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The World's Best Living Programmers

cribera Re:Amusing... (285 comments)

It always depends upon the circumstances.

There are times when being a great programmer could be the most important thing, but except in one man/woman operations this is very rarely the case.

It's overlooked because there's a romanticism (sad and geeky though it is) about wondrous programmers being able to leap tall feature lists with a single bound...

Database analysys and overall app analysis & design are far more important than algorithms. It's hard to iamgine an scenario where this would not be true, cause even in games, the abstraction capability is far more important than coding skills. Get anything above trivial, really corporate and complex, and programming is far less important than other issues.

about two weeks ago
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The World's Best Living Programmers

cribera Re:Amusing... (285 comments)

Ultimately, programming and software engineering are the same thing

Not at all. This isn't some elitist "I'm not a programmer" kind of thing. I am a programmer, but that ability is a subset of my abilities as a software engineer.

Programming is the ability to instruct a computer to perform actions. A programmer is someone who has this skill.

Software engineering is a superset of programming. It includes the abilities of a programmers, plus the skills, the ethos, and the discipline for all the other aspects of building software that are important. The discipline is the most difficult part (at least for me.)

The simplicity of those differences can be seen in the drudgery of commenting your code where appropriate (or, if you know that junior developers will be working in the codebase, documenting it thoroughly), and the complexity of those differences can be in recognizing that the architecture of your solution provides for 3rd party integration opportunities that may be of enormous value to your employer and yet require more work on your behalf because abstraction can also be drudgery.

This doesn't mean that there aren't people out there who consider themselves programmers, not software engineers, that don't have these skills - it means that that they are what would be technically considered a software engineer.

You can pick up a book on learning JavaScript in 24 hours and start programming and even refer to yourself as a programmer if you land a job doing so, but calling yourself a software engineer at that point is ridiculous. Heck, quite a few CS grads don't even appear to be able to call themselves programmers (they do so little of it in the course of their studies generally.)

An analogy, which in my obviously subjective opinion, describes this relationship would be a mechanic and a mechanical engineer. That is a rougher comparison than the differences between MOST programmers and software engineers, but it conveys the basis of what I mean.

Exactly, I'm a software architect also, and I was a programmer in my youth, since high school. Programming is only a subset of skills of any worthy software architect, and not even close to be the most important. I don't know why this is often so overlooked, even in places like slashdot.

about two weeks ago
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Louis Suarez-Potts Talks About Making Money with FOSS (Video)

cribera Music analogy, is it valid? (33 comments)

I mean, in modern music, the composer would be equivalent to the developer.

And the composer use to get frar less money than the most famous singers, instrumentalists showbiz people, hair stylists, managers and so on. So, the royalties given to the composer are perceived as an unfair payment for the creative minds of the business, isn't it?

Isn't the free software movement proposing something even more unfair for the creative minds of the software business?

They don't even have the right to the small royalties they have in music, free software evangelist claims such is unfair, and that the creative mind must turn himself/herself into a support guy, to make a living from trivial customizations or from writing books, or giving conferences, of anything besides the strictly creative process.

How come this approach is so popular in our field? Arent we shooting ourselves in the foot by convincing several entire country governments to go into the free software way?

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cribera Re:You mean a visual 4GL? (876 comments)

They suck. Used them. Hated them.

They're fine for simple if-then-else and loop processing logic, but when it comes to complex code, they suck donkey balls. And most of the code I have to write is complex code; I leave the simple stuff to the junior masses.

Isn't it the opposite? that programming only masses are the majority and real software architects (with a lot of programming experience in their youth) a small minority?

As I told before, what about http://www.genexus.com/ http://www.windev.com/ or http://www.velneo.com/

Visual Studio, Netbeans or Eclipse SUCK compared to these tools.

Are you aware that you can build powerful cross-platform apps with such tools, without doing it brick-by-brick?

Are you aware that giving such tools to a programming-only guys would be like giving blue-collar workers a rapid-wall-roof-building tool in construction, without them having no clue of engineering or architecture?

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cribera Re:Because... (876 comments)

Sorry to repeat the post, but when you don't answer soon enough in /., it seems you are ignored by the rest of the people, other by the one you answer directly. Besides, it seems in this thread, the majority are programmers, not Software archtiects, because how else the comment I quote is modded 'insightful' (I have still mod points I cant use in this thread, FWIW) and my comment is ignored?

Because text based stuff works. All the graphical programming stuff essentially is experimental. ALL of them have major faults. Yes, there are some people who think that everything can be done in UML and then automatically have that generate code, but that requires a huge investment to learn UML (at least as much time as it takes to learn a text based language) plus the code generated is not necessarily efficient. This is a very old idea, people have been working on this for decades!

It is only recently that we've had graphical displays that I would considere good enough for the level of detail necessary. The computer monitors from 10 years ago were not high enough resolution.

And frankly there's nothing wrong with text based programming. After all we are programmers. We all learned calculus (or should have), physics (or should have), we learned all the theory (or should have), we wrote term papers using text, and so forth. So to learn a simple programing language should not be a hurdle to anyone. We're professionals, we should never be saying "this is too hard!"

Graphical user interfaces are not efficient in terms of building something up. Lots and lots of mouse movement is necessary merely to draw out a basic set of blocks and flow control but then you still need lots and lots of mouse movement to apply the correct sets of properties to each box, each line, and so forth (ie, type in variable names, set their type, make them const, place them in the correct scope, etc). Whereas text you just start typing and it is fast. That's why we still use command language interfaces instead of graphical user interfaces for most professionals, they're faster and more efficient. You may think that typing is slow and cumbersome, but I find using tools like Visio and Powerpoint to be slow and cumbersome.

Finally, how are you going to share your graphical program? Do you require everyone who will read your code to also have the same graphical code viewer, no matter what operating system they are on? Sure this may be ok if you're just doing simplistic visual basic but in the real world you can't rely on this. The practical matter is that it will get translated into a textual form just to be shared. At which point you may have well done it in text to start with. Why do we have so many programming languages? Because not everyone agrees on just one language, and of course no language is equally efficient in all problem domains. The same issue will exist in any graphical programming style; no one will agree on just one, and you'll need different variants.

Basically, text based programs are indeed simpler and more robust. Now maybe you don't like some programming languages because they're too verbose and hard to type, in which case choose a language that uses higher level constructs, and so forth.

What about examples like http://www.genexus.com/ [genexus.com] http://www.windev.com/ [windev.com] or http://www.velneo.com/ [velneo.com] ?

Check this, 2+ years ago, how it runs in Android like a full-fledged windows app (not the typical watered-down app created for mobile devices), with the very same functionality in Windows/MacOSX/Linux & Android, without writing a single line of extra code. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Despite not being 'famous', these tools are very succesful AND POWERFUL, in the sense that users are happy with them, they can solve complex problems with them, and such users are experienced in 3GL languages and HATE to think working again in the 3GL way most of their time.

In my personal experience, (I consider myself more a software architect than a programmer and I programmed a lot when young), and any of such 3 tools is a FAR BETTER option than horrible ( compared to such 3 tools, regarding productivity) tools like VisualStudio, Netbeans or Eclipse.

Software architects with real knowledge, can take a lot of advantage of such 4GL+ tools , I don't understand how people writes about supposed 'limitations', I hope they explain what are they talking about, perhaps they talk about cases equivalent in construction of giving an imaginary rapid-house-building tool to blue-collar workers without engineering and/or architecture knowledge?

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cribera Re:We're not 1 layer above assembly (876 comments)

Sorry to repeat the post, but when you don't answer soon enough in /., it seems you are ignored by the rest of the people, other by the one you answer directly.

We're two. That's already enough. There are plenty of '4GL' languages out there, where you draw diagrams and 'write no code' but they're very limited in what you can do. You can only do what the language and tool designers have already thought of. As soon as you need to do anything more complex. you need a write code.

What about examples like http://www.genexus.com/ http://www.windev.com/ or http://www.velneo.com/ ?

Check this, 2+ years ago, how it runs in Android like a full-fledged windows app (not the typical watered-down app created for mobile devices), with the very same functionality in Windows/MacOSX/Linux & Android, without writing a single line of extra code. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Despite not being 'famous', these tools are very succesful AND POWERFUL, in the sense that users are happy with them, they can solve complex problems with them, and such users are experienced in 3GL languages and HATE to think working again in the 3GL way most of their time.

In my personal experience, I consider myself more a software architect than a programmer, and any of such 3 tools is a far better options for me than horrible ( compared to such 3 tools, regarding productivity) tools like VisualStudio, Netbeans or Eclipse.

Software architects with real knowledge, can take a lot of advantage of such 4GL+ tools , I don't understand how people writes about supposed 'limitations', I hope they explain what are they talking about, perhaps they talk about cases equivalent in construction of giving an imaginary rapid-house-building tool to blue-collar workers without engineering and/or architecture knowledge?

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

cribera Re:Visual Programming Has Been a 20-Year Failed Ex (876 comments)

Visual code generators have existed for two decades, most famous is the Rational product. I've never met a developer or read an unbiased article claiming that the code generators have helped. Usually they say it just leads to ugly code and high maintenance overhead to maintain the diagrams. In natural language, why haven't photos and videos replaced words? It's because words are still the best way to express precise and complex logic. Now, it's up to the writer to express complex logic in a series of simple steps that a reader can understand, or to write in a convoluted way.

What about examples like www.genexus.com, www.windev.com or www.velneo.com ?

Despite not being 'famous', they are pretty succesful, in the sense that users are ahppy with them, and such users know 3GL languages and HATE to think working again in the 3GL way.

In my personal experience, I considers myself more a software architect than a programmer, and any of such 3 tools is a far better options for me than horrible ( compared to such 3 tools, regarding productivity) tools VisualStudio, Netbeans or Eclipse.

Software architects with real knowledge, can take a lot of advantage of such tools , I don't understand how people writes about supposed 'limitations', I hope they explain what are they talking about, perhaps they talk about cases equivalent in construction of giving an imaginary rapid-house-building tool to blue-collar workers without engineering and/or architecture knowledge?

about 6 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

cribera Re:What about the CAPUCHIN MONKEY? (628 comments)

Monkey see, monkey do. It's a type of intelligence, but there are others that are tested too, some more important - such as puzzles that have to be solved without being shown the correct solution. For example, squirrels working out how to overcome anti-squirrel bird feeders are showing more intelligence than the monkeys in the examples you mention.

Check also these links please, and tell us your opinion, if you wish. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm...

about 6 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

cribera Re:What about the CAPUCHIN MONKEY? (628 comments)

Monkey see, monkey do. It's a type of intelligence, but there are others that are tested too, some more important - such as puzzles that have to be solved without being shown the correct solution. For example, squirrels working out how to overcome anti-squirrel bird feeders are showing more intelligence than the monkeys in the examples you mention.

FWIW, there are A LOT of examples of capuchin monkeys facing challenges and overcoming them WITHOUT NEVER WATCHING ANYONE DO IT before.

You see it in south american wild areas near cities, or even with very young orphan monkeys raised at human homes, chained, how they improvise tools to get food, or to get something to use it as a toy.

For instance, this is another video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

And more important, apart from abilities and facing challenges, it's when you interact with them, it seems so obvious that they understand you and try to communicate with you. Even when they look at you, and the use of their facial expressions, it even scares you of how human they seem, no other animal comes close to that, and I'vee seen trained chimps, gorillas, parrots, dolphins, elephants, etc.

I'll try to film myself some untrained monkeys for anyone who wish to see that with their own eyes. If you travel to Brazil or Bolivia, you'll find some of these monkeys in rural areas, to realize how smart they act without any training. OTOH in cities you'll find some trained monkeys that work as 'assistants' for street performers (but that's not the point discussed here about intelligent traits, not about tricks trained by humans).

about 6 months ago
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200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

cribera What about the CAPUCHIN MONKEY? (628 comments)

Dolphins and chimps are quite intelligent, I will give you that. But I would place parrots (look up the New Zealand Kea on youtube), corvids (crows, ravens, etc), octopuses, whales, and elephants before pigs.

I'm surprised that the AMAZING capuchin monkey is ignored (FAR smarter than chimp, in my experience, just not used in research as often as they should).

Personally, in South America I've seen them solving problems (like learning themselves COMING FROM THE WILD several yards far from the office, to operate a coffee machine and getting a cup of coffe in an office where the manager allowed them in, or entering a place and looking for magazines, imitating the human behavior) WITHOUT HUMAN TRAINING.

Behavior like this, but without formal training to do so (like happened with the chimps when doing tricks), just by watching and learning.

Please check videos like these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

about 6 months ago
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If I Had a Hammer

cribera Re:Isn't this the ultimate goal? (732 comments)

The Soviet Union didn't do so well, China on the other hand has incorporated a few capitalistic principles as well and seems to be doing quite well

China today communist? 'a few capitalistic principles' Are you kidding me?

Aren't you aware that USA is totally communist compared to today's China establishment, with almost slave workers, with practically no rights when they are born peasants migrating to a city? Do you call that ' a few capitalistic principles'?

What were my moderator colleagues thinking about when modding the quoted message as 'Insightful'? Will some of them explain it here please?

about 6 months ago
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Francois Englert and Peter W. Higgs Awarded Nobel Prize For Boson Discovery

cribera Re:Huh, earlier than expected (83 comments)

Anything that could create the Universe as we know it must be Awesome in both sophistication and power - so could not have come about by blind chance, so would have had to be created, and such a thing would need a creator...

So postulating a Creator of the Universe does not solve anything, it 'merely' defers the question.

Hence, the notion of God the Creator conflicts with Reality.

Let's use your same logic, if complexity needs to be created, ask yourself, how complex would such 'creator' be?

How come such complex creature, could come into existance, without a creator itself?

Then again, how complex would be the creator's creator? And we could go on into an infinite loop of creators? Do you get it?

about 9 months ago
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Francois Englert and Peter W. Higgs Awarded Nobel Prize For Boson Discovery

cribera Re:Nobel prizes are shit (83 comments)

They gave the peace prize to that piece of shit nigger obama for christ sake.

Leaving racist rant aside, scientific Nobel pizes are serious, non-scientific prizes (peace, literature or even economy) are not in the same level of credibility, by any means.

about 10 months ago
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Francois Englert and Peter W. Higgs Awarded Nobel Prize For Boson Discovery

cribera Re:Huh, earlier than expected (83 comments)

Anyone who thinks the God particle is not worthy of a Nobel Prize is an idiot. Of course it won right away after validation. There are not many fundamental scientific discoveries that give us a glimpse right into the mind of the Creator of our universe.

Please leave the religious stuff elsewhere, slashdot is not a fertile place for fairy tales.

about 10 months ago
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Why Is Microsoft Setting More Money On Fire With Surface 2?

cribera Re:What is the point of not having 3G? (616 comments)

Perhaps you're been to US-centric.

In many countries of the world, wifi is not always available, specially in rural areas.

You don't purchase a tablet to be offline when you are in the countryside, isn't it?

I'm not claiming Android is superior to Windows, what I'm asking is, what's the big deal of not having 3G integrated?

What would be the big deal to enable 3G in an expensive tablet? What makes it so impossible for MS? that s what I'd like to know.

about 10 months ago
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Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights

cribera Re:jerk (1440 comments)

If your car ends up dead, you should use signals, like triangles, to warn drivers.

Stupid people texting at red lights also contribute to traffic jams, cause they waste the green light, most of the time.

And I've seen them with my own eyes, they keep texting after driving, or talking at the phone. So, stopping them from the start is not a bad idea.

about 10 months ago
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Why Is Microsoft Setting More Money On Fire With Surface 2?

cribera What is the point of not having 3G? (616 comments)

There are several cheap android tablets that support 3G ((4G, LTE, you get the point), so, what would be the excuse for not supporting 3g without the need of awful USB dongles?

I mean, real mobility should mean the ability to stay connected even in rural areas where no wifi is near, isn't it? for such expensive tablets, isn't it absurd not to have 3G ?

Thanks in advance for any explanation.

about 10 months ago
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At Current Rates, Tesla Could Soon Suck Up Worldwide Supply of Li-Ion Cells

cribera Re:so glad for the solution (351 comments)

Avoiding foreign investment and involvement makes sense (in some situations, likely including this one). Ignoring a potential short-term revenue stream does not.

The country has the funding for the project, the 'short-term revenue' is not free of hassle and/or potential problems for the long term vision they have.

For bolivians, it's by far the lesser of 2 evils, to wait until they have everything in place. even if it means sacrificing short-term urges, than to rush in selling raw materials, without added value, repeating some (if not all) the mistakes of the past. The long-term vision is winning, and it's a bad thing for corporations, a double good is achieved.

about a year ago
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At Current Rates, Tesla Could Soon Suck Up Worldwide Supply of Li-Ion Cells

cribera Re:so glad for the solution (351 comments)

I don't see how selling lithium to foreign corporations gives them "control".

Selling raw lithium would also be repeating former mistakes (not only letting them take control of the business).

That's why they are trying really hard to have the whole business in Bolivia, with the least foreing involvement as possible.

And if there's foreign involvement, it will be under strict conditions, getting sure that the bolivians won't be screwed again, as happened in the past.

I really don't see what's wrong with such approach.

about a year ago
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At Current Rates, Tesla Could Soon Suck Up Worldwide Supply of Li-Ion Cells

cribera Re:so glad for the solution (351 comments)

But why not take the money you can get now, while tooling up? In fact, use the cash you get from selling lithium to fund construction of battery manufacturing industry. There's no good reason to accept the risk of C, unless your lithium resources are so slight that you'll deplete them before you can start making batteries, but that's not the case.

No, Bolivia's just squandering its opportunities to no benefit.

Because the money is already being invested, but using bolivian's money (even money from country's international reserve) and bolivian workers (scientists and support staff), without the need to give corporations the lionshare and/or the control.

I repeat, the 'money' to get, would not change the bolivian situation (as happened before, where even the oil & gas money were pennies, compared to the country needs, while corporations got the lionshare).

So, it was better to take the change of the C scenario (very slim chance, imo), than to keep repeating the mistakes of the past, regarding dealing with greedy transnational corporations.

about a year ago

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