* Posts by Philip Stott

127 publicly visible posts • joined 12 May 2007


If Apple's environmental rhetoric is meaningful, Macs and iPads should converge

Philip Stott


Shirley you can code in Java & run Java apps on any modern OS ... ?

That's the whole point of Java - it's portable.

Mozilla will begin signing Mv3 extensions for Firefox next week

Philip Stott

Re: Firefox will be the only browser that lets you escape advertising and profiling

Try Ghostery.

It has exactly what you want in the form of its 'Never Consent' option, which you enable for all websites, or just specific ones.

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

Philip Stott

Re: LMAX Architecture

You're right in that operations should be quick, but really the idea is that subtractions from the buffer are asynchronous, so therfore aren't reliant on the buffer thread for synchronising.

Also, I have only utilised this in. NET for a trading app, so wouldn't like to comment on it's merit for more worthy stuff like health.

Philip Stott

LMAX Architecture

Ring buffers a very handy for super fast processing in general.

Check out Martin Fowler's description of the LMAX Architecture

White House to tech world: Promise you'll write secure code – or Feds won't use it

Philip Stott

Medical Software

About 25 years ago I worked on a clinical trials system, which by virtue of being available in the U.S. had to adhere to FDA (part 2 IIRC) development guidelines.

Every release had to be audited under those rules and man were they strict - they even audited the comments to ensure that the code they related to were valid.

This obviously makes sense when people's lives were at stake in case of a bug.

Even though I now develop trading systems I still stick to those guidelines, as I think it made me a better developer.

Ready for the Linux 6.0 splashdown? Here are some of the highlights

Philip Stott

Re: fbdev and "SAP's Helge Deller"?

Thanks for the Win NT naming history.

I always thought the NT was shorthand for new technology.

Arrogant, subtle, entitled: 'Toxic' open source GitHub discussions examined

Philip Stott

I've been a professional software developer for 30 years and have noticed in myself and colleagues that we generally seem to inhabit the lower rungs of the autism ladder.

I'm working with a guy right now who is particularly difficult, and I believe it's because he generally can't see other people's point of view.

Perhaps there's an element of this that leads to the snarky comments on FOSS projects ... ?

Linus Torvalds says Rust is coming to the Linux kernel 'real soon now'

Philip Stott

Re: Error Types


I think you mean speed *not* velocity (velocity has a direction).


EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Philip Stott

Re: Optional Chargers

Yep, just got a £1K Samsung Galaxy S22, and no flipping charger in the box!

RAD Basic – the Visual Basic 7 that never was – releases third alpha

Philip Stott

Been there done that

Completely agree.

I started out as a C then C++ developer. Knocking up UIs in C++ takes forever compared to VB, so as soon as VB3 came out I switched to using that for the UI and anything that needed to to be fast or interact with a C API, I'd develop in C++ and wrap it as an ActiveX control (remember them? Eurgh!).

Smart contract developers not really focused on security. Who knew?

Philip Stott

Experience counts

They interviewed developers with less than 2 years experience?

Maybe it's because I do have 25+ years of commodity trading systems development experience, but IMHO nobody with less than 10 years of experience of developing financial systems should be developing 'SMART' contracts.

Rivals aren't convinced by Microsoft's one-click default browser change

Philip Stott

The Most Down Voted Post Ever

Has anyone tried Edge lately (within the last six months or so)?

IMHO it's not a bad browser anymore, once you switch off Bing as the default search engine.

I particularly liked a feature I didn't know about where I recently ordered something online and Edge surfaced a little message saying "There's a voucher code for this" which saved me £10 off just a £50 order.

It's time to delete that hunter2 password from your Microsoft account, says IT giant

Philip Stott

Re: "in a safe place"

Sort of been there and done that.

I use eWallet as a password manager.

For a couple of years I used it exclusively on my phone (instead of the desktop version which asks for a password every time), unlocking it with my fingerprint.

After an update it wouldn't let me unlock with a fingerprint and started asking me for the master password again, which I couldn't remember (it's 16 characters of nonsense).

It took me a couple of weeks of daily bum-clenching horror that I couldn't remember it, thinking of all the grief it would cause, until (well lubricated on a Friday night) the password hint phrase - Embiggen not TizWoz - I'd set finally made sense

Only 29% of techies truly want to stay in current job

Philip Stott

Re: I'm thinking about a lot more than this

I'm very sorry to hear that you (and apparently many others) are disillusioned by your career in IT.

At the risk of making myself unpopular, I've spent the last 30 years designing and developing commodity trading systems, and I still love it.

Even if I inherited millions from a mysterious benefactor I'd still code just for fun.

Would be interested to know how many developers are disillusioned compared to infrastructure, desktop support, operations, etc.

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

Philip Stott

Recursive function called f@ck?

Then it could go f@ck itself.

We take Asahi Linux alpha for a spin on an M1 Mac Mini

Philip Stott

Re: Deleting macOS

Not at all.

That's a word reserved for indicating that you absolutely detest somebody, not for chucking about flippantly on a tech-site's comment section.

Philip Stott
Thumb Down

Re: Deleting macOS

No need for language like that

Philip Stott

You used to be a developer

And a pretty good one too.

I know because you hired me twice, first as a contract VB then C# developer back in the early years of this century.

Containers may be more effective than VMs for hybrid apps – Gartner

Philip Stott


I do take your point, but I think that in this (buzzword-bingo) context, "serverless" means non-stateful applications that can make use of scalable lambda (Azure, et al) functions to perform their task.

That's quite hard to do well, as state ultimately has to be stored somewhere, think cookies on a stateless HTTP session.

Oxidation-proof copper could replace gold, meaning cheaper chips, says prof

Philip Stott

Re: Effect on copper prices

Tongue firmly in cheek here, but wouldn't using the relative densities of copper (8.9) and gold (19.3) be more appropriate than atomic mass?

DoJ accuses Google of training staff to make 'false requests for legal advice'

Philip Stott

Beat me to it.

It's almost like they changed their motto to "Be as evil as you can possibly be".

Evil Empire

Boys outnumber girls 6 to 1 in UK compsci classes

Philip Stott

Re: Very Sad

Sad beause it's well paid career, where diversity of thought is probably more necessary here than every other area outside STEM subjects.

I should also point out that the women developers I have worked with have been an absolute privilege to meet.

Highly competent people, that make the team "better" (hard to define, but think it softens the banter) than all bloke teams.

Philip Stott

Re: Why is it so important to chase parity?

Agree with most of your points, apart from "foolish enough to think it's a lucrative career".

Software development is a pretty good living, as long as you're good at it.

Philip Stott

Re: Very Sad

Not sure why I'm getting the down votes on this

To be clear, I believe efforts to get more women into CompSci are a good thing.

My point was that it's bad that I've only worked with a handful of women in entire career.

Philip Stott

Very Sad

I've been a professional software developer for nearly 30 years, and can count the number of female developers I've worked with on the fingers of one hand.

See title.

Half of bosses out of touch with reality, study shows

Philip Stott

Re: And the other half will bugger off…


Any company that fails to offer hybrid working will struggle to attract the best talent.

Russian demand for VPNs skyrockets by 2,692%

Philip Stott

I'm quite prepared to accept that I'm being a bit thick, but here in the UK at least 2,692% is formatted with a single SD.

Even if that comna was a European style decimal point it would still only be 3 SD?

The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility

Philip Stott

Re: resilience

Australia is a big place. Maybe the author can't get 4G where they live ...?

Arch Linux turns 20: Small, simple, great documentation

Philip Stott

Re: Lisp?

I'm a bit of an old git, who never really wanted to be a professional software developer, but it's stood me rather well over the last (oh shit, it's now) 30 years or so.

Grew up on Turbo C, then Borland & MS Visual C++, then VB5/6, then C#/. NET since 2002.

Interesting, and I'm genuinely asking here - what are the benefits to me of learning those two languages?

One person's war is another hemisphere's developer crunch

Philip Stott


I've spent a a fairly good chunk of my ~ 25 year's developing commodity trading systems, converting traders & analysts Excel workbooks/VBA code trading strategy's into performant, robust, production ready code.

In the hands of sophisticated users like mine Excel is essentially a low/no code solution.

Just look forward to getting paid lots of filthy lucre to clean up after them :-)

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office

Philip Stott

Re: Watch Your Backs

You're right about I.T. being a fairly closed shop.

I develop commodity trading systems for a living, and in 3 weeks I start a new job where I've discovered that no fewer than 6 guys (and, sadly, it's nearly always a sausagefest) that I've worked at various banks and trading houses over the years are currently employed!

AWS to build 32 more small clouds around the world

Philip Stott

Wot no London?

Seems a bit of an odd omission.

Russian 'Minecraft bomb plot' teen jailed for five years

Philip Stott

Guilty as charged

I was that dumb kid, started out with black powder, then nitrating everything I could find with nitric acid (gun cotton, TNT), thermite, ammonium nitrate & sugar, sulphur & red phosphorus. Its crazy that it was possible to buy that stuff easily. Especially because it was around the time of The Troubles in Ireland.

As you say, it's amazing that we didn't blow ourselves up (although came fairly close more than once).

America's 'Team Telecom' backs switch-on of Google and Meta's US-APAC undersea cable

Philip Stott

Re: Its the latency, not the capacity

Nope. I currently work for Trailstone, a company with only ~ 130 employees. We pay for a server co-located in the same rack as the EPEX exchange's servers.

Behold! The first line of defence for 25% of the US nuclear stockpile: Dolphins

Philip Stott

Re: umm and the

I am, technically, a genius (IQ 146).

Unfortunately, I believe there must be some inverse square relationship between IQ and common sense, due to my making so many (in hindsight) dumb mistakes.

Perhaps that's why we're all grumpy :-p.

Key pillar in the UK's border control upgrade programme 'lacks a systems integrator'

Philip Stott

Re: What?

It doesn't really "beggar belief" - this is a UK IT system rollout remember!

It would be more of a surprise if it went successfully.

Microsoft rang in the new year with a cutesy tweet in C#. Just one problem: The code sucked

Philip Stott

Fixed it for you

if (DateTime.Now.Month == 1 && DateTime.Now.Day == 1)

Console.WriteLine("Happy New Year");


Console.WriteLine("It's still " + DateTime.Now.Year.ToString());

NHS Digital exposes hundreds of email addresses after BCC blunder copies in entire invite list to 'Let's talk cyber' event

Philip Stott


The most bum-clenchingly awful reply all mistake I've seen happened after the whole company received an email from operations reminding us of the new password policy - 12 characters, mixed case, special chars, etc., and NEVER write them down or share them.

This poor guy (let's call him Gary) meant to forward the following to his mate, but instead replied all: "How the hell do we remember these without writing them down".

This was swiftly followed by the email - Gary would like to recall ...

Which was followed about half an hour later by an email from HR, saying Gary no longer works for Enron (sorry), and has left the building.


2FA? More like 2F-in-the-way: It seems no one wants me to pay for their services after all

Philip Stott

Re: I'm glad it's not just me

Plus many for the Frasier reference; I loved that show.

Heard a nasty rumour that they're bringing it back. Hope that's not true, as IMHO they ruined it already when Niles & Daphne got together.

Breaking Bad or just a bad breakpoint? That feeling when your predecessor is BASIC

Philip Stott

Re: Debug build on a live server?

This was VB6 in early 2002 - a few months before C# and visual studio. net was released.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

Philip Stott

Re: Alternate method for the crap that supermarkets pass off as bacon...

Buy your bacon from a good butcher ... ?

Philip Stott

Probably the perfect topic for an (English) flame war!

Personally, haven't had any black pudding that's tasted of anything other than grease, so that's out.

Also mushrooms only grow on Beezlebub's knob, so they're out too.

Once you've binned them, everything but the beans can be cooked in one big frying pan.

If your eggs aren't frying in the fat from your sausages & bacon you're not doing it right.

Job done.

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features

Philip Stott


Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills

Philip Stott

I suspect the respondents who replied "chow mein" & "s&s pork balls" were still in that delicious stage of drunkenness before the horrors set in.

Google, Microsoft pitch in some spare change to keep Mozilla's Web Docs online bible alive

Philip Stott

Re: Niche skill

Wasn't always that way.

I'm showing my age here, but I remember switching from Borland C++ to MS Visual C++ for exactly the reason that all their tools and good documentation could be found on their MSDN discs.

It was once they switched to online docs that the rot set in. Any technologies they wanted to ditch (silerlight anyone) would no longer be linked to, and their favoured new technologies, recently. NET V5 would be favoured in the docs even though NET V4.8 or lower is probably the largest installed base.

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

Philip Stott

Re: Nicely balanced article

Good point.

I started on Borland Turbo C circa 1989, after a short interval with MS Visual C and their Windows SDK experience afterwards (which want nice), I've been using MS Visual Basic, then Visual Studio for .Net development since roughly 1995.

Mainly developing LOB applications for banks and trading houses.

At no point in the last 25 years have I been approached to give my opinion on the merits of one IDE/toolset over another, so I'm guessing that these surveys aren't actually representative of the jobbing developer.

Philip Stott

"Full fat" Visual Studio has supported clang for at least 3 years (maybe longer, but 3 years is my last time to need it).

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!

Philip Stott

Re: A good u-turn

EDIT: Should've read the comments first, sorry.

What's wrong with Notepad++?

A great text editor that can come as an installer free version.

Refactoring whizz: Good software shouldn't cost the earth – it's actually cheaper to build

Philip Stott

Re: SW .EQ. intellectual exercise .NNE. Intelligent

No inferiority complex to be seen here. Move along people.

Philip Stott

The answer is easy as any fule knows

I have been a contract software developer since 1998. I was entirely self taught, after finding my chosen field of interest, research chemistry, would be a life of drudgery unless I stayed in in school long enough to earn a Ph.D.

So I turned to the other skill I had naturally, software development, by virtue of a family investment in a BBC model B microcomputer in the 80’s.

Over the years I have mentored 6 six graduate trainees who wanted to switch to software development for a career (one of which, ironically, was a chemistry Ph.D that worked for Kodak and hated it).

Of those six, I could tell within half a day which of them “just got it” (two of them) and which of them would always struggle no matter how hard they tried.

There is a misunderstanding between the view “that anyone can learn to code” and “anyone can learn to code well”. It is an innate ability that one either has or has not.

Long story short, is that companies that really care about code quality need to learn how to differentiate between these two types of developer.