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Bjarne Stroustrup Awarded 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize

The Evil Atheist Re:C++ is a travesty of design (156 comments)

Ha. I'll take the productivity and maintainability of C++ over Java/C# whenever I can. I develop in Java for a living and I use Qt in my hobby programming. I would take Qt any day of the week over anything in the Java world. Especially now with auto/decltype and lambdas, I can write C++ in a more Pythonesque style than I ever could with Java. And the template system got easy enough that even someone like me could do some metaprogramming that reads like normal programming.

yesterday
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

The Evil Atheist Re: Good news (416 comments)

And yet nobody condemns the original trilogy as bland.

Except they do. I do. There are many people who don't like Star Wars because of its simplistic good vs evil story. I like Star Wars, but I don't for one second think it's the epitome of story telling. Basically, what you're telling me is that you want Star Wars to always be the exact same story over and over again with basically just name changes here and there.

How do you know the senate was corrupt? When did any Jedi do anything "outside the system"? Seriously, work it through: how is the Republic corrupt, apart from the bare fact that Palpatine wins in the end? How is the corruption substantiated? It's pretty obvious that Lucas wanted the Republic to be corrupt, sclerotic, superannuated, bureaucratic, whatever, because that's the trope. But, he never really showed how it was, or why.

Funnily enough, you answered your own criticisms in your next paragraph. The word of the Queen and two Jedi weren't enough. All because the Trade Federation senator denied all the allegations. THAT is your substantiated corruption and bureaucracy. How much more do you need? As my parents love to say: do you need me to draw intestines on a stick figure?

And despite this, Senator Jar Jar, with no real opposition is able to propose the creation of an army and the senate straight up and does it with no debate whatsoever. They seem to be really efficient when they want to be.

Again, THAT'S THE POINT. Ordering a non-partisan investigation as to what's really going on? Obstructed. But the creation of an army that merely benefits the military-industrial-finance complex? Immediate effect. That's the corruption you're looking for. How much more hand holding do you need before you learn to put two and two together? I wonder if people who criticize the prequel even understands how bureaucratic corruption works? Do they even see that is how the many modern governments, including the US and the EU works? Sensible things are obstructed all the time, but bad ideas that make a few people rich could not be greenlit fast enough.

Are you kidding? The Empire kills everybody on a little ship they easily overpower; Vader snaps the neck of a rebel subaltern just because he doesn't know what he wants to hear; the Death Star blows up Alderaan and nearly destroys the moon of Yavin. Tarkin flatly states that the fear of his battle station will oppress the entire galaxy, and orders the death of Leia's family, friends and planet right in front of her.

No I'm not kidding. By that point, you're ALREADY on the side of the Rebels because you've been told the Empire was evil. Think about how you would interpret the scene without seeing the opening crawl. Sure, you may still side with the Rebels, but that's because it starts off being a David vs Goliath battle between ships and you're socially conditioned to root for the underdog.

But nothing about any of those actions you've mentioned are evil (after disregarding the exposition of the crawl) UNLESS you're willing to imagine something outside of what is shown in the movies. Something you no doubt reflexively did and have no apparent trouble accepting when watching Star Wars, but hold a double standard for when it comes to the prequel.

Hell, in the current political climate, it's not so far-fetched to think that if the opening crawl switched the evilness of two sides around, a sizeable proportion of the American population would side with the Empire thinking they were the good guys. The Rebels? TERRORISTS. Alderaan? AL QAEDA. They even both begin with "al". Or TALIBAN. Because they sort of rhyme. Yavin? IRAQ. Bail Organa? BARACK OBAMA. Many Americans would love to see that hippie-on-the-outside-terrorist-on-the-inside dead. He probably even faked his Alderaan birth certificate to hide the fact that he was born on Korriban. See how many things you just plainly assume and accept by being told?

When does, say, the trade federation do anything of the type? They blockade a planet, but nobody on the planet actually seems to suffer. They demand a treaty signed, but we never actually find out what the treaty is for, or what it entails. And they're in cahoots with Sidious, but we have no idea what they actually have to gain from the dispute. I guess it stands to reason they have to gain something, but there are no stakes, there is no drama.

Do we actually need to see the suffering? References to the suffering were actually made throughout the movie. If being told which side to root for in the opening crawl is good enough for you, then so should being told they were suffering without being explicitly shown is also good enough. In fact, all your objections about the why's and how's of the Trade Federation are answered in the opening crawl for the Phantom Menace.

Lastly, no doubt you've seen the Family Guy spoofs of the original Star Wars trilogy. Seth MacFarlane loves Star Wars, but even he (and the other writers) quickly tore down every piece of bad plot and writing. To pretend that the originals were watertight is ridiculous and shows the predetermined bias against the prequels. The prequels were not the best movies, but they definitely kept in line with the originals. The only thing elevating the originals is people keep looking at them with Han-shot-first coloured glasses.

yesterday
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

The Evil Atheist Re: Good news (416 comments)

I barely know anything about the Expanded Universe and I thought the prequels answered all those questions in and of themselves. People just don't pay enough attention or think through the implications far enough. The Republic does fall apart. What do you think the Separatists were? A happy unified Republic? Palpatine didn't just lie to the Republic and people rolled over. He started the war which pushed systems into his control, many times unwillingly.

The Senate is necessary. They were inept due to bureaucracy and corruption, and thus explained why some Jedi and others felt they had to do things outside the system. That was the point. The Senate is just a fact as to how the Republic was organized at that time and part of the world building. Do you think world building is pointless? Do you complain about world building in other films or series?

Or would you prefer Star Wars be a bland story about absolutely good guys versus absolutely evil guys. Absolutely evil guys who happened to be emperor just because. All this stuff logically falls out of the prequels alone if people actually bothered to think about it. And I say this as only a minor fan of Star Wars.

Star Wars IS actually just another bad sci fi movie. Imagine that exact same movie coming out today instead of 1977. It would have been critically panned. Wooden acting. Bad dialog. Predictable plot that is also a mess. About the only thing that stands up is the visual effects, ironically enough. Also the music.

Think about this: the famous opening crawl. Right from the beginning, we are told that the Empire is evil and therefore the Rebels must be the good guys. We don't see that developed. We are just TOLD that and we must believe it. If that counts as acceptably self-contained to you, I don't think we can talk sensibly. Or how about the fact that Luke is Vader's son and to top it off, Leia his daughter. You get no explanation, other than the fact that they were. And people just accept this about the original series and have a double standard for the prequels?

Bottom line is, everything people have with the prequels I can easily see apply to the original. The only thing saving the originals is nostalgia and people's hatred of the re-edited versions. There are many things in the original Star Wars that simply make no sense and is unnecessary until you take into account the later movies.

Star Wars, unlike Evangelion, isn't an inner monologue kind of movie. There were none in the original series and it would be out of place in terms of style. They were all said aloud. So actually, we do understand why Anakin does what he does. It may have been badly written, but not any more than the original series and motivations.

You have problems with Anakin's story, but you seem to have absolutely no trouble accepting that Luke grew up with his uncle and aunt, who were practically his parents, and comes back to find them murdered and smoldering. And with barely any emotion, he just goes off with Obi Wan and it's never mentioned again. That's apparently okay with people but not Anakin's (similarly badly written and acted) story?

2 days ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

The Evil Atheist Re: Good news (416 comments)

Except, for me, watching the prequels makes all that unimportant stuff in the original series important. After watching how the Republic fell apart, you understand why there was an emperor and why Senate approval was still a thing.

Same with the prequels. They weren't explained because it wasn't important to the plot what they were. It only mattered that they were there. Given all the extra stuff that doesn't happen in the movies, you would think dedicated "fans" would put two and two together and think "hey, it may be answered outside of the movies, just like every other thing". And guess what? The whole thing about how the Republic functioned before being reorganized into an empire is further elaborated on outside the movies.

I think people were just determined to hate the movies because they didn't like that George went back and changed the original films. "Han shot first" and all that.

Did you ever think that it was the POINT that the Jedi's roles were confusing? That not even the Jedi knew what they were supposed to be as the Republic started failing? Did the fact that the Jedi did not see the Sith coming not clue anyone in to the fact that the whole point was to show that the Jedi's ideologies got themselves into a confusing mess which the Sith took advantage of?

Those questions go to the core of the movies. And when has every story in existence served to placate everyone by ending neatly? Has anyone considered that it was the point that things are left open ended so they can be addressed later, while leaving things open for discussion and interpretation in the mean time?

I really question people who call themselves fans of Star Wars (me, not really being one myself), and fans of "intelligent culture" when they insist everything must be answered for them. I expect this attitude for boring action summer flicks. Not from a story that some people consider it worthy to create a religion around.

But then, I grew up on a steady diet of anime like Evangelion or Lain where nothing really makes much sense because they don't tell you everything and expect you to give your own interpretations.

2 days ago
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Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

The Evil Atheist Re:Good news (416 comments)

Watch the original series and start asking similar questions. What is the empire and why did they feel a need to report to the senate that all aboard were killed? Why would an empire have a senate? Why is this mystical old man looking out for this kid and does not get along with the kid's uncle? Maybe, not everything needs to be explained in the one sitting?

2 days ago
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The Current State of Linux Video Editing

The Evil Atheist Blender (223 comments)

Interesting conclusion they come to with Blender. They have been making rapid improvements and enhancements to both features and interface. I've dabbled in Blender before and after the 2.5 redesign and while I didn't actually find the old Blender difficult to use (it took me 30 mins of dedicated time), the new one is better still. BUT I haven't used the video editing stuff, though I do know it was there. Must give it a try next time.

5 days ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

The Evil Atheist Re:Gotta react to the market (379 comments)

I actually think that's why some languages (and projects) are more successful than others. The thing with beautiful languages and beautiful code is it puts people off wanting to tinker with it. People are more comfortable messing around with things that are a bit messy. And that's how they become popular. LISP is by far one of the most elegant languages, but that reputation means it makes people want to spend more time coming up with elegant code rather than useful features.

A language like C++ has ugly syntax, so people feel comfortable putting some code down to solve a problem, and they think they can come back to fix its inelegance later. The good thing about C++ though is that it has templates and type deduction and so it is more achievable in C++ to actually come back to it and replace massive chunks of code with loops and conditionals with a few lines of algorithm calls. But it still allows you to write ugly looking code with the best intentions instead of making you do things the ordained way because some high priest deemed it so.

5 days ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

The Evil Atheist Re:Just keep it away from Gentoo and I'm good (551 comments)

Then why do they complain about systemd when it's not a UNIX component, but a Linux one? If UNIX philosophy is so important, why do they have double standards that they don't apply the same argument to Linux?

about two weeks ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

The Evil Atheist Re:Just keep it away from Gentoo and I'm good (551 comments)

But neither do I see people explaining what they mean by "violates the UNIX philosophy". Surely, Linux's monolithic kernel goes against UNIX philosophy? Pretty sure Andrew Tannenbaum and Linus flamed each other over that. So what makes systemd's monolithic appearance non-UNIX, but the Linux's monolithic appearance UNIX? If they are both not UNIX, why don't they complain about Linux not being UNIX either? But from my admittedly limited understanding of systemd, the design is split up into components and the core is actually quite small. Most of the rest is optional, and it only looks monolithic because distros tend to just implement the whole thing.

about two weeks ago
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Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

The Evil Atheist Re:Just keep it away from Gentoo and I'm good (551 comments)

totally violates the UNIX philosophy

He actually argues against that in his very first point. I keep seeing this argument, but never counter arguments to Lennart's counter arguments.

about two weeks ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

And I don't care that you had problems with templates decades ago. If tens of millions of lines of code can be refactored (programmatically may I add) without significant downtime, then the template name mangling etc problem simply isn't that big of a deal.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

I don't know what you think Google his, but I don't think their 100 million lines of majority C++ code is just for mail. The fact is they obviously have not encountered problems with templates that you think still exist. They refactored that monster and neither search nor mail has been reported to have been down for any significant amount of time.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

I don't know how to talk to a person who thinks Google search is just a lookup routine anyone can personally write 4 times.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

No one said it can't be better. Even Bjarne Stroustrup keeps saying it needs to be better (virtually hear no other language creator say that). But you're making it out to be a lot worse than it is based on decades(?) old experience.

Listening to one of the CppCon talks, some Google engineers talked about how they refactored their entire C++ codebase to modern C++11. Have you noticed any significant downtime in Google services lately?

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

Google's managed to have a massive C++ codebase with templates and everything. If such a large codebase can exist, then it's proof it's no longer a problem. C++11 has been around for three years, and C++0x + TR1 a lot longer.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re: Very much so! (641 comments)

All languages have features that can be abused. It's a trade off. And even when operator overloading is abused in C++, they are still typesafe. You can't override them for existing definitions for other types so you'll get compile errors.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re: Very much so! (641 comments)

I don't know what libraries you are using, but something like the + operator in C++ is still used mostly for number and string like objects. I rarely see misuses of operator overloading these days. But that's beside the point. Yes, when you see hs.add(elem), it's obvious it belongs to hs. But you still don't know what hs or elem is unless you look it up. But in C, you do not have member functions. You have free functions add(hs, elem). And if the person decided that their library requires that add(...) work with a multitude of types, they would make the arguments tagged structs or void pointers, leaving you with even more cognitive strain to look at all the different conditional states in the add(...) function that handle all the different combinations of types explicitly. And that also doesn't guarantee that inside the add(...) function it treats all possible combinations of arguments with equivalent semantics.

Not to mention that, actually, C has some implicit operator overloading as well. You can add pointers and integers together and it behaves differently to adding integers. You will have to look up the actual types of the operands to figure out what the semantics are and that has caught out many good programmers.

For any complex software libraries, whether written in C++ or C, I have never encountered one where I never needed to keep referring to the types of the operands anyway, so the cognitive strain is mostly equivalent.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (641 comments)

There has to be a point when you encounter the n-th buffer overrun that could, I don't know, compromise the security of the internet, before you realize "hey, maybe it's not stupidity or carelessness that people still create and miss these bugs" and you don't want to spend anymore effort having to deal with it when it should no longer be a thing in the modern world.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re: Very much so! (641 comments)

And what's stopping someone from naming a function that has nothing to do with the meaning of its name? It's the same problem.

about a month and a half ago
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How Relevant is C in 2014?

The Evil Atheist Re:Very much so! (641 comments)

You'd prefer having to specify that you're printing a long long and not a short rather than letting the compiler figure that out for you (through operator overloading)? You'd prefer having to waste time looking up format specifiers or waste brain power remember them?

about a month and a half ago

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