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Perl's Glory Days Are Behind It, But It Isn't Going Anywhere

chromatic Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

... letting Pugs die when Audrey had done so much by herself just didn't seem rational at all.

Pugs was almost entirely unmaintainable without Audrey. I stopped hacking on it when it took eight hours to run the test suite to verify the correctness of even a simple change.

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

chromatic Re:Wait, what? (379 comments)

Yes, you can override the index from which arrays are numbered.

Not in a modern release of Perl (5.16).

about a year and a half ago
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Autonomy Chief Says Whitman Is Watering Down HP Fraud Claims

chromatic Re:I'll take a stab at it... (117 comments)

All the best bits of HP were spun off by Carly into Agilent Technolgies...

The spinoff was well under way when Carly arrived. The idea happened under Platt.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl Turns 25

chromatic Re:Why perl? (263 comments)

I never did get the hang of using OO in perl whereas python OO was natural to me....

... which is amusing because other than the surface syntax, the object models are so similar that they have the same fundamental and simplistic flaws.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl Turns 25

chromatic Re:Unicode support? (263 comments)

Not all of the world is UTF-8. Assuming that it is is, in fact, wrong.

I appreciate your confidence that things you've never heard of before must exist and work properly, but I'll take that with a grain of salt. Unicode isn't merely UTF-8 and BOMs and hand-waving. Unicode is a set of properties and rules about how to use those properties correctly. If you don't know what they are and when to use them, no language can use them automatically for you on this side of the strong-AI singularity.

(It's easy for me to imagine reading from a filesystem that doesn't return data encoded in UTF-8, or data from the network which doesn't supply a correct encoding or any encoding, because that happens all the time. You can expect that everything always does exactly what you expect, or you can write correct and robust code. You cannot do both.)

about a year and a half ago
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Perl Turns 25

chromatic Re:Unicode support? (263 comments)

Python automatically guesses encodings, automatically normalizes into the proper form, automatically casefolds, and automatically applies the correct collations especially respecting the sources and sinks of data?

If that were true, I would be quite impressed.

about a year and a half ago
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Perl Turns 25

chromatic Re:Testing (263 comments)

... what does the much-vaunted CPAN contain within it that has unit tests?

Any serious distribution on the CPAN has at least a decent test suite in its t/ directory. Everything uploaded to the CPAN gets run through the CPAN Testers service, often within minutes of the upload.

search.cpan.org has over 3200 results for module names which contain the word "Test".

about a year and a half ago
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O'Reilly Discounts Every eBook By 50%

chromatic Re:So are those books being sold at a loss? (108 comments)

I think they make a lot more than I do for the time I spend working.

Most technical book authors would be lucky to make minimum wage, especially if they write for the terrible royalty rates major publishers offer.

about 2 years ago
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US Presidential Debate #2 Tonight: Discuss Here

chromatic Re:Logical Fallacy Bingo (706 comments)

That depends on your state. If your state has open primaries, then you don't have to be a member of a party to vote in that party's primary.

As you might expect, parties seem to prefer closed primaries.

about 2 years ago
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TypeScript: Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript

chromatic Re:Full classes? (488 comments)

Coming from you?

I know a little bit about compilers.

Every language has its ugly spots that make optimization difficult...

"Every number is a float" is one of them in JavaScript. "All objects are associative arrays" is another. "Object prototypes are mutable everywhere" is yet another.

... a large amount of the performance improvements that have come in recent years have nothing to do with the language syntax of javascript...

Some, yes, but many also come from tracing the flow of data as the program runs to figure out which pessimizations inherent to the semantics of JavaScript it's safe to undo. That's why modern JavaScript JITs work so hard to perform side exits with their guard clauses to produce code that runs in as straight a line as possible. Ask Jim Blandy about it sometime.

Perl would have to do similar optimizations. So would Python. So would Ruby. (It's instructive to talk to the people behind Rubinius and Unladen Swallow, if not people who've spent years optimizing Smalltalk implementations.)

about 2 years ago
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TypeScript: Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript

chromatic Re:Full classes? (488 comments)

v8 (and other optimized JavaScript implementations) have decent performance despite JavaScript the language.

about 2 years ago
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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book

chromatic Re:Assuming Infringement by Default (130 comments)

If Amazon wants to be the publisher of choice for independent writers, it seems to me that at least one person involved in creating policies should be familiar enough with copyright and Internet publishing to understand Creative Commons. That's the part of this whole process which baffles me.

about 2 years ago
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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book

chromatic Re:Assuming Infringement by Default (130 comments)

You're probably right.

I'm not sure that deploying arbitrary code developed as a knee-jerk policy is the best way to interact with your suppliers. Amazon should have thought this through. It's not as if Creative Commons is invisible from a cursory search of modern copyright.

about 2 years ago
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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book

chromatic Re:Assuming Infringement by Default (130 comments)

... in the absence of sufficiently strong indicators to the contrary.

In my case, this is a revision of the second edition of a book also available for sale as hard copy, uploaded from the publisher's account.

I can understand being stricter about the initial upload of a work, but letting the first upload through and only enforcing the copyright detector on a minor revision seems counterproductive.

about 2 years ago
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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book

chromatic Re:Assuming guilt by default (130 comments)

My given last name is Buttle! Why do you think I use a pseudonym?

about 2 years ago
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Google Blocks Author's Ads For Offering Torrent Of His Own Book

chromatic Assuming Infringement by Default (130 comments)

The default assumption of these automated checkers is that anything shared is infringing.

I've run into this myself. While I give away my book Modern Perl free in electronic forms, my publisher charges a nominal fee for the Kindle version to cover expenses. I made some changes recently to fix some formatting problems and edit out a couple of typos. After I uploaded a new version, the Kindle copyright police declined the update (to a book they'd already allowed in their store) because they thought it was available online for free elsewhere.

I understand that no one wants a million copies of Wikipedia articles clogging up book stores, but it would be nice if there were a way to say "Yes, the contents of this book are available under a Creative Commons license and I have the right to distribute it."

(My publisher has the same right to distribute the printed copy, and Amazon is very happy to sell that version.)

about 2 years ago
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X11 Window System Turns 25 Years Old

chromatic Re:Original O'Reilly Manuals (285 comments)

I rescued mine from the castaway bin at HP in '98 or '99 and even used the xlib manual once or twice.

The next time I move, the desire not to carry them will outweigh the nostalgia factor. Pun intended.

about 2 years ago
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Kindle Fire Is Sold Out Forever

chromatic Re:Slow news day? (309 comments)

With enough volume, they can make more on the float than you'd believe. For their best selling product ever, I'm sure they can ask for and get net-60 on completed units.

about 2 years ago
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Study Finds New Pop Music Does All Sound the Same

chromatic Re:Newsflash (576 comments)

GP might have been thinking of Haydn.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Perl 5.14 Released

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

chromatic writes "Pumpking Jesse Vincent has just released Perl 5.14, the latest stable version of the venerable Perl 5 programming language. The list of changes in Perl 5.14 includes several enhancements, including performance tuning, Unicode improvements, and updates to the core libraries and documentation. Perl 5.16 is on track for a release next April."
Link to Original Source
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A Real World HTML 5 Benchmark

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 3 years ago

KidCompy writes "The newest browsers boast huge performance improvements, but how much do you trust benchmarks trotted out to prove those claims? Do they reflect the real uses to which developers will put HTML 5 and JavaScript? We've extracted several benchmarks from our existing programs to measure actual versus theoretical performance."
Link to Original Source
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The Evolution of Python 3

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

chromatic writes "In December 2008, the Python developers released Python 3.0, a new version of the popular dynamic programming language. The process included concurrent revisions of Python 2.6, intended in part as a migration between existing Python programs and the new version. O'Reilly News recently spoke to Python creator Guido van Rossum for a retrospective on the language and its development, as well for his views on uptake and migration to Python 3.0. For the futurists, expect Python 3.1 sometime in the next year, and at least five years of backwards compatibility for the 3.x family."
Link to Original Source
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Turning Rock and Roll into Video Games

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Geek Satire writes "Broken-hearted that your mastery of plastic guitar controllers won't get you cute groupies and bowls full of chocolate backstage? Fret not; games studios are still as cool as ever. An article on the creative forces behind Guitar Hero World Tour reveals the connections, whether turning master studio recordings into instrument and vocal tracks, capturing the facial expressions and physical antics of rock stars, and allowing users to compose new songs solely through the guitar controller."
Link to Original Source
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How Social Software Can Improve Democracy

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Geek Satire writes "Politics breeds cynicism; politicians seem pander to contradictory focus groups to get elected, then break their promises to everyone. Mass mailings and faxings overwhelm their staffs, and who knows if you can tell your representatives what you really think? Experienced techie and political consultant Silona Bonewald (creator of the fabulous Transparent Federal Budget) believes that simple software solutions can fix these problems and more. O'Reilly News recently discussed with her how social software can improve democracy and leadership."
Link to Original Source
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The State of Electronic Voting in the US

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Geek Satire writes "Voting works only if you believe your vote gets counted accurately. The 2008 US elections have avoided many well-known problems of 2004 and 2000 elections, but many problems remain. O'Reilly News interviewed Dr. Barbara Simons, advisor to the Federal Election Assistance Commission, to review electronic voting in the 2008 US elections, discussing the physical security of storing and maintaining election machines, the move from from electronic back to paper ballots, and why open source voting machines in and of themselves don't solve problems of bugs, backdoors, and audits."
Link to Original Source
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How Linux Supports More Devices Than Any Other OS

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Geek Satire writes "Linux kernel developer and Linux Driver Project founder Greg Kroah-Hartman has claimed that Linux supports more devices than any other OS, ever. "But wait," you say, "What about ____?" O'Reilly News asked Greg to explain that bold claim, as well as the Linux kernel's evolving development process and why binary drivers are, in his words, "illegal, unworkable, and immoral.""
Link to Original Source
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How Kernel Hackers Fixed Desktop Linux

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

chromatic writes "Kernel hackers Arjan van de Ven and Auke Kok showed off Linux booting in five seconds at last month's Linux Plumbers Conference. Arjan and other hackers have already improved the Linux user experience by reducing power consumption and latency. O'Reilly News interviewed him about his work on improving the Linux experience with PowerTOP, LatencyTOP, and Five-Second Boot."
Link to Original Source
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How to Modernize System Administration

chromatic chromatic writes  |  about 6 years ago

chromatic writes "'System administration is stuck in the 1980s', says Luke Kanies, creator of Puppet. You can't keep systems up to date with ssh in a for loop anymore. Nor can administrators assume that the value of their work is staggeringly obvious to business people. If you're not providing metrics and graphs to explain your work, you're not doing your job. Luke elaborates on his views about how to modernize system administration in an interview with O'Reilly Media."
Link to Original Source
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The Software Behind the Mars Phoenix Lander

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

chromatic writes "Imagine managing a million lines of code to send over seven hundred pounds of equipment millions of miles through space to land safely on Mars and perform dozens of experiments. You have C, 128 MB of RAM, and very few opportunities to retry if you get it wrong. O'Reilly News interviewed Peter Gluck, project software engineer for NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander, about the process of writing software and managing these constraints — and why you're unlikely to see the source code to the project any time soon."
Link to Original Source
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Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

chromatic writes "Google and O'Reilly have published the Call For Open Source Awards 2008 Nominations. These awards, given at OSCON 2008. The awards recognize individual contributors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, and collaboration in the development of Open Source Software. The nomination process is open to the entire open source community, and they close on May 15. Here's your chance to sing the praises of previously unsung hackers."
Link to Original Source
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State of the Onion 11

chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 6 years ago

chromatic writes "Larry Wall's State of the Onion 11 address is now online. Every year, he describes the state of Perl and its community through metaphor and analogy. This year, Larry explored the history of scripting languages, from their dimly-lit beginnings to their glorious future. Along the way, he also describes several of the design principles invoked in the design of Perl 6."
Link to Original Source
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chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

chromatic writes "Many people associate the term "open" with open source software, but this popular definition of "openness" is incomplete. Openness affects many aspects of computing besides the freedom to use, view, and modify source code; consider DRM restrictions, patent encumberances, warranty warnings, and other mechanisms by which commercial entities try to restrict the freedom to tinker. Adrien Lamothe explores these issues in Degrees of Openness."
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chromatic chromatic writes  |  more than 7 years ago

chromatic writes "Larry Wall's annual State of the Onion addresses cover subjects such chemistry, science, music, lingustics, and screensavers. They occasionally discuss Perl too. This year's, State of the Onion 10 compares raising children into productive adults to guiding the development and design of a programming language. Perl turns 19 soon; Larry says that she'll truly grow up with Perl 6."

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