* Posts by Richard 12

4833 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Is it time to retire C and C++ for Rust in new programs?

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Real programmers

Delphi is not Pascal.

It's an object-oriented language based on Pascal. One could argue it's the C++ of Pascal, though that does stretch the analogy somewhat.

C replaced Pascal in the places both were available. One can argue about the reasons why of course.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Real programmers

Never is a long time.

For quite a long time, C was the only game in town if you wanted decent performance.

Though it has been many a year since that was true.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Real programmers

Competent people still make mistakes and small tyops.

C requires CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!! as the language won't help you if you do something silly by accident.

C++ fixes most of that by strong typing, RAII, exceptions and 'smart' pointers but allows you to do something silly if you want.

Rust claims to fix issues, but it seems to be mostly fixing problems that C++ already fixed in 2011

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: C/C++ - really?

It sounds like you are only looking at memory management coding mistakes.

While very important, there are a lot of types of runtime recoverable error.

How does Rust handle "can't open socket", "corrupted input", "hardware vanished", "insufficient contiguous memory available" and the like?

Idiomatic C++ uses exceptions for this, automatically cleaning up everything until it reaches a level in the stack that knows how to handle it.

Scientists, why not simply invent a working fusion plant using $50m from Uncle Sam

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Um….

A really hot daffodil

Richard 12 Silver badge

Lots of discussion

However, you don't build the proof-of-concept in space.

Or even the prototype.

$50M isn't even chickenfeed though. They won't get any physical hardware for that money.

At best, it might pay for computer simulations.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: I've already got a working fusion power source

How about both? Both is good.

OK, Google: Why are you still pointing women at fake abortion clinics?

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: I agree with the Supreme Court

By that token, a state could legalise slavery too.

There was an entire civil war about this. Look it up.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: False advertising

These are pretty clear cut though.

If a place advertised itself as a hamburger shop, but when you went discovered that not only did they have no hamburgers, and have never sold hamburgers, but instead were in the business of trying to convince everyone never to eat hamburgers, what's that?


Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: re: system once again hunting women...

It is not an even split, by any stretch of the imagination.

87% of Americans want access to safe and legal abortions to be protected in law. It's never been less than 79% since 1976.

There is disagreement on the exact circumstances, but not the basic premise.

(Source: https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx)

Scientists overjoyed after DART smashes into asteroid Dimorphos, contact lost

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: I'm disappointed

Not noise.

Just <carrier lost>

Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: but if you prefer something ... more like Office 365

There's a lot of people who have suffered a Microsoft "update/upgrade" suddenly rendering all (or worse, a significant subset) of their important documents unreadable.

There are documents that need to be available and editable a decade or more later.

O365 means MS will update you without any way back, or you will lose it entirely if you stop paying monthly. If you find that you need the version from a decade ago, the answer is No.

Local storage doesn't help if you can't read the file.

The open source alternatives are the backstop. Lose those, and you are very likely to be screwed in a few years.

Soaring costs, inflation nurturing generation of 'quiet quitters' among under-30s

Richard 12 Silver badge

What did you measure before?

39 percent of managers said that hybrid and remote working makes it difficult to measure their team's output.

To put it another way, 39% of managers admitted they have very little idea of what their staff are supposed to be doing and so find it difficult to tell the difference between seat warming and useful work.

Which does raise questions about how effective a manager they are.

Girls Who Code books 'banned' in some US classrooms

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: The last sentence of the article has it.

[Citation needed]

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Politics on mailing lists...

It wasn't party politics.

The mailout was saying that trans and queer people have a right to exist and not be persecuted.

MFL objected to that. The only plausible reason is that they want to persecute trans people.

SiFive RISC-V cores picked for Google AI compute nodes

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: ARM versus RISC-V

10s of cycles latency doesn't sound like PCIe to me.

That's got to be direct access.

TBH it actually sounds like this is more or less a custom GPU-on-Chip (GOC?) with the RISC-V handling communication and parcelling out the work to the accelerator hardware, avoiding the need for Google to reinvent the wheel.

Instead the well-known RISC-V handles all the basic logic, arithmetic and communication with the host processors (presumably via PCIe or IP), and Google's magic sauce handles the heavy lifting.

Open up, it's the IRS. We're here about the crypto tax you dodged

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: "May Have" is an Insufficiently-High Standard of Justification

Means "suspected but not proven".

It's one of several ways of paying lip service to "innocent unless proven guilty".

In this case, it appears that the IRS are pretty sure that there is significant unpaid tax, but don't know who should have paid it

Presumably they looked at the blockchain and the published figures for the exchange, and believe that indicates several entities subject to US have made significant profits that haven't been declared.

They can't prove who without that additional data, so they asked a judge.

Satellite operators want option to exceed deorbiting rules

Richard 12 Silver badge

Tragedy of the commons

Unfettered capitalism always results in a sharp focus on short-term profit, with the longer term consequences either assumed to be paid for by "someone else" or ignored entirely.

Once the incentives (profit) are plausibly separated from the consequences of misuse, the resource gets squandered and consumed.

We see this everywhere else - climate change, land, banking - LEO is no different.

For example, we're all still paying for the 2007 banking crisis, but those responsible would do it all again if given half a chance.

Legislation is required to prevent this. Or at least, limit the damage.

Richard 12 Silver badge

They won't do either unless forced

Hence the five year rule.

It's entirely up to the operator to select the method used to deorbit, as long as it does not leave debris. They have many options. (Though melting metal parts of the spacecraft is near certain to leave debris.)

This is not a technical problem. It is political, thus only soluble via contracts or legislation.

Good news for UK tech contractors as govt repeals IR35 tax rules

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Excellent

Don't forget National Insurance (a deliberately regressive tax)

Or the lower tax on dividends, or corporate profits, or, or...

Even ignoring all the weird tax breaks for doing/investing in specific things, it's seriously complicated

Alert: 15-year-old Python tarfile flaw lurks in 'over 350,000' code projects

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Zip too

I've cleaned up the mess many times after people like you believed themselves smart enough to dance through a minefield.

It is the job of a software engineer to remove and defuse as many landmines as is reasonably practicable.

If you refuse, then you have no place writing software or scripting.

Richard 12 Silver badge

You aren't perfect

Sooner or later, you'll forget to check through absolutely every path in a tarball containing tens of thousands of files, and lose something important.

And you probably won't even realise it happened until weeks later.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: This is why security is a discipline separate from coding

That only protects the OS. Arguably the easiest thing to fix.

It doesn't stop user data from getting trashed.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Zip too

Many (most?) of the popular zip libraries fixed these things at least five or six years ago.

I remember when QuaZip fixed theirs - it was still on Sourceforge, so ages ago.

Path traversal attacks are a well-known logic flaw, and no, you can't fix it by saying "user needs to check all the paths before extracting"

That's abrogating your responsibility as a library maintainer. Bad Gustäbel, no cookie.

Tesla Megapack battery ignites at substation after less than 6 months

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Look to Dinorwig

Geological term. Means water drains through it instead of pooling on the surface.

Makes it very good for building on, as you don't get floods.

Microsoft debuts Windows 11 2022 Update – now with features added monthly

Richard 12 Silver badge

Microsoft will allow all software to run exactly once on each machine, so malware had better do all the damage the first time.

In all seriousness, I've found that Endpoint Protection will fairly consistently allow a "potentially dangerous" application to run the first time, then block subsequent executions.

Which is both utterly pointless and incredibly frustrating.

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left

Richard 12 Silver badge

I hope you soldered on a standard coin cell holder so they could swap it themselves five years later.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: I'm surprised

They aren't quite generic.

The industrial machinery that uses floppies generally runs it using its own custom software interface that just so happens to rely on particular quirks or a particular region of the standard timing ranges that the drives they were using had.

Which means you often can't just drop in a generic drive and have it work reliably, or at all.

The emulators have a fair bit of configuration available so you can match it to the quirks of the "original" drive - particular delays, sequencing etc.

So while they'll probably all work on anything, you might have to configure some magic settings and best of luck finding the right ones.

Intel's stock Raptor Lake chip will do 6GHz and overclock another 25%, if it keeps cool

Richard 12 Silver badge

Teams is based on Sharepoint and Electron, which are both wasteful spawns of Satan himself.

Linux luminaries discuss efforts to bring Rust to the kernel

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Odd choice

A lot of kernel-mode drivers are already written in C++.

As I understand it, Tlthis work is basically to allow Rust to be used for kernel-mode drivers too.

Which is a good thing, drivers are hard. If the toolchain can help (be that memory safety guarantees, RAII etc) this is good.

However, it's still going to be a subset of those languages that can be used.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: It's not an insult

It depends.

When the checks are all either compile-time or the ones you'd be manually putting in if the toolchain didn't do it for you, then the runtime cost is zero while the development savings are useful.

The trouble is when it adds runtime checks over and above the necessary. Which is the same problem people have with C++ exceptions, and why a lot of developers turn those off.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: All of that effort

C interop with C++ is better than anything else ever could be, as it's explicitly defined to be a superset of C. The bindings are no-op, and the minimal binding is quite literally six lines at most - sometimes no lines of code at all.

Rust may or may not be a good language, and does indeed have excellent bindings. But don't make silly superlative claims.

Bad UI killed the radio star

Richard 12 Silver badge

Always cycle your disks

Many years ago, I worked with a system that used floppy disks.

It had the running data on board in non-volatile RAM, and could save one copy of said data to a floppy disk.

Save and Load were next to each other looked almost identical in the UI, right down to the "Are you sure?" confirmation prompt.

You know what's coming, of course.

At the end of a very long, multi-hour programming session, I accidentally hit Load instead of Save.

Fortunately, I followed protocol and saved every 20 minutes to a different disk, so only had to re-write the last 20 minutes of work. That only took five minutes as I'd just done it.

The modern versions of this system have an onboard SSD that can store many thousands of said files, and automatically keeps the previous hundred or so revisions.

And by default, it automatically saves a new revision before Load, so you literally can't make that mistake. I made sure of that.

Arm execs: We respect RISC-V but it's not a rival in the datacenter

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Toast

They aren't direct competitors (yet) though.

ARM sell actual core designs and guarantee their performance, while RISC-V is just an ISA - it's not a core.

You need a lot of specialist expertise to turn that ISA into an actual working RISC-V chip, and you don't know up-front what you're going to get because it's not a tried-and-tested design.

The real competitors are the likes of Si-Five who will sell you a tested core design.

Heart now pledges 30-seat hybrid electric commercial flights by 2028

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Doesn't make sense

There's a very small number of short hop routes where it might make sense, I guess.

But it's still only going to be able to make two to three flights a day, at most. I guess that works for some inter-island routes that local laws require they fly, but not for commercially viable routes.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: United Airlines? Chicago O'Hare is their hub.

Jet fuel requires transportation too, so it's reasonable to assume moving the fuel is a similar CO2 cost either way.

So just need to compare the burning.

Burning fuel at high altitude is believed to cause a higher CO2 equivalent than at ground level, I think 1.5-1.8 is the usual multiplier.

So if it only burns the hybrids during takeoff and landing, I guess that might be a saving but it's not exactly large.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Neat

They can't.

The UK National Grid publish a white paper every year reminding everyone that there isn't enough generation capacity to do even 10% of the electric stuff that is supposedly planned, and that the grid itself doesn't have the capability to distribute it.

In places like Texas, the state grid can't even cope with normal loads.

Appeals court already under fire for upholding Texas no-content-moderation law

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Consitutaional right to block content and legal precedent?

It is clearly unconstitutional for the Government to force you to say something you do not wish to say.

The social media platform therefore has a clear constitutional right to choose which drivel they wish to publish.

This is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt by the Texas Government to force them to publish things they don't want to say.

If you accept this, then logically, the Texas Government can force you to say anything.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: So if I wanted to troll Texas...

Politicians have more meat on them, and the benefit of historical precedent.


The next deep magic Linux program to change the world? Io_uring

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Io-uring is not new news

True, and true.

It's only really interesting at the very top end of I/O - file servers, databases, HPC etc.

That said, because of that it also means that certain things that would otherwise need to be kernel drivers for performance, can be done in userspace instead.

Which is nice.

Microsoft rolls out stealthy updates for 365 Apps

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: "a process that Lieberman said takes about four seconds"

Outlook takes 10-20 seconds to start normally. Excel et al can take far longer if the document is large.

Do they genuinely think anyone believes that?

Richard 12 Silver badge
Thumb Down

Confidence level zero

Outlook for one is still incapable of restoring itself on the same monitor with the same layout after updates.

It's annoying, but at least I get some warning and can postpone it to the start of the next business day.

So now I'll randomly come back after lunch to find all my Office applications stacked on the primary monitor?

Amazon allegedly punishes sellers who dare offer lower prices on other marketplaces

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

In some cases I've found that's actually because the Amazon seller is a fake, who has simply copied the name and product images from the real online seller.

Don't know how common that is, but it's very obvious that Amazon's process is failing almost as badly as ebay at spotting fakes, even blatantly dangerous ones.

NASA reshuffles dates for Artemis I launch attempt

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Reading the corner cutting...

There are some who aren't entirely convinced that would be a bad thing, per se.

Red Hat says staff can stay away from the office forever

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: If it's anything like where I work...

Nothing to do with WFH.

There have always been people who don't bother doing their jobs and rely on their colleagues and/or underlings to do the work.

In some ways WFH actually gives the slackers less chance to hide, as they can't rely on pointless presenteeism or buttering up the boss quite as much.

Demand for software experts pushes tech salaries higher in UK

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Ehrm, What is the Problem

The pile of abuse above shows where part of the problem lies:

There's a lot of men in IT who think that any woman is not there on their own merit.

This (and outright misogyny) then leads to abuse, both direct and indirect - also proven repeatedly in multiple studies.

Which of course means women leave the profession, because WTF would you stay in a career where a significant number of your coworkers and managers continually undermine you?

There is also an important difference between equality and equity.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Life should be a meritocracy

That's a straw man and ad hominem, and you know it.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: Imbalance

Go back 20 years and you'd be saying women don't want to be surgeons.

30 and women don't want to be doctors

40-50 and men don't want to type anything

60 years (I think) and men don't want to work in computer programming, only algorithms.

Given that all the above are long proven false, why are you so certain now?

Backblaze thinks SSDs are more reliable than hard drives

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: The choice isn't really about reliability

Missed the point.

Reliability matters, but not for the data (it's a boot drive, the data is a clone of a million others). It matters for the downtime.

Losing the boot drive takes out the server for a few hours, and consumes the valuable in-person time of a technician to go and physically swap it out.

Richard 12 Silver badge

Re: SSD is still a physical storage device

The published specifications are typical bathtub curve, with the "high failure rate" occurring at around 50-100 years old in a write-rarely read-continuously situation that is a typical server boot drive.

It's nice to see that the specification isn't wildly wrong.

Storing logs on the drive will greatly shorten the lifetime, how much will depend on how the OS and drive firmware handles appending.

We had one batch of drives with a firmware fault that killed them within a few weeks of taking logs, as they did a full block erase-write for every tiny log line...


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