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Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

Rysc Re:Bad link in the summary (430 comments)

I wish I could mod you up. The quality of slashdot stories (and correction speeds) has become rather abysmal!

about 10 months ago
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Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

Rysc Re:Sure, why not (430 comments)

What happens in assembler, and to a great extent in C, is what the computer is really doing (more or less, it's pretty close). In higher level languages this connection is very fuzzy. Not knowing what will really happen when you write that for loop is more likely to lead to you writing pathological and otherwise buggy code. It's not *essential* that you know how computers really work, but it's a *really damn good idea* and more or less essential for any really good programmer. The only people who disagree are the ones that never did learn a low-level language (IOW where you work with memory/registers/pointers/that sort of thing).

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Protecting Home Computers From Guests?

Rysc Chromebook (572 comments)

I keep a chrome laptop around for this. It's enough for most people, and after logout everything's clean.

about a year and a half ago
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Reuters' Matthew Keys Accused of Anonymous Conspiracy

Rysc Re:30 years for a non violent crime. (127 comments)

There is no criminal organization Anonymous.

You are as much anonymous as anyone else is. If you don't understand how that can be then *shut the fuck up* about it until you do.

I imagine I am wasting my metaphorical breath, but I'll try to explain it as much as it can be explained.

Think pranks. Think prank phone calls and pizzas you didn't order, then imagine this done in a way designed to make you feel bad, then imagine that everyone who pranked you can see your face when you feel bad and laugh at you. That's about the limit of what anonymous will organize to do. All this breaking and entering shit is largely hacktivism done by people who aren't acting as anonymous when they do it, even if they may call on anonymous for help from time to time. And LOICers... they're just idiotic hangers-on. Angry and about as effective as egging someone's house. The effective DDoS attacks come from individuals (armed with botnets) and not some imaginary criminal conspiracy.

I am not an anonymous apologist, I am anonymous (and you can too). Wherever a little kid cries because someone told him he was fat, I will be there along with the baser parts of all mankind and we will be laughing at his misery. When those baser instincts band together to laugh at everything and nothing, there you have anonymous. Anonymous aren't criminals, anonymous is the internet hate machine. It's not good, it's not evil, it's simply humans being human--including the part of being human that we are all obliged to hide from society for fear of persecution. Anonymous exists so that you can be a jerk, a deviant, a racist and make jokes in bad taste knowing that **it's okay, we understand**, we both accept and revile you, too. Unless you're furry (DIAF, plzkthxbai).

There may be a global internet-based criminal organization out there which does bad things, harms people and needs to be busted by the authorities; in fact, I'm pretty sure there are several, but none of them are called Anonymous.

about a year and a half ago
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Trisquel 6.0 'Toutatis' Is Now Available

Rysc Re:LTS or six month releases? (109 comments)

I'm not confusing them, I'm well aware. Lots of normal people keep rolling with the 6 month releases for freshness and run afoul of all manner of problems. The LTS users get the moderately tested and bugfixed version, but it's no better engineered.

about a year and a half ago
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Trisquel 6.0 'Toutatis' Is Now Available

Rysc Re:Debian 7.0 (109 comments)

No.

The problem with Debian is that Debian has a non-free repository and documents this fact. Whether the user will be confused about whether or not he is installing non-free software is not the issue at all.

RMS maintains that documenting the existence of non-free software, even if the repo is not enabled by default and requires manual intervention to enable, is "suggesting" that it be used and this suggestion is tantamount to a recommendation to use non-free software, which RMS thinks is a thing that a fully freedom-loving distribution should not do.

Can a distro fully respect your freedoms and still document the existence of non-free software? I think so, but since the FSF is in the business of promoting Free software to the exclusion of all else they cannot endorse a distribution which fully respects your freedoms but mentions that non-free software exists. This is an entirely reasonable stance for the FSF; they can choose who they endorse based on any arbitrary criteria, and I respect that.

The Debian folks must necessarily take a more pragmatic view since their primary mission is not to promote Free software to the exclusion of all else. This does not mean that they are behaving in an unethical manner or in a manner which is inconsistent with the FSF principles and ideals, it's just at odds with some of their policies.

about a year and a half ago
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Trisquel 6.0 'Toutatis' Is Now Available

Rysc Re:Why not just base it off Debian? (109 comments)

Compare this with Ubuntu - based on Debian unstable - which is both up-to-date and stable

Hah. I'll contain my laughter.

Canonical releases are rarely what I would call *stable*. They're full of issues both small and large and mixing packages from outside of their main repo can quickly destabilize what you do have.

Debian sid sometimes has *package dependency issues* or regressions, but that's where its "unstable" moniker stops applying. Debian policy leads to Debian stability and which archive you pull from doesn't matter much. To get something that might be broken in Debian, other than install-time difficulty due to mismatched dependency information, you usually need to go to experimental. If you're not familiar with it that's *good*, because it's not for you.

Ubuntu is poorly put together and less reliable than Debian. Anyone who's familiar with Debian from a sysadmin point of view will probably be able to confirm this for you. The only reasons Ubuntu gets away with it are (1) its users don't do much with their computers, and (2) after 6 months you dist-upgrade, so problems from the last release go away and get replaced by problems from the new release. It's all terribly slipshod and amateurish.

about a year and a half ago
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School Board Considers Copyright Ownership of Student and Teacher Works

Rysc Re:Kid's artwork? (351 comments)

You must not live in the USA. I recommend you reserve judgement.

Standardized tests just cause schools to focus on scoring well and ignore actually educating students. If your school does not do well on standardized tests they take money away from you, period. If your school does well you can employ more teachers at better salaries, build more schools, have more programs like music and sports, etc.. The frenzy to "win" at tests is incredible. I've seen teachers all but GIVE students the answers ahead of time in a so-called "prep" test in the hopes that woefully undereducated students will pass muster on test day. Nothing else in a public school is more critical than getting a good score (which means good percentages and good averages across the student body) on test day. NOTHING. Not student welfare, not knowledge, nothing.

about a year and a half ago
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School Board Considers Copyright Ownership of Student and Teacher Works

Rysc Re:Knowledge takes many forms. (351 comments)

How does one teach understanding?

The answer to this is a philosophical one. We can say pretty definitively that rote memorization is a very poor method, but there is no generally accepted "best" method.

How does one measure the progress of students?

You don't. Progress is life; are they still alive? You can only encourage and hope, measurement is pointless.

How does one understand something without remebering it?

Easy. I understand lots of things that I can't remember if asked. Memorization is a very different thing than understanding.

I'll try to contrive an example: I understand English, for example, and can use it with precise correctness (and with a vast vocabulary) upon request, but if you ask me to define parts of speech or diagram a sentence I'll fail 99% of the time. I tend to score quite poorly on English exams that are not purely prose. A lot of things are like that, although less so in the discrete sciences. Do you understand recursion? Good. Can you tell me what year it was invented and by whom? You fail the programming exam! This is the way testing fails.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

80% of the spec perhaps, now we're closer to 90% of the implementation. You can use almost all of it right now.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

That said, I do feel that discrete names provide better clarity, and don't believe that having distinct symbol tables for each variable type is beneficial

I do not disagree that for this example there are superior name choices that could have been used. I preferred not to dig through real code to find an example of a case where there was no better choice than to use the same basic name with different sigils; it does happen and it's not unclear.

I think the guy who wrote the ruby version also understood what you were doing. His point (and mine, to a lesser degree) is that if you use distinct names, which he and I both appear to prefer, then the sigils become clutter.

And my point is sigils are part of the name, which makes each name distinct.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

You could say the same thing about case-sensitive variables. The fact that you can use COLUMNS and columns in C and they mean different things is confusing, especially for neophytes! The VB solution of case insensitive names is obviously less confusing and thus superior, right? Why should anyone have to master this syntax quirk?

The sigil is part of the variable name and makes the names different (and this is very clear). Most of the time you will also alter the variable names in other ways, because it's usually a good idea, but there is no problem with leaving the non-sigil part the same from a confusion point of view *when the code is clearer as a result*. Just as COLUMNS in C is *obviously* a constant to anyone familiar with C, and just as having a COLUMNS constant should not preclude me from having a local int columns; variable.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

It's not as if there's been no progress. It's much more around the corner now than it was 10 years ago, it's quite close to done now.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

Yes, also thanks to you for missing the point. I was not demonstrating best Perl practices, either in naming or code style or efficiency. Yes, all of the cool things you mentioned about Python work in Perl, too! I am not doing a feature comparison chart. Congratulations, you can write a better function to read a file! You know what? So can I. Now we're *all* special, together.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

Yes, thanks for missing the point. I *deliberately* chose an example where the with-sigil variables *allow* you to name different things the same way without it being confusing. Of course you *can* choose names, as I said in my post, which are not the same. Would you care to choose another example of *using variables with different sigils but otherwise the same names*? Because, you know, *that was the whole point of the example*.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

It rather depends on what you call a "big feature" - syntactically not much is likely to change, that's true. On the other hand if you look at the list of changes from the latest stable release it's clear that many things continue to be improved, even more so if you look at the sum of all changes from 5.12 forward (aka the modern perl5 era).

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Dude. (379 comments)

PHP may be more actively hacked on than perl5, though I doubt it, but it cannot be called better. All the flaws of perl5, and many flaws from perl4, are present in PHP, along with a bunch of other problems.

Perl5 OO is not so much "bolted on" as "Nonexistent"--instead it has a mechanism for designing your own OO system, which is great except that most people just want to get things done and don't care about being an architect at that level. These days it's a bit better in that you can tell any new person "Don't read perltoot, just use Moose" and they'll be a lot less frustrated and get more things done.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

Right now, the best thing which could happen to Perl IMO is a fork of the Perl5. Yet, since user/developer base is declining, I very much doubt that would happen.

I find this funny, because after stagnating for a few years waiting on perl6 the development of perl5 did pick back up (not a fork, but a renewal) a few years ago and is going strong. Useful things are being added, the code is being improved, and so on.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

Confusing is in the eye of the beholder. Consider

sub read_file{
    my $file = shift;
    open(FILE, $file) or die "$!";
    chomp(my @file = <FILE>);
    close(FILE) or die "$!";
 
    my %file;
    while my $line (@file){
        my($key, $value) = split /=/, $line;
        $file{$key} = $value;
    }
    return %file;
}

To a Perl programmer this is all very clear despite having multiple things called 'file' in the same scope. What would you prefer? "$file, $file_handle, $file_array, $file_hash"? There are a lot of things you could do instead but they're not much clearer or easier to read, and this is more than sufficiently clear.

And before you say anything, yeah this is not the best way to write such a function. If you're thinking "WTF?" the answer is "For illustration I went with something that should be fairly clear to non-Perl people" and "I'm trying to use as many different types of variable as possible."

about a year and a half ago
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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

Rysc Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

Most modern languages have caught up to Perl5 in terms of basic regex power, so using Perl5 for its regex is no longer quite so essential in that you can probably get as powerful a system as you probably need in any language. That said, Perl5 *still* has regex features no one else has (or perhaps that no one else is crazy enough to implement.) For better or for worse, it's still the best... ...until you look at Perl6. Okay, so Perl6 is not done yet, but when it is the bar for regular expressions will instantly go up again. There's absolutely no competition for what it does, no other language has first class Perl6-style regex.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

Rysc hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Note to self

Rysc Rysc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Write journal entries more often. Maybe tell about the time that you did that thing in that place. That was awesome.

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Did I miss something?

Rysc Rysc writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It dawned on me today that I seem to be a Slashdot subscriber.

Now that I think of it, I've been seeing those special "early" stories for a few days now. I've seen them before as the result of glitches and bugs, so I assumed that's all it was until I noticed an asterisk next to my name. Given the number of page views I've used so far it looks like I haven't been a subscriber for more than a week.

I don't remember subscribing. Of course, it was a thing I was planning to do but had not gotten around to actually bothering or anything. At least I don't remember signing up. You'd think I'd remember something like that.

I can only assume that someone gifted me with a subscription, although the way I'm reading things I think I should have gotten a notice to that effect from Slashdot. Clearly this is a result of my extremely brilliant and convincing postings which have so swayed some person's heart as to make them adore me to the tune of 2000 page views. There can be no other explanation. For my next trick I will use my OBVIOUSLY VAST powers of persuasion to convince my audiance to kill farmers. Don't ask why, just do it!

If my benefactor is watching, all I can say is: Pervert. I said no sex, and I meant it! All right... maybe a little sex, if you're female. Oh, and thank you. If there's anybody I can kill for you, just speak up, eh?

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UI zealots piss me off

Rysc Rysc writes  |  more than 10 years ago

You know, I'm getting sick and tired of hearing all of this "oh, the command line is so haard!" crap.

People moaning and complaining about stupid stuff, like how KDE and GNOME haven't perfectly duplicated Windows yet, and how HARD it is for newbies to use a keyboard.

Well here's a fucking news flash for you, you literal-minded dorks: the command line is the easiet user interface ever created,

It's damned easy to associate words with tasks. "Hmm, I want to send an email. I know, I'll tell my computer "mail" and see what it does!"

The fact that the console is a little limited UI-wise when it comes to prompts and "what-now?" syndrome is not material. Why the HELL does any user need a fuck START MENU? Why does anyone need a desktop icon? These things were a "neat" feature in 1984, but lacking in serious utility. The novelty has long since worn off.

I gave up my desktop icons long ago, and my menu shortly thereafter. I think in words, not pictures. An icon with a heart on it can mean a million things--the word "bookmarks" is a lot more descriptive. A picture is NOT ALWAYS worth a thousand words, anyone who's played Pictionary will tell you that. Ever tried expressing concepts in picture, like (say) "Attack at dawn"? A disk and a pen do not mean "Save" to me, especially not at 16x16!

All of you fucking morons who try to "hide" "complexity" behind candy-coated interfaces are barking up the wrong universe! You want complexity? Try three-levels deep in a start menu with panels overlapping everywhere. Try icons that suddenly GROW and the SHRINK. Seeing your toolbar go away/change because you accidently clicked the desktop is CONFUSING. Having little boxes rearrange themselves at the bottom of the screen is just DAMNED confusing. In fact, essentially NONE of the "holy" Win/Mac GUI staples have any worth whatsoever!

You want the simplest UI on the fucking planet? Make the desktop a big BLACK screen with a prompt. Tell the user "Type in 'mail' for mail and 'internet' or 'web' for a web browser. See that square in the corner? Click the empty squares within it to jump to new, clean space, and the filled ones to jump back." Then remove their minimize button, returning to the very-sane "max-size-toggle" button, and make typing "help" give the user a list of words and what they open. chat->GAIM, solitaire->solitaire, and so on. What could be easier than remembering a few WORDS? People do that every day ANYWAY. Much easier than trying to free-associate dinky pictures with complex tasks.

Oh, and Apple? I want LABELS on icons, you here me? Labels, or label and icons. Icons alone DO NOT MAKE SENSE.

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