.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

HiThere Re:This is not a religious problem. (502 comments)

Theocratic is not fascist. The Muslim groups were originally theocratic, and that is what they appear to be headed towards again.

Just because it's vile and evil doesn't make it Fascist. Fascism involves commercial entities (usually corporations) having power over the government, and the government having power over the commercial entities, in such a tight bond that both do wha tthe other desires. In the original fascism this was the unification on Italy, and the creation of a powerful military so that nobody will laugh at it. (It did unify Italy, but the military wasn't all that great.)

Note that Fascism is not at all the same as nazism. I'm not even totally convinced that nazism is even a form that fascism can take. They did have certail similarities in methods of operation, but many of those are used by most governments, which makes them useless for categorization. Nazism seems to have been a combination of dictorship and theocracy, though I can't really say I understand it well enough to be sure.

Also not that just because I'm saying the Muslims are drifting towards theocracy doesn't mean I think they're heading towards nazism. I don't. What they *are* headed towards might, however, not be any more pleasant. They seem to be headed towards a "reestablishment of the Caliphate" whatever that means, but it seems to include a divine dictator at the center, with his sucessor chosen by a violent internal power struggle whose details are hidden. This seems calculated to pick the slimiest schemer as the successor. The one benefit is that he'll almost certainly be intelligent.

OTOH, just because they are currently drifting in a particular direction doesn't mean that they'll ever get there.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

HiThere Re:maybe (502 comments)

Since my answer is a bit nitpicky, I doubt that you'll be satisfied, and additionally I am not deeply knowledgeable about the current situation, howevr:

First, please note that fascism is not nazism.
Fascism: (from Wikipedia) Most scholars agree that a "fascist regime" is foremost an authoritarian form of government, although not all authoritarian regimes are fascist. Authoritarianism is thus a defining characteristic, but most scholars will say that more distinguishing traits are needed to make an authoritarian regime fascist.

For me the additional factor is that corporations and the government work together in a tight connection.

Given this, I would say that both Israel and the US are fascist governments. Both are a bit weak on the authoritarian aspect, but the US, at least, has been becoming increasingly authoritarian over the past few decades. I'm not sure about Israel. I have a feeling that Israel might be tending more towards a theocracy, but I have no direct knowledge.

OTOH, loosely used (as I suspect the grandparent was using it) fascism is a powerful group that uses its power to oppress those opposed to it. That clearly fits most existing governments, but people usually refuse to see that the definition is to broad to be of any use.

Thirdly, the fact that your family was victimized by some group 50 years ago doesn't prevent some group you currently support from practising the same tactics. I'm sorry if you find that comment distasteful, but it's also accurate.

As for the "anti-semetic" part, most of the Israelis are not Semetic. Many of them are ethnic Russians. There's a tangled history behind that, but most of the Semetic Jews are Shephardic. (Not all, but the Diaspora was a long time ago, and over the centuries there was a lot of interbreeding, joining by conversion, etc. to the extend that the non-Shephardic jews are only very slightly Semites.) So to be anti-semetic in this conflict you would be against the Palenestinians (who also aren't all that Semetic, but are more so than most of the Jews).

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

HiThere Re:Or maybe you're not so good at math (502 comments)

Pardon me if I don't think that would solve the problem. Passing a law doesn't prevent people from violating it, and neither Israel nor the Palestinians have any reason to trust that the other would continue to be peaceful once the foreign eyes were off them.

Israel is already about the minimum size for a viable country. You're asking it to be further reduced in size. And it's not at all clear that if it made the agreement AND the Palestinians kept their part of it AND the Israelie's kept their part of it, no other neighboring country wouldn't decide to expand its borders.

I don't like being pessimistic, but I don't see any decent end to this conflict.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

HiThere Re:Or maybe you're not so good at math (502 comments)

It's not a very moral attidude, but it's a very human one. I'm sorry if your species disappoints you. (I wish it didnt' regularly disappoint me.)

People tend to care more about a friend's daughter's puppy being rescued from a well than they do about 100.000 people they've never heard of being tortured to death. It's not exactly moral, but it's the way people think. They can empathize with the friend and the daughter, and even with the puppy more than they can with the "larger number than I can picture" number of strangers they've never met.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

HiThere Re:Or maybe you're not so good at math (502 comments)

No. The main difference is that in Syria the conflict as several plausible solutions. In the Israeli problem I see only three, and the most humane would be condemned by every Jewish, Christian, or Muslim on earth. (I.e., conscript 100% of the infants born in either Israel or Palestine, anonymize them, and place groups of them in Kibbutz run by combined groups of the parents, There is a 75% chance that one of the kids they are raising is their own, but they don't know whether or which. If parents aren't willing to participate in the Kibbutz, sterilize them, and let them go.)

Unfortunately, the other answers I see involve one group killing off almost all of the members of the other.

Even more unfortunately, I don't think my "anonymize the kids" approach would work as designed, because the racial stocks are now too different, so the adults would able to determine that there was no chance that they were related to a large number of the kids. And you need to have adults raising the kids, because communal nursuries where that doesn't happen fail miserably. There might be a way to adapt it, but why bother, it will never be tried anyway.

3 days ago
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In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

HiThere Re:Like China och USSR (502 comments)

How do you know?

I expect that there is a combination of individual effort and organized, and that some of the addresses that apperar to be French aren't really. Etc.

Do note that this is normal. This is true even on /., where comments aren't very significant in terms of political effect. The question is what the proportions are, and we have no way of telling.

OTOH, calling it spam is clearly wrong. Astroturfing would be closer, but even that's not quite correct. Neither is trolling. This is similar to all of the above, but it being done with a political rather than an economic agenda. I don't think I know a word for organized political rants over the internet. This doesn't mean they don't happen, and aren't even rather common. But spam isn't the right word.

3 days ago
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Private Data On iOS Devices Not So Private After All

HiThere Re:Horribly Inaccurate (100 comments)

Trusted by whom? I don't think there's any requirement that the purchaser of the device trust the "trusted" data extractor. IIUC it could become trusted before the customer ever received the device, or anytime it's in for service.

So this *probably* means that J. Random Hacker can't access the information. If the assertion is true. It doesn't say anything about Apple, their employees, or anyone they share information with...transitivly.

4 days ago
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Private Data On iOS Devices Not So Private After All

HiThere Re:it's the future (100 comments)

Unfortunately, no, I wouldn't "expect people to be more sensible than that, especially in the post-Snowden era", even though this actually isn't the post-Snowden era. He's still around, and still occasionally releasing new tid-bits.

I normally expect people to be short-sighted, and to have little memory of history. I regret that I'm rarely disappointed.

4 days ago
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Private Data On iOS Devices Not So Private After All

HiThere Re:Stallman was right (100 comments)

Not sure about that particular case, but there are some legal requirements that, I believe, entail controls that are not user controlable. Things like frequency, signal encoding, etc. Those seem liike reasonable constraints, so long as we aren't using spread spectrum, which, IIUC, is illegal.

Given that, modem isolation is probably the just and reasonable approach to take.

4 days ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

HiThere Re:Nice to see Slashdot on the bleeding edge... (394 comments)

Has the problem been fixed? If not, then it's still reasonable information to share.

And nobody has claimed that the problem has been fixed.

4 days ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

HiThere Re:We really need some laws agains false advertisi (394 comments)

The problem is that the laws that already exist aren't enforced. It's a secondary problem that they are so written that it's relatively easy to weasel around them, but even the existing laws aren't enforced, so adding new laws (that aren't enforced) wouldn't do any good.

4 days ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

HiThere Re:Thanks (394 comments)

One that keeps working when they change versions?

4 days ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

HiThere Re:Thanks (394 comments)

There actually are LOTS of components in a position to do that. You could even run a network monitoring app. But the browser is one highly visible one that most people already have installed.

4 days ago

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