* Posts by Def

1953 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

CutefishOS: Unix-y development model? Check. macOS aesthetic? Check (if you like that sort of thing)

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I have to use Linux for work sometimes, and the version I have to use is... Ubuntu.

It may be the only garbage Linux out there (though I seriously doubt that), but it's the one I am stuck with.

Windows might be the fat kid, but in my experience Linux is the slow kid who needs everything explained to them three times over. Five times if printers are involved.

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Re: Which do you choose a hard or soft option?

If it's possible for someone creating an installer to screw it up so fundamentally that the only thing it does is open a text file, then that's a problem with the underlying system, not the person making the installer.

And I know this because I eventually figured out the "correct" way to install an rpm, which is to open a console and start typing commands. See my original point about how user unfriendly Linux is.

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Re: Which do you choose a hard or soft option?

Your distribution has a package manager. Use it.

Do you equally advocate developers only use the Windows Store for distribution? Or how about the Apple Store for macOS applications?

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FAIL

Re: Which do you choose a hard or soft option?

Installing software is a prime example of how piss poor the Linux user experience can be. Linux still doesn't have a unified way to install software downloaded from a website. I downloaded an rpm file the other day for something (it might have been the latest VSCode - I don't remember).

Double clicking it opened some config file in a text editor. I mean, seriously?

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If you're asking me, yesterday. (And if you're not asking me, still yesterday.)

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The reason "Linux" never caught on as a desktop, consumer level OS is it's still nigh on impossible to configure the most basic of things without falling back into typing complicated commands into a console. It might be a million times better today than it was in the past, but it's still a far cry from Windows when it comes to ease of use for the average user. Even MacOS since transitioning to FreeBSD underneath has succumb to that issue. The old System X OSes from Apple were a lot more user friendly when it came to configuring things.

Also, how many people around here were complaining about the full screen start menu in Windows 8 but then happily look the other way when pretty much every Linux desktop out there today has exactly that: A full screen launcher.

Japanese boffins say they've created plastic optical fibres to reach places that might break glass

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Re: Why?

Having been a fan of Project Binky for some years now I was amazed at how chaotic the wiring loom could get in a small car.

Texas law banning platforms from social media moderation challenged in lawsuit

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Re: Censorship

There's a difference between bias and lies?

BT jittery about Cellnex snapping up UK mobile tower assets

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Coat

I certainly can't think of a company better suited than BT for spotting opportunities for less competition and higher prices.

Chip glut might start in 2023, says IDC, and auto-chip traffic jam could clear this year

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All true, but right now Windows 11 requires a TPM 2.0 module and a seventh generation or newer Intel processor (or similar AMD processor).

And that discounts a rather large segment of the installed Windows 10 base from qualifying for an upgrade.

That also doesn't take into account the fact that my original comment was a joke. :p

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Joke

Don't forget about all those people wanting to upgrade their PCs for Windows 11.

Oh wait.... Never mind.

Space tourists splash down in Atlantic Ocean after three days in orbit

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Re: A naive question.

While they might not be there yet, SpaceX does have plans to be carbon neutral in the future.

Three UK says its 5G plans are under threat if tower merger with Euro giant Cellnex is blocked

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Coat

Over time it will ensure that you never get a 3G signal.

Microsoft does and doesn't require VMs to meet hardware requirements for Windows 11

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Headmaster

They did release SP3. It was called Windows 7.

Computer and data scientists should be as highly regarded as 'warriors' says top UK cybergeneral

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Re: Pay

That's just embarrassing at best, and fucking insulting at worst.

My salary when I left the UK 20 years ago was 33k. I was living in Bristol at the time and even back then I thought London was obscenely expensive to just visit, let alone live there. (These days I live in Norway and London is incredibly cheap by comparison, but I digress.)

Electron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks

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Coat

Back in the really old days there were no PDFs.

Linux kernel minimum compiler raised to GCC 5.1, allowing potential C11 use

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Re: {size_t i = 0; for(; i < len; ++i) {

Yeah, the one limiting problem with C++ is the lack of a standardised ABI. I'll give you that.

However, I don't believe that's a good enough reason to not use C++ internally. I write almost exclusively in C++ these days across multiple platforms (and have done for over 20 years, mostly for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android these days, but Xbox, Playstation, and other games consoles in the past) and you can get away with C++ 99.99% of the time.

When you need interoperability with other languages a very thin C wrapper is usually the easiest way to go, unfortunately. But to be honest, that's not really a C wrapper per se, it's more about a standardised calling convention that happens to be the same as C's.

In my career I started out with C and used it almost exclusively for about seven years. Once I switched to C++ (around 1999), I have never seen the need, nor wanted, to go back.

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Re: {size_t i = 0; for(; i < len; ++i) {

Available in other languages since the 1960s....

This.

There is absolutely no reason for continued use of C when a small subset of C++ can achieve the same results with far better type safety. Using a bit more of the C++ language and its standard library and you remove the need for every C programmer to reinvent the wheel every time they need something more complicated than 'char' or 'int'. There is absolutely nothing that C can do that can't be done more easily and more safely in C++.

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Most C++ compilers warn about this these days. Not sure about C compilers. They should do if they're any good.

Linus Torvalds admits to 'self-inflicted damage' with -Werror as Linux 5.15 rc1 debuts

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Headmaster

Re: The warnings aren't always bad code

Then he didn't know C very well.

for(;;)

will have the same effect, but compile with no warning.

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To be fair to them, the company wasn't a C++ shop when I started and they freely admitted their knowledge of the language was lacking. But I gently persuaded* them to switch as it was a much better option than their current choice of language. The result is their video player tech out-performs the standard players on iOS and Android.

* During a few months of forced leave when money was tight, I just rewrote their whole stack in C++ and said "we're using this now".

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I still sometimes do it today.

There are probably dozens of old performance tricks that I still do from time to time without thinking about it.

Like shifting instead of multiply/dividing by powers of two. I've even had some young whippersnappers complain that things like that are too hard to read.

My first languages were BBC BASIC (school), ARM, <some shitty PC BASIC> (college), C (job 1), 68000/65C816 (job 2), HTML (Pre-CSS; job3), C++/x86 (job 4)

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Facepalm

I remember getting warnings for “if (I >= 0 && I < limit)” for a range check if I was an unsigned integer. Because I >= 0 is always true. And I wanted to write a check for the lower bound even if it was 0. So I changed to “if (I == 0 || I > 0 && I < limit)”. Another warning. Mixing || and && without parentheses. “If (I == 0 || (I > 0 and I < limit))”.

This makes no sense. If I were a compiler I would issue warnings and errors galore and then go and sob in the corner.

If you have an unsigned integer, why would you check if it's greater than or equal to zero? It's like you want your code to run slower or something. Can't you just write it in Javascript?

The opposite was quite a common optimisation for signed integers at one time: Cast to unsigned and just check the upper bound:

int somevalue = SomeFunction();

if((( unsigned int )somevalue ) < somelimit ) // 0 <= somevalue < somelimit

Cryptocurrency world must protect itself from 'low-quality patents' says Square lawyer as biz joins Open Invention Network

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Re: It was sort of the original idea

That's very different from incentivising people to do creative work.

I know the original intent of the patent system, and in general it's a good idea.

The problem today is the patent system hasn't kept up with the increased speed of technological progression and patent offices are understaffed and unable to cope with the sheer number of patents being registered.

Patent lifetimes should be reduced according to the market in which they apply. Software patents, for example, should not have lifetimes of more than about five years maximum - if that. Pure discoveries (hello pharmaceutical industry) should not be patentable at all.

You should also have to demonstrate a (partially) working prototype of any patent when registering OR produce evidence of tangible progress towards a prototype after a couple of years after registering. If you can't satisfy either of those your application should be rejected, or your patent prematurely expired. That won't prevent you from innovating (and as long as you don't release anything publicly you'll still be protected), but will prevent a lot of the pointless patent registrations from "ideas guys" and trolls.

Selling a patent to a company or individual that is not actively using said patent for its own products and/or services should expire the patent.

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FAIL

The point of a patent is to incentivize people to do really good creative work.

Umm... No.

Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware

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Re: Autocratic governments, that's a broad brush nowadays.

They'll take me though. My grandfather was Scottish. If they leave the UK and rejoin the EU, I should be able to get a passport that gives me back the freedoms Brexit took from me.

You can 'go your own way' over GDPR, says UK's new Information Commissioner

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Thumb Up

It's a nice theory at least. I doubt little old Norway with a population equal to 1.2% of the EU really has much sway in EU policies.

At least not without substantially packed brown envelopes being passed under the table, of which we have a never ending supply. I am having trouble finding places to keep all the ones I have around here. ;)

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I seem to recall "The Norway Model" being advanced as a possible compromise at some point in the past, but Norway has to implement all EU regulations with exactly zero input into what they are.

It's also interesting to note that Norway has implemented more EU regulations than any actual EU member.

Amazon says Elon Musk's wicked, wicked ways mean SpaceX's Starlink 2.0 should not be allowed to fly

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Re: The point Bezos fails to make

I think NASA should countersue BO for being a bag of dicks. But that's just me. :)

A developer built an AI chatbot using GPT-3 that helped a man speak again to his late fiancée. OpenAI shut it down

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Coat

Re: Could be used to cause harm!

Any rulebook can cause harm if you throw it hard enough.

Compromise reached as Linux kernel community protests about treating compiler warnings as errors

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Re: A billion years ago...

Anyone not using static code analysis today might as well just disable all warnings as far as I'm concerned.

There are plenty of excellent, free tools available for this. Use as many as you can get your hands on. They all find more potential problems than the compiler, and they're all subtly different in how they work and what they find.

Ditto for building with multiple compilers - even if you don't need to. No compiler is perfect, and the more chances you give for your code to break before it's shipped the better.

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I have an Unused macro that I use for this, just to be clear about what I'm doing.

On code that will be shared across multiple platforms and/or applications (read: client/server) where sometimes a variable is used and sometimes it isn't, I might declare additional macros:

Server( variable )

Xbox( variable )

Linux( variable )

etc.

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The way I like to look at this is:

A warning is an error that doesn't prevent the compiler from outputting something.

How valid that something is depends on the warning, but at the end of the day any code that produces warnings says to me "this code was written by someone who doesn't really care".

GitHub merges 'useless garbage' says Linus Torvalds as new NTFS support added to Linux kernel 5.15

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Re: xkcd

I suffer git at work, but use Perforce at home for my own projects. I will never let git anywhere near my code.

Norwegian student tracks Bluetooth headset wearers by wardriving around Oslo on a bicycle

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Coat

Re: Criminalise Bad Security

Not reading the manual: life imprisonment

Well that's everyone around here fucked then.

Mine's the one with the soap on a string.

Banned: The 1,170 words you can't use with GitHub Copilot

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Re: Any interest, though

I suspect the target audience are the Stack Overflow copy and paste brigade.

Google is designing its own Arm-based processors for 2023 Chromebooks – report

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Unhappy

Re: What's the betting...

I would say don't give them ideas. But sadly, you're probably not wrong.

Rumors of satellite-comms-capable iPhone abound. The truth could be rather boring

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Re: "Amazon was upset about Starlink's proposals for a second-generation constellation"

It's not just you. He is.

I also find it monumentally amusing that Amazon has to buy rocket space from ULA because BO *still* hasn't made it to orbit after 21 years of trying.

30 years of Linux: OS was successful because of how it was licensed, says Red Hat

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Facepalm

Re: Linux on the desktop

The UI is tamed a bit by unpinning every single live tile so I'm left with a menu that looks fairly sane except that it's strictly alphabetically rather than functionally organised.

Congratulations on completely and utterly failing to understand what the tiles area is for.

Forget about the "live tiles" bullshit. That space is there for you to organise shortcuts for the applications you use regularly in a way that makes sense to you.

The alphabetical list is just a much cleaned up All Programs menu for everything else.

Think you can solve the UK's electric vehicle charging point puzzle? The Ordnance Survey wants to hear about it

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I can see hydrogen being a suitable and viable alternative for the aviation industry, but I still think batteries are a better fit for cars.

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With current technology it'd take about three months to charge a 100kWh battery.

So you might need a wind turbine on top as well to generate additional electricity when driving.

Happy birthday, Linux: From a bedroom project to billions of devices in 30 years

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Re: For everybody...

A friend used to point out occasionally that using Linux is like going back in time: Everything is a lot simpler, but nothing works quite how you expect.

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Re: If only more OSes had been named after their creators.....

In a previous job, the in-game UI system written by one of the guys on another team was called Timdows.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

Not quite. I (and people who use computers but aren't technically minded - I.e., about seven and a half billion people, give or take) want computers to be more helpful and less obstinate.

Interaction design is a subject I find thoroughly interesting and am constantly amazed at how badly developers still get it completely and utterly wrong. Myself included at times - it's very easy to write something that you think works perfectly well only to see it fall apart in seconds in the hands of someone else.

No matter how good it is at doing something, software should not get in the way of the user and, where possible, provide the user with an easier path to their goal.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

God that sounds like a fucking nightmare. No wonder you're so angry all the time.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

The computer is doing EXACTLY what it was told to do

Yes, and this is the problem. Most people want computers to be more intuitive and easier to use. A computer doing exactly what it's told is no different to an obstinate child being a pedantic dick. It helps no one.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

Yeah, pretty much.

The filesystem should preserve case, but not allow filenames to differ by case alone, and case should be ignored when searching/matching.

If I have a directory called "Work" and I type "ls w" and hit tab, "Work" should be included in the results. Similarly if I accidentally hit caps-lock and type "LS" that should still work as expected.

You could leave this to every application to implement in their own special (and subtly different) way, but it's functionality that belongs in the filesystem.

That's how most systems work these days, and there are moves to change Linux to work like this.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

I'm not arguing for always ignoring case. I'm saying there's a time and a place. And sometimes in some places case should be ignored. (Btw the way, that "character set would be restricted" argument is nonsense. There are over 600 thousand words in English - over a million in Korean. We can add new words quite easily without needing more characters.)

At the end of the day there's a reason (actually a substantially large number of reasons) why Linux has a reputation for being unfriendly to users. And while this may not seem important to some, or of big consequence to others, it's *one more thing* that confounds users for no good reason.

And even when it doesn't confound you and even when you know exactly why this is like this, it's still frustrating to type in what you think is the filename to something only to discover that the case was wrong. It wastes the user's time.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

Yep, going the Proper Noun route and omitting "my" would also work without introducing ambiguities. :)

I guess what I should have clarified in my earlier statement was that capitalisation of words in English is part of English grammar, and while the point of grammar is to change and/or clarify intent, the capitalisation on its own is not. We don't suddenly become confused and bewildered if someone writes "lord of the rings" instead of "Lord of the Rings", and by extension, neither should computers.

In my opinion.

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Re: I've got a suggestion...

Every letter I've ever received from the UK government regarding my company has the full company name and address printed in capitals.

In fact, I have a tendency to write all names and addresses on envelopes in block capitals too because I know how piss ugly my handwriting is. So... I call bullshit.

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