* Posts by fortyrunner

16 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2009

By 2030, software developers will be using AI to cut their workload 'in half'



Luckily by then I will have retired. I can sit and snipe from the sidelines and be smug.

"...In my day... we did real coding..."

Oracle's revised Java licensing terms 2-5x more expensive for most orgs


This problem has been solved already.

Switch to Redhat or one of the free alternatives. We did this 3 years ago. Problem solved.

UK's Defra and Ministry of Justice facing £120m IR35 tax bills thanks to inaccuracies in assessing contractors' status


Re: Could be desperate managers trying to retain staff.

I will never regret going permie. No invoicing, accounts, chasing agencies for payment etc. I spend WAY less time on HR stuff than I did on company work. Permie salaries are excellent at the moment as well

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


Re: Eclipse...

I was with you until you said that Eclipse is slow because it's written in Java. That was almost certainly true until about 12 years ago. It isn't the case now. Hotspot is an astonishing piece of engineering.

I switched to IntelliJ about 6 years ago and it is more than fast enough for anything I need, written in Java (and I suspect Kotlin).

I used to use Visual Studio (written in C++) and found it slow and a horrible UI mess. I do use VSC because that what my company lets us install, but its also slow - especially on large files. Give me Textpad any day.

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill


I bought a copy of Delphi 1.0 at the Windows show in Olympia on the day it was released. I took a day off and spent my own money (300 quid or so).

Went straight home and rewrote the C++ (OWL!) application that we had been trying to get stable for a few weeks. We had been trying to write a replacement for the Clipper application we supported.

Building the app took me the weekend and it had more features and was rock solid. When I showed my boss on the monday he wrote me a cheque on the spot for my copy of Delphi. Only issue we had was with the horrible Foxpro/dBase drivers. I ended up (on another weekend a few months later) switching to Successwares NTX driver - worked perfectly first time.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey


Re: Anonymous Contractor

Completely agree. I was a contractor for a couple of years before IR35 came in. As soon as it did I started paying IR35, my wife (a former accountant) said that I couldn't avoid it because of my working arrangements.

Plenty of my colleagues stayed outside despite also being under direction and control, that's why the Govt acted. The original IR35 rule was effectively ignored.

There are people who are genuine contractors, going from gig to gig, and they are being unfairly hit by this. But there are also a lot of contractors who are effectively disguised employees.

There isn't a bank in the City who would allow a substitute (unless agreed well in advance), it would make a complete nonsense of their security arrangements. Getting a login account and permissions to systems would take days.

I ended up going permie and never regretted it.

Apple hands keys for retail to HR boss amid flagging iPhone sales


Re: Put HR person in charge of sales

Before everyone jumps on the HR angle. She was heavily involved in operations and the opening of the Apple Stores. Sounds like a really good person to head retail.


How one programmer's efforts to stop checking in buggy code changed the DevOps world


Re: Jenkins?

Shouldn't you return an int value?

UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit


The only way we could be IT ready for Brexit is...

if we had started about 5 years ago with a perfect set of requirements.

All the talk in recent weeks of the different type of customs arrangements was nonsense given that IT change is guaranteed to extend well beyond the proposed implementation dates.

The people that just say 'Just leave and sort it out later' will be among the first to scream when nothing works.

Oracle crushed in defeat as Java world votes 'No' to modular overhaul


On this rare occasion

I'm not a fan of Oracle or their business practices but...

I think they have been a good steward of Java. They actually managed to get 7.0 finished - which Sun couldn't. They introduced Streams in Java 8 (and a nice solid implementation too IMO) without causing backward compatibility problems.

Java is thriving as an enterprise class language, I know that I can install it and my stuff will run without change and in this respect they are like Microsoft (who also take a lot of flack). I have Java code from years ago that just works without change - except it runs a lot faster. I have old programs from 20 years ago that still run under Windows 7 and Windows 10. I can't say the same thing for Apple or Android..

In the case of modules, I don't think many developers actually care that much, it's a bit like Java EE in that respect. The problem they are trying to solve has gone away in many cases: machines have a lot more memory or we use containers or we build microservices or we use frameworks such as Spring Boot or Dropwizard.

OSGi has been around for years (as an example of one approach to modules) but had very little traction indeed, it's too fiddly and doesn't really help that much.

I'd rather that Oracle invest in a combined Java/OS Container to make it easy to deploy my applications than solve a problem we only cared about 12 years ago.

DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire


Question is - do we really want GOV.UK to have a stupid amount of servers standing by for this sort of event? i.e. people waiting until the last minute and then whinging about performance?

Ah... we could use the Cloud. And then another group of people would complain that Amazon/Google/Rackspace/MS had all their data in a location where the NSA could get at it.

Far better to offer a small sliding scale financial incentive to sign up early so that people would naturally spread the load.

IBM insider: How I caught my wife while bug-hunting on OS/2


OS/2 fixed my assembler and found ME a wife as well!

In the autumn of 1988 I went to work for a small company who wanted to port their final accounts system to OS/2.

Why they wanted to do this was unclear; most accountants would rather pluck their eyeballs out than spend enough on their ancient kit to get OS/2 running.

The system was written in compiled MS Basic and 8086 assembler, this was a common combination at the time for small software houses. The assembler did the routine stuff such as file handling, modem handling, screen writing etc. It was a bit of a mess, crashed a lot and lost client data. I wasn't aware of the crashing bit - that had been glossed over in the interview.

My task was to port everything to OS/2. Initially we were going to port the app to run in command line mode. The Basic was easy and that had been done in a few days.

The assembler was trickier. I would compile it, test it, fix a protection violation bug, repeat and rinse. I made sure that the fixes went back into the normal build. After all - they were bugs in the original code

After about 4 weeks of this I was a bit fed up. I seemed to be working on a project that couldn't go anywhere (I had twigged that our customers would never use OS/2). I started looking for another job.

And then something magical happened.

I bumped into one of the project managers and testers and they told me that whatever I was doing - keep on doing it. The stability of the latest builds (with my fixes) had removed a lot of the worse crashes. People were starting to notice, customers were happier, in fact - customers were REALLY happy.

I decided to stay. I started doing other trouble shooting. I got a nice rise and a car!

And then a few months later the woman who later became my wife joined the company.

So OS/2 got me a wife as well.

The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs


Well put

The retail banking world is built on COBOL, the investment banking world is built on Java and C#, the gaming world is built on C++, the web world is built on everything.

C++ is needed but its more irrelevant every year to a lot of programmers who struggle with its complexity. If I were to suggest writing a new project in C++ I would be looked on as mad.

Sci-fi and fantasy authors wade into Amazon spat


If they want piracy...

If these muppets want to encourage piracy they are going the right way about it.

Setting the price too high and keeping it there will have one major effect.

They should take a leaf from OReilly. Their ebooks as iPhone apps are 3 quid each and I have bought LOADS of them.

More problems for Apple's top desktop



I bought one these puppies from my local Apple Store last week. The stores have continued to ship.

I've always been a Windows guy (since 1.0) but got a Mac 3 years ago.

The screen is a game changer. 2800x1440 (or something like that). I use it to run a Windows VM for remote working and Visual Studio and Eclipse are spectacular at that resolution.

The screen quality compared to my Dell and other brand screens is vastly superior - I never get tired eyes. I'm sure that with much fiddling I could get the Dell screens the same - but the Mac screen is perfection out of the box.

Why the frak they ship with a stupid small keyboard and why they think its amusing to swap the " and the @ keys I have no idea. Microsoft keyboards and key combinations are much better.

Microsoft delays Visual Studio 2010 launch


Shock Horror

Wow. So MS have performance issues in Visual Studio - who knew.

After the pigs ear they made of the past two releases maybe they are taking it seriously now.

What I would like from ANY IDE vendor is a Pure Coding edition. The bare minimum needed to code, refactor, test, run/debug. None of the enterprise crap you get these days.