Re: Hey, Programming Types

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I would like to know where the "any" key is on my keyboard.


Posted by: unf | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:27 PM
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Myself, I can comment from work just fine, but at home I put the typewriter in front of the TV set and nothing happens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:29 PM
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Man, it's your blog and all, but if your'e only going to show up once a year to toss out a joke, you ought to make it better than that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:29 PM
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Brock doesn't appreciate subtlety.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:30 PM
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Maybe sections devoted to particular languages-- unfogged/comp/lang/python and so on. ambling threads might not work so well- if only there was some way to tie all the related comments together into a single structure.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:36 PM
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Setting aside the characterization of humanities types as a beer-drinking crowd, I would suggest that the programming-curious begin with the kind responses to this query.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:39 PM
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I've learned some of those scripty things like loops and variables from working with Flash. I've learned them several times each. And now I can't remember them again. That part of my brain is wrecked, probably from all the acid.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:41 PM
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I think that ambling threads are the only way to have something useful in this area. You can get a certain distance by answering specific questions of the form "how do I do X in language Y?", but all the useful and tricky stuff is at least one level of abstraction up.

6: did you glance through Spolsky and Graham?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:42 PM
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This feels poorly suited for the structure of the medium. In a chat/discussion system with permanent forums (usenet, bbs, whatever) setting up the programming forum makes sense, but I don't think it fits with the rolling-conversation form we have here.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:45 PM
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ambling threads are the only way to have something useful in this area.
If you are under 30, you may wish to google the words "usenet" or "trn." What I wrote was (hopefully gentle) sarcasm.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:47 PM
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While we're at it we could just roll all threads into a wiki and call it Cockaepedia. Same diff.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:48 PM
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8: Haven't had a chance yet -- just finished up a long project yesterday -- but I will. I should probably figure out exactly what I want to achieve with this mystical knowledge.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:49 PM
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did you glance through Spolsky and Graham?

Second the recommendation of Spolsky. Fuck Graham with a rusty spork.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 3:53 PM
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6--
naah, he's referring to the awesome six-pack abs you build up doing explications de texte.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:04 PM
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14: I see. Looks like I need to step up my explications program.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:18 PM
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14 is exactly right.

I made the suggestion at M.D. precisely because of questions like the one linked to in 6. Plus the fact that I had remembered seeing w-lfs-n link to his bot source code somewhere, but I couldn't remember where it was when I looked for it and ...

The point is, sometimes it's hard to find things in the comments. I guess I can see why there'd be some inertia against setting up "a different site" for programming questions, but at the same time, what's good for Heidegger questions should work okay for Haskell too, right?


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:19 PM
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Graham is a tool, no doubt. And there was nothing more sad than talking to some young guys who were in town for a Y Combinator pitch and had actually written their software in common lisp based on his puerile rantings. But I think he did a reasonable job of talking up some of the benefits of functional programming and what it means to be a powerful programming language.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:21 PM
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I love the idea, though I agree that in general, separate-but-attached is doomed. What I would like is a way to get my Unfogged site with the programmer-stuff inlined with the other posts, with some way for people who don't care to just get Unfogged Main without the techie stuff.

Also, how does one go about learning Flash and ActionScript in a fashion that results in being able to do game and toy-widget development? I already speak High Developer, but none of the stuff I've looked at for Flash and ActionScript seems written for outsiders. :/


Posted by: Nbarnes | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:22 PM
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16.1--

weird--an inadvertent marshall mcluhan moment.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:24 PM
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Follow-up: Perhaps most people can still get http://www.unfogged.com and techie+ people can get http://www.unfogged.com/techie_enabled to get the regular post feed + programming?

Note: I am not a web dev. :P


Posted by: Nbarnes | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:25 PM
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18 -- funny, I'm just in the process of gearing up to learn Flash (Flex Builder 3? AIR? Whatever the f*ck Adobe is calling it these days.) I could write something about that, if you like.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:26 PM
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what's good for Heidegger questions should work okay for Haskell too, right?

You realize the reading group fizzled and died before we really got anywhere, right?

And would it really be so hard to find something about programming topic X in the archives? Sometimes it's hard to find the particular cock joke you remember, but it can't be that hard to find mentions of Python, can it?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:28 PM
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What about references to "C" Ogged? Not all programming languages have easily-Googleable names.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:29 PM
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People can skip posts they're not interested in without setting up a special post-skipping mechanism -- what about if you've got a programming question or concern, just sending it in as an 'Ask the Mineshaft' to someone who might have a clue (not me), and have it be a regular post?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:29 PM
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21: Please. The 'Flash (Flex Builder 3? AIR? Whatever the f*ck Adobe is calling it these days.)' issue alone is costing me more brainpower than I am happy with. What's so hard about providing a glide path in for new developers, that they'd rather obfuscate their entry points? *grrrrrrrrr* I didn't have half this much trouble bootstrapping myself with Ruby or SDL-using-MSVC++.


Posted by: Nbarnes | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:29 PM
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what's good for Heidegger questions should work okay for Haskell too, right?

Perhaps, but the point is that it turned out the separate-site format didn't work for Heidegger questions.

On preview, pwgged.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:32 PM
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And there was nothing more sad than talking to some young guys who were in town for a Y Combinator pitch and had actually written their software in common lisp based on his puerile rantings.

You mean someone else made that mistake after reddit? Sad.

But I think he did a reasonable job of talking up some of the benefits of functional programming and what it means to be a powerful programming language.

Yeah, there's definitely something to that. The problem I have with Graham is that he acts like programmers are and should be prima donnas. (Well, I can't argue with the "are" part; it's the "should be" part that bugs.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:33 PM
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24: And, because the content of no post can be controlled, the rest of us learn something scrolling through.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:33 PM
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17: Graham is a bit of a tool, no doubt (his book On Lisp is pretty good though), but he hates common lisp so that anectdote is sad, but also odd. There is no particular reason not to pick say common lisp generically -- but for a particular problem there may be strong reasons.

In generally though Lisp is an amazing language. And common lisp itself is a particularly good balance of power/flexibility/practicality that may or may not match ones needs. Depending on what you actually want to do, a less mainstream language but more powerful language like this might be a great [*] choice for someone who wants to dabble & learn. There are mostly good reasons that the mainstream languages are mainstream, but most of them are not `good design' and most of them don't apply to individuals trying to learn a bit on their own or do small scale projects.

I'm not necessarily advocating people start with it, just saying it's not an insane idea at all.

[*] much more so than, say, someone who things they might want to angle for an industry job one day, or for that matter your Y combinator guys. A lot depends on what sort of interoperability you want.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:47 PM
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to spell something out: usenet, though it began as a clubby way for reasonable colleagues to discuss anything they wanted, grew into something else entirely. Sustained, searchable, categorized discussions with even faint archival intent take work to administer, and the minimal structure would be pretty different from what exists here. (i.e., forums, subject lines, likely thread IDs independent of subject). This isn't idle speculation, the forums exist still, you can see how comp.lang.c
differs from unfogged by looking at it. Reader-addable tags might be a possibility that wouldn't impose on our hosts and support this function, but this can be done now with comment links and del.icio.us.
I'm curious-- why is there no Chinese comment spam? Is there a filter, or is there just too little traffic to attract attention?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:48 PM
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30: I suspect it's mostly a connectivity issue. Although nominally everybody is linked to everybody, in practice it's all nearly cliques.


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:50 PM
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Graham hates Common Lisp? Am I confusing him with Greenspun? Or is this some JPF/PFJ splitter stuff?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 4:55 PM
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Dear Mineshaft:

No matter how many sweet nothings I whisper to it, when I compile Apache, it refuses to use the updated version of OpenSSL I installed for it special. Instead it consistently spurns the shiny new libraries in favor of the ultra-hackable CentOS/RedHat system defaults. I need a real blog. I must shed the shame of LiveJournal. Google extends false hope.

Help me, Mineshaft, for realz.

--Broken-Hearted BOFH


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:01 PM
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Broken-Hearted BOFH

BOFHs don't have hearts to break, impostor.


Posted by: Nbarnes | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:04 PM
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It would be odd of Graham to hate Common Lisp, seeing as how he wrote the book on it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:04 PM
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BOFHen do have feelings -- just not for people.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:05 PM
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Help me, Mineshaft, for realz.

YM "Help me, Mineshaft. You're my only hope." HTH. HAND.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:06 PM
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Compile or link? Linking depends on the order in which libraries are listed. If you're using make or gmake, make -d -n will print exactly what steps are taken. Also,
remove all reference to the old ones from the makefile.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:06 PM
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35: No, he really isn't a fan. He loves Lisp as a family of languages, but he has some real problems with Common Lisp itself (these may have developed over time). Perhaps `hate' is a bit strong. This is the reason for his vapor-language `arc'.

This even shows up in his book about common lisp, which de-emphasizes some parts of CL (eg CLOS).....


Posted by: soubzriquet | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:21 PM
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18: I wish I knew. I have a big 3rd party book on actionscript at home--I'll get the name when I get there if you like, though I'm afraid it's already getting old. You might get more out of it than I can, as I find it's full of answers to questions I never even dreamed of formulating. My understanding is that actionscript's now basically javascript if that tells you anything.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 5:26 PM
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33: ./configure --help should tell you how to specify the path to the OpenSSL libraries.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 6:03 PM
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This strikes me as an odd concept.

Are the unfoggetariat really a good source for programming info compared to, say, the rest of the internet?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 6:09 PM
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Pwned by 30, I s'pose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 6:09 PM
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I'm curious-- why is there no Chinese comment spam? Is there a filter, or is there just too little traffic to attract attention?

Here, you mean? There's a hack.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 6:24 PM
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I'm having a hard time imagining why anybody who didn't waste 18 months writing then re-writing their startup's code base in Lisp would have a problem with Paul Graham. I think he's a pretty damn interesting writer.

Joel Spolsky, also good.

Scott Rosenberg at http://www.wordyard.com has done some good writing on programming lately (from a layman's perspective, note).

I would gleefully participate in an Unfogged-sponsored programming forum. Especially if it meant I could avoid working on my thesis.


Posted by: Chris Conway | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 6:27 PM
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42 asks the right question.

even though i've done a few programming-related posts on my own blog, for talking Windows programming with other programmers, there's no place better than CodeProject.

and there are probably dozens of other boards for Mac, *nix, VMS, etc..


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 6:53 PM
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If you're using make or gmake, make -d -n will print exactly what steps are taken.

I can't totally follow what it's doing, but it doesn't seem to be handling the SSL components any differently than other modules. I don't see /lib specified in there anywhere and I do see the correct path for my libraries.

Also, remove all reference to the old ones from the makefile.

I don't see any references to either /lib or the /usr/local in either the makefile for Apache itself or the makefile for mod_ssl. There's one reference to $libpath but for the life of me I can't tell where it's getting it. LIBPATH is unset.

./configure --help should tell you how to specify the path to the OpenSSL libraries.

They're specified, which is part of the reason I'm having to resist taking a tire iron to my laptop about now.

I found a link suggesting that the problem might be that OpenSSL was built with zlib support. So I rebuilt it no-zlib and am still having the problem.

This is crazy. Other than some security tweaks, this is pretty much fresh-out-of-the-ISO CentOS. I can't be the only one having this problem.


Posted by: Magpie | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 7:04 PM
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Clearly I'm from Bizarro World. In my world, Paul Graham is an excellent expositor, Common Lisp is an awesome language, and Joel Spolsky is a self-important moron who make the occasional good point.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 7:05 PM
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Hmm... Is /usr/local/lib (or /usr/local/openssl/lib, or wherever you put your OpenSSL libraries) in /etc/ld.so.conf? Don't forget to run ldconfig if you add it.

Alternatively, you can set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to /usr/local/lib (or whatever). This might be better, because these libraries are searched before the ones in /etc/ld.so.conf.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 7:19 PM
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I would gleefully participate in an Unfogged-sponsored programming forum. Especially if it meant I could avoid working on my thesis.

This also motivates me.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 7:22 PM
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Also, I'm TAing a Programming Languages course this coming semester -- so this was my other (hidden) motivation, to have an excuse to write about this stuff as a means of preparation or something.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 7:24 PM
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http://www.moock.org/webdesign/flash/

Moock is the Actionscript guy, as far as I know. It looks like while I was busy repeatedly forgetting Actionscript 2, everyone else has moved on. I sure hope I never need to know any of this.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 7:27 PM
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I agree that Unfogged probably isn't a good place for its programmers to get better at their craft -- we already know how to read inscrutable usenet posts and can name the O'Reilly bestiary. But I think it might be a useful place for teaching some non-programmers basic ways that a scripting language can make their lives better. I suspect that those of us who already know this stuff would have a pretty good time along the way.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:03 PM
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51: 6.821?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:07 PM
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Yes.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:15 PM
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I'm about to be a recovering programmer, but I'd be happy to be a part of any kind of programming discussions going on here or elsewhere.

ActionScript is currently infuriating me at work, but man, oh, man, can you produce some gorgeous applications in Flex.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:29 PM
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I get a certain amount of Chinese comment spam. It probably finds sites which use Chinese script, which I occasionally do. There was a diabetes-oriented Chinese comment spam which was all over the place a month or two ago.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:41 PM
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All the the Harry Potter and swimming posts should be on the programming site.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:42 PM
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I vote NO on Unfogged Hacking Group.
I vote YES on Cockaepedia.


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 8:53 PM
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Is Ogged "superkeen on" a Cock-o-paedia?


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 9:02 PM
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I'm a long time lurker, but I am a programmer (mostly Ruby on Rails and Perl) and I'd love such a group.


Posted by: sp160n | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 9:32 PM
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I misspelled cockopaedia, didn't I? Fuck to oboe.

48: Is this the same Bizarro World where RAZR phones are great and Bluetooth is reliable? If so, we welcome you to a life under relaxing, orange skies.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 9:33 PM
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42: is a good response if tech.unfogged.com is reference and tutorials. Might as well go to O'Reilly.

52: Have you seen Thibault Imbert or Andre Michelle? They're not the greatest references, but they are doing some great experiments with actionscript 3. I'd be curious to hear what kind of project you're working on in Flex, mcmc.

My vote is for a programming section of unfogged. It would be really fun to talk about possibilities without the fear of being embarassingly technical. Luckily, I get to hang out with Arthegall all the time to pick his big ol' brain. It would be great to do that with the Unfogged crowd... by, uh, continuing to troll...


Posted by: mrP | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 9:34 PM
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Didn't realize arthegall was in this part of the world. Possibly, had I actually made the meetup I insisted upon, I would have known this.

Anyhow I just think technical discussions tend towards the dry and practical, which is fine, but doesn't inspire the sort of digressive, dongtacular antics I look for here. Could just be me.

Oh, also, I got really really tired of talking about computers on the internet about six years ago, after doing it for a solid decade. Don't tell anybody, though, they'll take away my ninja army.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 9:58 PM
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I'd be curious to hear what kind of project you're working on in Flex, mcmc.

I'm just using a little rudimentary Actionscript in Flash--very rudimentary--calling movie clips and like that. I'm more comfortable working in the timeline, using Flash as a frame by frame animation tool. I keep thinking I'll try and learn more scripting and try to make some arty little games, but it turns out to require more time and effort than I'm willing to give. I'd really like to take a semester-long class focused on scripting, but I can't find anything like that--just weekend seminars where they rip through the concepts, give you an incomprehensible handout and send you off to forget everything. Art school Flash classes always focus on the timeline, because it's so much easier to teach that part.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 10:16 PM
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Haven't had time to keep up with this thread today but I'd be in for whatevs.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 11:18 PM
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You can make pretty applications with Flex?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 11:20 PM
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53 is completely correct.
Given that "programming" now apparently involves fucking about with flash, I'm glad I got out when I did.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-31-07 11:29 PM
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53: I would certainly benefit from such charity. I used to write client/server apps occasionally, but so long ago that I don't even know what the current scripting languages are - can't even spell PHP, as they say. I can see that I'm going to have to put up a site for some people who are even worse placed than me soon, so any help would be very welcome.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 2:22 AM
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68: Is this the one Unfogged thread where digressions are forbidden? Figures, I guess.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 5:28 AM
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Thanks for the pointer to the Code project. I have no idea whether it will be of any use to me but I'll file it away. My position is "interesting". I'm currently supporting an "important" (company would fold if it died for a week) application in an obsolete language on an obsolete platform. I first coded in the language in 1970, and first worked on the platform in 1978. And it's coming to an end, and they're moving me on a "new" set of stuff and I'm floundering under a rather bad set of e-learning modules.
It's only VB.NET, ASP.NET and rudimentary SQL, and I've coded Basic back in the 80s & did a bit of SQL in 1997, and I guess I'll eventually be able to bluff my way through, but I'm a bit anxious at the minute.
Are there any other recommended sites? I don't need to learn a huge amount, it's really mostly a support role, but I'd like to be more confident.


Posted by: dave heasman | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 6:59 AM
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70: mcmc I live to help you trigger FLV playback. Let's rap!

That sounds snide, but really, digress away. Much better than discussing the finer points of cmake invocation.

71: VB.NET, ASP.NET

Sorry, man. That's no fun for anybody.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 7:04 AM
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I think 53 is probably the best suggestion so far. Something light, and high-level, aimed at programming novices who are interested in picking up a new computer programming skill with room for more techy/geeky digressions as the spirit moves us.

A forum where we try to explain the ins-and-outs of getting package X to work on system Y, or how to use whatever.NET to re-package legacy system Z, is probably not very worthwhile (read: makes me bleed out of my ears).

Although questions like that would always be welcome in comments, I guess. They just wouldn't be the point of the whole thing.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 7:14 AM
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71: Erm, I really really don't know what I'm talking about here, I'm just recognizing a couple of buzzwords. But it seems possible that a newsletter published by a connection might be relevant -- google "Midrange Guru" to find it (I'd rather not link due to googlability). It's a Q&A format, answering reader questions, and aimed at people who are primarily RPG programmers.

Odds are it's entirely irrelevant to your problems, and I certainly can't attest to its quality. But if it helps, there it is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 7:17 AM
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The key fact to remember with VB.NET is that every named constant (a name most likely both absurdly overlong and uninformative) will have an undocumented value in the range [-1, 0, 1], yet you MUST use this name in your code, because the underlying value will change for no apparent reason in the next version of VB.NET.

As a corrolary, the name of the constant will also change in the next version of VB.NET, so everything will break regardless.

To wit:
You are safer using named constants in your code rather than the underlying value. VB6 constants will convert to the correct value when upgraded to VB.NET. But if you use the actual value, you may end up with an incorrect value hard coded in your program.

The best example is that of the constant True which has a value of -1 in VB6. VB.NET, however, uses a value of 1 to mean True.

Haha, Microsoft, you so funny.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 7:29 AM
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Add <i> and </i> around the second to last line there, for optimum readability.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 7:30 AM
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oh, Microsoft.

We've (the company I work for) been doing some work for them. At one point we needed to change some text and images on their site. The process took three weeks. To get permissions and make the files live, we had to do a "pub wiz and then golden drop".

I think there are a few deviants over in Redmond.


Posted by: mrP | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 8:11 AM
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"Microsoft's golden drop," man, it's like they're asking you to make fun of them.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 8:22 AM
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The best example is that of the constant True which has a value of -1 in VB6. VB.NET, however, uses a value of 1 to mean True.

That's utterly fantastic.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 9:17 AM
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It's like the Morning Star and the Evening Star, but reversed.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 9:43 AM
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The best example is that of the constant True which has a value of -1 in VB6. VB.NET, however, uses a value of 1 to mean True.

Jeebus. -1 == True, for real? That's insane.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 9:49 AM
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What's even funnier is there are other Booleans with DIFFERENT pairs, so you'll have some other flag that's like [0,1] or [1,-1] or [-1,0]. I'm amazed they didn't use floats.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 9:56 AM
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81: Had to do with the fact that the binary twos-complement representation of integer -1 is all-one-bits regardless of the word size of the integer, so that the same operation can be used for bitwise-and and logical-and. Sort of. I think. A little bit. Offer void where prohibited. Dates back to the Microsoft BASIC* on my old TRS-80 a quarter-century ago, at least.


Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:00 AM
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83 explained.

Still fucking stupid, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:09 AM
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They should have used 4 and 5 and shifts. Just as logical!

Bill Gates: living proof that terrible programmers can lead by example.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:14 AM
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It's a Q&A format, answering reader questions, and aimed at people who are primarily RPG programmers.

I thought the whole advantage of RPGs was that they didn't need much programming. I mean, grenade with motor on one end of big tube, point at thing you wanna blow up, done. What am I missing?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:22 AM
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86: you need a microcontroller for the iPod integration.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:25 AM
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Bill Gates: shitty programmer, excellent thief.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:25 AM
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Not even. Opportunistic thief, but he wasn't even much good at stealing things effectively. Fun fact: Bill Gates was the first person to copyright a piece of software. Before he copyrighted Altair Basic and started trying to sue people, all software was free. Thanks, dickweed!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:27 AM
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89 -- and as an added bonus, Richard Stall/man now has an office (or squats an office, whatever) in a building named after Bill G. Ain't life funny?


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:42 AM
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90: they deserve each other, honestly. Talentless, wongheaded about computers, wildly successful, and remarkably generous in non-computing life, meet talented, reasonably astute about computers, basically homeless, and remarkably unpleasant in non-computing life.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:45 AM
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Meh, I have no particular animus towards either of them.

Sifu, if we schedule another meetup (say, in August) will you come this time?

And maybe mcmc and I can talk Flash in person, too.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:52 AM
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Yah, if it's on a date when I can make it. I really wanted to come to the last one (honest!), but I had not actually managed to catch a plane east yet. Given that I won't have to move all my stuff into storage during August, I should be able to manage it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:54 AM
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Also, about rm/s: seriously, the guy is one of the least socially apt human beings on the planet. I had a friend who worked as typist for him when he was in high school, and in addition to the hygiene issues you would expect, St/allman would do things like inexplicably bursting into tears or beating his head against the wall when some bit of code didn't quite come together right.

It's also worth nothing that, outside of gcc and gawk, free software didn't, like, get much of anywhere until linux came along. Plus that whole "oh you have to call it GNU/Linux!" nonsense bores the hell out of me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 10:57 AM
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inexplicably bursting into tears or beating his head against the wall when some bit of code didn't quite come together right.

Looks like you've got your explanation right there.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 11:09 AM
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Right, and he's no better on email either.

Our group used to be on the same floor as him, in the old building. Our lab manager says that he was smashing mirrors in the bathroom the day Netscape was sold to AOL. Or something. I just remember that he used to walk around barefoot all the time, and lived out of his office.

I had assumed most of those habits hadn't changed, but then I bumped into him the other day walking some dogs on Beacon Hill, wearing shoes, chatting merrily with a companion.

Odd.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 11:13 AM
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Bill Gates is a very talented human being; it's just that his talents don't lie in programming. (Seriously, his juggernaut-like destruction of WordPerfect could have been scripted by Sun Tzu.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 4:42 PM
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ML = "The Moral Law"
HEAVEN = "Heaven"
EARTH = "Earth"
CMD = "The Commander"
MAND = "Method and discipline"

if myforces < enemyforces:
run_away()
else:
attack()


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 1-07 4:53 PM
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