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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

jonadab Re:Perhaps it's about translations? (165 comments)

Actually, there are German and Japanese variants. (The German one is a translation of UnNetHack, done I think by the same guy who did the English version of that variant. The Japanese one, somewhat older, is called NetHack Brass and seems to be mainly a flavor variant, i.e., it changes much more than just language.)

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

jonadab Re:Use utf if you must, for character names, only. (165 comments)

Actually, that could happen, if you've eaten a purple F, for example. (Admittedly, the fact that "gnome" and "gargoyle" both start with g would be an irrelevant coincidence in such a case.)

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

jonadab Re:utf-32/ucs-4 (165 comments)

Five bytes. In decimal, it'd be 38 115 104 121 59. HTH.HAND.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

jonadab Re:More importantly, (165 comments)

Honestly, it'd probably taste better than some of the other stuff NetHack characters eat.

about three weeks ago
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NetHack Development Team Polls Community For Advice On Unicode

jonadab Re:UTF-8 (165 comments)

For practical purposes, you can think of libuncursed as the display layer of NetHack 4, replacing an older curses library that NitroHack used, which in turn replaced the extensive and rather complicated set of platform-specific user interfaces NetHack 3.4.3 used, which were never entirely consistent with one another, due to being separately maintained.

libnethack is distributed with the game, as part of it, and I think it is even linked in statically by default. Yes, it was written as a highly-generalized support library, so that it *could* be used by other projects if desired and could probably even be made a dynamic library. But if all you want to do is build and run NetHack 4, that doesn't matter.

But in any case the original question from the Dev Team is about what to do in the vanilla codebase that may eventually lead to a new vanilla release (with a number yet to be announced, but 3.6 is probable; the number 3.5 will not be used for reasons explained on nethack.org). The vanilla codebase does not use libuncursed and in a number of additional ways is far more similar to 3.4.3 than it is to NetHack 4.

Although, the NetHack 4 devs are probably following this thread as well and may also implement Unicode in a larger way. (Unicode graphics for map display are already supported there, but things like player names, fruit names, object names, and level annotations are still treated as ASCII, I think, the same as in 3.4.3.)

Another thing not mentioned in the post is that the Dev Team is known to have already implemented some Unicode support, using wchar_t, which you can find in the leaked code (a tarball made from the tip of the dev team's internal repository from a few months ago now), if you hunt down a copy of that. But apparently they have not entirely settled on that implementation as the final solution.

about three weeks ago
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Seismological Society of America Claims Fracking Reactivated Ohio Fault

jonadab Oh noes! A fault! We'll have an earthquake! (168 comments)

Get ready for the big one. If we have an earthquake because of this, it could measure, 3.0, 3.5, maybe even 4.0 on the moment magnitude scale. People up to several miles away from the epicenter might be able to *feel* the quake, if they are sitting quietly in unpadded chairs at the time and concentrating on paying attention to tiny vibrations.

(I exaggerate. Slightly. I believe we actually had a 6.something once, back in the eighties, and people up to eighty or ninety miles from the epicenter claimed afterward that they felt it.)

Ohio is only seismically active in the technical sense. You generally need an actual seismograph to detect said activity. I'm sure it's fascinating, but it has little practical significance.

about three weeks ago
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Preferred Type of Game?

jonadab Roguelikes. (171 comments)

My current favorite is NetHack. Brogue is also interesting, but it's *really* hard, and I'm not that good.

about 2 months ago
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Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

jonadab Re:Eww. (376 comments)

We never had a democracy. Ever. We have a republic -- a representative government. We elect people to engage in political discourse for us, so that we don't all of us have to do that ourselves, so that we can get on with our lives.

Furthermore, engaging in political "discourse", as you call it, with morons going on about irrelevant garbage on social networks would do absolutely NOTHING to help me know how to vote. Having an actual intelligent conversation about a real political issue would be a different thing. I might actually be interested in that. But listening to the kind of idiots who like to talk about news and politics on social networks drool about talking points they don't even understand that they heard on television is NOT my idea of good discourse.

about 2 months ago
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Great Firewall of China Blocks Edgecast CDN, Thousands of Websites Affected

jonadab Re:Except for Mozilla and Colts (128 comments)

Blocking Akamai would have significantly more impact than blocking Edgecast, because Akamai is the *big* CDN. It's like the difference between blocking Bing and blocking Google. One will result in bitter complaints, and the other will result in torches and pitchforks.

about 2 months ago
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Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

jonadab Eww. (376 comments)

I watched a cat video once. It was dumb. With that said, however...

> The French love sharing news and politics on social networks

If I had to choose between sitting through a hundred hours of nonstop stupid cat videos or thirty minutes of news and politics on social networks, I'd take the stupid cat videos every time. It's clearly the lesser of those two evils.

about 2 months ago
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Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

jonadab Re:Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (171 comments)

You forgot the most important selling point of the new Firefox version:
  - Re-arranged the toolbar buttons, merged some unrelated ones, and changed their appearances beyond recognition, to prevent users from easily learning where to find the ones they want.

about 2 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

jonadab Re:What's there to compare? (402 comments)

Can you read your email in it? Can you read Slashdot in it? Can you use it to play music, get on IRC, play Zork and NetHack, and do in-place edits on a file that's stored on a remote server that you can access via ssh?

If you answer "no" to any of these questions, then it's not Emacs.

about 6 months ago
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Windows 8.1 Finally Passes Windows 8 In Market Share

jonadab Re:12.64 percent in only 17 months (187 comments)

> three years (a complete tech cycle in the consumer realm).

I don't know exactly where you live, but where I come from most consumer (i.e., home) computers aren't really new enough to comfortably run Vista, let alone Eight. Most of Seven's market share comes from people's work computers, which are upgraded considerably more often than home computers, on average. Most of Eight's market share comes from people whose old Windows XP computer finally died, so they went out and bought a new computer. (Seven has some of that too, but such systems are outnumbered by work computers, which are *mostly* Seven at this point, although there are still some XP holdouts.)

about 8 months ago
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Firefox 29: Redesign

jonadab Eh, I think I will stick to Firefox 2.0.0.20 (688 comments)

No, seriously, I think I will just continue to use Firefox 2.0.0.20, like I've been doing ever since I uninstalled the festering pile of excrement that was Firefox 3.

It *would* be kind of nice to have an updated Gecko, with support for things like inline-block, but eh, it's not worth the tradeoff in the UI.

about 9 months ago
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Asia's Richest Man Is Betting Big On Silicon Valley's Fake Eggs

jonadab Re: Why? (269 comments)

Yes, but could you have a vegan Full English Breakfast?

about a year ago
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What computing device do you use most while on vacation?

jonadab Re:Vacation? (140 comments)

A "vacation" is a work week wherein you're only mandated to do urgent things, like fix actual problems (usually: printers). You don't have to work on any long-term projects, and you don't have to sit at your desk certain hours just because it's that time of day. If you somehow manage to get all of the computers in the building working right, you can actually leave for a while, until they have another problem and call you.

about a year ago
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Microsoft's Ticking Time Bomb Is Windows XP

jonadab Re:The Solution is Obvious (829 comments)

> The question is: How much does it actually cost them (in dollars) to support XP?

It's not straightforward to convert the cost into dollars. There's an opportunity cost, because the people who are working on the XP codebase could be doing other things. If they're at all good at what they do, Microsoft would much prefer to have them working on other things (say, on bug fixes for Eight).

Part of the problem with maintaining an old code branch is that at some point you have to decide whether you actually want to maintain it or not. At some point the answer is always no, the newer versions are better, we no longer want to mess with doing X on the old version. Over time, the value of X escalates. There's an inherent progression, because as you do less work on the old code branch, it becomes not only more obsolete but also less familiar and less well maintained. When you stop doing new feature work on the branch because you're getting ready for release and want to sort out the bugs, you have entered the "Golden Age" for that branch of the code and started an inevitable progression. Without feature work, there is no motivation for infrastructure work or refactoring. With nobody doing feature or infrastructure work or refactoring on the codebase, the level of familiarity with it fades. Bugs take longer to track down and fix. Worse, the consequences of any changes that you make are not immediately obvious to anyone (because, remember, nobody is intimately familiar with this branch of the code any more), and furthermore users have come to expect a certain level of stability, and so the level of testing needed for each change increases. At some point bugs that aren't security relevant and don't cause loss of data no longer seem worth fixing. So you don't bother any more. Now your developers spend even less time working with -- and are even less familiar with -- the code. You go from "bug fixes only" to "important bug fixes only" to "critical and security-relevant bug fixes only" to "security fixes only" and eventually "critical security fixes only", and sooner or later you throw in the towel entirely.

This is not specific to Microsoft. Ask the guys at Debian why they no longer provide security updates for sarge (which is newer than XP by several years; in fact, I think it's newer than SP2). They no longer provide security updates for etch or lenny either. Updates are available for stable (currently, that's wheezy) and oldstable (currently squeeze). The precise economics of how security updates are provided and what resources are expended in providing them are of course very different for Debian as compared to Microsoft. But certain things are the same, and one of those things is, producing security updates for old no-longer-actively-maintained branches is proportionally more resource intensive than producing security updates for current and still-actively-maintained branches. Given the tendency of old branches to accumulate, at some point you have to have a cut-off date.

I say this as a network administrator who still has a number of Windows XP systems on the network at work, and not enough budget to replace them all in 2014. My current plan is to replace as many as possible of the remaining "front-line" Windows XP systems (i.e., the ones that are connected to the internet and directly used by ordinary users on a day-to-day basis). Non-internet-connected Windows XP systems will not be replaced in 2014, nor will ones used mainly by IT personnel, and a couple others might get converted to Debian wheezy (which runs better on old hardware than Seven -- we are not deploying Vista or Eight at this time). That'll only buy them an extra year or two, but it might allow our replacement hardware budget to stretch just far enough. Not every system is eligible to be considered for conversion to Debian, for various reasons, but it's a possibility for some of them.

Nonetheless, I don't begrudge Microsoft the privilege of discontinuing support for XP. You know when you deploy a new system that eventually it's going to be end-of-lined. If anything we artificially shortened this timeframe for ourselves by choosing NOT to deploy any Windows XP systems until after SP2 came out. If I had to do over again, I wouldn't change that.

about a year ago
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How long do your computer mice last?

jonadab Every few years... (361 comments)

Every six or eight years, we open up the bottom side, pull out the dust bunnies, and clean the worst grime off the felt on the little rollers.

Ahem.

(Calm down. It was a joke. We actually do know there's no felt, and we clean all the grime off the rollers, and we do it every couple of years. So all you germophobic neat freaks can just chill.)

about a year ago
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Unpublished J. D. Salinger Stories Leaked On Bittorrent Site

jonadab Re:Overrated (218 comments)

> but the story as portrayed in the movie was quite good in my opinion.

It probably has little or nothing to do with the story in the book. In the first place, that would be typical for a Hollywood treatment of any book. Additionally, this particular book doesn't have enough story to fill out an entire 20-minute sitcom episode, let alone a feature film.

> Take the Lord of the Rings for example, I remember the language and style
> of the Fellowship in particular being awkward and simplistic

Tolkien may have used simple language, but he didn't spend a page and a half detailing the appearance of a particularly mundane shrub in the dullest words possible. Also, not all of his characters were strictly one-dimensional and remarkable primarily for their unexceptional ordinariness. LOTR had a detailed plot, as well.

In terms of movie, LOTR had exactly the opposite problem of Of Mice and Men: it was fundamentally impossible to cram the entire story into a series of three longer-than-average movies. Even if they'd gone with five movies (one per "book" instead of one per volume), they still would have had to leave out a lot of the action.

about a year ago
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Unpublished J. D. Salinger Stories Leaked On Bittorrent Site

jonadab Re:New depth to "RTFA" (218 comments)

I'm just guessing here, but my guess would be "No."

about a year ago

Submissions

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jonadab jonadab writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jonadab writes "What is the hottest pepper you enjoy eating raw?
  • bell pepper (or none at all)
  • banana pepper
  • poblano
  • jalapeno
  • serrano
  • cayenne
  • thai pepper
  • habanero
  • dorset naga
  • distilled capsaicin
"
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jonadab jonadab writes  |  more than 8 years ago

jonadab writes "
  • language, writing, paper, and the printing press
  • indoor plumbing, hot showers, and soft toilet paper
  • planes, trains, automobiles, and paved roads
  • TCP/IP, SMTP, HTTP, SSL, and XML
  • cubicles, mandatory meetings, and business suits
"

Journals

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jonadab jonadab writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm testing something that has not much to do with slashdot, but posting on slashdot will help me test it. However, there's currently no thread I care to post in, so a journal entry will have to do.

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Testing my new .sig

jonadab jonadab writes  |  more than 11 years ago This is just to test my new sig before I release it in a real discussion.

--

$;=sub{$/};@;=map{my($a,$b)=($_,$;);$; =sub{$a.$b->()}}split//, ".rekcah lreP rehtona tsuJ";$\=$;->();print$/

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