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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

Words like 'begin' and 'end' look too similar to user-defined variables

Funny, I've never had that problem. Maybe that's a beginner problem.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

With enough experience Sanskrit is readable. But readable to who? People you deem experienced enough? Which is judged how? By their ability to read your code?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Discussion is outdated (488 comments)

Dude, have you even seen what's available in Delphi? The list was quite impressive even before Java existed.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Delphi cross platform? (488 comments)

The people who bought Delphi were Windows users. They didn't need a Linux version.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

Yes, there really is a good reason. To get the universe back into balance. Back in the day, people bought into their developments tools on the basis of cost and quality. Then companies like MS and Oracle followed the long established lead of the likes of IBM and charged managers through the nose for the 'most advanced technologies'. But the weren't really, and all of us techies knew it.

Turbo Pascal was a full participant in the PC revolution. It brought advanced capabilities - much more advanced than IBM or MS were offering at a hobbyist price. But it continued, until cheaper and better wasn't good enough. It had to be free.

There are some really great free products out there. But none of them are of a quality that can compete with the high end companies who are developing their programs for their paying customers rather than for themselves.

Companies like Borland found themselves in the middle of this. The ill-fated Kylix is the proof. Partially free didn't work. Now our choices are limited to Free or $10,000.

It sucks.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Modula-3 FTW! (488 comments)

Mmmm. PASCAL was designed by Wirth as an introduction-to-programming instructional language. It was supposed to teach the logic, methodology and 'best practices' of programming as they were defined then.

And it did.

Then it got adopted as a production language ... and God knows why ...

Oh, I don't know....maybe it represented the logic, methodology and best practices of programming

and went through a few iterations to iron out the bugs and add some features and utilities that a serious production/development language would require (including, most importantly, killing that one shot compiler).

And evolved into seriously great products like Turbo Pascal and Delphi.

As a result it has very few strengths compared to purpose designed languages/environments

It remains a great choice precisely because it isn't designed to a particular purpose, but is quite adaptable..

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Let's flip this around (488 comments)

I want every programming tool with which I interact to have some special thing that it teaches.

Why, for God's sake, would you want that?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Delphi cross platform? (488 comments)

No, Kylix was a complete failure. It was an attempt to lure the next generation Turbo Pascal users, But that next generation was made up of Linux fans that didn't want to pay for *anything*.

Subsequent to that they started targeting cross-platform development on the latest devices.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Early fragmentation (488 comments)

Turbo Pascal was quite successful into the IBM PC years. Iin fact I'm wondering if it even existed before the IBM PC)..

But I've use the UCSD-P system, Turbo Pascal and Delphi, and never had the problems you describe. Sure, some were more evolved than others, but I can't ever recall anything more than preferring a specific implementation.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Its very verbose (488 comments)

Pascal has some syntactical annoyances, although I hardly see how separate header files improve things in that respect.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Turbo Pascal was the "dangliest danglies" (488 comments)

Borland's Turbo Pascal was my introduction to serious programming with the Object Windows Library (OWL), before getting on to the multiple disk nightmare and wonder that was Turbo C++.

Pascal lasted exactly long enough to be completely destroyed by C++ at one end taking the object oriented approach, and Modula-2 being the "language of explanation" for CS.

Even that died the death when Visual Basic stomped everything in its path in the commercial arena, with Visual C/C++ taking everything elsewhere. Somewhere along the way Delphi shone very brightly for a few months....

Well, years anyway. There was actually a Microsoft program manager that was quoted as saying something like that Microsoft should thank God for Borland every day. As someone who used both VB and Delphi, I could see all of the things MS was lifting from Delphi. Until they finally lifted its architect.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Pascal is overrated (488 comments)

Pascal is overrated, actually.

Even as a teaching tool, Pascal is overrated.

What an astounding amount of insight you've shown. Why, reading your logic, I wonder how I ever could've been fooled.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:A teaching language (488 comments)

But then came the USCF P-System and Turbo Pascal, And nobody's asking about Modula.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Move On (488 comments)

Yes, because those are so popular now.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Delphi must evolve (488 comments)

I can write [1,2,3,4,5].map {|x| x + 100 } in Ruby.

I think I've just written off Ruby.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:Pascal is awesome, but... (488 comments)

...these days, what's the point of yet another language?

These days? Pascal predated all of 'these days'. What was the point of all of those other languages?

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Motard Re:This. SO MUCH This. (488 comments)

I'm an old 50+ developer who has had to reinvent myself several times throughout my career. And while a lot of really good new developments for, um, developers have come our way, a lot of valuable things from the past have been lost. For instance, I continually cringe when needing to write SQL code within some other language. There was a time when database access was actually a fundamental part of the language. 4th generation languages, for instance, are largely forgotten - but they really were useful. Same goes for ISAM data access. It is insanely efficient compared to what we typically do today.

Yes, SQL is great for some tasks, but most of that functionality is merely overhead for the sorts of common tasks and application has to perform on a daily basis. If I have the primary key to a table, it's wasteful to generate a query when I can just say 'get me this'.

This is where NoSQL proponents might pipe in with new solutions. But those aren't usually good solutions for general purposes. I've seen too many over-normalized databases over the years, and talked to their proponents. They propagate an ideology of theory over practical considerations.

The thing is though, Pascal excels (or can excel) at all of these things. I'm really referring to Delphi here. The component library available is huge and varied, By your choice it is 100% open source, or completely proprietary, or a mix. In fact, the only major problem I've ever had with Delphi is rebuilding your development environment on a new machine, because you've installed so many tools over the years.

With Delphi, I could drop a terminal emulator on a form and have it working in five minutes. Or I could resort to in-line assembly language if needed. I could, off the top of my head, develop web apps in at least three totally different ways.

I saw a comment further up the pages that asked why we need Pascal when we have C++, Java and Python. Well, seeing as how Pascal predated all of these, and will do everything those do, why do we need the newer languages?

I really encourage younger developers to give it chance. You can install and use Lazarus for free. I feel that Delphi is better polished and reliable, But if you're really an open source advocate, then contribute to Lazarus and/or Free Pascal.

Having had some experience with most of these other technologies, I think you might be surprised at how much you're missing.

5 days ago
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Google Search Will Be Your Next Brain

Motard Re:What do you mean? (45 comments)

So, deep learning will result in shallow thinking?

about two weeks ago
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Anonymous Declares War Over Charlie Hebdo Attack

Motard Re:Favorite Pastime for the Islamists (509 comments)

You know, I generally dislike Anonymous and just about everything they stand for. However, in this case they've stumbled into an area where we are in agreement and I think I support their actions. Yes, it is ironic. Shutting down voices to protest shutting down voices. However, if I must choose, I'll side with the less violent, freedom seeking suppression over the violent, repressive intimidation.

#NousSommesTousCharlie

My only concern is that, while they may succeed to some extent to the blocking extremist message, the may interfere with the intelligence tracking of those allied (in this case) people with the capability to do far more than Anonymous could ever dream of.

about three weeks ago
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BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

Motard Re: I'm not sure I understand (294 comments)

Plausible deniability. If the government accuses me of not censoring what they think is inappropriate material, I can deny ever having seen the option.

What?!?! That makes no sense. The government is requiring ISPs to offer you a choice of filtered or unfiltered internet. If the government ever accuses you of 'not censoring' because, say, you're looking at child porn (one of the only cases the public might be expected to self-censor that I can think of), they won't be using your response to a voluntary opt-in/out ISP feature to convict you. They'll use your actual traffic history.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: HIPAA Privacy Compliance in the Snowden Age

Motard Motard writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Motard (1553251) writes "For much of my career, I've worked in organizations subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Among other things, HIPAA prescribes government-mandated regulations regarding the security surrounding Protected Health Information, or PHI.

In smaller companies, where I've been able to talk directly to the equivalent of a General Counsel, it has been interpreted as a requirement to employ reasonable measures to protect the information. In larger corporations — especially those that had found themselves entertaining representatives of The Office of The Inspector General — there are generally dedicated Risk Management or Security officers dedicated to eliminating risk — often without regard to practicality (since that isn't their charge).

So I ask this question: When it is demonstrated that a government contractor can flee to Hong Kong with classified secrets from the NSA (of all things), what chance does 'The Main Street Clinic' have of meeting the requisite data security requirements? At what point to we have to throw up our hands exclaiming "If the freaking NSA can't do it, how can we?""
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DNA Tests Show Six-Inch Skeleton is Human Child - Not Alien

Motard Motard writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Motard (1553251) writes "It was hailed as proof of alien life, a mummified visitor from another planet.

Ten years after the remains of a six-inch ‘space alien’ were first discovered, they have been confirmed as ‘human’ by Stanford scientists in a new documentary film Sirius.

Since the remains of the small humanoid — known as the 'Atacama Humanoid' and nicknamed Ata — were discovered in Chile's Atacama Desert 10 years ago there has been much speculation about its origins."

Link to Original Source
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Green Tech Blossoming From Le Mans Garage 56 Program

Motard Motard writes  |  about 2 years ago

Motard (1553251) writes "The Garage 56 program was created by Le Mans organizers to showcase new technology at the 24 Hours fo Le Mans by allowing one additional entry to run unclassified (no trophies, no points). Last year's entry, the Deltawing, which goes just as fast as other Le Mans prototypes while using half the fuel, is already preparing to make the transition to a fully classified entry against the formidable Audi e-Tron Quattro hybrids at this month's 12 Hours of Sebring. This year's Garage 56 entry, the GreenGT H2 is slated to become the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle to compete in a top-flight motorport event at next month's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Meanwhile, Nissan, the sponsor and engine-maker for the Deltawing's Le Mans effort has announced plans for 2014 for an all electric racer for the 2014 Garage 56 slot."
Link to Original Source
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Radical New IndyCar Proposal Would be Open Sourced

Motard Motard writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Motard (1553251) writes "A group of IndyCar team owners have banded together to create DeltaWing Racing, aimed at producing a radical new concept IndyCar for 2012. "Focusing on safety, efficiency, innovation and cost control, the DeltaWing IndyCar is capable of 235 mph laps using half the horsepower and improving fuel economy 100% over the current generation of IndyCar." A mockup was unveiled on Wednesday at the Chicago Auto Show.

The controversial concept is meant to be produced, in whole or part, by licensed constructors. However, the company will be posting all of the designs on their website so that anyone can submit new design tweaks for approval. Quoted in this analysis, "This is a culture change," said Panther Racing co-owner, John Barnes, "we cannot allow a single manufacturer to dictate how we spend our money. We have to have some connection to that. And our sport has to be relevant to the people of today. With the open source way of doing things, it opens the sport back up.""

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