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Black Friday '14: E-commerce Pages Far Slower Than They Were in 2013

Pherdnut I'm going to go with Angular/bootstrap FTW (143 comments)

There's a whole new generation of JS devs who are complete slobs about dependencies. They will attach the entire Bootstrap library for one plug-in. I've seen libraries that embedded and minified it such that it wasn't even obvious they were using it and they weren't using it for much. 20 megabytes for a !@#$ing restful documentation widget whose own proprietary code was 20,000 lines long. It's just ridiculous. IMO, every client-side web dev should be forced to support IE6, then mobile, then write for the desktop browser. But people want the latest buzzwords, they want them fast and cheap and they want them now. This is what you get. A bunch of jr-level slobs writing e-commerce apps who knew what to say about how much they love these new frameworks at the interview.

about three weeks ago
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

Pherdnut Almost nobody read this article (786 comments)

And granted it lacks clarity in headline and it's a bit wish-washy in focus (is it just a synopsis of the podcast?) but movies/ads are given very light mention in a paragraph. The most interesting idea to me is that girls fell behind in personal computing at about the same time they fell behind in computer science. And that makes a lot of sense. I knew no girls who spent a lot of time on Atari 800s and Commodore 64s and the early IBM PC compatibles outside of a classroom.

We can probably lay some of that at the feet of baby boomer dad's gender issues and the assumptions math and science teachers have about girls that they don't even realize but I also suspect there's a more general cultural problem with young women not being taught how to handle failure well. Because learning/doing anything new beyond just being a non-power user in technology is 90% failure. You try and try again until it works. Academia is different. They have problems to solve and they'll show you the solutions. You can copy those down, memorize them and always have them ready. Whether you succeed is often largely about whether you have any aptitude for it and whether you studied.

One thing I remember a lot of girls saying even in high school in the late '80s/early '90s was "I'm just not a <fill-in-the-blank> type person" and then they'd quit whatever discussion/problem they had just been exposed to. It was easier to to redefine their identity to a more limited narrow view than it was to try something and maybe fail at it.

Even my own wife who is brilliant, creative, a very successful artist, has borderline photographic memory, and can do math in head as well as I do swears that Algebra 1 was a horrifying experience for her. Says she just "can't handle the mixing of letters and numbers." She had to take a stats class recently to wrap up a long-delayed degree and aced it. Hated every minute of it but she attacked it and rote-memorized and got through but couldn't tell you a thing about stats a year later. And it's the same with technology. Any time something doesn't just work as well as it probably should she gets so frustrated she can't even think through what the problem might be or a potential workaround.

If she could do that, she'd be great at it. She's the kind of smart that could be great at anything she lets herself get interested in. But she's not a "that" kind of person. Men put themselves in boxes too but never to that degree, IMO. And I think that's at least in large part probably a cultural thing, but absolutely crippling for women facing tech problems once they carve any aptitude for it out of their identities like that. It should take more than one asshole teacher to dissuade you from an interest.

about 2 months ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

Pherdnut Re:Apple REULEZ! (408 comments)

It's the part where this article is supposedly bashing Apple that confounds me.

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Pherdnut Re:Bill by weight (819 comments)

Several problems here:

* I was comfortable in premium seating. Now I'm not. What gives?

* I'm 6'3. It's not a genetic anomaly. It's just 6'3.

* Airlines aren't required to guarantee seat dimensions. They can swap a flight out at any time. If there was an airline that was guaranteed to accommodate my height on every flight, you better believe I'd pay more but there's no guarantees in premium seating even if you're willing to spend the absurd amount more for what is often only a marginal upgrade.

* 6'3 doesn't mean I'm rich.

* It does mean I'm probably bigger than you. A lot bigger than you judging by your self-evident short-guy complex.

* But if it means I am in fact among the larger customers AND I statistically have more money to spend, why do you or the airlines want to piss me off?

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Pherdnut Re:Cheapest Ticket (819 comments)

I've been on flights so uncomfortable, I'd rather they just tell me I don't want to be on that plane by telling me they can't accommodate me. Because then we're having an honest conversation about my money and whether they want it and I don't have to go through 4-12 hour torture to figure out that they just wanted it once.

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Pherdnut Re:Cheapest Ticket (819 comments)

By this logic, couldn't we charge 45+ white males the most, women considerably less, minorities almost nothing and young people the least?

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Pherdnut Re:Anthropometrics (819 comments)

Some of us are technical here. We still use laptops yes.

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Pherdnut Re:Anthropometrics (819 comments)

I'm 6'3 and you'd whine once I got my steel-toed butt up your ass and left it there for an hour which would about equal the discomfort I encounter even before the jackass in front of me reclines his seat into my knees. I get it. We can't support every possible body type or it would get expensive but dude, I'm 6'3, not Andre the Giant. Flights were actually quite comfortable for me for a few years there but very recently they have been ridiculous. Now I try to find Airbuses, exit rows, or I don't fly at all. It's been a while but I've never been uncomfortable on an Airbus. Perhaps French design doesn't accommodate American abuse in regards to minimum seat-spacing.

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Pherdnut Re:Does the article mention the companies? (819 comments)

Same as usual. Everybody. It's not like we'll let them fail for sucking or anything.

about 3 months ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Pherdnut Re:We only use JS now? (294 comments)

If he knew what he was talking about he wouldn't be lauding Ext JS as if it was something that shouldn't be compared to a hate crime. I say that as a primarily JS developer.

about 4 months ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Pherdnut Re:Moar old man complaints (294 comments)

You ran off with a Trash 80 didn't you?

about 4 months ago
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The Technologies Changing What It Means To Be a Programmer

Pherdnut Re:Not that simple (294 comments)

Ironically a lot of JavaScript developers would tend to agree with a lot of your points. When you come to programming writing code for six to 20ish at least mildly disagreeing interpreters of the very code you're writing, many of them with their own proprietary versions of an essential API, you develop a healthy respect for reducing baggage, avoiding needless dependencies, and thinking very carefully about how to keep your code legible and easy to modify. I absolutely think over-reliance on IDES/tooling to read and fix the code for them has made a lot of Java and C# devs weaker programmers than they could be and that a side benefit of being able to execute code instantly is that JS devs were less interested in tools that did the work for them. I actually had a guy on StackOverflow tell me to stop joshing about actually writing reusable/portable code as if he couldn't imagine somebody doing something loosely coupled enough to make that possible no too long ago.

But don't be too quick to get on that garbage collection bandwagon. In many ways, the more dynamic scripting languages, JS in particular IMO, are closer to C in spirit than C# or Java because they are (JS in particular) informed by a design philosophy that doesn't give a rat's ass about protecting you from yourself or any B-grade programmers on your team. It is exceedingly flexible, will let you do spectacularly awful things to yourself and you get burned. And you learn. And you stop. And it happens pretty fast. What a concept. Power, flexibility and willful incompetence either adjusts or will want to show itself the door. I don't ever want it any other way. One of my favorite frameworks hinges on the concept of matching URLs with regular expressions. It's amazing how many useless jagoffs that knowledge requirement eliminates.

But there's really not much in the way of limits on performance in a language like JS or Python where you can very easily bind to C or C++. IMO, it's the perfect combination. All the higher level concepts and flexibility to build APIs that help you keep things lean and understandable and easy to modularize/reuse with all the performance you need when it becomes critical. I'm still a rank noob at C/C++ but the more I read up on C the more of a natural fit it feels like in tandem with JS. I couldn't write a maintainable app with it and I wouldn't have the first clue how but the JS, IMO is probably better suited to gluing things together. Or at the least I seem to have a hell of an easier time of it than the Java or C# devs and those were supposed to have an easier time of it than C/C++ but mostly I think they wandered off of that path and landed in this weird place where it was more about making sure you could still pull things off that were adequate with a bunch of mediocre programmers. And gee didn't that set the bar high. Most Java web devs at the median skill-level can't even be bothered to learn HTML.

I'm definitely not sure what you mean by large projects though. Do you mean like say... OS/2? Okay, maybe that was cheap but MMOs are certainly large projects. Windows finally got a near-total rewrite. Complex applications are constantly producing new versions with new functionality. The folks in Silicon Valley are doing very complicated things with very large sets of data nowadays. Larger, complex apps might be less representative in this latest technology explosion but I doubt there's fewer of them per capita than there were in your day.

Just because smartphones and the web have made smaller projects much easier to distribute, market, and profit from, doesn't mean people forgot how to write larger, more advanced apps, or got any less worse at making complete disasters of them for that matter. One thing I would say has dramatically improved is turnaround time on the UI side of things. With web technology and many other mostly-non-Java solutions we can knock out robust GUIs almost instantly compared to what I've heard from more veteran devs I'm friends with from the late '80s and '90s..

But seriously, if you still code for interest, give the JavaScripts and the Pythons a chance. You might find them surprisingly agreeable.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: "Real" Computer Scientists vs. Modern Curriculum?

Pherdnut Re:Not this again. (637 comments)

I agree. Don't hate Java. Hate Java developers.

about 4 months ago
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Researchers See a Post-Snowden Chilling Effect In Our Search Data

Pherdnut Re:Do Not Search "Anthrax" (138 comments)

Ashamed of "I'm the man?" Why do you hate freedom?

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

Pherdnut Re: Be there for him... (125 comments)

You sound like a real peach to work for/with. If technology wasn't 50% screwups and botched design, we wouldn't need sys admins.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

Pherdnut Re:Give up the keys (125 comments)

I'm a developer and deeply grateful that running the network is somebody else's job given that I can't even seem to figure out what in a windows 7 reinstall/re-update has completely nuked my wireless connectivity on my silly little home network. Never assume the other guy's job is easy. Even if you know a thing or two about how to DIY.

about 8 months ago
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Stanford Bioengineers Develop 'Neurocore' Chips 9,000 Times Faster Than a PC

Pherdnut Microsoft will ruin it. (209 comments)

They'll add so many new features nobody needed to Word it will still take as long to load a doc as it did in Window '95 and now takes in Win 8.

about 8 months ago
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'CandySwipe' Crushed: When Game Development Turns Nasty

Pherdnut We need an open source alternative. (251 comments)

I think all we really need is a deep husky-voiced man's voice that tells women what they just did was "delicious."

about 10 months ago

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