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Perl Is Undead

johnkzin Re:Yes, Perl is indeed dead and rotting (283 comments)

I remember clearly how Perl 6 was going to become the best thing since butter on toast, ... There was general excitement about it all, and then there was a whole load of ... well... nothing. We're 11-12 years further and there's still no sign of Perl 6. What the hell happened there?

Don't get me wrong about this particular thing... all of my commentary is about Perl 5. I think Perl 6 is dead on the vine. I think Perl 5 will probably be the final definition of the language. It will get refined, and bug fixed, but I don't think it will get the type of complete change that Perl 6 implies (not the current concept of perl 6, nor any concept of similar scope that might replace the current perl 6 concept). Nor do I think that that's a bad thing (for Perl 5 to be final definition of the language).

I'm also not saying Perl 5 is perfect. I just think it's "good enough"* for what it does, and for use in sysadmin type development (which is not just for quick and dirty duct-tape programming ... I've written pretty extensive projects in Perl), with a momentum that will carry it forward for more than a little while.

(* nor do I consider "good enough" to be a snobbish backhanded compliment ... I mean it more in the light of "the perfect is the enemy of the good-enough" -- "good enough" gets things done, "perfect" gets defined and redefined on a white-board for an eternity and never accomplishes anything other than a bunch of bloviating) (nor am I implying that that negative version of "perfect" applies to _any_ of the other languages being discussed ... I'm just saying, "good enough" is a good thing when applied to perl 5.)

about 3 months ago
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Perl Is Undead

johnkzin Re:Yes, Perl is indeed dead and rotting (283 comments)

Like I said, I haven't seen python take over anywhere other than Google. That's a big claim to fame, surely. But, it's not as wide spread as it could or should be, at this point in python's life, IMO. It just doesn't have the momentum nor clear advantage (to non-language-geeks) over perl to push it forward fast enough to overtake perl.

I do like python, mind you. I just think it's stuck in the betamax / BSD niche (academically superior to its cousins, but stuck in second place for reasons that have nothing to do with its academic superiority ... because academic superiority doesn't win any races outside of academia).

about 3 months ago
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Perl Is Undead

johnkzin Re:Yes, Perl is indeed dead and rotting (283 comments)

Meanwhile, Perl 5 being phased out of system building / admin tools

Really? what's replacing it? (genuine question ... I haven't seen anything that really fills that niche as effectively nor as completely)

Perl 5 is still charging full steam ahead in every sysadmin group I've been around. I know there are python advocates out there, but I have only encountered ONE major IT shop that is completely (or nearly so) python driven (and it happens to be Guido's employer -- hardly a good example). Other than that, the most I've seen is _some_ python but _mostly_ perl in any IT shop.

Sure, language-geeks have been talking about what other language has done a better job of being "a language" for at least 10 years ... but really, anything you can say negatively about perl can be said about bourne shell programming. And, yet, not only did bourne shell dominate *nix sysadmin and package install programming for 25+ years, but it is _still_ being done out there, by some backward luddite sysadmins. Perl has only been dominant in the sysadmin space for less than 15 years ... I wouldn't be surprised if it lasts at least another 10 more. And, really, since it lacks many of bourne shell programming's problems, it'd be reasonable to expect it to keep going for a lot longer than that. Especially as perl 5's evolution continues to slow down and become more stagnant (creating a consistent and stable programming layer ... which has not been true through the entirety of perl 5's lifespan -- there were a few major hiccups there as various sub-systems were refined or changed).

(to be clear, perl 5 has _existed_ for more than 15 years, but it didn't become really dominant as a sysadmin language of choice, finally eclipsing bourne shell, until the very late 1990's or early 2000's ... probably about the time that y2k issues wiped out anything too old to have/support perl, and the last of many *nix vendors and most linux distro's being sure they included perl in their boilerplate installation, pretty much removing bourne shell's one major claim to fame (ubiquity).)

about 3 months ago
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How Role-Playing Games Arrived In Japan With Black Onyx

johnkzin Bad article title. (50 comments)

Clearly, the article says "RPGs arrived in Japan with Dungeons and Dragons", not with Black Onyx. Black Onyx came later.

The article title should reflect that.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Reproducible Is Arithmetic In the Cloud?

johnkzin Re:Fixed-point arithmetic (226 comments)

"If you want exact results from a fixed number of significant bits, you want magic. "

I want magic!!!

I mean, I don't care about the computer math part, I just want magic. If we're defining that as a bullet item on the path to some other solution, I'm in full support of that goal!

about 10 months ago
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U.S. House Wants 'Sustained Human Presence On the Moon and the Surface of Mars'

johnkzin Just don't... (285 comments)

Just don't drink the glacier water...

about a year ago
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LLVM Clang Compiler Now C++11 Feature Complete

johnkzin Re:Linux (291 comments)

If only there was a company whose job was to make gcc/gdb ports to every platform on earth, with contracted deals with the platform makers (Intel, Sun, Sega, Sony, Hitachi, etc.) ... such that gcc provided C, C++, and even some Objective-C support, uniformly across platforms, with as much platform specific optimization as possible.

Oh... wait. There was such a company. Until Redhat bought them and killed them. (Cygnus Support / Cygnus Solutions, purchased by Redhat in very late 1999/ early 2000 because RH was afraid Cygnus would go into the business of having their own Linux distro and compete with RH...)

about a year and a half ago
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Creative Commons Urged To Drop Non-Free Clauses In CC 4.0

johnkzin Re:I'd just call bullshit. (223 comments)

They already have that. It's called "NC". Surely you'll say "No, NC doesn't imply that"... but that's because people are myopic.

ANY property can be licensed under an alternate license. You just have to contact the property owner.

weird_w wants to license it in general under NC to prevent the general case of abuse, and to prevent abuse by entities he doesn't like... great.

If a small shop still wants to use the work, they already have a built-in remedy: contact weird_w and ask him for the same work under an alternate and/or negotiated license (closed/for-pay, closed/for-free, open, etc.). There's nothing about distributing _YOUR_ work under the GPL or CC or any other _general_ license that says you can't also simultaneously distribute _YOUR_ work under another license.

It's your work. Do you want you want. Distribute it under a GPL or OGL variant to people who's last name starts with A-M, and distribute it under CC-SA to people who's last names start with N-Y, and distribute it under CC-NC to people who's last names start with Z.

Or, distribute it under CC-NC to companies named BANDERSNATCH, and distribute it under CC-SA to everyone else.

It MIGHT make it harder to defend your property in court (I'm not a lawyer, consult one), but there have, historically, been lots of companies that distribute their work under multiple licenses. The first one that comes to mind is the old Ghostscript, which was under one license for the latest and greatest, and then a different license for older versions. Or FUDGE, which (at least for a while) was under an artist's license OR the OGL (your choice).

more than 2 years ago
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Video Purports To Show Successful Hover Bike Test Flights

johnkzin Re:What everyone is missing (112 comments)

If you put the fans ABOVE the center of gravity, such that the center of lift is above the center of gravity, then: a) it will look even more "bike" like, and b) you wont need to worry about negative stability.

more than 2 years ago
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QuickTime Creator Brings Flash and Office To the iPad, By Subscription

johnkzin Re:OnLive Desktop (118 comments)

Thought about it. barely any advantage over running it on my own system (which I have done, via VNC). Which, as I hinted at, if the remote desktop is VNC, then it's got too much latency and can have usability issues. I'm sincerely hoping they're doing something orders of magnitude better than VNC.

more than 2 years ago
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QuickTime Creator Brings Flash and Office To the iPad, By Subscription

johnkzin OnLive Desktop (118 comments)

I sent them an email, a few weeks ago, asking about other options besides Windows. Like, Ubuntu or Mac OS X, for the remote OS.
I also asked about clients for other platforms.

No response yet.

I doubt I'd use it for flash things or word processing (I use Dropbox to keep documents synchronized). What I would more likely want it for is a persistent IM presence, with centralized logging. Currently, I also use Dropbox for centralizing the logging, but I have to do some over-head to check and be sure that I don't try to run it in 2 places (I use an Automator Script and a Perl script for that). I've also looked into various web based IM clients ... none of which were satisfactory to me. So, one of my main uses of something like this would be to simply keep open a persistent IM session that I could check and update from my various devices. Especially if it's more usable, and has less latency, than doing that on my own "server" via VNC.

more than 2 years ago
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Mazda Claims 70 mpg For New Engine, No Hybrid Needed

johnkzin Re:Golf Diesel (576 comments)

17 year ago, when I drove a Geo Metro (manual transmission, no AC), it was rated for 49/50 MPG, and that's exactly what I got. However, it spoiled me for other cars. I hear people rave about how great their cars do... at 28-30 MPG, and I think "that's TERRIBLE". For various reasons, for this year only, I'm stuck in a Ford 500. I average 20MPG. I feel guilty every time I start the engine.

more than 3 years ago
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Truth Or Dare — What Is the Best US Cell Company?

johnkzin I've used all of the big 4, plus MetroPCS (395 comments)

By far, the best of the bunch (reliability, customer service, and price) has been T-Mobile.

MetroPCS is good if you live in one of their areas, don't mind the handset selection, and don't travel much. Otherwise, T-Mobile is the best. By far.

more than 4 years ago
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James Cameron On How Avatar Technology Could Keep Actors Young

johnkzin Re:Looker (404 comments)

I was going to bring that up too.

What Cameron is bringing up is basically a re-hash of the "Looker" plot-line. Though, Looker adds in a gadget that is also a little bit novel (and almost, but not exactly, like the non-lethal flashlight weapon that uses flashing lights to induce vomiting ... only the one in the movie induces blackouts).

Once we cross that gulf that makes truly human-looking CGI characters, you can bet we'll see movies that use virtual versions of real actors. That does NOT mean it'll be successful ... there's more to a successful movie than a real looking actor, you'll still need good writing, good directing, and good acting (voice acting, in this case). But it'll almost certainly have an impact on how many movies are made ... and it'll probably have an impact on the admissibility of video evidence.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Docs To Host Any File Type

johnkzin FUSE (186 comments)

How long before we see a FUSE plugin that lets you treat this like an NFS server?
(or did I miss it, and one already exists?)

more than 4 years ago
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What SciFi Should Get the Reboot Treatment Next?

johnkzin Firefly? (no) Babylon 5? Highlander? Space:1999? (922 comments)

Firefly doesn't need to be rebooted. It was fine the first time around, and it was envisioned just right. What it needs is not a reboot, it needs a revival/continuance.

Babylon 5 ... the nature of the production "network" messed up the second half of season 4, and ruined season 5 (IMO). Further, the sequel series was ruined by various other issues (chiefly the network airing it). It would be interesting to see how JMS would re-do the whole thing if he had the chance.

Highlander ... there are like 2 or 3 different attempts at a back story, several disconnected movies, 2 different tv series, movies that are based on the series and not the original movie(s) .... it's a huge mess. I'd be nice to see a story that has a central arc (like B5, where it's known up front and told in a slowly revealed and sophisticated manner... not like BSG, where they made up "the arc"/"the plan" as they went along, and just barely pulled it off), but more importantly, it has a definite continuity that the existing mess lacks.

Space:1999 ... obviously, they have to change the title. But it was one of my early favorite shows. I'd love to see what a talented writer could do with it. Again, I'd want it to be an arc story, that is pre-envisioned, and not made up as they go along.

The article referenced brings up Buck Rogers. If they could do it more like the original 1930's, and not like the 1980's, then go for it.

Dune was already re-done, on the sci-fi/syfy channel ... like Firefly, it doesn't need a reboot right now, it needs a continuance (the rest of the books).

One other idea: The Six Million Dollar Man. Only, NOT done by the people who did the reboot of "The Bionic Woman". That was AWFUL.

What about that old kids show: Arc 2? With the vehicle that drives around a post-apocalyptic planet trying to find a way to re-build civilization? That might do well right now.

Or the Shazam/Captain Marvel show of the same era. With or without Isis.

Oh... and... what about Mad Max/Road Warrior? I think Mel is too old to pull off a sequel at this point, so why not a fresh look at it.

Someone mentioned Aliens ... maybe. Or even a complete revamp of the Terminator story (and, again, done with forethought, and not "what can we shove into the sequel this time, and pull out of our butts to sort of make it work?").

more than 4 years ago
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What SciFi Should Get the Reboot Treatment Next?

johnkzin Re:Dune? Star Wars? (922 comments)

Dune was already re-done, as 2 mini-series on the Sci-Fi/syfy channel. Much better than the original theatrical movie.

I think that if Dune needs anything, it's like Firefly: it doesn't need to be re-done, it needs to be continued. The remake had 1 mini-series for the first book, 1 mini-series for the 2nd and 3rd books. It'd be interesting to see the rest of the main novels done.

more than 4 years ago
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Technology Changes To Kill Netbooks?

johnkzin What's important about a netbook (394 comments)

To me, what's important about a netbook, is:

1) size -- 7" - 12" screen

2) price -- under $600

3) functionality -- runs the basics (real web browser, terminal or dedicated ssh client, vnc viewer, IM, document viewers)

4) shape -- the above things can also be applied to "tablets", but the difference between a mid-range tablet and a mid-range "clamshell" is the keyboard. The "mid-range clamshell" is a "netbook" (with or without the swivel screen/convertible tablet capability). Not a smartbook, not a sub-notebook, etc. Those are just market-droid's attempts to re-brand and differentiate from past models of the same thing. It's a netbook.

I personally don't think #1 will ever go away, whether you call it a "netbook", "smartbook", or "sub-notebook".

I don't think the price is going to really have a huge change either. Sure, some netbooks are getting more expensive. But, some "laptops" are also coming down to a price point that competes with netbooks.

As for functionality, as time marches forward, the capabilities of devices in that size and price rang will increase. That's a given. So, eventually, netbooks will run more than just the basics. But the point is: they need to always run those basics well.

So, while the marketing blurbs may change, and the exact numbers might change, I'm willing to bet that the actual device category (7-12 inch screen, well under $100, runs basic apps) is here to stay. The only thing I think that might change ... is that someone might come up with a truly compelling device that matches 1-3, but doesn't keep the keyboard. Maybe it'll be the EnTourage eDGe (dual screen tablet, like the OLPC2 concept, or the Microsoft Courier). Maybe it'll be a plain tablet (Notion Ink Adam, or the highly anticipated Apple tablet). Maybe it's something we haven't envisioned yet.

more than 4 years ago
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Preventing My Hosting Provider From Rooting My Server?

johnkzin Re:If they do this.. (539 comments)

Definitely.

First, do your homework, make sure you didn't accidentally give them consent in your TOS with them.
Second, if you didn't give that consent, contact a lawyer (for civil litigation), and then notify authorities.

Whatever you do, don't tolerate it.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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New Gmail feature, TAP!

johnkzin johnkzin writes  |  more than 2 years ago

johnkzin writes "The UI geniuses at Google have reinvented a way to input information into your cell phone, without having to try to wedge your fingers into tiny keys. 3 buttons is all you need!"
Link to Original Source

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