* Posts by ShaggyDog

15 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2011

Windows Phone users beg Pokémon Go creators for attention


Re: The hard reality

<q>What possible costs and hurdles are there?</q>

- you're having a laugh, very good! Either that or you haven't got the 1st clue about developing real software...

Microsoft to Windows 10 consumers: You'll get updates LIKE IT or NOT



While I agree that *those in the know* should be able to control updates, I think this is a positive move by MS for the vast majority of **consumer** level users - knowing that they will all have the latest updates, that their machines can have security vulnerabilities removed automatically. A huge win to avoid botnets, etc.

Also, this is *just* an extension of what we are used to on smartphones, where an app automatically updates itself to fix bugs and add features. I doubt many are concerned at app updates.

IMO, this is a good move, though I do acknowledge there might be problems if MS get lazy on testing.

For those of us managing PC's for family and friends, there will no doubt be an initial spike of problems and questions when Win10 gets installed, but I think (hope) the support requests will become less frequent, not more. For this reason I think us admins should try and avoid disabling auto-update for family and friends - the advantage of always being up-to-date vs the loss of control (for consumer PC's) is large - just because we (as pro's) want to control *our* experience, doesn't mean your Auntie Flo has any interest at all - she won't care that her browser takes another 2s to start every now and then because an update is running. To my mum, she's paranoid about security - not about some minor drop in performance.

Google throws a 180 on its plans for Dart language


Re: Can't they do both?

I always assumed that is what Google would do (prefer dart, fallback to js) and simple competitive pressures would mean other browsers having to add a dart vm to run the most demanding web apps or games. Shame, IMO, but dart seems to be stagnating

RoboVM stirs up another helping of Java for iPhone


Good at Java, don't know Objective-C - develop in Scala/Groovy?

I wonder if this product cross-compiles Java source or if it cross-compiles the bytecode. If it's the byte code then it could be interesting with more productive languages that run on the JVM, say Scala.

I'm about to make the leap from Java to mixed Java and Scala (etc) as I'm fed up to my back-teeth with the boiler-plate and excessive decomposition that Java requires/encourages.

OLYMPIC SECRETS to stay locked up for 15 YEARS


Rip, Old Boy Network Britain

15 years - wtf? I can understand for military operations, etc, but the Olympic Games? Come on. They're taking the biscuit with this one, or might revealing the information be dangerous to law and order. My arse.

I wonder if FoI requests can get this info.

Bloody farcical that it can't be scrutinised.

Cold shower coming up.

Office to propel Windows tablets past Android in 2015


Re: some sense

MS Office on tablets is interesting to companies as it (when coupled with cloud storage) will allow light work (reviewing documents, minor updates, planning) when "on the go". The way it'll work is, keep your docs on the cloud, work on a "proper" PC at work (MS lockin) then continue working on your way to meetings or way home.

Quite compelling for big corps, I'm sure.

I can't see tablets replacing the need for real PC's anytime soon.

Why Java would still stink even if it weren't security swiss cheese


Re: Trevor, I love you

@Iggle Piggle: Surely you jest? Having done both (lots over years) Java Swing and (recently) Web App development (Tomcat/JSP with jQuery) I will take Swing anyday. Proper encapsulated, re-usable components, usable/simple layout containers, rich controls (tree's, tabs, data-grids anyone?). Commercially available components. Web-Apps don't come close.

As to Write Once, Run Anywhere? For client-side app's Swing mostly do the trick. If you delve into JNI then that's your own lookout, otherwise it pretty much does do what it says. I agree it has deployment and security issues though. But Web Apps? a complete PITA, you'll spend all your time getting it "just so" on the required list of browsers and platforms. Argghhh. jQuery, etc make it better but they are nowhere near perfect.

However, saying all that, Web App's are the future, for better or worse. The nascent Web Components work from Google (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2txPYQOWBtg) will, finally, allow grown up components (such as a tree - gasp) be a drop-in bit of markup not some cobbled together pile of junk.

Java Swing is on the way out, banks use it, but that's hardly bleeding edge. Shame. JavaFX (v2) also looks cool, but is probably too late.

Oracle scales back plans for Java 8

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Re: Waiting for the next announcement...

Agreed: losing lambda's would make Java 8 not really worth a new release. Lambda's will enable some powerful idioms, reducing a lot of the boring boiler-plate that Java currently makes us jump through.

That said, we're still on Java 6 here, so we're missing out on its goodness.

Google's self-driving car snags first-ever license in Nevada



No thanks very much. Google might have shit hot programmers and even plenty of good engineers, but trusting them with my life and the lives of others? Not on your nelly.

Plane fly-by-wire systems have multiple, redundant systems, all implementing the same specification but written in clean-room conditions (different company's for each to avoid cross-pollination).

I just don't trust any web company that deeply. It's seems more important in todays' world to get something out today and fix the problems in v2+.

I daresay it will come in time and it might be good in "convoy" mode (minimal spacing to save petrol), but bloody scary.

Elgato readies iPad 2 TV tuner dongle

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Almost useful

This would be cool to give to my "mobility restricted" mother-in-law, except the need for another USB lead for charging. Can't the iPad provide power to dongles?

David May, parallel processing pioneer

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Glory days

A fantastic British invention, such a shame we sold it to the French and it didn't take off.

I decided at a previous employer to use transputers to develop a scalable chart-recorder, to replace their pen-based recorders. The company wanted to develop small, 5 inch, wide medical recorders all the way up to metre wide, multi-channel recorders running at about 1m/s chart speed. Transputers seemed the ideal choice.

I was still very green at the time, but they were such fun days.

Unfortunately the only product that was produced was the 5" medical recorder, max speed 5mm/s. Transputer + I/O shenanigans made the project a nightmare. It had a single transputer for the processing, plus PIC micro-controllers for the UI and running the thermal fax head. A single 68000 would have done the lot.

Still a fantastic product though. Shame, shame, shame.

Now I'm reduced to writing crappy web-apps in Java, JavaScript, etc. Sigh, how times changed.

Ex-Google engineer dubs Goofrastructure 'truly obsolete'


App in "a single workday"

I guess I'm slow, but getting an app out in a day, would that be "Hello World" plus a bit? As is later reported, he's a self-admitted hacker, he'd hardly fit into a huge corporation then would he?


Windows 8: Microsoft’s high-stakes .NET tablet gamble


HTML5 + JavaScript: Oh Boy

As a newbie to web-development (but with a LONG background of rich-client dev on Java Swing and MFC, etc) I am horrified by the backwards step that is JavaScript. It's great in many ways (especially with jQuery), BUT the lack of encapsulation leaves me shivering. Not being able to manage complexity by encapsulating a control is rubbish. No (real) classes, no namespaces or packages.. Brrr.

So, MS choosing this, is a backwards step for software "engineering".

Win7 machines harder hit by infection as VXers change tactics


You're out of date...

As a Java Swing dev of many years, I can confidently say you're talking (mostly) BS about Jsva


- Startup has been massively improved with the quickstarter (some update in version 6). Sunacle are doing great stuff modularising Java which will make for more significant gains.

- Runtime speed is and has been for years more than good enough, IMO this claim is rubbish.

User Experience?

- if you mean startup speed then I think that's covered above

- if you mean general usability then that's down to the developers designing rubbish; Swing has any component you like, there's commercial component libraries. You can (and I have) write custom components to do anything. The apps can be skinned, etc

Security? I'm no expert in this area, but java has had it's security model baked in since day one, but I can't be bothered to research it. It's never been an issue.

On the positive

- Massive libraries are available, today, for any area

- 50%+ of webservers run on Java; are they all wrong?

- many investment banks in the City run on Java Swing, and they have quite hard real-time aspects.

- the online MMRPG "Runescape" runs as Java.

Java and Swing is still productive though I admit it's getting long in the tooth. Banks are starting to move to .net.

I am quite excited by Java FX 2, the new Oracle version. Amazing potential including startup times of about s second!

So, in summary, check your facts before trotting out the same tired "arguments".

IPCC chief: ANPR is 'a victim of its own success'


Rubbish design

Its madness, to me, that each force uses this data feed so differently and there's no centralised reporting. Designing a system to respond in real-time shouldn't be that hard. 1) forces or investigating officers register vehicles of interest with PNC or other central system, 2) stream all ANPR hits (just the plate, time, location) to central system, 3) send prioritised alerts to the relevant and interested forces or officers. Basic "publish-subscribe" pattern.

If banks can do their wizz-bang algorithmic trading sub-second off live feeds, then surely this system could do it in sub-minute timeframe?

No rocket science, at all. How such a useful crime-fighting system can be so ballsed up is amazing, but then, its government IT.

Why isn't there a centralised IT strategy for this. Madness. Again, government IT; why do something right once, when we can line the pockets of consultants time and time again.