back to article Programmers' Question Time: Tiptoe through the tuples

When the BBC announced a rejig at Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, Stob hoped for a much more radical change of format than a mere replacement head composter. The panel answers your nerdicultural questions Chair: Hello and welcome to Programmers' Question Time, which this week comes from DevOps-on-Slack, where we are the …

  1. John H Woods Silver badge

    Sheer brilliance

    See title

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Sheer brilliance


    2. pavel.petrman

      Re: Sheer brilliance

      Or perhaps brillant?

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Nice blast from the past...

    ..Clack's Farm, even if it was a different programme.

  3. Alister

    Yay! Stob!

    Brilliant gardener's programmer's question time.

    I'm having trouble with the Petunias in my Windows boxes, they're getting all leggy.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
  4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Top Radio 4 Banana!

    And also thanks for The Goodies reference. I told someone in the office yesterday about that story of the guy who died laughing, and was able to produce proof the next morning. Although I'm sure I could have searched it. I was just reminded I found the DVDs cheap a few years ago, so I'm going take my life in my hands and watch the Ecky Thump episode when I get home tonight.

    However, Radio 4 have already re-formatted Gardeners Question Time. The Kitchen Cabinet (also an excellent podcast) is the kitchen version of said show, though funnier and with more bacon. I've got some good tips/ideas from that show, and I highly recommend it.

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Top Radio 4 Banana!

      The Kitchen Cabinet funnier?

      Well, the panelists certainly appear to think they're funny...

  5. thosrtanner

    I almost thought we'd ended up on Pern after the 'Does the panel believe in threads' question.

    And I refuse to admit I've ever listened to Gardener's Question Time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pern? Such comments cause this discussion to drag on and ultimately flame out.

    2. jake Silver badge

      I thought we had almost ended up in porn after the "Does the panel believe in threads" question.

      I wonder if that kind of thing would fly under the RAJAR?

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Yay, Stob

    I'm rather relieved the article was based on GQT and not QT or PMQs or even GOT.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Yay, Stob

      Though Verity did give us "Bran Stark, an Adric for the Modern Age?", a jest fit for a king.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIP Joe Armstrong

    Thanks for mentioning him.

    Although I never used Erlang itself in a major project, I used its principles in a system based around messaging to handle lots of simultaneous data connections. His work gave me a real head start.

    Gardeners' Question Time? I want to ask the gardener why the wrong plants always get cut down and the weeds flourish.

    1. hammarbtyp

      Re: RIP Joe Armstrong

      Yes its nice to see that El Reg has finally got around to acknowledging his demise, although not in the fashion that I was expecting.

      Saying that, having met Joe a few times, I'm pretty sure he would of been chuffed with the reference

    2. Paul Johnston

      Re: RIP Joe Armstrong

      Me too just seen this

  8. Tom Paine


    Eric Robson is spinning in his offline backup long term tape storage archvie. Stobtastic!

    (PS if anyone knows a cure for the North American Lupin Aphid... )

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Fab

      (PS if anyone knows a cure for the North American Lupin Aphid... )

      I've heard that napalm can be effective.

      Delivered from about 2,000 feet in a co-ordinated airstrike you will find that it should solve your aphid problem extremely effectively.

      It is very important to read the safety instructions carefully before use however. As it is very easy to accidentally spread to othe parts of the garden where it's not needed - causing unwanted damage.

      Also it's best applied in the morning. Where I'm told that it smells like victory...

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Fab

        Napalm? Surely you need to nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

      2. lee harvey osmond

        Re: Fab

        Napalm? I believe there was also a complementary weedkiller, but you can’t buy it any more, some nonsense about dioxins

        1. TrumpSlurp the Troll

          Re: Fab

          I thought Agent Orange was still available.

          Living in the White House allegedly.

      3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Fab

        An RHS web page mentions something apparently called a "Bug Clear Gun", which sounds like taking the issue pretty seriously.

    2. ibmalone

      Re: Fab

      Eric Robson is spinning in his offline backup long term tape storage archvie.

      I'd imagine he's particularly vexed about being stored before returning!

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Fab

      A cure? Not really, the best you can do is interrupt their life cycle and reduce their numbers. Try a dilute solution of neem oil and Castile soap, combined with squishing the visible critters.

      On the first day, just apply the solution first thing in the morning. Soak the leaves, top and bottom, and the stems. On the following days, squish first, then apply the solution until you can't find any more to squish. Then check daily ... on first sight, squish and apply. Lather, rinse repeat. After the first year or so, you'll probably only have to do this for a week at the beginning of the season, and then perhaps occasionally throughout the season. (You can easily squish the bugs without harming the plant leaves, if you are wondering.)

      If you have money, an easier option is to put mosquito netting over the affected plants, and release predatory insects under it. The netting isn't to keep the aphids out, it's to keep the predators in.

      Get rid of ants! Ants farm and milk aphids. I have peppermint growing wild around the periphery of my veggie gardens, which seems to help. Ants hate peppermint oil.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Fab

      "if anyone knows a cure for the North American Lupin Aphid"

      Harlequin ladybirds. Then you've got two problems.

  9. SVV

    welcome to Programmers' Question Time, which this week comes from DevOps-on-Slack

    Bloody Home Counties yet again!

    Why does the programme never seem to come from The North these days? It's not all COBOL'd dev streets and big code-polluting AbstractFactory patterns any more! A startup company in Leeds apparently finished a maintainable node.js project last week!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: welcome to Programmers' Question Time, which this week comes from DevOps-on-Slack

      "A startup company in Leeds apparently finished a maintainable node.js project last week!"

      You mean they found an almost maintainable node.js project on Github and managed to create local copies of all the dependencies locally before they vanished but after they found a paying customer?

      Actually, yours is more believable...

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: welcome to Programmers' Question Time, which this week comes from DevOps-on-Slack

      Note that the Slackware community has nothing to do with any of the above.

  10. td0s

    taller tower

    yes please

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Superb episode

    I might insert Derek Race-Condition in authorship comments in code, just to see if anybody ever reads them

    1. Trixr

      Re: Superb episode

      If only this had been up a couple of days ago, when I actually identified a race condition as part of a post-mortem we were doing re an app falling over.

      Perhaps I wouldn't have directly mentioned Derek's name in my report, but it could have entertaining for anyone who bothered clicking on the links I generally include for reference.

  12. ibmalone

    Audience: (applause, cheering)

    Though no John Cushnie...

  13. lee harvey osmond

    AAIB Question Time

    Caller: so we have ascertained that there was a catastrophic aerofoil control systems failure, the aircraft flipped on its back and accelerated, impacting the ground at around 600kts, killing all passengers and crew, and burying much of the wteckage. Has the Air Accident Investigation Board been able to establish any causes?

    Panel: ah, the answer lies in the soil!

  14. disgruntled yank

    No mention of Delphi?

    Remarkable. But it's always good to see a Stob column.

  15. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Excellent stuff!

    "Although actually they still think they've got one problem, because the problem counter is now immutable."

    (See icon.)

  16. JLV

    Awesomely funny.

    Drawing on my French, where a ‘secateur’ is a garden shear, I absolutely nominate my favorite git command ever: ‘git bisect’.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      That one annoys me. Why don't the git maintainers add a "git insect", which simply retrieves the revision where the bug was introduced?

  17. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


    Of course threads exist. It’s the computational power created by all live cores. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.

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