Martin Rodgers

Martin Rodgers

  • Commented on The ends of education
    I can't comment on a 90s degree, but I recall the gaps in 80s CS school and university level education. Books like the Knuth series teach the real deep CS. I wish more programmers would read the classic papers, like...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    I can see some differences. Thanks for the pics. The allotments I know look very similar, but without the fences. Instead, there's a metal fence around an area of land divided into subsections. The subsections are about the size of...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Not exactly interchangable, but perhaps functionally equivalent? http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/07/a-bad-dream.html However, I know people - like members of my own family, theirs friends etc - who would vigoroursly disagree with Charlie. I try not to discuss politics with them. Some may be...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    But those machines mostly use both mechanical and electrical interlocks, with software being more or less decorative. That's a key design point. Interlocks can save lives, with or without software. That's why the Therac-25 case is so interesting. There are...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Yes, I know. That's the manufacturer's recommended practice. This year's big SCADA/infosec story: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/phmsa-nopv-pcp-pco-to-colonial-pipeline-company Followed by this government reaction: https://www.theregister.com/2022/06/21/56_vulnerabilities_critical_industrial/ Links in the article to CISA advisories. I hope these clowns are reading them: https://www.datashieldprotect.com/blog/what-is-scada-iot https://www.scadalink.com/support/knowledge-base/internet-and-web-scada/ "Fetch my sarcasm hat!"...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    My questions also apply to SCADA system. Today we should ask some new questions, like what happens when a system is networked and linked to a network everyone else uses? Actually, we know what happens. People have been doing that...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    I don't recall if the source wrote 40K or 40Kloc, but I'm assuming the latter. It just occured to me that 40 kilobytes of TCL source code would be something else. I'm so used to measuring Kloc that I sometimes...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    I certainly wasn't suggesting otherwise. The point I was trying to make, poorly, was that Murderbot does literally watch TV all day, at least whenever that's possible. However, the shows tend to be soaps rather than reality TV. This quickly...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    I was commenting on Pigeon's code, which used strlen, so null-terminated strings is implied, but your point is a good one. When you use null-terminated strings, you should be sure you always set that null, either directly using something like...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Yes. I'm reminded of many Perlis epigrams, so here's a short one: "Within a computer natural language is unnatural." You can find the rest here: http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/perlis-alan/quotes.html...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    While that's true, and a very important factor, I've rarely seen it used in language advocacy threads. Instead the assumption is that choice are made purely on technical merits. I've also seen this in hardware advocacy threads. The pattern is...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    And to date compilers and computers are terrible at applying past experiences and context to figure our what is really wanted. This is why I'm reading the second edition of Computers as Theatre. It has a lot more material than...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    APL began as a mathematical notation, so it makes heavy use of the Greek alphabet. For mathematicians, this may be an attraction. For programmers, this may have the opposite effect. See my earlier points about knowledge and experience. John Backus'...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Perhaps badly written code. One of the first things I learned about C was how to write good code in it. That was just from reading K&R's book. Actually using a C compiler taught me what kind of code to...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Natural languages have a specific function: communication. Programming is not communication: saying that we communicate what we humans want a machine to do to the the machine is strictly a metaphor. Programming and languages are different things. The former is...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    "...it'd have its own goals and probably want to do the AI equivalent of sitting on the sofa watching reality TV shows and eating popcorn all day." I expect you're aware of this already, but that's more or less the...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    1856 and 1858: The tool you know best will often beat the tool you barely know at all. BTW, I recall someone bragging about writing 40K of TCL code to control an oil rig. 1859: What is a "write-only language"?...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    When you have a pervasive, widespread problem with your technology it's unwise to blame the users. At best that suggests you need to revise the interface to reduce the error rate, more commonly that you've built the technology to be...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Yes, I experienced a lot of bad maths teaching. Mostly abstractions, very few applications. In fact, the only example of the latter that I can recall was a game one teacher liked playing: she played a shop keeper and her...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Self-correct: for (i = strlen(s); i > 0; i--) or maybe: for (i = strlen(s)-1; i >= 0; i--) depending on the loop body. My weakness is clearly off-by-one errors. ;) I don't using write string processing code in C...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    But of course C and things that work more or less like C don't do that. for (a = 0; a < strlen(s); a++) evaluates strlen(s) every time round. Well, only if you write obviously inefficient code like that. ;)...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    And the answer to ALL questions that fall outside that very limited space is "you solve this by spending money". Where did the billions of dollars spent after the OPM breach in 2014 go? Has it improved the security of...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    That is the implicit assumption. Obviously the programmer is still responsible for managing the storage. That's my point. Small attempts have been made to make that task easier (like KNF), but there's a limit to what can be done here....
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Perhaps this is how I should've written that paragraph: While we're using C examples here, the same risks can be found everywhere strings are used; I've only mentioned a few of the risks here, as storage management is a large...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    The 'n' here should be the destination size, not the source. Terminating when the source end is reached is important, however. I mentioned earlier that there are more pitfalls here. One of them is touching memory outside either source or...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    "The string is a stark data structure and everywhere it is passed there is much duplication of process. It is a perfect vehicle for hiding information." -- Alan Perlis 'For' loops work well when you know exactly how much work...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Sure, we could see a rising interest in programming. I hope we also see a rising interest in computer science. We might also need more interest in hardware. https://www.theregister.com/2022/07/18/electrical_engineers_extinction/...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    I recall Alistair Cooke commenting that the most rented movie in the days immediately following 9/11 was Die Hard. I can't imagine that being scheduled on TV at that time, of course. So I wonder what streaming services see following...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    The libraries came later. I was talking about the very early days of Fortran, including before Fortran II. Definitely before Fortran 66. The libraries that survive, like BLAS, all appear to be Fortran 77. There were portability issues even then,...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Some people are brain-damaged. No book can help them. ;)...
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from Martin Rodgers

Following

Not following anyone

Specials

Merchandise

About This Page

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog

Propaganda