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Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

Qbertino Small? Specialize and get billing, taxes, ... (108 comments)

Small? Specialize and get billing, taxes, legal and ERP covered. Legal and taxes are other people, billing an ERP can be done with online tools like FreshBooks or small to midsized softwarepackages like Lexware.

What practices you need is up to you - especially if you code alone.
It also depends on the code you write. If it's just custom ABAP scripting for a handful of clients at a time, point and click testing and a few manually checked testpositions ought to be enough.
If you want to deliver software to a wide range of customers, perhaps even online, with demo-versions and stuff you *have* to have your pipeline standing, even and especially if you are alone. You want to be able to compile and deploy a hotfix wih a mouseclick.

Ask yourself: if the worst possible szenario happens with my software, will I be able to fix it inmediatel? If the answer is yes, with a few night-shifts and my leet Google searching skill I ought to manage somehow - that's OK. If the answer is no, compiling for XYZ takes days of time each time around - then you're doing it wrong and need to automate your process (more).

As for the business itself: Specialize in a field and a subset of that. There is no other way you can keep up with the big boys as a small shop. ERP, Web, Embedded, DB, etc. They all have their ups and downs and each have countless subcategories you can specialize in. Do it! Do not look left or right, unless you don't have any customers in the current field.

Good luck!

9 hours ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

Qbertino Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (308 comments)

You people talk about terraforming mars or venus as if that were so easy.

Newsflash: Mars and Venus are very far away. Like, I mean, enormously freaking huge distances.

It took rosetta 10 years to rendevous with a comet that's basically crossing through earths nearest neighborhood. And that was a satellite the size of a car. And it did not have to transport and sustain humans and their life-requirements.

Until significant advancemens in getting stuff to orbit, massive advancements in material and propulsion technology and massive advancements in synthesizing materials, food, air and water have come by, we're pretty much stuck on this planet. If these advancements don't come, then we're stuck here for ever. We might aswell learn to behave that way.

Bottom line:
If humanity is to dumb to stop itself from killing itself on this planet, it has nothing lost on some other planet. That's my opinion anyway.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

Qbertino What do you mean by "hackable"? (184 comments)

If we're talking about the kind of hacks you'd normaly think of when thinking of cars that would probably be some 2-3 decade old ex-soviet military car. In a pinch you can repair those with a paperclip. Some of them also have awesome features. I've heard of a transporter that can deflate and inflate its tires... while driving! They used that feature to adjust the tires to the ground the transporter would pass over. More traction in snow and sand and stuff like that.

An old us-army jeep probably is pretty hackable aswell. As goes for dune-buggies and other kit-cars.

As for hackable electronics in cars - I'd rather add those myself.

2 days ago
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Android Botnet Evolves, Could Pose Threat To Corporate Networks

Qbertino Firefox OS, Sailfish OS (54 comments)

It's not that there are not enough viable alternatives to Overlord Google.

2 days ago
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Jolla Crowdfunds Its First Tablet

Qbertino Want one! (54 comments)

Awesome specs, looks good, cheap price. This is trés cool. I have been toying around with the idea of getting a Huawei or Asus Cheapo Tablet as a new one, but I think I'll wait until this ones out and take a look at it. Like the Jolla Phone too - but my HTC Desire HD is still holding up, so I'll pass for now.

3 days ago
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Debian Votes Against Mandating Non-systemd Compatibility

Qbertino Systemd appears to me like the Dolphin of init. (534 comments)

Systemd appears to me like the Dolphin of init. Dolphin had the clear mission: To be simple to use. They were willing to ditch the superiour Konqueror for it. OK, if for them one mission statement weighs enough to justify that, go right ahead. I think I'd still prefer Konqueror allthough I couldn't say if I'd be bothered to install it if presented with Dolphin as a default. Same with Systemd vs. init.

I personally am not sure if this thing turns out well. It all comes down to how good the systemd camp is at offering incentives to move to it and how well they develop. If the entire thing in the end turns out better than init and has less problems the bickering will stop. If not, Debian will switch back eventually and the systemd camp will be burnt for a long time.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Professionally Packaged Tools For Teaching Kids To Program?

Qbertino What does *she* want to do? (107 comments)

Errrm, what does *she* want to do? Make a 3D thingie fly around and shoot hearts at ponies with it? Then Unity 3D is the way to go. Blender will be more useful to her aswell. There are courses for that. Does she want to draw cool graphics? That's easy: Processing. Does she want to build her own robot? Arduino. ... And so on.

Teaching her Eclipse sounds more like torture to me. But then again, maybe you have a fledgling business programmer here - who knows?

At the age of nine focussing on a neat useful interpreted PL probably is the best. Python, C# (Unity 3D) or Processing (Processing and Arduino) are good choices. JavaScript and Chromeexperiments if she's into stuff that comes out of the Intarweb.

I like the fact that your daughter is into this sort of thing. I wish the mother of mine had supported me more/not prevented me in trying to introduce my daughter to programming. All the best to both of you.

4 days ago
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HTML5: It's Already Everywhere, Even In Mobile

Qbertino It *is* the next coming of C. (I'm not joking.) (133 comments)

My understanding is that it is still just HTML, but the way some people describe it, it sounds like the second coming of C.

It is the next coming of C.

The moment the portable devices became web capable - and the web back then already was where most people spent their time when computing - was when the iPhone was introduced. A full-blown non-sucking modern browser on a fully mobile pocket device that the entire world wanted. That was a first. And Steve Jobs said: No,it won't run flash or any other VM. Period.

This eventually killed Flash and pushed *everyone* in the rich client field back to Ajax, HTML and CSS. At the same time browsers became more performant, Google open sourced their acqired V8 engine and moved every thinkable app into the cloud.

FFW to today, 7 years Anno iPhone, and we have a bazillion online devices (classic Desktops, laptops, netbooks/ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones) with nothing but am HTML5 browser that runs JavaScript in common. Google will defend the(ir) web with all their might and they plan to bring the second half of humanity online - with the help of Huawei, Xiaoming and friends. And they're already doing it with a notable pace.
And the devices doing this are so powerfull, they'd run circles around an 80ies liquid nitro cooled Supercomputer. Hence rich clients in pure open standard web technologies is where *everything* that matters in utility and end-user computing today happens. That's a simple fact. Performance be damned, we have 4-8 cores running at 1.x Ghz on even the cheapest of mobile devices. So, yeah, every advancement in the field is a big deal. Web Components, for instance, are a huge step forward. (Google for "Polymer")

And why are web based rich client apps such a big deal, you ask?

From the top of my head:
No deployment, continuous integration, port 80 is always open, no fussing with customers inhouse IT, runs on everything that runs on electricity and has a screen with zero porting. And probably then some reasons.

(Sidenote: That's why we today even have tons of SCADA equipment that runs mission-critical stuff accesible to every highschool kid who can dig up the default password.)

Bottom line:
You got it just right: The web and HTML5 centric frontends actually are the next coming of C.

4 days ago
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Ars Dissects Android's Problems With Big Screens -- Including In Lollipop

Qbertino Good UI & UX is hard. Really hard. (103 comments)

Good UI & UX design is hard. Really hard. It's one thing doing a cleanroom design of UX, an entirely other doing it for real life and various screen-sizes - preferably responsive. It's like with the code itself. In dev it will run and work, but beware of post-deployment if you haven't tested your stuff in every possible situation. I did tons of this stuff with Flash back in the day, and even with Flashs superiour visual & direct manupilation workplace and solid cross-plattform compatilibilty it was hard. I remember doing the UI for a flash-based MMO at a gamepublisher some years ago. We worked for months just to get the pageflow of character configuration and setup right. Video-based UX testing with usergroups and all. We'd discuss how and why the rail of a slider would look like X and not like Y.
Now, with HTML5, CSS and JS and all the screen sizes and mouse vs. tough it's by orders of magnitude harder.

It does not get that much easyer when you go native with Android or iOS SDK. You're app and your workflow will always have something significant that a good UI designer would like to highlight or help out in being intuitively usable - without destroying the page- and workflow the user is used to with other applications. It's a really tough job and each and every time it's like jumping off a cliff and not knowing if the parachute will deploy.

I'm one of the rare cases that's actually reasonably good at both - I have various diplomas in art and design and 28 years of programming experience, but I honestly couldn't tell which is harder. Basically both require very hard work if you want to do it well. Good UI is also where shitty backends are exposed. If the backend can't deliver what the user needs, no UX in the world will fix it. A significant portion of the logic is having the computer do what the enduser needs, fast and efficient. If UX and backend development don't work together or one of them doesn't understand the needs of the other, it almost instantly shows in a project. That's the classic difference between Apple and MS, btw. Steve Jobs basically nailed it in this rare direct comparsion comment.

Bottom line: The apps shown in this rundown on lollypop are the best you can get with boilerplate UX. The article basically is right, good UX looks different.

5 days ago
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World's Youngest Microsoft Certificated Professional Is Five Years Old

Qbertino No big deal. (276 comments)

I think the mold on the left yogurt in my fridge is an MCSE. ... Yeah, he was bored one afternoon.

Seriously though, if my kid were a computer prodigy, the last thing I would teach it is something proprietary with such a short half-life as MCP. Basic knowledge of a programming language and TCP/IP would've been much better for this kid at that age. What a waste of talent. ... Put him on the kernel team and Linus accept a commit by him - *that* would be news. :-)

I hope this wasn't some nutty dad driving his kid to do something so he could feel great about himself as a dad.

But maybe the kid is happy and loves his dad and dad loves him back. That's the most important think at that age - MCP or not.

My 2 cents.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Programming Education Resources For a Year Offline?

Qbertino TCP/IP Illustrated (Volumes 1-3), Seneca & Epi (223 comments)

You'll come back as a TCP/IP Expert - which can never hurt. That aside, I'd take some serious stoic philosophy with me too. Helps you tune into the mood you need if at sometime you're feeling down. Senecas "Letters of a Stoic" and everything from Epicurous is neat aswell.

Maybe you want to check out a little buddhist philosophy while you're at it, since you're in a place where that's the thing anyway.

Other than that, I'd try to find ways of coping with boredom and loss of meaning. Mingle with the locals and learn their traditions - perhaps a musical instrument or their local tales or tibetan buddhist literature. No need to be arrogant or pompous about things we nerds of the west care so much about.

Oh, almost forgot: Learn alpine mountaineering! You're in climbers paradise, stupid! If you get into climbing, you won't get bored and your computer-books will remain unread. Promise. Also there's a lot to geek out about on gear and climbing routes and all that kind of stuff. Ice climbing is a whole field in itself aswell. If that's not enough, take a camera and try to catch some lokal wildlife, if that's your thing. ... Seriously, the books on computing stuff should just be a fallback.

Have fun!

about a week ago
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Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

Qbertino Re:two bounces (223 comments)

Seven minutes to fly up and down three feet; that's almost impossible to imagine.

Yepp. You could probalby jump beyond it's gravitational pull.
One sneeze and your away for the day.
*Aaaachoooh!* ... oh noes! Help, I'm flying.

about a week ago
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Researchers Forecast the Spread of Diseases Using Wikipedia

Qbertino How? (61 comments)

How did they do it? I started reading the linked paper, but my brain started hurting two sentences in. I couldn't extract any useful information on the 'how'.

about two weeks ago
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Comet Probe Philae Unanchored But Stable — And Sending Back Images

Qbertino Amazing. Just plain amazing. (132 comments)

This is so cool. ... Isn't that freakin' amazing? ... I'm getting goosebumps all over and feel like back in the 70ies when we'd been to the moon. (my Grandpa worked at Grumman as a Engineer on the Lunar Lander btw.)

We've landed on a friggin' Comet! This is so awesome!
F*ck yeah! YAY! Go, space exploration, go!

about two weeks ago
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Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

Qbertino It probably just finally got escalated. (114 comments)

The problem probably just finally got escalated inside Groupon. Before it was some stupid desk clerk thinking: Oh, some hobbyists I've never heard of are mad that their little programming club has the same name as our new terminal. No big deal.
Then it was "Sue them into next wednesday!" "Burn Groupon to the ground!" "Hang them higher!" and their response being "OMFG! It's a project that's FOSS and Linux and they are all friends with IBM, Oracle and Google. And they've got lawyers!"

Probably some exec with a clue got wind of the situation and concluded that "... yeah, they do have a case and this Gnome Project acutally isn't that small of a deal as one might think. And we have enough bad press as it is. Back down.".

Smart move I'd say.
And they even get a little neat publicity for playing nice.

about two weeks ago
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The Math Behind the Hipster Effect

Qbertino What's wrong with hippster? (176 comments)

I love it. Hipster-hate, in all it's forms, is the latest new thing! It's the latest trend.

What's wrong with hippster? ... I love hippster. Nerdyness becoming the über-chique. That's awesome. For once, fashion has caught up with nerd-culture and not the other way around. In the 80ies it was Grundge and oversized, today it's hippster. Different name, same thing, basically. I can get huge and stable plastic frame glasses that are sturdy, cheap and let me see everything and I'm right ahead with the avantgarde.

The best thing about it is, that if you want to dress extra classy, a *normal* suit and tie will do just fine, becaue everybody else is wearing chucks and NBs anyway. And, to be honest, girls all dressed up like chicas in high-heels and tons of makeup all day never was my thing. I thing they look really cute with their baggy smurf-woolen caps, doc martens and oversized parkas. ... It's all been there in the 60ies and 80ies already and I love it whenever it comes around.

Yay for Hippster!

about two weeks ago
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Worrying Aspects of Linux Gaming

Qbertino Errrm, ... who cares? (265 comments)

Sorry to be raining on your parade, folks, but seriously, no one really cares.

If Windows 8 has become a utility OS for Steam and Valve is OK with that and is dropping Linux as a foundation - so effing what? Valve would've built yet another dodgy distro of Linux (a shabby Debian fork I'd guess) and I think we all can agree that we have enough of those. And if you think that Valve would've put effort into the community - think again. Their a business.

With Android and Chrome OS we already have to large Linux distros comparatively tightly controlled by a MegaCorp. And from what I can tell, Android is going to be the next gen gaming OS. Convergence is upon us and once that's through, no one will give a damn about the "Desktop" - it was a crappy metaphor anyway - or PC gaming. Aside from a few enthusiasts and development professionals perhaps.
You'll plug your phone into your TV/Monitor grab your favorite independantly manufactured gaming controller and play Assasins Creed 12 you've just downloaded and bought a 32-hour gaming ticket for.

NVidia Shield anyone? Did you see the gaming demo in the iPhone 6 presentation? Gaming on smartphones and tablets is just taking of and there are enough experts in gaming who've expressed their feeling that the current gen of consoles will be the last. XBone is bombing, Wii has significantly slowed and the PS4 is one step away from becoming Sonys all-in media and home computing center - if they don't screw this one up that is.

No one want the Linux desktop, because the Desktop is on the way out.
Utility OSes like iOS, Chrome and Anroid is where the parties at now. End of Story.

about two weeks ago
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Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda

Qbertino Poor animal. (164 comments)

How are they gonna get him out again? Cut the snake open?

How about giving the beast some real food and/or just leave it alone?

Or film it from a distance and watch it eat some of its natural prey.
Isn't that what discovery channel usually does?

And, btw, AFAIK boa constrictors - which include anacondas - prefer their prey not breathing anymore. And they don't really care if it's bottled air you're breathing or not. They constrict you 'till you stop breathing. Hence the name. Duh.

To be honest, I kinda hope this snake teaches the guy a lesson and get's away with it. Now *that* would be some news. :-)

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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MS open sources .Net (MIT and Apache 2 license), seeks porting to other OSes

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about two weeks ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "On wednesday, the 12. of October 2014 Microsoft announced that they are releasing their .Net framework under the OSI certified MIT and Apache 2 open source licenses. Techcrunch reports that MS wants to work closely with the mono project and its 'business arm' Xamarin to spread .Net to other non-MS plattforms. The sourcecode is available here at the official MS Github account. In other news relyable sources from hell have reported temperatures of 20 centigrade below zero and the FAA has seen a spike in reports of flying pigs. And no, it's not April 1st."
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Ask Slashdot: Open Hard- & Software based Security Token Thingie?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 4 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hoi Slashdotters. I'm just musing about a security setup to allow my coworkers/users access to files from the outside. I want security to be a little safer than pure key or PW based SSH access and some super-expensive RSA Token Setup is out of question, so I've been wondering if there are any feasible and working FOSS and open hardware based security token generator projects out there? Best with readymade server-side scripts/daemons.
Perhaps something arduino or rasberry pi based or something? Has anybody tried something like this? What are your experiences? What do you use? How would you attempt an open hardware FOSS solution to this problem? Discuss! And thanks for any input."
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Is it feasible to revive an old Linux PC setup?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 5 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I’ve been rumaging around on old backups and cleaning out my stuff and have once again run into my expert-like paranoid backups and keepsakes from back in the days (2001). I’ve got, among other things, a full installset of Debian 3 CDs, an original StarOffice 6.0 CD including a huge manual in mint condition, Corel Draw 9 for Linux, the original box & CDs — yes it ran on a custome wine setup, but it ran well, I did professional design and print work with it.

I’ve got more of other stuff lying around, including the manuals to run it. Loki Softs Tribes 2, Kohan, Rune and the original Unreal Tournament for Linux have me itching too. :-)

I was wondering if it would be possible to do an old 2001ish setup of a linux workstation on some modern supercheap, supersmall PC (Rasberry Pi? Mini USB PC?), install all the stuff and give it a spin. What problems should I expect? Vesa and Soundblaster drivers I’d expect to work, but what’s with the IDE HDD drivers? How well does vintage Linux software from 2003 play with todays cheap system-on-board MicroPCs? What’s with the USB stuff? Wouldn’t the install expect the IO devices hooked on legacy ports? Have you tried running 10-15 year old Linux setups on devices like these and what are your experiences? What do you recommend?"
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Would you now bet on server side JavaScript (Node.js)?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 6 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "How realistic is it to place most bets on server side JavaScript / Node.js rather than a P language (PHP/Perl/Python)?

Back in the day, when Netscape had the only useful web server, server-side scripting was done with JavaScript — that was somewhere around 96 or so. Along came LAMP and got rid of proprietary solutions (for the most part that is) and somehow PHP got critical mass for being at the right place at the right time and having good documentation and a very low bar of entry.

However things have changed. Flash as a rich client technology is basically dead, just about everything web-based done client side has its logic coded in JavaScript, and with HTML 5 & CSS 3 being the go-to platform of today (also for wrapped x-platfrom mobile apps) and Node.js has recruited the remarkable V8 JS VM for serverside stuff. I’m now seriously considering the move away from PHP / Python to JavaScript for non-trivial server side development aswell. It would be so cool to have one PL for everything, and finally getting rid of PHP / mod_php doesn’t really hurt either.

I am wondering if it is feasible to bet on server side JS and Node.js in particular for large non-trivial web apps. I’m talking about Apps with the functional depth compareable to Pimcore or Typo3 here.

Concrete Example: Let’s say a client would come up to me and say he want’s a custom DTP platform that runs entirely on the web, with heavy Ajax/JS/HTML Canvas coding in the client (modern HTML 5 browsers) and a large app model in the backend (x86 Linux with print PDF generation and lots of other features).
Would you say it’s a risk worth taking to do the lions share of server side logic in JS running on Node.js with C/C++ extensions to Node.js for the speed-critical parts (Node offers some neat features in that dept) or would you suggest to play it safe and use existing PHP setups and toolkits, such as Zend or Symfony for such a thing? I’d say if the client is heavy JS lifting already, you might aswell use the same PL on the server — especially since I know how to abstract persistence and app layer, no matter the PL and could probably write the framework for all my persistence needs in a week. That would be a week in a project planned for 6 — 10 months.

Basically it would mean to restrict PHP work to quick and simple hacks on existing platforms such as Wordpress, Drupal or Typo3 and do every other from-scratch‘ project on JS / Node.js from here on out.

What do you think? Feasible or just to risky? What would you do? Have you been itching to go full force on Node.js yourself? Educated opinions of slashdotters desperately needed. Thanks."
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One Phone to rule them all

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about 6 months ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "The Oneplus One, brazingly subtitled "2014 Flagship Killer", is a mobile phone specifically designed to go head-to-head with and beat the flagship products of existing behemoths in the industry and apparently also caters to the opinion leading crowd, i.e. us. It sports a quadcore 2.5 Ghz Snapdragon CPU, 3GB of RAM with a Sysclock of 1.8Ghz and 32GB (299$) / 64GB (349$) of storage, a replacable battery, a 6-lens 13 Megapixel sony camera and a 5 megapixel webcam for videochat. It runs CyanogenMod 11S based off Android 4.4 KitKat. Specs, especially when compared to pricing, blow the lid off current expectations and definitely raise the bar for next gen phones. Three concluding words: I want one."
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How do I wrap my head around (My)SQL?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  about a year ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hi fellow slashdotters. I've got a problem. Basically I'm the regular Type A 80ies computer-geek, starting programming on a Sharp PC (PocketComputer) 1402 back in 1986 and been coding for money since the web-boom back in 2000-2001. There is one thing that has been bugging me ever since, and that is the developer communitys obsession with SQL as a means to automatically access persistance from the app layer. I'm not quite sure if it may just be MySQL, but the strange, human-communication-emulation syntax of SQL and it's ever-present ambiguity never fail to piss me off on a day-to-day basis.

However, I now have a job that requires me to become at least mid-range fluent in MySQL. Modifying the setup to avoid MySQLs SQL, such as adding ORM layers or frameworks, is not an option, for various reasons, some of them silly, some of them quite resonable. One being that we actually do access and analyse data direct and manually — what SQL originaly was built for.

My specific questions:
What can I do to get solid results and make measurable progress with non-trivial SQL (JOINs and beyond) whilst not constantly running into MySQL annoyances like, f.i. its bizar error messages to often?

What strategies do you recommend for a born SQL hater to grow a little acceptance and get to learn to handle the strangeness of this PL? Maybe a book of sorts that adresses issues more experience developers may have with (My)SQL? Perhaps you have some personal advice on how you tackled this problem — if you had it?

Finally, what do you recommend to get more firm and less confused with the non-trivial pieces of set theory and day-to-day data analysis ... books, online resources, games/riddles or excercises and explanations for pratice? I'd like to get quicker and more fluent at this in general.

Thanks for your input."
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What's the best State-of-the-Art FOSS Product for Java (Web) Projects?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hi Slashdotters. After 12 years of realtive abstinence I'm looking to get my hands dirty with Java again and thought I'd do so by attempting one of the countless non-trivial Web projects on my idea list. I'm looking for something that removes a few layers of the crufty LAMP stack that so many of us got used to, in order to compensate for the Java typical hassles I'll inevitably run into. For this I'm looking for a FOSS Java Product (Framework, Toolkit, Enterprise CMS, Appserver, whatever) that has a certain set of features and attributes (see below). I've allways been keeping an eye on the PHP and Python projects on a regular basis, but couldn't say so about Java, so I need some input from you guys.

The following attributes are a must:

1.) Must be a pro-level/enterprise tool, meaning: When I learn it in the end I should be closer to typical enterprise products like jBoss, Glassfish, Oracle Whatever, SAP Whatnot, IBM Websphere, etc. with the knowledge gained. Ergo: Not some avantgarde experiment that has me crying myself to sleep once I get a gig at some Java shop that uses todays regular products, but something that prepares me for the things to come. At least a little.

2.) I'm willing to use some avantgarde stuff if it is stuff I can easyly integrate into existing enterprise toolstacks later in my career (SAP, Oracle, IBM, ect.) without having to install countless things below the regular Java level. Or obscure Java Libs that are a licencing liability to my employer/client.

3.) This one's a little contradiction with point 1: I which it to have absolutely zero fuss in integrating application and persistance. Think Zope/Plone. If I build a type/entity I want to do that exactly once and only once and I do not want to be manually editing XML in order to do so. Best would be if it had some kind of modeller where I can click together my entities and objects, maybe in some Java Application or a Web/Ajax Backend Interface (very fancy I know). I wish to avoid seperate persistance level logic programming with a specific language (read: No SQL or XML Situps!) entirely. In other words: In terms of persistance/applevel integration I really would like to leave the current state of things which to me appears to have been stuck in the early 90ies. I have no problem if this is all covered by fully automated scaffolding/crud or whatever and tons of autogenerated SQL in the background — I just would like to avoid having to deal with seperate layers alltogether whilst prototyping. Basically I'd like to stick to building my objects/types in Java and nothing else.

4.) The product should be either a one-command install on x86 Debian stable and other x86 Linux distros or should be easy to deploy manually with just a runtime as a prerequesite and a jar or something. Likewise it should be easy to deploy the required runtime environment and sub-libs on Mac OS X Snow Leopard. It should have a webserver option that is production ready and tried-and-true tested. It would be nice if that webserver option would either be an intergrated HTTP thingie inside the Java product or a first-choice integration with a FOSS HTTP Server binary that is *not* Apache, like lightHttpd or whatever the newest hype in enterprise ready lightweight HTTP-thingies is. I'd like to avoid Apache Configuration hassles just as I'd like to avoid SQL hassles.

6.) It should be established as a product — at least in the FOSS community (not just on one obscure mailinglist somewhere deep in the massive Apache Java Project grabbag) or be notably promising with a small company or dedicated team behind it. Something like PHPs ZendFW, Symphony, the Typo3 or Rails community — they've got a hang at pushing their stack in respective markets. (I.E.: Their websites don't look like shit and the projects opinion leaders actually know that marketing is important — even for a FOSS product) If it's a young but promising project I have no trouble helping out once I'm up to speed, so don't hesitate to advertise your own below, just don't ignore the requirements above completely.

Bonus points if the product has a braggable enterprise customer/user list and a real shot at pissing into the soup of the established players (Oracle, SAP, IBM, etc.).

Number 6 and 7 are nice to haves:

6.) Native integration with a well-established seasoned Ajax Toolkit like Sencha/Ext3, jQuery UI, Tipco GI or something of the sort. Perferably with a FOSS interface builder along with it.

  7.) Built with zero-fuss Mobile App integration (Android & iOS) in mind, since I think we all agree that that is the next big thing. Perhaps Android/iOS Libs already in place/available or something like that.

Thanks for you input, it's allway a great help."
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Late-ish Career Boost via degree: CS or Business Informatics?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hoi Slashdotters. I'm in my early 40ies and after a little more than 10 years of web, scripting and software development as a freelancer and some gigs as a regular fulltime employee I'm seriously considering giving my IT career a boost to be more able to move up the food chain by getting a degree. I'm your regular 80ies computer kid and made a career switch to IT during the dot-bomb days. Now I'm with quite a bit of programming and project experience but sans a degree and find myself hitting somewhat of a glass ceiling with maybe a little age discrimination thrown in there — i.e. at my age you're either moving up the ladder or out. Since I'm in Germany, degrees count a lot (70% of IT staff have a degree) so getting one seems fitting and a nice touch to my portfolio. However, I'm pondering wether I should go for CS ('Informatics / Informatik' in German) or Business Informatics.

I'd like to move into Projekt Management or Technical Account Management and am in a little dilemma: CS gives me the pro credibility and proves my knowledge with low-level and tech stuff and I'd be honing my C/C++ and *nix skills and emphasising my tech cred. BI would teach me some bean-counting skills, I'd be doing modelling, ERP with Java or .Net all day (creepy, I know) and give me some BA cred but I'd lose karma with the T-Shirt wearing crew and the decision makers in that camp. Help me make my move with some educated opinions please. I'm leaning a little toward BI because I suspect that's where the money is in my case, but am not quite sure wether a classic CS degree wouldn't still be better — even if I'm wearing a suit. Any suggestions?"
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LSE drops .Net for Linux & Solaris Solution

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Heise.de reports (text in German) that the London Stock Exchange will drop its .Net based trading software solution for a Linux/Solaris alternative. Its mostly performance and cost issues that bring Microsofts prime example for the feasibility of .Net for large installations to a grinding and unpleasant halt. What really gives the .Net camp a major blow in the TCO arguement though, is that amoung 20 evaluated solutions the one chosen was buying the entire Sri Lanka based company MilleniumIT that offers the chosen alternative for the equivalent of 30 Million Euros. In comparsion, the mere rollout of the current insufficient .Net infrastructure cost LSE the equivalent of 65 Million Euros. ... 'gues I'll continue stearing clear of .Not."
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Ton Roosendahl recieves Honorary Doctorate

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "BlenderNation, a Blender News site, reports that Ton Roosendahl, lead developer and founder of the Blender Project, will recieve a PhD HC at the University in Leeds (UK) today. Blender isn't just a flagship open source project, it also has gained a solid reputation in the scientific community. Honor whom honor is due, i say. He very much deserves it. I'm sure the Blender community as a whole is happy and proud for and with him."
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3rd Blender Open Movie Project 'Durian' Announced

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "After 2 Blender Open Movie projects (Elefants Dream and Big Buck Bunny), both of which where huge successes for the blender communtiy and did a remarkable job at achieving the target goals, the blender foundation has announced it's third open movie project codenamed 'Durian' which is to be another animated short film made with an entirely FOSS production pipeline with Blender at its core. This time with an epic setting, an action-oriented presentation and a heroine as main character. The scenario rollout will be provided and overseen by the renowned dutch comic artist Martin Lodewijk. To all artists, blenderheads and 3D programmers: If you want to participate, now is your time to apply. The project team will be finalised and announced by June 20th this year. Shortly after the project will start in Amsterdam and go for the usual 6 to 9 Months. With Blender versions and projects increasing in quality and impact in leaps and bounds at each iteration, this is yet another gem from the Blender crew to look forward too. Especially with Blender 2.5 coming up with a large redo and overhaul of core components and features."
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Removing naggapps and clutter from a fresh Vista

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Hello fellow Slashdotters. I've got a rather unusual problem: I'm a Linux veteran and haven't used Windows for production work since 8 years ago and stopped using it entirely about 6 years ago. However, I'm about to recieve a brand new Laptop as an xmas present from my employer and it comes with Vista preinstalled. I'd like to use the preinstalled OS as a foundation for working with some apps I use at work that only run on Windows, so I'd like to keep the install if possible. And, no, there are no replacements for these on Ubuntu. What can I do to clean up Vista and remove any crap that bogs down the system or gets me angry by nagging me with "Please register this OS and give us your genetic fingerprint" popups and simular shite MS has been pissing off people with lately? I'm even willing to pay 30 Euros or so for Windows cleanup utilities, maybe there is something you Windows guys can recommend? Any free tools I should run before doing anything on Vista? Thanks for any help."
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Are you also growing sceptical of todays IT?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I am, just as many other slashdotters, the typical Generation X geek. I started programming in my teens in the mid-80s and have done it ever since, with maybe a few year break inbetween. In 1999 I joined the first web craze full-scale and have since then been developing software and contributing to IT projects for a living. I currently have a compareatively safe and fun job in a currently booming market (MMO Gaming) and a chance to yet again try out the newest of technologies in my field and even get paid for it. However, I've grown increasingly weary of a world embracing IT technologies where I feel they don't belong. IT-Bots deciding wether someone is elligeble to a credit or not or a terrorist or not based on some obscure metadata, indian taxi-drivers required not to smile in order for bots to be able to read their faces, bizar amounts of virtual/digital money being leveraged to unhinge entire economies, ect. pp. ... you get the picture. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the world will end because of this, but I do think people will have to move away from IT in order to reclaim their lives and that this will hurt our field of expertise where it actually *is* usefull and meant to advance humanity. On the other hand, people are starting to think this is normal. They don't see the nature of computers or the web, but simply take it in without even reflecting it. And the scary part about it is that no matter how ineffective it is, it is actually more effective for everyday life to mostly stear clear of IT and not become to dependant on it. Which — as I see it — only IT experts can actually really do proactively. What I'm saying is that more and more I see it becoming increasingly difficult to actually see the work I do actually benefit the people around me. What I see is a huge machine decoupled from humanity, squeezing the last bit of net gain out of everything and sinking people to mere co-dependant parts of it rather than empowering individuals. What are your observations? Similar, or is this just some sort of a winter depression I'm having? I don't see myself as overly romantic or backwards — on the contrary — but could it be that we as IT geeks more proactively have to embrace a counterculture? And maybe stand up against a world in which *everything* is ruled by IT? What do you fellow slashdotters think?"
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CakePHP 1.2 RC 1 released

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "After a long developement time and massive improvements in functions and featureset the CakePHP project has released RC1 of their Web Application Framework. CakePHP is one of the popular full-scale MVC web frameworks written in PHP. Unlike most others, it still actively supports PHP 4, allthough not with all features and it is officially inspired by Ruby on Rails."
Link to Original Source
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German Supreme Court blocks 'Big Eavesdropping'

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "The 'Big Eavesdropping Attack' ('Großer Lauschangriff'), a set of german anti-terrorisim laws forcing network and telco providers to store any connection data for 60 days (amoungst other things), is a major YRO/privacy issue in Germany. According to Spiegel Online (Article in German) the German Supreme Court has invalidated substancial portions of the bill in a short-notice arbitration. This is yet another instance in a series of swattings of the German gouverment for this sort of thing from the Judges of the German Supreme Court. A big relief for all whom it concerns. Nice to see the authorities still believe in citizens rights. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
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Microsoft offers 44 Billion $ for Yahoo

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "According to the major German news-site Spiegel Online, Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo for $31 per share, adding up to 44 Billion for a majority in shares. Prices for Yahoo shares started climbing after the news. Tricky thing. This would reduce the amount in Microsofts piggybank considerably and could backfire big time if their plan doesn't work out. And this time there'd be not much left to pay off the mistake. It's suprising to see MS announcing such a bold move. Is Yahoo really worth that much? And doesn't this appear a tad desperate?"
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Workplace Shell replacement for Mac OS X?

Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "I'm proud owner of an older 12" G4 iBook (1,0 Ghz) from a few years ago, the one many geeks have and liked to use because of it's price/performance ratio for a subnotebook. Many people I met use it to run Debian Linux PPC or some other OSS operating system and do their programming on it. However I mostly do web developement where the OS hardly matter and I've come to like the benefits of running the native OS and the neat and frictionless hardware integration that comes with it. I do quite a lot of Flash developement aswell and need to be able to use the official Flash IDE from Adobe. The downside is that the desktop bogs down the systems performance which I'd like to use for other things by running a replacement of the Aqua Workplace Shell & desktop enviroment. There are quite a few wps replacements for windows — I've use Litestep with Windows 2000 — but I'm looking for one for OS X. What lightweigth WPS replacements are there for OS X and what other strategies are there to take some weight off an OS X desktop?"
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "The high-end open-source 3D engine Crystalspace has reached Version 1.0. From the website: "After almost 10 years of development we finally release Crystal Space and Crystal Entity Layer 1.0!" Crytalspace has several sub-projects: A game engine called CEL, a scripting exstension for that game engine called Cellstart, and CrystalCore, a single-player FPS Demo-Game built to show off Crystalspaces features. Crystalspace is generally considered a modern and extremely powerfull 3D engine and allready is in use in commercial products."
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "A company called Applied Business Technologies Inc. has recently released an open source web RAD system and application server based on Java and Java EE. It's called jVantage and seems to do away with the usual 1995ish grind Java developers have to put up with before having a decent web application ready. The developement enviroment is completely web based and somewhat reminiscent of the way the Python web application server Zope handles things. The screencast demonstrations (front page, bottom right) — in django/rails/cake/yourFavoriteWebFramework style — display an impressive set of features and a developement speed that is nearly breathtaking and faster even than with the aforementioned code-generating frameworks. It's nice to see now that Java has completely joined the OSS world it also is quickly catching up with the goodies other enviroments have to offer. And even picking up the Zope concept. With projects like these and the mature OSS developement pipeline Java has it may even be able to step back into the ring with PHP in the everyday web developement game. They've got me (Python, Zope & PHP Fanboy) curious anyway."
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Qbertino Qbertino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Qbertino (265505) writes "Apple introduces the iPhone. The Specs go as following: Touchscreen controlled with a patended gesture system, OS X, 61x12x115 mm, 480by320 Screen resoltution, 4 or 8GB storage, 4-Band GSM, Edge Bluetooth, WiFi, 2 Megapixels Camera, Battery Time for Talk, Video, browsing: 5 hrs, Audio Playback 16 hrs., Weight: 135 grams. Looks: Sweeet. ... I want one."

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