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Old 12-12-2017, 11:07 PM   #46
DMcCunney
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
However, Pascal WAS a great deal better than Basic, at least the Borland version. It was available for different platforms, and it had the BGI, or Borland Graphics Interface, which made graphics essentially cross-platform. It also had a framework called Turbo Vision, which is basically the MS-DOS-predecessor of the Visual Component Library (VCL) from Delphi. The designer of Turbo Vision and later the VCL tried to get the VCL included in Windows for years, but Microsoft wouldn't hear of it.
Oh, agreed. But some degree of standardization crept in, because it was Pascal intended to run on an Intel x86 architecture under a Microsoft OS.

You could write in Pascal on DEC systems using DEC's version of Pascal, but have fun trying to get your Borland code to build and run on VAX...

(DEC had VAX BASIC, too, but the same comments about getting PC code to run under it apply even more strongly.)

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Then C# came out, and when I first used it in 2006, my reaction was:

"Man... this is like Delphi/VCL, but with C syntax!"

Sure enough, both the VCL and .NET were designed by the same man: Anders Hejlsberg. The VCL used either C++ (Borland C++ Builder) or Object Pascal (Delphi), and they later got combined within the same IDE.

Therefore...

(Delphi/C++ on top of VCL) == (VB/C#/etc on top of .NET)
And back when we had Kylix, which was Object Pascal on Linux. That failed because developers on Linux wouldn't pay for it. With C/C++ the preferred languages and GCC available free, why buy Kylix? Too few did, and Embarcadero dropped it.

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I know, and if you need pure speed, C and C++ (which, on compiling, strips ALL of the syntactic sugar such as objects en such) are still unmatched. C and C++ compilers are so good nowadays that it's virtually impossible to write more efficient assembler code by hand.
Yep. Optimization is something the compiler does for you. It can simply do it better than you can. People trying to hand-craft their own Assembler for speed-critical stuff are usually crafting faster ways to shoot themselves in the foot.

(The bigger and far worse sin is premature optimization, but that's another topic entirely.)

A lot of the problems I've seen reported might not have occurred, however, if developers had thought of C++ as a new language instead of as a superset of C.

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To some extent, steps like these are still common in (for example) the GNU toolchain: compiling from one language to an intermediary, to object code, with assembler compiled by a different program, and then they're all linked together.
Yes. And going back a bit, DEC had their Common Object File Format, intended to let you write modules in whichever language - BASIC, C, Pascal, Assembler - they offered, depending on what that module was best written in, and then link them together to form an executable without worrying about what languages the parts were written in.

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Agreed. If there's one thing I don't miss from C and C++, it's memory management... but I DO miss strong typing when working in something like Javascript of PHP.
If you are used to it, of course you will. I don't expect PHP to get strong typing any time soon, however.

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Strong typing, and enforcing variable declarations should be _mandatory_ in any language, because now, the biggest causes of bugs have moved from mishandling memory management, to typo's in variable and function names.
And it would require $DEITY to pass a miracle to order for that to happen.

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edit:
Anders Hejlsberg

Aaaaaaand.... there you have it, why TypeScript (the 'strongly typed Javascript') uses Pascal-style type syntax: this guy is the lead designer of that language. It seems that, apart from C/C++ (Ritchie, Kernighan, Thompson/Stroustrup), everything I've ever used with regard to programming was either designed, or heavily influenced by Hejlsberg.

I think he needs to be in the same hall of fame as Ritchie, Kernighan, Thompson and Stroustrup. They defined much of the computing environments and languages in the 1960's, 1970's and early 1980's, while Anders Hejlsberg defined most of the stuff from 1985 onwards. First it was Turbo Pascal which made a cheap and powerful compiler and IDE available to everyone (with the Borland Pascal version yet more powerful for professionals), and then Delphi was HUGE from 1995 up to 2004-5, with Delphi 7 and C++ Builder being the best IDE's ever created... IMHO. After 2004-5, .NET basically took over, but it was designed by the same man.
If you are going to add Hejlberg to that pantheon, also add Dave Cutler. Dave is Chief Architect of Windows NT, and before he came to Microsoft he was Chief Architect of DEC's VMS OS on VAX systems. He was adamant that NT be portable, as he understood that NT might not only need to run on Intel x86 architecture. Windows RT never really got anywhere because the rest of the pieces of that puzzle weren't in place, But Win10S on ARM has promise.

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And now that development is moving towards more and more Javascript, taking it out of the browser with NodeJS and it not being fit for purpose anymore (apps are getting too large for a dynamic, untyped language), he is _again_ the lead designer of the next big thing.
JavaScript is an embed-able script language. It began on browsers, but no surprise it had turned up elsewhere. And things like Typescript are syntactic sugar intended to provide strong typing to JavaScript. Hardly the first time something like that has occurred. Remember that C++ which added objects originally compiled to standard C.
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:05 AM   #47
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Most of those so far mentioned owe more than a little to Tony Hoare, Ed Dijkstra, Kristen Nygaard and Ole-Johan Dahl. Nyggard and Dahl created Simula the forerunner of object-oriented languages.

Hoare, Dijkstra, and Dahl wrote a seminal book - Structured Programming - I call it the "Little Black Book", it sits close by my copy of Kernighan & Ritchie's "Little White Book".

The lady who taught me to program (Moira) was one of Hoare's students at Cambridge. My title here is a reference to his billion-dollar mistake, that's the cost he puts on his decision to furnish Algol with a null reference.

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Old 12-13-2017, 03:06 PM   #48
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AFAIK, you should be able to run a C# application on Linux with just Mono, since the .NET runtime Mono implements actually executes the code. The C# code should be portable. You shouldn't need Wine in the mix.
I can confirm this. You do not need Wine, Mono is enough. However... it depends on the quality of the programmer. Especially if you consider file handling, there are of course differences between Linux and Windows. If your programmer is worth his salary, he/she doesn't hardcode stuff like slashes...
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:44 PM   #49
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I can confirm this. You do not need Wine, Mono is enough. However... it depends on the quality of the programmer. Especially if you consider file handling, there are of course differences between Linux and Windows. If your programmer is worth his salary, he/she doesn't hardcode stuff like slashes...
That was my assumption, and thanks for the confirmation.

But things like directory separators and option delimiters have been problems as long as I can recall. So are things like EOL characters. *nix uses LF (ASCII 11) to mark EOL. MacOS prior to OS/X used CR (ASCII 13). MSDOS, bless its pointed little head, used both in a CRLF combo, and Windows inherited the practice from DOS. I've spent the odd hour on scripts to do the conversion when I had to move stuff between OSes.

It's even more annoying when the OS can be queried about what it uses, and code can be written to use whatever the OS specifies, but programmers hard-code and break portability. If I were a manager and a programmer reporting to me did that, he/she would be looking for a new job...
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:06 AM   #50
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Well, you can easily avoid hard-coded slashes, case sensitivity and alike if you use the stored constants and alike. The .NET framework can handle it for you easily enough, if you bother to look into it. Of course it is a little more typing than just a slash...
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:10 AM   #51
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Frustrated with my desktop. My Mac Plus worked for 24 years without a hitch. All game playing since 1994 (i didn't want to give up that fabulous Tetris game until I had to). This thing is not even 6. Due to paying for a crown, I have to delay replacement for several months, so I'm mostly winging it on tablet surfing. Why does stuff fail just before reasonable planned replacement? I don't even play games on the stupid thing.
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:21 AM   #52
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If your programmer is worth his salary, he/she doesn't hardcode stuff like slashes...
Mwahaha.... If I had the power to FOREVER fire everyone I've ever worked with who hardcoded slashes as either "\" or "/" (EVERYWHERE) depending if a site was hosted on Windows or Linux, there would be a lot less people working in IT right now.
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:14 PM   #53
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Bah. Some people should stop jackassing around.

My phone has been having issues with Google stuff, such as Youtube being unstable, off and on. The latest issue is that I suddenly can't search for contacts in the dialer/contact app. First I thought the screen was going defective, but other programs with a search bar in the same spot just work.

So, I wiped the entire phone (Nexus 4, old, I know, but it still has enough power to do what I need of it) and installed LineageOS, the successor to CyanogenMod. At first it seemed to work fine: blazing fast, everything worked, installed and configured everything. Nice. Running Android 7.1.2, my 5 year old Nexus is ahead of my GF's three month old €200 budget phone, both in hardware AND software.

And then... I left the phone alone for a night.

It dropped from fully charged to 50% in eight hours.

Battery life on Lineage is atrocious. If you're working with the device, it's about the same as it was, but when in idle, "something" doesn't idle. The battery graph shows a steady downward slope, and projected usage is 16 hours, when doing exactly nothing.

I've wiped the phone again, and re-installed the official factory image. During updates, I've left the phone alone for an hour or two, and when it's not doing anything, the battery indicator is (almost) flat.

Youtube works, but I still can't search in the Phone/dialer/contact app... wonder how and if this will ever be fixed.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:39 PM   #54
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Well, you can easily avoid hard-coded slashes, case sensitivity and alike if you use the stored constants and alike. The .NET framework can handle it for you easily enough, if you bother to look into it. Of course it is a little more typing than just a slash...
And I'm willing to be that if you use a decent editor, that's boilerplate you can store as a snippet and insert with a keystroke or two.
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Old 12-21-2017, 11:38 AM   #55
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Sometimes I wonder why stuff suddenly stops working as it should... oh, wait. I know. It's because it's all connected to the internet and in the all-mighty cloud now.

For some time, I cannot search for names in the dialer/phone app on my Nexus 4. So, the screen is defective in the top part where the search bar is. Uh... no. Other applications that have a search bar or a menu in that spot work just fine. So... the search bar of the dialer got broken in an update? No. When turning the phone sideways, the dialer just searches. It's ONLY the dialer, and ONLY when it's the right side up that has this problem.

Somewhere, someone at Google messed up with the latest version of this program, or the Google services it uses, and they probably won't fix it, or it'll take a very long time, because the Nexus 4 is old.

It runs stock android 5.1.1. (In 2014, when it was two years old, Google decided to scrap it from the update list, while the Nexus 5, and 5P, released in 2013, are STILL receiving updates to this date, including Android 8.1.)

On the other hand, the Nexus 4 was a very powerful device in 2012, and it is _still_ powerful enough to hold its own against current-day €200 phones such the Samsung J5, although it's smaller, but for me, that's a good thing. I don't _want_ a phone as large as a tablet.

Having a 1.5 GHz quadcore CPU and 2GB of RAM, it's more than powerful enough to do what I want.

Therefore I refuse to just throw the phone away. Doing so would equate to throwing away a €200 smartphone, and I think that's ridiculous. Therefore I have been experimenting with newer Android versions: Unlegacy Android (stock android recompiled for the Nexus 4) and LineageOS (successor to Cyanogenmod). Both Android 6.0.1 and 7.1.2 work beautifully. This thing feels like a new phone. But...

Battery life is very, very poor. It drains 1% per hour without doing anything. (There aren't even any apps installed except the ones that come with stock android.) I've not noticed poor battery life under Android 5.1.1. Battery-optimized kernels such as Hellspawn Kernel or Quanta are a bit better, but not by much... and I don't feel like running a 1 to 1,5 year old kernel in an OS compiled basically yesterday. It defeats the purpose of security updates, at the least.

The phone still gives me 4 hours of screen on time when setting a very low brightness. (Planning Christmas across families, with my GF, having old people all over the country that need to be visited in a three day time span takes a LOT of time....) It _could_ be that after 5 years, the battery just decided to start giving out.

Thus, before I start looking at another phone and probably/possibly end up with a hated Samsung* I'm going to give the old Nexus 4 one more shot and give it a new battery as a Christmas present. Then I'll see how newer versions of Android will run. If either Unlegacy 6.0.1 or 7.1.2, or Lineage 14.1 (7.1.2) runs well, I'm keeping this phone until someone at my carrier kicks me off the network for being the last person in the country to still use 3G.


(*)
Spoiler:
I detest Samsung almost as much as Apple and Leica. The latter two because, IMHO, they're WAY overpriced compared to others and think they're the only ones worth buying, and Samsung because they put out 50 trillion phones a year as if they're shooting phones using a spray gun in the hopes of somebody, somewhere, buying something. To me, they still just feel like the cheap B-brand they were in the past. If any electronics manufacturer, anywhere, had something, somewhere, Samsung had it too... but cheaper and worse.)

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Old 12-21-2017, 12:35 PM   #56
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It's amusing to me that I'm reading this thread whilst waiting for a build of my company's software on Windows to complete. I'm testing a change of the build scripts which is necessary because of a change in behaviour by Cygwin. Which is to do with pattern-matching and end of lines.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:22 PM   #57
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There are plenty of other phone brands with a lot better update policy. I bought an Moto G4 as a succesor to my Nexus 5, but unfortunatly that update policy went out the window since they were taken over by Lenovo. If I was in the market now, I would look to Wiley or some OnePlus. It is such a shame Google stopped with the Nexus line. It was a good bang for buck.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:28 PM   #58
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It's amusing to me that I'm reading this thread whilst waiting for a build of my company's software on Windows to complete. I'm testing a change of the build scripts which is necessary because of a change in behaviour by Cygwin. Which is to do with pattern-matching and end of lines.
I ran Cygwin back when but got cured of it. Are you building under Cygwin or MSYS?

See Howard Chu's commentary about it on http://highlandsun.com/hyc/. He's done a fair bit of hacking on Mozilla code.

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Another thing that bugged me while I was hacking on Mozilla was how incredibly slowly this code built on my Windows system. It turns out a lot of the overhead was because the Windows build system was built around Cygwin, which is notoriously slow. As I got into beating the MailNews POP3 client into shape, I also converted the scripts and Makefiles to use MSYS instead of Cygwin. I contributed this work back to the Mozilla project as well, and it slowly got integrated into the main tree. (See Bug 294122 for some of that history. In one case over a 3:1 improvement in build time was reported.)

Despite the fact that MSYS works so much better, the Cygwin build was still the official build platform. But a mere 19 months later, plans were made to drop Cygwin. And finally, almost a full 2 years later, the switch has been flipped and MSYS is now the recommended build environment.
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Old 12-21-2017, 07:02 PM   #59
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There are plenty of other phone brands with a lot better update policy. I bought an Moto G4 as a succesor to my Nexus 5, but unfortunatly that update policy went out the window since they were taken over by Lenovo. If I was in the market now, I would look to Wiley or some OnePlus. It is such a shame Google stopped with the Nexus line. It was a good bang for buck.
Everything has tanked. Motorola is useless with regard to certainty of updates since Lenovo took them over. The Thinkpads have tanked in quality after Lenovo's contract to uphold the Thinkpad name has expired; support is crap as well, I've been reading.

Since Dell went private, they basically told me "GFY" when I called them for support. "The keyboards on our €2500 portable workstations don't break. You either broke it because of misuse, or yo u've been using it too much." I could have a new keyboard sent to me for some 50-ish euro's and €73 shipment cost. I had one sent from the US for something like €25 or so (including shipment) through eBay.

When I'm going to look for a new phone, I'm going to take a look at LineageOS's lists, and then probably pick a high-end model that's on there already, even if it's the one from last year. That won't be a problem, because I'm now using a 5 year old phone that still easily does what I need of it. Then I'll back up the official software, then nuke all of it, and flash LineageOS and OpenGApps Nano. That procedure also gets rid of all the bloatware.

With regard to laptops: I'm not going to even bother. My main computer is a desktop again, and I'll get the cheapest laptop I can find for occasional use. Only things necessary are 16GB RAM, SSD, IPS screen, and an i5 or i7 CPU. Then I'll nuke the Windows install off it and install a fresh copy. I'll see how long it'll last. I'm not ever again going to spend €2500 on a workstation again and try to use it as my main rig. Ever.

Last edited by Katsunami; 12-22-2017 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:00 PM   #60
DMcCunney
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Originally Posted by BetterRed View Post
Lisp wasn't so bad, APL was a health hazard.
An old friend is an APL specialist. He was in the APL group at IBM at one point. He recounted an incident dealing with an APL vendor as a consultant where he said,

"I need to see your source code, so I can determine whether your implementation is fit for deploying at my client."

"Sorry, we don't provide source."

"That's okay. I'll disassemble your object code and look at the assembler listing."

"If you can do that, we'll give you a doctorate in computer science!"

"I already have one."

"Then we'll give you an office next to (APL creator) Ken Iverson!"

"I used to have one."

Game, set, and match.

He began in APL, moved to AStar, and now programs in an APL derivative called K (which does not require the special characters beloved of APL programming.) Most of his work is financial applications for which APL matrix operations are well suited, and he claims he can deliver completed applications in the time it will take developers working in other languages to determine how long it will take them to do what the RFC calls for.

I have no reason to disbelieve him.

As for Lisp, you get Greenspun’s Law: “Any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.”

The underlying issue is whether the language you use includes automatic memory management, and if it doesn't, problems accumulate rapidly as the application increases in size and complexity.
______
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