* Posts by boltar

2960 posts • joined 15 Oct 2008

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

boltar Silver badge

Re: The real reason for fairly small line lengths

Mind you , you can use language features to go too far the other way with statement/line lengths and strive the make them so short that they become virtually unintelligable except to the initiated. Hello Perl, I'm looking at you.

boltar Silver badge

"Basically the problem we have is the verbose nature of many system calls"

Actualy most linux system calls are pretty terse in both name and parameters, its the language libraries (particularly with Java) that seem to have verbal diarrhea with method names such as addObjectToListThenDoSomethingFunkyReturningMap() etc.

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans

boltar Silver badge

Re: Today's Taskmanager

That's all well and good, but you dont want to be rebooting mission critical servers AT ALL. I've seen linux servers run 24/7/365 for years with updates done on the fly, but Windows does well to last a few weeks without requiring rebooting.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Why wasn't it in by design?

"Cutler has hated UNIX since the year dot."

Those who don't/can't understand something often despise it. Sadly he never learnt a lot of lessons a supposed OS kernel expert should have from Unix meaning NT (particularly 3.x) was frankly an unreliable memory and CPU hogging underpowered dog in comparison and has its backside whipped on the server side for decades. Even now you're far less likely to find windows running mission critical systems in the server room compared to linux.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Today's Taskmanager

"It was faster to reboot 2012r2 than fuddle with killing processes"

That tells you all you need to know about the low level design of recent versions of Windows.

boltar Silver badge

Re: It hasn't been able to kill lots of stuff

"My Linux machines don't give me this kind of back-talk!"

Good luck trying to kill init/systemd even with -9. And on MacOS these days root is no longer all powerful which is a double edged sword IMO.

Microsoft blocks Trend Micro code at center of driver 'cheatware' storm from Windows 10, rootkit detector product pulled from site

boltar Silver badge

Re: Dieselgate 2.0?

That reg key probably isn't one of the smartest ideas MS has ever had. The whole point of a verification test is that the environment is as per a live setup. You dont let the systems under test know they're under test!

boltar Silver badge

Re: "Took liberties"

In an ideal world all code would be peer reviewed. In the real world with understaffing and/or outsourcing, deadlines and pointy heads who wouldnt know one end of a linked list from another, it rarely is. Certainly not at the level of scrutiny that would spot a hack like this.

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

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Re: The interface formerly known as....

Just out of interest - did SGI use standard X windows functionality to do vector graphics or did they use OpenGL or some proprietary X extension?

boltar Silver badge

Re: The interface formerly known as....

"It's a clever approach that reduces the amount of memory and CPU effort needed to display the symbols, can be scaled to any size,"

Its not a clever approach at all - its nothing more than vector graphics (NOT invented by MS) shoved into unicode and having a load of unicode tables to contain graphics when there are an infinite potential number seems a particularly stupid way of drawing icons.

"I know this is not a popular opinion here, but I really the Windows 8 and 10 UI. It's clean and clutter-free, looks really sharp on a high-DPI display,"

A blank screen is clean and clutter free but you won't be doing much with it though. A GUI where the widgets are indistinguisable from the data and sometimes even invisible unless hovered over and needs to be "figured out" by the user first is a piss poor excuse for one that would fail every ergonomics test thrown at it. GUIs are a tool that should to be intuitive and easy to use in order for people to get work done, not a minimalist fashion show for hipster graphics designers to show off.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

boltar Silver badge

Re: If only!

"but WSL is - and more so with GUI support out of the box - so much easier."

I'd love to see how the Linux subsystem supports unix specific system functionality such as fork() which the windows kernel simply doesn't and can't support.

Rust marks five years since its 1.0 release: The long and winding road actually works

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Re: Meh

Syntax is what makes code readable for humans , you know, the people who have to write and maintain it. So it's kind of important. Not that C and especially recent versions of C++ are shining examples of the art but theyre lot better than Lisp which is loved by ivory tower academics who dont have to write bet-the-company solutions that others will need to maintain in the future.

Looking for a new tech gig? Here are vacancies for web devs, games programmers, server engineers and more

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C# and Unity?

Clearly the "lucky" candidates won't be writing the next Call of Duty or Skyrim then where FPS and complex scene rendering matters and C++ and assembler are the order of the day.

Node.js creator delivers Deno 1.0, a new runtime that fixes 'design mistakes in Node'

boltar Silver badge

Re: One look at that Deno architecture slide

"When I see "server language", I see "talking to the server"."

Wtf are you babbling about? A server side programming language is one you write backend programs or daemons in that don't generally require a GUI or any web interface. What did you think I meant in a discussion about programming languages, French?

"I also don't know of any UNIX server programs that are written in C++ besides Node/Deno."

You mean apart from most RDBMS's, mail servers and various modern daemon processes? And the ones that arn't written in C++ are written in C. You know, trivial things like init or systemd.

boltar Silver badge

Re: One look at that Deno architecture slide

"That only makes sense in one happy & productive place, Microsoft's IIS dev team"

Seriously? Most unix server side is written either in C/C++ or Java.

"For what _I_ consider a server language (ie. Perl),"

Pull the other one, thats a scripting language, you don't write full blown bet-the-company applications in it. Plus its not the year 2000 anymore, the world has moved on to Python for scripting, Perl is pretty much legacy these days and thank god for that.

"but not for the server language itself but, for supporting modules in decoding, authentication, gaming, etc."

Which are almost certainly written in C/C++. So you might just as well write the whole thing in C++ and be done with it.

boltar Silver badge

One look at that Deno architecture slide

...and I want to weep. What a convoluted joke, If you want to do server side programming use a proper server side language, eg C++ or just use Rust directly. Not this dogs dinner web language dragged kicking and screaming into the grown up dev world that it's just not suited for.

Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes

boltar Silver badge

Re: To be fair

Newsflash: This is a UK website. HTH.

boltar Silver badge

Re: To be fair

Wow! They're sold in one whole shop!! Obviously they must be the market leader here! As for online - so what? Most people still buy their phones in a physical shop especially if they're taking out a new contract.

boltar Silver badge

Re: To be fair

"only have about 10% of the market "

In which country? I've never seen them for sale in the UK.

boltar Silver badge

To be fair

If you buy a phone built by some never-heard-of-them chinese manufacturer you should expect things not to always go smoothly. No doubt this was an android update that works with all common brands but they forgot to check on the cheap-as-chips unlocked rooted brands from down the market. Too bad. Caveat Emptor.

Briny liquid may be more common on Mars than once thought, unlikely to support life as we know it

boltar Silver badge

Re: Oh, I dunno ...

With concentrated soil perchlorates and serious levels of unfiltered solar UV and radiation the cold and brine would be the least of any terrestrial organisms problems.

GitHub Codespaces: VS Code was 'designed from the get-go' for this, says Microsoft architect

boltar Silver badge

Re: Microsoft is trying to get out of their own pool of blood - by going Linux

"On Windows it is a crap fest of download, install, configure "

Don't forget multiple reboots just to get some trivial service running or driver installed because Windows can't do it on the fly.

boltar Silver badge

And so the rush back to dumb terminals with subscription access continues

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it etc. I wonder if all the hipster kool kids who think programming like this is such a cutting edge amazing idea have ever stopped to think why the PC market both for home and office took off and why unix machines supplanted most mainframes? No , I guess they havent, and no, the reasons for it happening havent gone away.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

boltar Silver badge

vi, gcc, make, gdb, strace, gprof

You can stick your IDEs. I've used both VS and Eclipse in anger and I can't stand either of them - they get in the way of what I want to do by making simple tasks complicated and obfuscating stuff that should be readily visible and changable (eg library and include paths in VS buried so deep you need a virtual JCB to find them). As for intelli-no-bl00dy-sense, give me a break.

Yes, maybe I am a dinosaur, but I'm a damn site more productive than some of the 20-somethings using IDEs.

Ex-Microsoft Office chief reflects on early malware and the 'global attack on the new Windows PC infrastructure'

boltar Silver badge

Re: Not that early

The Morris worm exploited bugs in unix daemons whilst the windows macro viruses utilised functionality *deliberately* and stupidly built into windows programs clearly without the MS designers even bothering to consider the possibilities of misuse. Two entirely different scenarios.

Unix security issues are usually either bugs or admin screw ups, not fundamental OS and application suite design flaws as with Windows.

boltar Silver badge

Re: " 20-page memo"

Mobile apps are slowly killing the web anyway much to Berners Lee's annoyance. In one way that's a shame as a common non walled off gateway to information is a Good Thing. OTOH the web and its 3rd rate hacked together technological mashup of style pages, html, javascript etc have become a bloated inefficient bug ridden ball and chain holding back progress.

Looking for a new tech gig? Engineers, developers, and Atlassian admin sought – more details inside

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Only a basic understanding?

So a Softaare Team Lead at Atlassian only needs a basic understanding of java , the language their products are written in?? WTF??

That tells me all I need to know about why Jira is such a dog slow, bug ridden POS.

Amazon pushes the button on Keyspaces: Cassandra lookalike to boost its NoSQL credentials

boltar Silver badge

NoSQL proponents dont seem to like ACID

Mongo isn't compliant either. Seems to me they all wanted to get the flash features that look good from a marketing POV working first and leave the "boring" transaction consistency stuff for a rainy day. Well A) that boring stuff is absolutely vital for any serious DB that is more than just a data warehouse feeding a web server and B) it has to be coded in from the start, you cant just shoehorn it in as an afterthought like MS did with Windows security and hope for the best.

Move fast and break stuff, Windows Terminal style: Final update before release will nix your carefully crafted settings

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Re: How about a poll?

So going from floor 1 straight to floor -1 (basement) without a floor 0 is logical is it? Thats about as sensible as all those superstitious developers who dont have a floor 13. Well they do, they just call it 14.

boltar Silver badge

Re: How about a poll?

It is stupid behaviour , but unfortunately its not limited to Windows. Try using clang (and IIRC gcc as well) to compile C or C++ code in a file with an extension it doesn't recognise.

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

boltar Silver badge

Re: Another thing...

As numerous dictatorships have proved time and time again - there's no shortage of nasty vindictive sheep in the population who enjoy snitching on their neighbours for even the tiniest percieved slights.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Another thing...

I'm sure I'm not the only one that finds that whole display of virtue signalling smugness nauseating. We all appreciate what medical staff are doing but standing outside clapping and blowing whistles achieves nothing other than making the people doing it feel good and holy about themselves. Then no doubt they go back inside to Netflix and think nothing more about medical staff until 7 days later.

In Rust we trust? Yes, but we want better tools and wider usage, say devs

boltar Silver badge

Re: Thoughts from an old fogey

To be honest you could use his argument to suggest that everyone should be coding in VB. I'm afraid I have little time with the "keep your code simple so idiots can maintain it" argument. Sometimes code needs to be complex and if the company is using idiots to maintain a complex system then thats on then, it shouldn't be a concern of the original developer. Thats not to say that code shouldn't be clear and well commented however , just that you shouldn't avoid certain algorithms or patterns just because others might not understand them.

boltar Silver badge

Re: "vim, make, gcc, gdb, strace etc"

More like not integrated at all which means != IDE. I'd sooner deal with the OS itself via the shell when developing than some GUI interface which IME from having to use Visual Studio and Eclipse in the past often just got in the way of what I wanted to do. Eg: Simple things such as changing library or include paths in a Makefile are a convoluted nightmare in VS - so much so I wondered if it was deliberate in order to stop you messing about with them once your project had commenced.

boltar Silver badge

Re: despite the enthusiasm of developers [snip] adoption remains limited

"You CANNOT share data between threads unless you protect it with a mutex or a read/write lock and you CANNOT access the data until one thread first locks the data."

Nice idea in theory but I suspect horrendous for performance in practice when dealing with read only data.

boltar Silver badge

Re: despite the enthusiasm of developers [snip] adoption remains limited

"C++ such as null pointer exceptions, double frees, buffer overflows"

Code written in modern C++ (2011 onwards) doesn't have to suffer from any of that as all the containers you need to avoid manual memory allocation and raw pointers are there for you. And the bonus is that if you DO need raw pointers - for example when accessing H/W direct or doing other low level twiddling - then you still have them too.

As for data races - threading and multi process IPC is a black art which many people think they've grokked but often haven't and so leave nasty little once in a blue moon gotchas in their code. I doubt thats any different in Rust for any significant complexity of code as there's only so much the language and OS can do for you.

boltar Silver badge

If a developer needs an IDE to be productive

Then frankly he's a poor developer who obviously needs electronic nannying to understand the code he's working on. I develop C++ on *nix and I'm quite happy using the command line toolchain - vim, make, gcc, gdb, strace etc.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

boltar Silver badge

Prolog

I've mastered every computer language I've ever tried (and I've tried quite a few including numerous assemblers and functional languages) apart from Prolog which I never really grokked. Every time I thought I'd figured it out I wrote some test code that then did something rather different to what I expected. In the end I gave up. Its not because its declarative as I find SQL quite easy to work with, its just the way its backtracking system works is - for me - utterly bizarre and unintuitive. Obviously it requires a certain mindset I just don't have.

boltar Silver badge

Oh great - webassembly

So everyone hated Javas JVM and it was eventually binned from most browsers , yet give a virtual assembler a new name and some marketing buzz and suddenly the idea is everyones new best friend again. You have to laugh - talk about reinventing the wheel.

Consumer reviewer Which? finds CAN bus ports on Ford and VW, starts yelling 'Security! We have a problem...'

boltar Silver badge

Re: CAN + security != CAN and would break things

"Todays cars would also need a crypro and sodtware engineer."

Unfortunately the manufacturers are simply giving idiots all the Shiny Shiny toys that they want. Why anyone wants all the bells in whistles in a car beyond a basic ICE when a phone can do all the same functions better beats me, but there we are. For now I'm sticking with my 12 year old car with analogue dials, a radio, CD player and nowt else.

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

boltar Silver badge

Re: A couple of points to note

"Are there actually any DAB+ stations broadcasting in the UK?"

There are now but they're mostly independent community or local stations though some of the large national players have started up niche services using it.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Ofcom not thinking - as usual

"The only reason for Ofcom to want to push for the end of FM broadcasting is that they hope to sell DAB broadcasting licenses"

And the government thinks it can sell off the FM band. Of course the politicos are too dumb to realise that a 20Mhz wide band is next to useless for modern digital coms except 2 way taxi/bus type TX and , err, broadcasting. So almost no one will be interested plus the minute the legit stations leave FM the pirates will pile in and take it over anyway.

boltar Silver badge

"DAB ones have to be a certain distance apart to prevent interference between one and another on the same frequency"

Yes, the single frequency network probably seemed like a good idea back in the 80s but I suspect it'll be a real boat anchor in the future with small scale DAB that requires > 1 TX site. Given how easy it is for computerised receivers to instantly change frequency (even FM RDS can manage it) its a 2nd rate solution to what is essentially now a non problem.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Complete the migration to DAB+ before faffing with FM

THere are a number of problems with DAB+

- WHen the signal goes it doesn't go gracefully like FM or even bubble a bit like DAB, it just dies suddenly and completely which is incredibly irritating.

- Yes AAC+ sounds far better than MPEG for the same bitrate, but most broadcasters still use the lowest bitrate they can get away with which usually ends up sounding just as bad as low bitrate MPEG IMO.

- There is a massive installed base of DAB only receivers and a mass switch to DAB+ would simply see listeners fleeing back to FM as its unlikely they'd fork out for yet more equipment after being told DAB was the way of the future. Once bitten etc....

boltar Silver badge

The problem is that DAB uses Band 3 VHF around 200Mhz which means you need more transmitters for a good signal than with FM on 100Mhz as its more easily absorbed by ground clutter and doesn't travel around obstacles as easily. Unfortunately it would appear that Ofcom think because DAB is digital the laws of physics don't apply so it doesn't need any extra TX.

boltar Silver badge

Re: A couple of points to note

"DAB, which fails as if the receiver has fallen into a bucket of boiling porridge."

With DAB+ using AAC+ you don't even get that sort of warning before it dies - it just cuts out dead and you don't know for a few seconds if thats down to the station or a lack of signal. Its incredibly annoying and I can't stand it for more than a few minutes before I switch over.

RHEL pusher Paul Cormier appointed CEO to lead Red Hat into the IBM era

boltar Silver badge

Re: Committed to keeping Red Hat Red Hat?

Clearly you never used Slowlaris back in the day.

boltar Silver badge

Committed to keeping Red Hat Red Hat?

Ie: committed to keeping the red hat brand , everything else will eventually be merged into whatever IBMs unix division is called this week. Which might not be such a bad thing - AIX was a top notch unix and Linux with systemd these days , well , not so much any more sadly. Obtuse, over complicated, bug ridden and with a huge attack vector is really not what you want for your init process.

Leaving Las Vegas... for good? IT industry conference circuit won't look the same on other side of COVID-19 pandemic

boltar Silver badge

Been there done that? Err, nope.

Perhaps it's more an American thing but here in the UK I only know one person whose visited an IT conference (other than ones organised by their own company). I've been in the programming business 30 years and never been, not interested and never needed one yet I'm still just as productive. Theres this skill called reading and learning , it comes in very handy.

Astroboffin gets magnets stuck up his schnozz trying and failing to invent anti-face-touching coronavirus gizmo

boltar Silver badge

Re: Stay in your lane

It also demonstrates quite nicely that intelligence and common sense dont always go hand in hand.

I mean seriously, wtf was he thinking?

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