top Former Dev Gives Gloomy Outlook On Linux Support For the Opera Browser
Funny that you say that, when the market share of Opera among browsers was more or less the same as the market share of GNU/Linux among desktop installs.
top Massive Amount of Malware Targets Older Java Flaws
If a Java application requires an older version of the platform, it's probably due to crappy coding (violating a precondition of some method, trusting undefined behaviour, using undocumented libraries that are not part of the standard API, etc.)
I have been developing in Java for like 12 years and I have never had any issues with backward compatibility. The closest I have had to an issue was a change to how word wrapping works in Swing text components in 1.7, which made an application look a bit uglier in that version (but fully functional).
In fact, one of the big advantages of Java IMHO is its great backwards compatibility... they take care not to break anything, stuff that was deprecated back in version 1.1 (1997) is still there and working.
As for compatibility between OSes (mentioned in some child threads), the only problems I've had in all these years were always my fault when I was a novice, on things like developing for Windows, expecting "blah.properties", creating "Blah.properties" and expecting it to work on Linux. Obviously Java can't deal with wrong assumptions by the developer, but if you don't do that kind of things, programs just work out of the box across OSes.
That said, I agree the Java update mechanism is horrendous. And that's when it works. It's pretty common for the update-system under Windows to leave you with redundant versions, and I have a win 7 machine where it just fails with an uninformative error message.
about a year and a half ago
top Facebook Home Flagship Phone, HTC First, May Be Discontinued
I have an HTC Desire HD since early 2011 and I'm very happy with it (in spite of not having an official upgrade to Android 4... but seriously, who cares, I haven't seen any Android 4-only app I'd like to have at the moment).
The screen is perfect, the phone is responsive, the camera is great, but above all, the default Android configuration and the Sense UI are top notch. I have tried new Sony, Samsung and LG phones and I don't like their UI half as much (Sony's is quite good, Samsung's especially crappy). HTC gets a lot of little things right that I now take for granted - for example, when I take a train, the weather widget will automatically update and show the weather for the new city if configured to do so. In the Samsung UI, I have to go to the weather app and tell it explicitly to get my new location from the GPS, which is a pain if you are constantly moving.
When I get a new phone, it's going to be HTC.
about a year and a half ago
top Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button
Many commenters are saying that in Windows 8 there is still a start menu, but instead of the start button you access it via the Windows key...
So what about those of us that are still sticking to our model M's?
If Windows 8 is not usabe without the Windows key, then I won't use it. I prefer changing my operating system rather than changing my keyboard.
top Giant Paper Airplane Takes (Brief) Flight Over Arizona
So do Americans find the jump from the tiny cent to the relatively huge dollar inconvenient, then?
Seriously, there *is* an intermediate unit (dm), but people usually don't use it because it's not necessary. I'm 1 m 96 cm tall, if I grew 10 cm I would be 2 m 6 cm tall. Dead simple, there's no need for any intermediate unit for everyday use.
It's funny how people not using metric, but imagining what it would be like, always make up strange drawbacks that no one in countries that actually use the system has found.
top VLC 2.0 'Twoflower' Released For Windows & Mac
They should have taken advantage of the chance to change that horrendous cone icon. I love VLC, but sometimes I install other alternatives just to get rid of that ugly icon that gives the idea that there is something broken in the files (yes, I know it can be changed, but I'm too lazy to fiddle with that and it's so 90s to mess around with icon configuration).
top New Mexico Is Stretching, GPS Reveals
top I am, at present, from the place of my birth ...
I defended my doctoral thesis in English but I think I don't know it enough to have a bitter, verbal-intensive, emotional fight in it
top The Curious Case of Increasing Misspelling Rates On Wikipedia
I think there/their/they're or your/you're errors are not an issue if you are a native speaker, but that doesn't apply to non-native speakers. I can deal with that (after a second of confusion) but I have friends that are at a 1st Certificate level of English and they sometimes absolutely fail parsing sentences when those errors, and ask me what they mean.
top GPL, Copyleft Use Declining Fast
GPLed software is usable by some developers - those who, for whatever reason, have no problem giving source away. It's not usable by those who do.
Wrong. I'm a developer of BSD-licensed software which is freely available on the internet, so obviously I have no problem giving source away. But I can't use GPL code in my software unless I'm willing to change the license, which I'm not.
top Ask Slashdot: Ebook Reader for Scientific Papers?
I have an iRex iLiad from 2007 that I use mainly for just that, scientific papers. It's great:
- PDF's look great.
- It's eInk. Much better for the eyes than a tablet if you ask me. - You can zoom to whichever part you want. - The screen is larger than in most of the latest ereaders. - There is a third-party reader that you can install for PDF's with column layout, letting you read in column order. - The device is free and can work as an USB drive, you can copy the PDF's directly to it or you can plug an USB stick to it, you don't need to care about third-party apps or DRM at all. - Last but not least, you can underline things and take notes with the wacom pen on the PDF. It's great for going over drafts of your own papers, or by annotating other people's papers.
It's a pity that most ereaders released after that have been a step backwards, not forward, in functionality.
top SETI Finds Funds For the Allen Telescope Array (For Now)
So instead of everyone having to pay for public services, let only the generous pay, while the egoists also get the benefits but for free (with the added advantage of having more money to spend in themselves, i.e., a better position in the "free" market).
Very efficient, yes. Maybe it's because I'm European, but I honestly can't understand how anyone but the super-rich can defend such an anarcho-capitalism. It's just beyond me.
top The Most Expensive One-Byte Mistake
Actually, I think the point is that often in life we just don't have the information to make a rational decision, so we rationalize it afterwards.
It's not actually that "it doesn't matter what road you take", it's more like it's impossible to know what road to take, and it's impossible to know if there will or will not be consequences. But we like to act as if we actually knew.
top Is Canonical the Next Apple?
Or as Tolstoy would say, "All newbie users are alike; each advanced user is advanced in his own way".
top Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre
I did, but then the problem is not with the term "roguelike" or its name. You want to define a totally different concept, which is orthogonal to "roguelikeness". So the term "roguelike" is not a misnomer.
top Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre
That the term "roguelike" is vague is a well-known fact, but there are definitions around much better than the one in the article:
The distinguishing features of roguelikes are random world generation, permadeath, complexity of item interaction, RPG-like stats, killing scores of monsters, grid-based motion, turn-based mechanics and arguably ASCII interface. A game may be a roguelike and not have all of these, but if it has, say, all but two, it is undoubtedly a roguelike.
The reasoning in the article that leads into calling "Super Smash Bros Brawl" a roguelike is just ludicrous. Of course there is no limit to how one can redefine a term, but one should not expect to be taken seriously after saying that every animal with four paws should be called a dog. Saying that "Super Smash Bros Brawl" is a roguelike because it is complex in some way goes against the common use of the word. The author of the article should find a different name for what he means.
top Taking the Fun Out of
Designing a game that would be fun for beginners/casual players and challenging for experts at the same time is extremely difficult. Ten or twenty years ago there were no games like that. Now, with the popularization of things like tutorials and achievements, we are getting closer, but we still aren't there in most genres.
I think the game that does the best job at this (out of those I have seen) is New Super Mario Bros Wii. It has several layers of complexity and can be played at various levels of challenge, from using the bubble or the Super Guide to get you out of the levels to getting all the star coins in the game or finding tricks for infinite lives. I have seen both absolute beginners and old-school hardcore gamers having loads of fun with this game (even when both kinds of players are playing *together*!) and that is truly remarkable, and something to mark in the history of game design.
Now, how could this be applied to Starcraft II? No idea...
top Could You Pass Harvard's Entrance Exam From 1869?
The current living language that is closest to Latin is probably
Galician. This is arguable, but I'd say it's closer to Latin than Italian.
top GNOME 3 Released
I'm not so young, I actually was a Slashdotter when Taco said that. But sadly I was posting as an AC for a long time before deciding to register and get an user ID.
top GNOME 3 Released
No maximize/minimize buttons. Less functionality than a KDE. Lame.
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