hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    27 Feb 2011 News
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1
Beautiful Time-Lapse of Milky Way over Lake Tahoe laughingsquid.com
60 points by hoag 1 hour ago   19 comments top 11
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1 point by edw519 19 minutes ago 1 reply      
Another 100 billion reasons why Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
2
7 points by georgecmu 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Would have been better to link directly to the video: http://vimeo.com/14718221
3
5 points by shadowpwner 19 minutes ago 4 replies      
This is beautiful, and I'm a photography buff, but how does this have anything to do with startups or hacking?
4
3 points by Jabbles 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Beautiful. I hope he can do one from somewhere in southern hemisphere, as the galactic core is really quite impressive.

http://www.google.co.uk/images?q=milky+way+southern+hemisphe...

5
2 points by DavidSJ 51 minutes ago 1 reply      
It's amazing and slightly terrifying that the bathing of light at the end of the video was due to one of those stars which just happened to be a bit closer than the others.
6
1 point by nkassis 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've forgotten how cool the sky is at night. I'm currently in Montreal, Canada and it's got a horrible problem of light pollution.
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3 points by dlokshin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I love looking at photographs but have never really found photography to be something that I wanted to pick up and learn. I think this just changed. that. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

And love the fact that stuff like this makes the front page of HNews. I'm here for the tech discussions, but love to come across things like this. Exactly why HNews is the first webpage I visit in the morning.

8
1 point by sjclemmy 13 minutes ago 1 reply      
this is also good - and, dare I say, better? http://vimeo.com/4505537?pg=embed&sec=4505537
9
2 points by rix0r 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
From looking at this time lapse I can actually get a sense of the world turning. Very impressive to watch.
10
2 points by gokhan 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
11
1 point by abcd_f 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
De-spammed link - http://vimeo.com/14718221
2
SwipeGood (YC W11) Gives Its Start Fund Cash To Charity techcrunch.com
60 points by tbgvi 2 hours ago   30 comments top 8
1
1 point by edw519 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
The single biggest problem for any new business is almost always getting noticed. This sounds like "getting noticed to the third power":

- great name

- y-combinator

- windfall to charity

Sounds a little gimmickly, but so what? Finding a way to be noticed enough to get traction is mandatory. Good job.

2
8 points by kalvin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The "gives start fund cash to charity" title is just great marketing (like the campaign itself.)

- Corporations get tax deductions for donations to nonprofits too, so this won't cost the full 150k. And this will get far more than 15k signups, since people will keep signing up because of this splash long after the 150k is gone. So really, profit = (@$20/month "revenue", 5% on top of credit card fees) $1/customer/month. Real cost/user will likely be less than $5, so if LTV/user is $5 or more, this is worth it on the $$ alone.

- Donorschoose.org, one of the web-savviest nonprofits around, gives out gigantic quantities of $25/$50/$100/etc "gift cards" to basically anyone who asks for them who'll bring them good PR. (They also get large retail chains to give them out as prizes.) These cards are funded by outside donors, and they collectively bring in huge amounts of buzz and new donors (who end up donating more than the base amount on the card.) This is the for-profit twist on that... SwipeGood could likely get anyone who supports them (e.g., their investors) to put up money that [the investors] "would have given to charity anyway" for future stunts like this.

Great idea.

3
17 points by reynolds 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This seems like a slap in the face of the investors. Giving a chunk of your startup capital to a charity is basically throwing it away. Good for the charity but this startup seems too early stage to be giving that kind of cash away. I hope it pays off for them.
4
8 points by ulugbek 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have explored this kind of marketing before. This creates a buzz among the non-profit organizations and non-profits will be doing the marketing for you if they consistently receive funds through SwipeGood. Instead of asking for $10 one time donation, they can say "Hey, enroll in this program and indicate us as a recipient." This strategy is utility maximizing, bc small amount of funds given away over some period of time is less painful than parting with $10, especially the effort of donating is attached to other types of activities we already are used to, like purchasing stuff.
5
6 points by icode 2 hours ago 3 replies      
"SwipeGood rounds up all of your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and allows you to donate the difference to the charity of your choice. It's the easiest way to give to charity!"

I guess that nobody ever invented a stranger and more complicated way of transfering money. Calling it "the easiest way" is really... well.. interesting.

6
4 points by zitterbewegung 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks like a great idea to promote their product virally. It has an automatic incentive for people to invite friends and get conversions.
7
2 points by pclark 1 hour ago 2 replies      
is there a version of SwipeGood that rounds transactions up and puts that amount in a savings account? I'd love that.
8
3 points by exit 2 hours ago 1 reply      
how does swipegood generate returns for investors?
3
10.7 Lion allows multi-user remote computing 9to5mac.com
40 points by solipsist 2 hours ago   28 comments top 5
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14 points by iuguy 1 hour ago 2 replies      
It seems like Apple have discovered Terminal Services, or the basic networking functionality in X11.

Hopefully it'll be much shinier than X11 and less restrictive than Remote Desktop Protocol.

2
7 points by jpr 39 minutes ago 2 replies      
Is it just me or are 99% of tech "news" and "innovation" just reinvention of stuff already found in UNIX, Lisp etc. decades ago?
3
1 point by emehrkay 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
My job wants to use a third party product to do the exact same thing.

http://www.aquaconnect.net/mac-terminal-server.php

This is a great addition to the os. Imagine your house having one [desk|lap]top and a few tablets or phones. Hop on vnc on your docked tablet while someone is using the computer and you're as good as using the desktop. I see this as a move to push both os x and the i[pad|phone] as viable business devices.

This is possible with windows right? I vaguely remember using remote desktop a few jobs ago, but I dont remember if it was one account logged in at a time.

4
11 points by voxcogitatio 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm glad to hear that they've catched up to the original UNIX. :)
5
1 point by guptaneil 1 hour ago 2 replies      
This is going to be absolutely perfect for educational use. Imagine a university computer lab that lets you remotely login from home after the lab has closed to access all the expensive, specialized software the school has already purchased. I know my university was trying to set something like this up, but couldn't find any user-friendly way of doing this.
4
Designers, how do we get you guys to contribute to open source projects? forrst.com
149 points by stephenson 6 hours ago   138 comments top 29
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20 points by jrwoodruff 2 hours ago 4 replies      
During my day job I play the lone designer in an organization built from day one with only software engineers. I suspect the problems that I face there are similar to the problems faced by designers in OSS.

1. Communication. Developers use a completely different language than designers. If I come in talking about alignment, developers are thinking 'right left or center justified?' When developers start talking about recursion, I go to sleep.

2. Attitude. Often developers seem to think of designers as 'artsy' types, and design as 'nice-to-have,' which is to imply not necessary.

3. Attitude. Designers often get emotionally attached to their work and get discouraged or give up when someone disagrees, has a different idea or wants to go another direction.

4. I can do it myself. A LOT of developers - particularly less experienced ones - think design is something they can, and are, successfully doing themselves. After all, it's just pixels on a screen, who needs photoshop, right?

5. Small changes. Developers often make small changes to designs. 5px extra padding here, no margin there. Blue is blue, right? We'll just use that 10x10 icon the designer did for that page for this 25x25 icon we need on this page. This drives designers insane.

6. Eyecandy. This goes to a lack of understanding of the design profession; many think design is just slick icons and pretty colors. Developers who have worked with talented designers know that designers can improve entire systems, helping streamline work flows and adapt the system to actual users.

7. Bad designers. Oh yea, there's -a few- of us out there that just picked up GIMP yesterday and think a 600 x 600px favicon should be fine. Even designers capable of really good work may not understand why a 2400x1600 image cannot be used thumbnail-size on the page. This is sad, but I've seen it.

8. Lack of trust. Developers may have worked with bad designers in the past. Most likely they have, actually. They'll likely limit the designers interaction to making icons and css rather than involving them in the system design and planning. Designers may not give as much as they could because they don't trust the developers to value their input or even understand and execute their contributions well.

Of course, that's not to say all projects are this way, and in fact, when I've been involved in projects from early-on, this is very much not the case.

However, I've run into the above issues in my professional career more than once, working face-to-face with people. Trying to make the relationship work online, in projects as distributed as OSS projects are, that's very difficult.

But I think it can be done. For distributed design to work, designers need to be brought on board from the beginning, in the planning phases. The initial designer or designers would have to be responsible for creating a clear vision, clear guidelines, and a well-documented style for future contributors to follow. All contributions would have to adhere to those guidelines, and developers would have to be as adept at spotting violations as designers.

Part of the problem here is also making designers aware of projects to work on. Designers generally join different message boards (if they join message boards at all), read different blogs and generally don't run in the same circles as developers, possibly with HN being one of the exceptions. I'm not sure how to change that...

2
45 points by replicatorblog 6 hours ago 4 replies      
1. Ask for help - I'm a designer that reads HN everyday and I wouldn't know where to look if I wanted to participate in an open source project. Is there a list? The problem is most OS software aside from GIMP/Inkscape doesn't make its way in front of designers often.

2. Make it discrete - What needs to be designed? The entire UI and workflows? The application icon? The internal navigation glyphs? Redesigning an entire app that has tens or hundreds of contributors can be daunting, but getting someone started with something small can be a gateway.

3. Leave it alone - One of the other commenters mentioned how a designer contributed something and then it was overwritten and ruined. Typically you don't want to have dozens of designers all working on a project unless there are fairly strict guidelines to work from. Have a working group at the beginning that can set the UI tone and create guidelines from that. Also a small review committee to review changes is smart, just as they do for code.

4. Version Control for Dummies - Put together a short explanation of how to use the version control system of choice, assuming no knowledge beyond Photoshop. Or find someone on the technical side who can be an intermediary/GIT trainer. The human part of this is very important.

Do those things and you should see prettier projects in the future. I know I'd love to get involved, but have no idea where to get started!

3
78 points by pieter 6 hours ago replies      
My girlfriend tried to design an icon for an open-source app she uses, but the experience hasn't been really great. I think the way developers in open-source projects communicate doesn't really work with designers.

She sent the photoshop source file and a png to the mailing list, but was told to send in a patch instead, which meant she had to learn how to use git to check out the repository, add the icon to the repo, and then generate a git patch. Only after that, she was told that they couldn't use the photoshop source file because they didn't have photoshop. Finally, one of the developers imported the file into the GIMP, changed some stuff on the icon without discussion, botched the output and then added that to the project. That was enough for her to not try doing something like this again.

4
14 points by jbk 3 hours ago 7 replies      
I really wish I knew how to get great designers...

VLC is a product, that is widely used, usable (not the mac version, though), but it is extremely ugly.

It is quite hard to get designers to help us (redesigning all the buttons for example) for quite many reasons. The biggest reason is that we don't speak the same language.

Many designers don't understand the criticism that usually comes around with each modification in open source project. Many developers don't understand how to speak to designers in a polite way (they think they speak normally, but it isn't perceived as such).

Also, many (not all of them) designers don't understand the difficulties of usability, and sometimes mistakes it with "shiny". Usability of a desktop application is way more complex than a website, and the current trend of "removing functionalities" is not always welcomed by developers...

However, I don't loose hope :D

5
1 point by johnthedebs 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think the root issue preventing more designers from working on open source projects is that, unlike development, design doesn't improve when the work is distributed.

Development is modular â€" pieces can be added, removed, or changed out for other pieces. Several developers can work on the same project at the same time and not step on each others' toes (esp. thanks to modern version control). This works great with the open source model.

Design, on the other hand, benefits from being unified and consistent. The best-designed projects have one designer, or a small group of designers working together closely. This doesn't work well with open source at all.

This becomes pretty obvious when you compare Mac systems to Linux systems.

Until this issue is resolved (by, eg, open source projects bringing on dedicated designers) the symptoms are unlikely to go away.

6
31 points by lotides 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Why I don't contribute to open-source projects:

I feel like a second-class citizen around developers. And I don't want to venture in to the lions den. After all, I "just make things pretty", right?

I hate politics. Many open-source projects are a power-struggle with entrenched developers guarding against change.

Design is all about visual relationships. Making a change to one small aspect to the design effects everything else. This is very frustrating in an open-source environment, where parts of the design can be changed by the masses compromising the integrity of the whole.

Our industry doesn't appreciate it. Employers don't care what open-source projects we've contributed to. It's all about paying clients.

7
5 points by patio11 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The same way you get developers to work on OSS -- have their high paying corporate job either order them to do it or ignore their participation in it during work hours.
8
7 points by us 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Open source works great for developers for many reasons. On the flipside, rarely does it benefit a designer (although not always true).

1. It exposes a programmer's code work for all to see. If it's bad, you get more than just critique. Others can point out what is wrong with the code but even better, they can correct the code or help you see what is wrong. If it's good or great, it makes for an amazing addition to any developers resume for hiring purposes.

The same can not be said of designers. Sure they can get feedback and people can often point out what's wrong, but these feedback are often more vague. Rarely do they get a walk through tutorial of how to do things better, actually having someone go in and show them how to fix their design flaw (something that happens a lot on the coding side). Pointing something out and having someone help you solve your design problem are not the same thing.

2. I don't know about others but to me, a designer benefits more from having their own portfolio rather than something that they may have contribute bits and pieces together for a project. As a designer, I don't see the value over my own portfolio which I can get enough critiques on without having to contribute to an open source project. As a developer, I see a need but think in terms of what designers benefit out of this. Open source designs are not the same as open source software in all cases. As an entrepreneur, I hire designers base on independent skill sets which is extremely hard to measure when people are co-designing small projects.

3. Just a comment but it would seem this is geared towards a developer who can't design and want open source designs but where is the benefit the designer is getting out of this. Surely there is a better argument. For the record, I'm not arguing that designers can't benefit at all. I just don't see it outweighing the benefits a developer would get in the same scenario.

9
3 points by tzs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The same question could be asked about documentation writers. Most of the reasons given here as to why it is hard to get designers apply to documentation writers, too.

For open source games, the same question could also be asked for music composers, and again most of the same answers apply.

It might better to ask why is it so easy to get coders to contribute.

10
6 points by Mushon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Replicatorblog's response made very good points. Though I think the FLOSS community should start by appreciating the huge differences between developing code and developing design.

I am a designer and a FLOSS guy and I have actually researched this subject a lot, both in practice, in writing and in teaching. The essay I written for Smashing Magazine a few months ago might be relevant in this context, it is called "The Case For Open-Source Design: Can Design By Committee Work?"
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/09/01/the-case-for-open...

I identified three major challenges:
1. Scratching an Itch
2. Granularity
3. Encoding/Decoding

I go through a few interesting positive examples for collaborative design processes and then try to propose some tips to making it work. Finally it's about a mix between leadership and openness, but this leadership has to be respected even if it does not translate to algorithmic metrics (like Google's A/B Testing of 41 shades of blue, more: http://stopdesign.com/archive/2009/03/20/goodbye-google.html)

If you prefer to go through this essay as a 20mins video presentation, you can check it here:
http://vimeo.com/18761002

I start at 00:27:50

I realize this is a pretty long and complex answer for what sounds like a simple question, but in my experience this is really revealing the boundaries of the Open Source collaborative process as we know it and it will not change unless we help this model mature.

11
6 points by wccrawford 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Pay them.

Don't -ever- expect anyone to contribute for free. When they do, treat them special instead of taking them for granted.

That seems like common sense, but that's what I see all the time when it comes to programming projects, open source or not.

12
1 point by yangman 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has brought up how difficult it often is to incorporate design changes into an existing project unless it has been developed with such accommodations from day 1. Even a seemingly simple software project can be monstrously complex under the hood, and something as innocent as "this button should be larger than the rest" can mean weeks and months of proofing, coding, and testing. (e.g. Firefox 3's back button)

Whether a change comes in the form of code fixes, documentation improvement, refactoring, design changes, or infrastructural modifications, the burden of understanding the potential scope of damage and doing the actual work is always, always on the contributor. Convincing another to take on the work on their behalf is always a possibility, but it should not be hard to see why design changes proposed through such a channel will often be pushed to the back of the queue, unless for some dire need.

Designer or coder, there is no excuse for not doing due diligence in making sure a contribution is a good contribution.

Looking at the discussion so far, there appears to be at least some consensus that non-trivial effort above and beyond the (hopefully) expected hand-holding must be dedicated to designers in order for them to become good contributors. And, in corollary, the natural conclusion is that it's unrealistic to expect designers to put in the necessary effort to become good contributors on their own.

Following from the above, the more crucial questions, I think, are "How do we convince projects that they should go out of their way to attract designers", and, "Do you really need designers? Really, really, need them?"

13
3 points by ohkine 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess the first thing to do is to actually care about it to begin with. I have tried submitting suggestions for improving UIs (and even more trivial bug reports like some element is not centred properly or a text box is 1 px too tall) and it seems like many developers simply don't want to hear about it. They don't have an eye for it, they don't think about how other people might approach the interface, so it just doesn't bother them. They consider your criticisms and suggestions to be nit-picking or pedantry and they either get defensive or they just dismiss them outright. Even if they don't resent them, they often consider them to be so low-priority that they're not worth putting much effort into.

The second thing would probably be, like others have said, just to ask -- and part of asking for help is making sure that you are able to actually receive the help. Perhaps partially because of the above, and also because i am not really a programmer (yet!), i have come to be hesitant to even try submitting anything. The process is too complex. I feel very uncomfortable with patches and pull requests and test cases, so please don't make me deal with them. Offer a 'dumbed down' way of submitting our contributions, or, perhaps, make somebody a liaison between people like me and people like your developers.

Large open-source projects in particular -- Firefox, GNOME, KDE -- are ones that i have the most interest in contributing to, but they have extremely high barriers of entry for people like me. (To a relative outsider it kind of seems like the design direction of these types of applications/suites is strictly controlled by some high-up cabal of developers, though, so perhaps that is intentional.)

edit: wording

14
2 points by recurrie 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Reframe the question: How would you get designers to start open source projects? The open source world is pretty much structured around serving the needs of those who can code.

In the field I work in, designers and developers have equal standing, and need to create a middle ground of shared workflow, technology and design processes that balance development and design.

In most open source projects, there are too many barriers to entry (real or perceived) for designers to see themselves as participants. Everything from version control systems that don't provide any real benefit for visual designers to project leaders that see design as "eye candy" all reduce the appeal to designers.

Remember, too, that designers have loads of options if they want to work for free. You know all those "Build a Facebook clone over the weekend, it will look great on your resume" jobs on Craigslist? Designers get that kind of pitch ("Design us something for free; it will look great in your portfolio") constantly. Open source projects looking to recruit designers need convey some tangible benefit to participating.

In the design world, peer recognition doesn't come out of working on open source projects that their designer colleagues have never heard of. Every designer I know of will jump at the opportunity to do really great work, for free if necessary. Looking at the open source projects I'm familiar with, few of these look like the kinds of places where a designer would expect to create really great work.

15
4 points by jt2190 5 hours ago 0 replies      
OK, I'll bite... The article states that the only way to improve the user experience is to bring in a Designer (loosely defined as somebody who doesn't code.) I'd argue the opposite: Having a programmer who really understands user interfaces and user interaction is the critical, missing piece.

Now that I'm in deep, let me go further... A motivated programmer can learn the basics of interaction design very quickly, and get the user interface to a point where it at least doesn't suck.

16
1 point by jarin 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe it would be a good idea to put some donations together and actually hire designers on contract. That way, you are less likely to run into the problem of developers overwriting design changes willy-nilly, and you get a higher quality of design work that can last for several rounds of iterations.
17
1 point by englishVoodoo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Beyond the obvious difficulties in the very nature of git and stuff like that to be very technical. Without knowing to much about open source projects it really feels it's such a tremendous difference in scope.

As a developer, you can contribute small patches, bits here and there or step in deeper and create new features or improvements within the current feature set.

As a designer, the bits and pieces option really is no option. Design can't be applied like that. It needs to be applied to the entire project in a consistent manner. Both visuals and user experience thinking. This makes it a far bigger commitment, something I imagine not everybody is willing to do.

18
2 points by kayoone 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Make the project appealing to designers.
For instance let the application have themes/skins and have a marketplace where designers can sell their themes on their own.
That way designers dont have do deal with the developers and can work on a complete consistent design.
Wordpress and others are doing similar things.

If a designer has created multiple layouts he could also make one for free to get people interested in the other "premium" ones, so its not that every design has to be a payed one.

19
2 points by eagleal 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Adding on others (lack of recognition/respect, very difficult to submit changes if you're not a dev, etc).

One reason designers usually don't contribute to open source, is because they're paid to improve UX/UI on their commercial competitors. If GIMP/Inkscape had the same UX/UI as the Creative Suite, there wouldn't be market for the latter (this is what designers are paid for, unlike developers).

This allows more startup opportunities or companies like Canonical (parent company of Ubuntu) to provide a free and open source product (Canonical actually has dedicated designers).

20
3 points by retlehs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Related article from last July by Kenny Meyers:

Where are the open source designers? copywriters? information architects? interface designers?

http://thenerdary.net/articles/entry/the_open_source_designe...

21
1 point by VomisaCaasi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am someone who has got a foot in both of these worlds. Though, I code slowly and I can't really draw either.

IMHO, designers don't usually feel any importance of open-source projects because most of them/us are used to things that are aesthetically pleasing, and they would not want to burst their/our bubble. If they we're given a choice between free Linux (assuming Adobe Suite works on it) or OSX, they would be getting OSX because it suits to their world, they would be even paying extra if it was to cost more. Also, they want something that just works and don't really care whether they can see or edit the source, since their coding experience usually ends with HTML and CSS, hence the apathy.

I've worked with quite a broad range of websites and the less control I had over my work, the less I enjoyed it. Solution? If you're able to find a designer for your project, make him feel special by taking him as an equal member of the team and give him full control of the design side (aesthetics). More so, let him start from the scratch. Although, arguing about functionality (UI and UX), which has logic in it, should be encouraged, you don't want to offend him by saying his designs look bad, because a criticism coming from a programmer is as bad as it gets. Coder's blogs are usually coloured dark blue or green, that tells a lot. That's also the reasons why most designers hate working for Google. One hour meetings whether a line should be 1 or 2px thick? If you don't really like what he is doing, ditch him.

22
1 point by EGreg 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would also like to point out that when the design is orthogonal to the development, there's lots of beneficial open source design out there.

I often use icons with GNU or CC licenses, for example. If only I could find a site with website designs like I can for icons (iconfinder.com, findicons.com) that would be great! I'd get a professional designer to use the open source design as a base and just tweak it.

23
1 point by rimantas 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There is a problem: for a meaningful contribution designers must be involved from the very beginning (hence "designer" not "decorator").
24
1 point by EGreg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that in order to critique design objectively, you need a set of standards and guidelines for design, like the Apple iOS Guidelines. These can be open-sourced themselves, and forked for various projects.

Without these guidelines, it will be as tough to tell the designer what to do as it would explaining an obscure C++ error without any reference to C++.

25
2 points by mediamaker 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Im a designer and I would be happy to contribute to open source projects. contact johnatjohncozendotcom if interested.
26
1 point by jiipee_2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Many reasons why this is hard.
1) UI design needs to be understood and implemented as a whole. This does not sound good for most of developers. I don't know why.
2) Of course, good UI designer (I wish I am) can create bite-sized chunks - divide UI plan into small parts that are more manageable from the development perspective. UI designer still has to be able to say what parts need to be there before the overall improvement is justified - in other words, when the resulting UI can be evaluated.
3) Developers have always an opinion what is good UI. Many features that make something very good to use for non-tech-people, or easy to learn, do not match into developer view of good UI.
4) Development environment tools, vocabulary and tools are not UI-designer friendly.
5) Dealing the above issues in daily work does not leave energy to have the same problems at free time.
27
1 point by OzzyB 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Easy, create a "Benevolent Designer For Life" title for your project, then assign to one very talented person.

Designers are simply unable to work in committee as stated by others here...

28
1 point by cjm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
They need control over the portion of the project they're working on, and these portions should be larger rather then smaller. There shouldn't be a committee trying to design something.
29
-3 points by gidea 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Make something beautiful that we all believe in. Then people will support that idea.
5
Things I Won't Work With: Chlorine Azide corante.com
38 points by joe_bleau 2 hours ago   7 comments top 5
1
2 points by Loic 12 minutes ago 0 replies      
A drawing of the molecule (ClN3): http://chemeo.com/cid/31-110-4
just looking at it, you think, ouch! Insane high level of bounds tension coupled with a Cl detonator.
2
6 points by js2 1 hour ago 1 reply      
3
7 points by Jabbles 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It remains, with its chemical relatives, off in a part of chemical science that's safe from human exploitation.

Although Sodium Azide is used in systems which save thousands of lives every year - car airbags.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_azide

4
4 points by _delirium 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The whole "things I won't work with" category is a good read: http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/things_i_wont_work_with...

along with the related category, "how not to do it": http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/how_not_to_do_it/

5
1 point by berntb 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
I love this series of blog posts, especially since I have studied a bit of organic chemistry and loved that lab work (a very one-sided love affair).

As an old "fan" of rocket fuels in general and peroxides in particular, I still giggle a bit nervously at the chemical formula FOOF...

6
Abstract Algebra: Theory and Applications (A Free Textbook) ups.edu
31 points by MaysonL 2 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
4 points by tychonoff 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Another nice Math textbook - really solid presentation.
2
1 point by vsthesquares 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
I tried and quickly stumbled learning abstract algebra from this book. I liked "A Book of Abstract Algebra" by Pinter better because it was lighter on the presentation. But maybe I'm just a wimp. This text by Judson seems to be geared towards graduate studens. From what I can tell it's very thorough, though.
7
Brief Thoughts on Angel List 500hats.typepad.com
29 points by ericflo 2 hours ago   11 comments top 5
1
7 points by StavrosK 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Oh wow, I'd describe that writing style as "stream of semi-consciousness". I couldn't read all of it.
2
2 points by hexis 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
This blog seems like a parody of western civilization.
3
3 points by pedalpete 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Dave makes it pretty clear that though VC's years ago praised the theories of the Wisdom of Crowds, they felt it applied to other industries, and not theirs.

Seems most 'experts' feel that way.

4
2 points by acgourley 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I don't like how he points at the negative 10 year VC return numbers as implied proof his strategy is superior. On the other hand I don't know why I'm arguing against someones alter ego.
5
1 point by adsahay 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just in time for my compilation (bit.ly bundle) of interesting reads in tech controversies: http://bit.ly/openletters
8
This is what it's like for an innocent man to spend thirty years in jail esquire.com
177 points by iuguy 8 hours ago   60 comments top 16
1
56 points by edw519 5 hours ago 4 replies      
[Disclaimer: aerospace industry veteran]

When a plane crashes, it is standard procedure to determine exactly what went wrong, what weaknesses in the "system" enabled what went wrong to go wrong, what prescription is needed to fix that system, and for the system to be fixed.

This was a plane crash.

I know this article was about one man, but there's no mention of anything about fixing what must have been broken in the first place. Sadly, I fear, because it doesn't exist.

2
5 points by grellas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This story reminds me of how little most of know about what it means to suffer.

I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to be going innocently about your own business, getting pulled over by a traffic cop, and then suddenly being hustled off into a hellish pit for nearly 30 years - voiceless, helpless, and forgotten while being robbed of everything normal in adult life and while bearing the stigma of child molestor.

We all plan for the perfect lives and then complain when things fall short. Well, in our sheltered little worlds, we have no idea what it means to get kicked in the teeth non-stop over the course of a lifetime. This story gives us just a little glimpse and we can all shudder just thinking about it.

I have nothing but the highest admiration for anyone who could endure all this and still emerge with the abiding spirit that Mr. Towler now displays. It is a small miracle that he is not broken, bitter, and vengeful. Let us hope he can still rebuild his life from its broken fragments.

3
47 points by wisty 6 hours ago 4 replies      
They should ban that line "Can you identify the man who did this?"

Original witness statements are the only things that are reliable. After the victim has identified the "perpetrator" from a line-up, they forget the original face, and their memories become re-written to include the face they think is responsible. A friend of mine studying to be a cop knows this (all cops should know this) but they still persist in using testimony that they know is unreliable. Can you blame them though? If they didn't use the line, it would be much harder to get a conviction.

Courts should just read a description, one that was made before the victim (or interviewing officer) has seen the suspect they dragged in. Or the police should get a sketch (or computer sketch) of the assailant before anyone involved has seen any possible suspects.

4
37 points by maeon3 7 hours ago 3 replies      
In cases like these, _all_ of the people responsible for:

A. convicting him on insufficient evidence.

B. failing to free him on sufficient evidence

Need to be brought in and asked for a reason for why this happened. If they can't come up with a solid reason justifying each action for why this has occurred, and if they do find a reason, remedies for the failure, then they have to serve the victims sentence.

When an airliner goes down, bosses and leaders scramble to find a reason to prevent it from happening again to appease the public, but in a case like this, a fate far worse than getting injured in an airplane crash, they just shrug it off and make a vow to be more careful with this kind of thing.

Better 100 guilty men go free than for an innocent man be jailed. The guys who incarcerated this innocent man better beef up their security systems. Injustice like this needs to be dealt with, and sadly, never will be. the end.

5
15 points by RiderOfGiraffes 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Similar stories:

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2067768

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2067884

Miscarriages of justice happen. The real crime is that there seems to be no follow-up, no detailed reports, no proposals for making sure the same mistakes don't happen again.

That's the tragedy beyond the individual cases. It will happen again, in exactly the same way, for exactly the same reasons.

6
22 points by jarin 7 hours ago 2 replies      
It's scary that something like this could theoretically happen to any of us.
7
5 points by elptacek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I read a story about Cameron Willingham in the New Yorker a while back:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_...

There's also an article about him on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Todd_Willingham

8
7 points by nazgulnarsil 6 hours ago 1 reply      
one of the problems with the justice system that I rarely see mentioned: the literacy level of the public has declined to what? an 8th grade level?

You can not tell me that the logic employed in building court cases is at that level. 12 angry men? In real life there is no juror #8.

9
15 points by timmyd 7 hours ago 3 replies      
In the worlds of William Blackstone

"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackstones_formulation

10
6 points by starpilot 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I wonder if the (now 41 year old) victim is aware of all this.
11
11 points by cleverjake 7 hours ago 1 reply      
On a sadly similar note, there is a really well made documentary called Witch Hunt (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1196112/) in which during the 1970s in California, multiple children were coerced into accusing their parents of molestation.
12
1 point by hcurtiss 22 minutes ago 0 replies      
FWIW, DNA analysis is not, itself, infallible:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727733.500-fallible-...

13
1 point by corin_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Esquire's not a magazine I'm particularly proud to be a subscriber to, but articles like this one are what makes it worth while.

They may be a trashy lads mag, masquerading as a high-brow product for upper class gentlemen, but for stories like this, few publications tell them better.

14
1 point by TheSOB88 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd love to know the information that's being presented here, but it's presented in such a lousy and verbose way that I just don't feel like reading it. Why is it so common for journalism to be faux novelism?
15
1 point by bwb 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow powerful story, glad to see DNA testing making a difference in a system that will always be hit by bias and other problems.

I recommend Truth Machine (book) too, basically a Sci Fi look at if someone invented a machine that can tell if a person is lieing and how it affects society...

http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Machine-James-Halperin/dp/034541...

16
-1 point by mdaniel 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you, thank you, for posting the print view. One swift backtick and it was ready to read.
9
Free (Creative Commons) Book on How To Do Proofs vcu.edu
45 points by plinkplonk 4 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
2 points by fourspace 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I had to look at the domain twice to make sure I was seeing it correctly. I grew up in Richmond and VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) is overwhelmingly known as a great art school; its other disciplines are seen as average at best.

To see a mathematics textbook from VCU appear on Hacker News was a welcome sight indeed!

2
2 points by tychonoff 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a very nice book.
10
R 2.12 now has reference classes r-bloggers.com
17 points by TalGalili 2 hours ago   discuss
11
Mac OS X 10.7, still no DHCPv6 seclists.org
22 points by pieter 3 hours ago   10 comments top 5
1
5 points by wmf 1 hour ago 1 reply      
The issue here is that there are two different ways to assign addresses in IPv6: SLAAC and DHCPv6. Apple only wants to support SLAAC; they think it's a waste of their time to have two different protocols to do the same thing. Unfortunately, a lot of ISPs want to only support DHCPv6, because it (easily) supports an audit trail and SLAAC doesn't.

I predict that things will turn out fine because people will converge on speaking SLAAC between OS X and the router and DHCPv6-PD between the router and the ISP. But you have to have a router.

2
1 point by danieldk 18 minutes ago 2 replies      
To Apple's credit, they are one of the few vendors of consumer-grade routers who made it trivial to set up IPv6 (Airport Extreme/Express), including tunneling.
3
4 points by iuguy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Personally I love the first response from http://seclists.org/nanog/2011/Feb/1907

    what is it about ipv6 which attracts religious nuts?

4
1 point by zitterbewegung 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For those who don't know what DHCP v6 is it is the ipv6 version of DHCP. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DHCPv6 for more information.
5
1 point by fleitz 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I thought IP assignment was built into IPv6?
12
Startup Tools steveblank.com
58 points by idiotb 6 hours ago   10 comments top 5
1
9 points by jedberg 4 hours ago 3 replies      
The fact that Quora is on there but Stackoverflow is not makes me question the veracity of the entire list.
2
3 points by pitdesi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Another attempt at the same, not as complete in some regards but also includes billing
http://thestartupfoundry.com/2011/02/18/startup-toolbox-a-re...
3
2 points by zitterbewegung 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Mildly interesting list. I would much rather see a short review / recommended use of the tools that are listed here. A couple of tools I would recommend would be Dropbox (great file sharing tool). Google apps (great way to setup a corporate email server and various other things). I have use Balsamiq to prototype interfaces and it was a pleasant experience. Github is great for sharing code. Heroku was very easy to setup and use also.
4
1 point by jonursenbach 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Hadn't heard of Scalr before. Anybody using it? Thoughts?
5
5 points by bufo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
How about removing "startup" from the title and just call it "tools"?
13
My 10 UNIX Command Line Mistakes cyberciti.biz
51 points by gnosis 6 hours ago   28 comments top 13
1
7 points by bradleyland 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of my worst was `source ~/.bash_history` via accidental tab completion. I was expecting .bash_profile. The nasty part was, I couldn't kill it because of all the mess (system instability) it was creating. A couple of 'cd ..' calls and a 'rm -rf *' ended up biking some root directories.

I ended up restoring from backup.

2
4 points by there 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I wanted to append a new zone to /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf file., but end up running:

./mkzone example.com > /var/named/chroot/etc/named.conf

in at least tcsh, "set noclobber" will help with this. when you try to overwrite a file that exists (usually from doing > instead of >>) you will get an error that the file exists instead. if you really want to overwrite the file, you have to use ">!".

3
6 points by chalst 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I wanted to shutdown VPN interface eth0, but ended up shutting down eth1 while I was logged in via SSH

Not done that exact one, but I've added firewall rules that cut me out in exactly the same way.

Another favourite is typing "shutdown -h now" into the wrong terminal: I know a few people who have admitted to doing that.

4
1 point by div 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
I pulled the classic more then once:

mv stuffwithoutbackup tosomeotherplacewithatypointhepath

curse at typo

rm -rf tosomeotherplacewithatypointhepath

curse more vigorously

5
2 points by SoftwareMaven 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The worst I've done is unplug the internet connection of an ISP, who happened to be a competitor of the company I was working at. Not a good day at all...
6
1 point by wnoise 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On the systems I used to maintain, every single configuration file was generated by a script. If you make a mistake, you just re-edit and re-run the script.
7
3 points by adulau 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice idea. Usually you see blog posts with the latest success or the code you are proud of but showing mistakes and errors is not that common. I'm dreaming to see the academic papers where instead of all the wonderful results you'll see the errors path to reach the final result.
8
5 points by sipefree 5 hours ago 3 replies      
With so many SSH accounts all over the place, I've started using color-coded prompts for all my connections:

http://i.imgur.com/KKQHj.png

This way I can be sure I'm typing `halt` into the right box, because it's easier to spot the wrong color than the wrong hostname in 10pt text.

9
3 points by samuel1604 1 hour ago 0 replies      
quoting :

4. Use CVS to store configuration files.

using CVS ? even if it was written 2009 that still pretty backward...

10
1 point by ominous_prime 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Many systems, like Solaris and Ubuntu, don't have a firewall as the default.
11
1 point by lazyant 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been burnt the first time I used 'rsync'. It seems natural that when you are in a computer and you do "something another_computer" you are in the 'client' and the 'another_computer' is the 'server', like when you check out an svn or whatever code locally from a server. rsync has this backwards from this convention, I added the -delete option to 'merge' files (so it didn't copy the ones I already had locally) and I ended up deleting files in the 'server'.
12
1 point by hack_edu 1 hour ago 0 replies      
No mention of the (likely) most common mistake, 'sl' instead of 'ls'.

Its no type, its a steam locomotive. http://www.freebsdsoftware.org/games/sl.html

13
2 points by mrpollo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
i once did `sudo mv . /var/www/` when in root... i had been copying files to my webserver.. before i knew it my connection had closed and i couldn't ping the server, after running to the colo i find i had no backups my rsync had been failing for the last couple of days and i had failed to check the logs, after pulling and old copy of the site from what i think it was one of the developers laptops, i was able to get the site running, old and w/o the latest db, after a while i mounted the drive and for my surprise everything was still there, lesson learned always check your current path... i always find myself just typing as fast as i can and sometimes while switching from tty's i loose track of where i am...
14
How many users do you need for a 100MM / year consumer Internet product? andrewchenblog.com
17 points by huangm 2 hours ago   2 comments top
1
1 point by vaksel 45 minutes ago 1 reply      
those numbers are probably off...I mean reddit can be considered a very popular consumer internet product(top 150 on Alexa)...and they just hit 1 billion page views per month, and they are having trouble paying for more than 5 people.

So if $100mm = 100 billion page views/yr. Then by that logic reddit should be making ~12 million a year, which doesn't seem to be that case.

And that would be in addition to the subscriptions people are buying.

15
Man with ALS writes patch for Gnome using morse code (with touching story) gnome.org
447 points by pufuwozu 20 hours ago   28 comments top 12
1
51 points by noonespecial 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Kind of humbling, no? I've got plenty of excuses why I don't contribute more to OS projects, but when a guy bangs out a patch with his knees using morse code while dying of ALS, they all suddenly seem pretty lame.

My hat's so far off to this guy, its on the floor in front of me.

2
8 points by srean 16 hours ago 2 replies      
This is so humbling. It also makes one wonder what are good input tools for people with handicaps. I can think of two projects: (i) Dasher http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/ discussed here http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2142934 and (ii) Emacspeak http://sourceforge.net/projects/emacspeak/ authored by T.V.Raman who himself is blind.

My family has a history of retinal detachments, and I have a tear myself. But I have never given it much thought, because these are always things that happen to others, not you.

Are there input devices based on Braille, wondering if it would be faster ? As an aside, there used to be code in the Linux kernel which on certain kernel panics would communicate the error message through Morse code using the integrated speaker.

Edit: About Braille, I was thinking more in the lines of a small 6 button or a similarly limited device.

3
27 points by mayank 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Once a hacker, always a hacker. What an amazing story! And to think he was coding raw GTK, which is a nightmare even with vim+autocomplete. Sample from his patch:

    image = eog_thumb_view_get_first_selected_image(EOG_THUMB_VIEW (priv->thumbview));
g_return_if_fail (EOG_IS_IMAGE (image));
file = eog_image_get_file (image);
filename = g_file_get_path (file);

4
17 points by avar 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Link to his patch applied to the eog.git repository: http://git.gnome.org/browse/eog/commit/?id=EOG_2_91_6~42
5
2 points by kareemm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My first job out of school was writing code at ALS.net. It was started by Jamie, a mechanical engineer to find a cure for his brother Stephen, who had just been diagnosed (and was eventually turned into a movie: http://www.westcityfilms.com/smsf.html).

The horrible thing about ALS is that your body deteriorates, while your mind stays 100% fine.

Stephen was physically in pretty rough shape by the time I started. He loved playing video games with his brothers, so Jamie made a little mouse-like device for Stephen that also allowed him to mimic keypresses.

Once a week, we'd all hop online and play Diablo together. It was interesting getting to know Stephen this way - he was barely able to talk when I first met him, but he could type using Jamie's device.

(Aside: Ben, the third brother, now runs PatientsLikeMe.com, a support community for people with diseases like ALS).

6
12 points by olalonde 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't wait until I get the fix through Ubuntu's update manager so that I can tell the story behind the "Copy image" menu item to my family and friends!
7
18 points by kprobst 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I especially liked the GNOME member's response. Classy and dignified.
8
3 points by varjag 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a mention his father went to India for treatment. Is that because they are particularly good at treating ALS, or is it a health insurance issue?

But it takes incredible willpower to continue doing anything in situation like this. My hat's off.

9
6 points by 2mur 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome. We're naming our 4th son (currently 20+5 weeks) Adrian. I loved the post and the picture. Sounds like a great man RIP.
10
6 points by Hacktivist 15 hours ago 0 replies      
If you aren't familiar with ALS, you might have heard it under the name Lou Gehrig's disease.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis

11
6 points by BasDirks 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Respect!
Now there's a mantra:

ACCEPTed
COMMITed
RESOLVEd

12
2 points by mode0 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone who doesn't give up. +1
16
Burning Chrome techcrunch.com
38 points by ggordan 5 hours ago   26 comments top 6
1
27 points by pnathan 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, I've personally been real happy with Chrome. I've got it on OSX/Windows/Linux.

It's not a weird-ux like IE, it's snappy unlike Firefox, it isn't a memory-hog like Safari, and it's well-supported (unlike the runner-ups).

It also has an epically nice PDF reader, which could be its own product and I would be very, very happy.

2
8 points by Charuru 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with most of the article. Android and Chrome OS are great products, I just don't see how Google is going to make money from them.

Not sure about Chrome, but I feel like Android is a defensive measure against a possible monopoly. If one company controlled mobile then Google might be locked out of whatever greater potential mobile could reach. So Android doesn't necessarily have to be financially awesome to be strategically successful.

3
10 points by retlehs 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I absolutely love Chrome. I recently ditched Firefox + Firebug for Chrome [Canary build] + Developer Tools.

It didn't take any time to get adjusted with the new Firebug like CSS editing and I no longer have to deal with having to regularly restart Firefox once it becomes sluggish.

Check out "Google Chrome Developer Tools: 12 Tricks to Develop Quicker" by Paul Irish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOEw9iiopwI

4
6 points by willifred 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I love Chrome, but I hate silent updates.

The majority of Chrome users have no idea that their browser is silently updating itself without their knowledge or consent, and if they did, they wouldn't have any idea how to shut it off.

I can think of plenty of cases where most users would want to turn it offâ€"tethered to a slow data network, throttled bandwidth, etcâ€"but the precedent it sets bothers me more than any hypothetical inconvenience. It's like I'm suddenly, unknowingly leasing a little space on my machine to Google, and I'm not always sure what they're installing.

5
1 point by djahng 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
I think what Chrome really needs is the ability to watch HTML5 video in full screen (not just fill the browser window). At least this is Chrome's functionality on my Mac. I realize full screen video is not part of the HTML5 spec, it's left to the browser to implement. Safari will do full screen HTML5 video...
6
1 point by nhangen 4 hours ago 5 replies      
I used to love Chrome, but as of late it's crashing on a daily basis. Perhaps it is a flash issue, but Safari seems to handle it OK.
17
The Haves and Have-Nots: The True Story of a Reader Suddenly De-Invited from TED techcrunch.com
55 points by ssclafani 3 hours ago   33 comments top 13
1
22 points by kemiller 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The whole affair is reminding me of how Ivy League colleges (and Oxbridge) work. They used to be places where the privileged, moneyed elite could educate themselves in relative privacy, save for a few exceptional commoners allowed in on scholarship.

Nowadays, the proportion of talented commoners to moneyed elite is considerably greater than it was even 100 years ago, but the basic principle remains: foster connections among the elites, and give them first crack at any emerging talent. This way anyone with a potentially destabilizing talent becomes attached to the existing power structure at an impressionable age. Better to invite them in and dilute the pool a bit than risk them draining it later.

Any commoners who don't work out, they will drop without hesitation.

I'm not saying this is evil. If you were among the elite, you'd probably do the same thing. And I also don't propose that this was all cooked in a room full of cackling conspirators rubbing their hands together. It's just the way a power structure works. From their point of view, I'm quite sure they see this as noblesse oblige: they're just reaching out, "giving back" and trying to help useful and interesting people succeed. But it nevertheless has embedded in it the idea that the most important part of success is meeting people who already have power.

And as the complainant in the letter writes, it sounds like all the hoi polloi ("Group B") at TED actually buy into this as well. Maybe he should be working on something amazing instead of hoping Bill or Steve or Sergey notices him.

2
1 point by cdibona 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
So I have no clue about being uninvited from TED, but if you want to sit up front, there's plenty of opportunity to do so. I'm hardly an 'A' lister and I had no problem joining the scrum (which is everyone) at the rope to trot to the front rows for those sessions that I wanted to see closer.

Mind you, I've only been to the one ted (2010) so maybe I'm not the big authority here, but I found 'A' people approachable and friendly and I'd say it was pretty
great.

3
1 point by pedalpete 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
This article is completely based on hearsay. I'd like to have seen the actual emails from TED, rather than just the authors translation/understanding of the responses.

At the same time, I think the authors comments about Group A and Group B is a huge opportunity for another conference.

He seems to think that all these 'group B' people are people who don't have anything interesting to say. How many people get up on stage at TED and make amazing presentations, and all of a sudden are then part of group A.

The Group B's should be searching for other Group B's who have amazing stories and knowledge to share. That is why everybody is supposed to be at the conference.

I've got a few friends who have an incredible nack for meeting ANYBODY and finding out something amazing about that person which adds to their understanding and appreciation about life.

The Group A's are just Group B's that you already have some knowledge about.

4
2 points by rdtsc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think rich and powerful will always find subtle and less subtle ways to signal their status and power. Creating special clubs, with invite-only lists, and then exercise their power and influence in applying modifications to that list is one way to do it.

- "Say John, how many people have you uninvited today?"

- "Well, only 10. What about you?"

- "Ha! I just booted 20 attendees whose haircuts I found deplorable. Then invited this one cousin of a friend who is a blogger and maybe he'll say something nice about me and TED to his online audience."

5
12 points by rexf 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Meatless TC post.

TL;DR

  Redacted person invited to TED by donor.

Whining.

Next year, redacted kicked out of TED due to falling out with said donor.

More whining.

6
3 points by xiaoma 2 hours ago 1 reply      
That's definitely a bit creepy. It also goes a ways towards explaining the overall trend of the conference. When I found it in 2006, I absolutely loved TED. Nearly every talk was eye-opening and fascinating, from Ray Kurzweil to Juan Enriquez to Robert Wright to Hans Rosling, it was all awesome. Over time, I started seeing fewer eye-opening talks and more politically focused ones. Now, while I still regularly check TED, it's a very mixed bag.

For quite a while I had thought it was an issue of the low-hanging fruit already having been plucked, but recently I've become less sure. This piece only adds to those doubts. If donors are calling all the shots, no wonder it's become driven by populist political causes and steeped in PC overtones.

7
4 points by PonyGumbo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I produced for-profit conferences for years, including executive-level events. It's an invitation-only event. They have every right to do this.
8
6 points by bdhe 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Can someone explain how TED conferences work. Who decides the locations, dates, and the speakers?
9
1 point by StavrosK 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I don't get it. The post seems to imply that donor X banned person Y from TED, but didn't donor X put person Y in TED in the first place? He just withdrew his invitation, no?
10
-4 points by ScottWhigham 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just a rant, nothing more.
11
-4 points by greattypo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
tl;dr
TED donor doesn't like man; man has his registration to TED conference cancelled.

Meh..

12
-3 points by kenjackson 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The fact that TED uninvited Sarah Lacey gives them a tad more credibility in my eyes.
13
-4 points by mquander 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am so happy that I have helped make this post leave the front page.
18
Refuting a Myth About Human Origins americanscientist.org
22 points by robg 4 hours ago   8 comments top 2
1
1 point by baddox 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The online print version of American Scientist articles looks amazing.
2
3 points by djtumolo 3 hours ago 2 replies      
can we get a tl;dr version?
19
OO Design Principles Compilation mmiika.wordpress.com
21 points by DanielRibeiro 4 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
2 points by Silhouette 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
I prefer to think of these as rules of thumb rather than principles. I agree with the spirit of pretty much all of them, but to me, "principle" sounds like one of those rules you're never supposed to break. There are often trade-offs to following these sorts of rules, and sometimes the cost is too high or the process too idealised for real world projects.
2
3 points by hello_moto 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This list is very useful. It's 2011 now and you have no idea how many people don't know more than half of the list.
3
2 points by vintharas 2 hours ago 1 reply      
4
-3 points by gooberdlx 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There's only one rule to OOP: All instance variables should be private.
20
Logic and Mathematics - an overview. solipsys.co.uk
4 points by RiderOfGiraffes 56 minutes ago   1 comment top
1
3 points by RiderOfGiraffes 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've embedded this in a web page because I refuse to submit a PDF as a link, knowing that it would get scribd'd.
21
10.7 Lion drops support for PowerPC applications 9to5mac.com
36 points by bep 5 hours ago   42 comments top 11
1
4 points by 51Cards 3 hours ago 7 replies      
One thing I have always admired Microsoft for is the huge effort they put into maintaining backwards compatibility. This may come largely from my days watching business clients forced to run old legacy apps that had been around forever. Despite Window's many (many) shortcomings, whenever I hear people complain about the time it takes to roll a new version out I try to point out the task at hand. The broad hardware support (try to find PC hardware Windows won't work on), the ability to run (until 64bit OSs recently) 16bit apps from 1993, virtualized XP, etc. Windows certainly hasn't been perfect but for the above I will always applaud Microsoft's dev team. I feel for the Mac IT guys this change is going to affect.
2
6 points by Sidnicious 3 hours ago 1 reply      
From the point of view of an IT professional, this is a big deal.

Apple is sliding forward the lower bound on software that can be expected to run on a newly-purchased computer by several years. There's no indication to the average user which of their applications will stop working on their next computer, and there are oodles of copies of PowerPC applications out there in the wild.

3
6 points by treblig 4 hours ago 2 replies      
You can check out all of your applications to see if you're running any PowerPC software. System Profiler -> Applications -> sort by Kind. Only culprit on my system is some random CS4 stuff.
4
2 points by teilo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This is going to make my life miserable.

I wish it were possible that we could say goodbye to Rosetta and Universals Binaries yesterday. However, there are a good number of "Universal" pieces of software out there in common use, that have vestigial PowerPC components. I just ran into one yesterday, on a business critical piece of software at my company - supposedly UB software, that has a command-line utility that is compiled for PowerPC, and that in the most current version of the software. Quite a number of times, I have run into software that is UB, and yet part of the install process relies on Rosetta.

Oh, and I have to run Acrobat 7 for a couple business-critical websites, because we make templates using an old build of PDFLib, and since it's legacy software, we won't be upgrading to a newer build.

I believe I will have to setup an instance of Snow Leopard in Parallels, if I move to Lion.

Well, I don't fault Apple for this. Perhaps it will force this nonsense to stop sooner than later.

5
1 point by jinushaun 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
A lot of complaints ignore one simple solution: Don't buy/install/upgrade to Lion. Your copy of Tiger/Panther/Leopard/Snow Leopard won't magically stop working when Lion is released. Don't buy that shiny new MBP with Lion pre-installed. We're in a recession anyway--and your current laptop still works. Save your money.

My Dell netbook is still running 10.6 because 10.6.2 broke support for Atom processors. Yeah, it's annoying not to have the latest version of 10.6, but 10.6 still works.

6
4 points by iuguy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This is an interesting turn up for the books. While I use some universal binaries here and there, I don't run any PowerPC code on any Mac kit.

I wonder though, if Apple were to transition to their A4 chips for Macbooks whether we'll see Rosetta come back in an ARM compatible flavour.

7
3 points by adulau 3 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to reuse your old PowerPC hardware, you still have the option to run a recent version of GNU/Linux. Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) has a recent version (ubuntu-10.10-desktop-powerpc.iso) for PowerPC Mac.
8
2 points by jedberg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This makes me sad because some of my old fun games won't work anymore (well, without a VM at least), but since I rarely play those, I like the fact that all the other stuff I use will be forced to "go native".
9
4 points by jckarter 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if they'll stick to this for the final version. They tried to remove 256-color mode support in 10.5.something but backpedaled when the Mac Starcraft players went nuts.
10
2 points by nailer 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Interestingly there's an unreleased Intel version of Mac OS 9 that you see at Apple stories - it's used via Netboot for testing batteries (amongst other things I imagine, but when I saw it it was for testing). Looks like they still (as of late 2010) haven't gotten around to porting some of their old diags to OS X.
11
1 point by rasur 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like I'll be repurposing the quad and dual G5's here onto debian PPC, when I can scrape up enough for an intel big-mac /cries/
22
How mock objects make Gantt charts (more) useless jakegoulding.posterous.com
8 points by shepmaster 2 hours ago   9 comments top 3
1
1 point by Groxx 1 hour ago 1 reply      
No, Gantt chart elements can have multiple predecessors. Here's one that actually allows you to do so: https://app.gantter.com/ and here's Wikipedia with a multi-predecessor example (E): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gantt_chart#Example

Not that many support doing so, nor do most suport the full range of what they're supposed to be able to do. That's a different issue. Personally, I think the single greatest flaw with Gantt charts is that they're (technically) supposed to always have everything add up to 100%. Which means either you set something up to do it for you, or you have incredible book-keeping that becomes ridiculous when you have changes or more than a handful of entries.

2
2 points by tjpick 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
A mixture of concepts from project management, software architecture, and testing artifacts.

Scary.

3
1 point by rheide 1 hour ago 1 reply      
He's conveniently forgetting the time it takes to define interfaces+contracts and to make mock objects that do decent job of mocking their real counterpart.
23
BitMate - BitTorrent For The Less Privileged dritte.org
87 points by raufrajar 11 hours ago   15 comments top 3
1
21 points by CJefferson 10 hours ago 2 replies      
This generally looks good, and sensible. There is only one piece that seems a little dodgy. Sending back out parts of pieces before you have fully received them.

I might be misunderstanding, but until a piece is fully received, you can't hash it and check it is right. This could therefore lead to many clients having partially incorrect pieces, if they keep passing it around.

I've found (and I'm not 100% sure why) that most bittorrent clients do find they get some number of dodgy pieces over time, so this isn't just a theoretical problem.

2
4 points by mhlakhani 7 hours ago 2 replies      
This research seems quite interesting, however I see one problem here. The BitMate client is fairly heavy, the download ranks in at 18MB. Getting this out to users in low bandwidth areas becomes difficult due to this. Compare this to uTorrent, which is just a 387kB download.
3
2 points by zbowling 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I may have to reverse the changes here and figure out how to apply it to the transmission torrent client.

I'm on horrible hotel wifi or find myself a late seeder next to massive seed boxes on whatever tracker I'm on. This would give a good bump in the ratio the new guys and even things out if it works in theory.

24
Little Hackers League - Philadelphia leftrightfold.com
17 points by aaronfeng 1 hour ago   1 comment top
1
1 point by bradoyler 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Let's do this...
25
Did Google Pre-Emptively Block a 4G iPhone on Verizon? wired.com
36 points by brownleej 7 hours ago   24 comments top 8
1
15 points by Jabbles 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The rules were inserted at the behest of Google, which was bidding for the spectrum but who some cynics contended got involved not to win but to ensure that whoever got the spectrum couldn't hamper its business, which requires a free and robust internet.

Cynics? I'd have thought a cynic would accuse Google of having an ulterior motive other than wanting Internet freedom.

2
14 points by mambodog 5 hours ago 3 replies      
If this interpretation of the rules correct, then by the same logic all carrier-locked-down Android phones would surely also be affected.
3
5 points by tzs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple isn't a carrier. As long as Verizon (the carrier) doesn't block jail broken phones, I don't see any rules violation.
4
1 point by Hoff 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm waiting for the Wired article entitled:

"Why Wired Uses Titles Referencing iPhone and Verizon and ending in a Question Mark?"

As for this case, this appears entirely analogous to the Carterfone decision.

Other folks can connect FCC-approved and unlocked gear onto 700 MHz without encountering a carrier prohibition (akin to what we have with wired telephone connections) while paying the 700 MHz carrier(s) for their services.

I seriously doubt that Verizon would be denied the ability to sell locked phones out of this. There's no way Verizon lawyers would sign that one.

5
2 points by m0nastic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This wording would also seem to apply to Windows Phone 7 (which also only allows applications to be installed from the default marketplace).
6
1 point by tzs 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> The problem is that the “open access” rules attached to the so-called 700 Mhz C block require the carrier to allow the use of any hardware or software that it can't prove won't damage the network.

So if the carrier CAN prove that it won't damage the network, it can block it? That can't be right.

7
1 point by zitterbewegung 5 hours ago 2 replies      
What would be the alternative then? If apple can't field a 4g phone what would they have to do to get one? Relax app store standards? (That doesn't seem very likely) I seriously doubt that they will never have a 4g phone ever and not releasing one doesn't seem to be an option.
8
1 point by Roritharr 5 hours ago 1 reply      
This is potentially great news because it reverses the recent trend that legislature is used to revoke freedom where possible.

That the iPhone 4G is hampered by this is just a pill apple has to swallow. As if there weren't more bands that could be used to serve non-free phones.

26
Don't be fooled. 24-bit will not fix computer audio itwriting.com
61 points by bensummers 7 hours ago   58 comments top 17
1
20 points by verisimilitude 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Please don't focus on bits, when the [loudness wars][1] are the primary enemy of quality sound _reproduction_ in most (not all) music recordings today.

This is about radio.

As you sit in your car, tune your radio to your local Top 40 station. You'll notice that, even when you turn down the dial to the lowest audible setting, you perceive a constant drone of music/noise (depending on how you feel about pop music). Now, tune to the local classical station. Little spurts of noise can be heard, punctuated by... quiet spots. The average consumer thinks: "What's wrong with this music?! I have to turn up and turn down my volume all the time!" Connoisseurs of classical music, however, encourage dealing with this high dynamic range, because [dynamics][2] are a critical part of classical music.

Here's the sad part: POP MUSIC DOESN'T NEED TO HAVE ITS DYNAMIC RANGE SMASHED! Radio stations can easily take high dynamic range source material and run it through a [compressor][3] to limit the dynamic range, thus making their music more car compatible (solving the classical music 'problem'). However, consumers expect to hear the same when they download an AAC/MP3 and play it outside their car. "What's wrong with this old recording, it's so quiet", is a common complaint. Of course, when iTunes (and competing software) have features like automatic output leveling ([Sound Check][4]), compressing dynamic range at OUTPUT and not at MASTERING should be the choice producers make.

Yet, the industry persists, making the music louder at the expense of eliminating its dynamic range. They're painting soundscape with a more limited palette (though, doing a surprisingly effective job, given the limitations).

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamics_(music)
[3]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression
[4]: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2425

2
6 points by ajg1977 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Really, all this talk of introducing "higher quality" digital music is the record companies looking for the next way to keep you paying for content you already own.

I can even understand their fear. Until now every format has had a mass market lifespan of ~15-20 years. When people switched, huge numbers of 'library' albums would be sold providing a nice amount of income for very little work.

It's hard to imagine people ever paying to replace existing mp3/aac tracks, and worse - you and I can give each of our children a perfectly reproduced copy of our entire music library.

3
9 points by vilhelm_s 2 hours ago 1 reply      
When the CD was designed, 44kHz at 16bits was chosen because that exceeds the limitations of human hearing.

With the introduction of Blue-Ray audio, there have been claims that the added resolution makes it sound better. However, some members of the Boston Audio Society did extensive testing where they compared (A/X/B) high-quality Blue-Ray music versus the same music downsampled on the fly to 44kHz/16bit -- and even after extensive listening on very expensive equipment by expert listeners, it was impossible to tell the difference.

The results are reported in:
E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran, "Audibility of a CD-Standard A/DA/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback", JAES Volume 55 Issue 9 pp. 775-779; September 2007. (http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195 -- I read a PDF last summer, but now I can't find a non-paywalled version).

At the same time, there is widespread agreement that music released on Blu-Ray Audio sounds better than CDs -- but this is not because of the extra bitrate, it's because the sounds engineers pay more attention to details, and the discs are marketed to Hi-Fi enthusiasts, so there is no pressure to e.g. destroy the dynamic range by over-compressing the sound (which makes it sound superficially better on low-end equipment).

4
1 point by dfox 21 minutes ago 0 replies      
It may be interesting to note that probably any computer manufactured in last five years is perfectly capable of playing 24bit PCM at ridiculous sample rates (like 192kHz) as even low-end audio codec chips for Intel HDA support that.
5
7 points by PBenz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Unless the dynamic range of the environment you're in is greater than the difference of the dynamic range between 16 and 24-bit, and unless the audio content also possesses that dynamic range, you will never hear the difference.

It's still useful to record at 24-bit, though, to give yourself the extra headroom and avoid digital clipping. Recording at 24-bit is basically a no-brainer.

Don't even get me started on recording using sampling rates higher than 44.1 kHz. This has been discussed ad-nausem on various audio forums.

Mix Magazine (I think) ran a double-blind test to see if people from all walks of life, including experts in the audio industry, could hear the difference between CDs and super-audio CDs. They could not. I believe we have indeed reached the limits of human hearing.

6
1 point by harshpotatoes 1 hour ago 1 reply      
So there is this recent talk about sound quality from computers, and it makes sense to me that dynamic range would be the biggest culprit against good sound quality. However, every now and then I still here people chime in that upgrading your sound card will also increase your sound quality. Being curious, I went in search of sound card reviews. Of the reviews that I can find, and which aren't ten years old, I can only find reviews of the high end cards which obviously come to the conclusion that the high end cards produce high quality sound. Of course, the numbers they show are quite meaningless, because I have nothing to compare them too. Are there reviews of onboard audio anymore? I have a feeling that technology has progressed to the point that all onboard audio is good enough assuming you have decent speakers/headphones, but does anybody else know?
7
2 points by Derbasti 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Recently, Apple started talking about 24 bit. Now HP/Dr. Dre is talking about 24 bit. It makes a good story. But fact is, most audio bought online is in some compressed format (mp3,mp4/m4a/aac). Digital audio compression works by reducing the bitrate of certain parts of the music (frequency-time blocks). So 24 bit is nice but audio compression reduces it anyway.

So, this is apparently not about compressed music then? It must be about uncompressed music. Well, we can't change the redbook CD standard. I guess these people must be talking about DVD-As and SACDs then? They clearly are not.

Now there is one thing that I would actually love to see (but that these people do not seem to be talking about). I would love to buy 24 bit 96 kHz FLAC-encoded music on iTunes. Or maybe not FLAC but Apple Lossless or whatever and maybe not iTunes but Amazon or some new HP thing. I don't care. But Lossless, High-Quality Music in some major online music store. Now that would be something!

8
2 points by gallerytungsten 5 hours ago 2 replies      
When getting into these discussions of bit depth and sampling rate, the debate is endless among audio engineers about the differences. What really makes a difference is the specific gear you use (mics, preamps, processors, a/d converters, clocks, etc.).

Debating the numbers without discussing the signal chain is somewhat ridiculous. A fantastic (great gear) 16/44 chain will sound a lot better than a crappy 24/192 chain. The concept of a signal chain "only being as strong as the weakest link" is of great importance.

That is only the tracking side of the equation. Eventually, individual tracks get mixed down. Your summing bus is the flip side, and there is a lengthy debate over mixing in the box (digital summing) vs. analog summing, which can be done with a traditional mixing console, or with the recently invented category of gear known as "summing boxes." (There are of course many further variations and permutations.)

On top of that, the skill of the engineer will also make a large difference. Those interested in the details may wish to visit a site such as gearslutz.com where these topics are discussed and debated in great detail.

9
1 point by georgieporgie 55 minutes ago 0 replies      
Never take audio quality advice from someone who sells through Best Buy.
10
0 points by jfm3 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Jimmy Iovine Does Not Understand Math."

Fixed that title for you.

11
2 points by zandorg 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I master my songs to 24-bit 192khz - a single master and every multitracked track. Even with 20 tracks at that resolution, each song fits on a DVD-R.

As to why I need that resolution, my ancient analogue synth can sound good at that high resolution.

As for distribution, I just post FLAC files to my website.

12
1 point by ugh 6 hours ago 2 replies      
We have reached the limits of human hearing, to believe that tweaking the sampling rate or bit depth will improve audio quality is foolish. We should use the 16 bit we have better â€" that's the real problem. 24 bit won't help with that.
13
2 points by EgeBamyasi 5 hours ago 2 replies      
"The speakers built into a portable computer are most likely a bit hopeless â€" and it may well be that HPs are better than most â€" but that is easily overcome by plugging in powered speakers, or using an external digital to analog converter (DAC)"

I bought a low end recording audio interface( E-MU Tracker Pre) whitch features a pretty decent DAC and boy oh boy does it make the music pop!

Comparing a 192kbps MP3 featuring a big dynamic range with headphones connected directly to the on board audio on my laptop vs headphones connected to my Tracker Pre there is a night and day difference. On the external sound card the MP3 still sounds a little flat, but it does it with class as opposed to boring on the onboard DAC.

So before you get into the whole "OH LAWL, MUST ONLY LISTEN TO FLAC" thing start by updating your sound card, its well worth the money!

14
1 point by mwsherman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Indeed, bit depth is hardly the problem. Uncompressed 16/44 sounds really good, and they can offer that now.

The problems are compression and end-user audio equipment. (And they are only problems if the consumer cares.) If the industry wants to tangibly move quality forward, they should simply up the standard bitrate to 320 or beyond, today.

15
2 points by goalieca 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Computer audio is broken? News to me. I'm happy with the 44.1Khz @ 16-bit.
16
1 point by atlei 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Anyone have any tips/links to convert my CD's into great quality MP3's (for listening only) ? I've been using VBR, 196, Lame etc, but this was recommended to me years ago...

Which encoder/tool/settings do you recommend for Windows (and Mac) ?

17
1 point by rythie 6 hours ago 3 replies      
Does anyone distribute 24bit content anyway? iTunes, Amazon, Spotify etc. I don't think any of them do.
27
Surviving C++ c0de517e.blogspot.com
38 points by rcfox 4 hours ago   17 comments top 4
1
10 points by dkarl 2 hours ago 2 replies      
In fact, no one uses straight C++ to make anything, in real world everyone starts by sub-setting C++ into something "safer" and then adding back the fundamental missing features (i.e. memory management, serialization, reflection and so on) via libraries, macros or other trickery (i.e. code to code transformers, code generators or parsers and so on), so really the C++ we use is not a standard, but a studio specific version of the language.

I really don't understand this at all. He seems to be saying that using "straight C++" would mean using the worst parts of the language in the worst ways, but not taking advantage of the features that make C++ usable. If he really thinks everyone uses macros, code generators, or code transformers to do real-world C++, then he's wrong. I've been using C++ professionally for almost ten years now, and I've never seen anything like that except: a few legacy macro tricks that we easily replaced with better, non-macro techniques; and Qt's preprocessor, which we never actually used in production code.

Style points for C++ have been rehashed endlessly. "C++ Coding Standards" is pretty good IIRC: http://www.amazon.com/Coding-Standards-Rules-Guidelines-Prac...

For gaming and embedded software, you will need further rules for performance. I'm not sure why this is a ding on C++. Doesn't any reasonably powerful language have performance pitfalls? Don't use CLOS in your embedded systems, folks.

C++ as a medium for our art looks more like statuary marble than modeling clay: it requires a team of muscular stone cutters under the guidance of a genius in order to produce some amazing sculptures. And once a given idea has been translated into the stone, you hardy can change it without re-sculpting most of it or having to work in the constraints that the shape it currently has impose on you.

This is only true if your system is badly factored or if you are averse to recompiling. "Ahhh, arrgh, no, I refuse to change the interface of this fundamental class referenced by every other object in the system because the next compile-link cycle will take ten minutes! I'll leave it crappy for the rest of eternity just so I don't have to wait ten minutes for a compile, or because my approach to changing this extremely fundamental class is to keep making haphazard changes to its interface until my code finally works, so my ten or twelve compile-link cycles will cumulatively take almost two hours." Fine, we'll have an adult make the change instead.

Now I'm really not suggesting that it doesn't suck when you have to wait ten minutes to recompile your system when you change an interface that every other source file in your system includes, but I hope recompilation time is not the weightiest consideration in that case.

It's not a coincidence that the more a language is dynamic, the less need there is for fancy debugging tools. Who needs a watch window indeed, if I can just add on the fly a widget on screen that graphs the value of a given variable?

This is a legitimate complaint. Building instrumentation into a C++ system is a pain in the ass, and it will never be as powerful as in a language with introspection.

Well, the art of sculpting in C++, the art of design, becomes really the art of subdividing our sculpture in pieces, the real design challenge is all about how to cut or work into pieces. Too many of them and the sculpture will be a fragile and ugly mess (translation: craptastically slow OOP shit). Too little and we loose flexibility.

As far as I can tell, the point here is that if C++ was a better language, bad design wouldn't be a problem. If it took C++ to drive him to consider OO design principles, I'd hate to see the code he wrote in other OO languages. Also, decomposition is not the only consideration. There are cross-cutting concerns such as memory management, logging, and instrumentation.

The design principles at the end of the post are better and more comprehensively covered by "Large-Scale C++ Software Design": http://www.amazon.com/Large-Scale-Software-Design-John-Lakos... Some of the language points in that book reflect the immaturity of C++ implementations when the book was written, but the design guidelines are still relevant.

In general, it's very hard to say anything original about C++. Practitioners and proponents of C++ are much more aware of its limitations than its detractors realize. Also, this may come as a shock to the web generation, but C++ is a topic that is very well covered by available books. Just as you might browse through a few relevant blogs to see if someone else has already made the same point you were about to make, with C++ you should do the same with the highly-regarded books.

2
12 points by timr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"...Otherwise, the class has to have some data associated with it. Are we sure we want to link Foo both to the interface of Bar and to its in memory layout?

No, you are not. Don't do it, use composition instead. [More Effective C++, 33 Make non-leaf classes abstract]"

Sigh. Dude either didn't read the book, or didn't think about what it's saying; he's just quoting the chapter headings and drawing a silly conclusion. Abstract classes can most definitely have data in them, and Meyers is not saying that you should restrict yourself to object composition (he has a whole section on how and when to use inheritance in the first book!)

The point Meyers was making is that if you're allowed to instantiate a base class that implements an assignment operator, you can easily get into a place where you can do bad, mixed-type assignments. If you make your base classes abstract, you can prevent this problem -- hence the chapter title.

This isn't the only bit of bad advice in this blog post -- just one that I picked out at random. It's another example of a rant by someone who knows just enough about C++ to be dangerous, but not enough to be insightful. Flagged.

3
6 points by tspiteri 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I really don't see the point of the tone the article adopts. If it is aimed at C++ users, badly mouthing C++ can only put them off what could be useful advice. If it is aimed at C++ bashers, they don't need the C++ advice anyway.
4
1 point by georgieporgie 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Should we consider using PIMPL

No. Just don't.

I'll say this about C++: the worst thing about it is that each new job requires you to learn what is 'good' and what is 'taboo' at the new company. One man's natural and elegant is another man's obtuse and illegible.

28
Common Lisp, Clojure and Evolution adrianmouat.com
57 points by amouat 9 hours ago   10 comments top
1
7 points by mahmud 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Clojure struct constructor needs keywords badly. Right now it's position-dependent and only way to know what each sub-expression is doing is to look up the definition of the structure.

  (struct person  6.3 63 63)

What do the magic numbers mean? Dunno, you need to look up defstruct definition. In Common Lisp, it's:

  (make-person :height 6.3 :age 63 :weight-in-kg 63)  
;; or better :weight (kg 63)

Then

"Clojure doesn't have the parse-integer function, but I was quickly able to implement something that did the job by calling out to the Java parseInt method."

This has to be remedied. You need to have native control over basic reading/writing; don't offshore that to another language, even one your language is implemented on-top of.

I agree with the sentiment against ASH (Arithmetic-SHift); seriously, division/multiplication as 2^N shifts is a performance hack, and a useless one at that (smart compilers already do this, and stupid ones are bytecode compilers.)

Common Lisp already has about 9 division operators (yes, NINE) and it would have been a good opportunity to introduce them and their various uses. They are: /, floor, ffloor, ceiling, fceiling, truncate, ftruncate, round, fround -- for integers and floats respectively[1], along with MOD and REM

[1] excellent candidates for removal in future CL with CLOS-based type hierarchy; type-dispatch ftw! With ML-style type annotations it would even be feasible to do type hints inline, like (values (/@double-float 22 7) (/@int 22 7)) using @ because colon is a package separator.

29
Location Based Services Ecosystem | 6 strategic layers for the big picture kahlain.com
3 points by Kahlain 45 minutes ago   discuss
       cached 27 February 2011 21:02:01 GMT