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About trzy

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  1. Thanks. I will certainly post a link to a demo here once it's up and running. We have a long way to go, though. Maybe in a couple months In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming!
  2. Hi, Alpha_ProgDes. I'm familiar with Code Hero but last I looked at it, it was an FPS game that attempted to teach programming. Personally, I think too much game-ification is not the best way to go. What I'm hoping to do is build a platform that teaches people how to develop their own games, whatever they may be, that they can share with friends a la PlayMyCode. It will be built around lessons that first focus on the basic concepts and then how to use them to implement the various parts of a game. I'm designing it so that code samples can be traced, illustrating visually what is happening with each line of code. I think this will be particularly helpful in teaching data structures and algorithms. TBH, I think JavaScript is more relevant than Ruby. To my knowledge, none of the learn-to-code sites do it properly, though. I'm not aware of any that have the capability to step through code, visualize what is happening to data structures, or even let the user see where there code is getting stuck. I'm hoping Ruby will still be attractive to beginners, though. I'll have a look at Scheme. Is it deployed widely?
  3. Hi, I'm working on a web-based educational environment for programming. I'd like it to be project-oriented, teaching not only the fundamentals of coding but ultimately how to design complete systems from end-to-end, and richly interactive. There are some sites out there attempting to do something similar, and people seems to like them so far. Codecademy is the most famous but there is also Code School and PlayMyCode is one with a game programming twist. I wanted to ask beginners and veterans alike here what they would be interested in learning. What languages, frameworks, environments, or concepts would you like to see taught in a more richly interactive, community-based way? Most of the existing sites focus on JavaScript, Ruby, and Python (in that order). My own project is currently being built to teach Ruby with a custom gaming API. In my own experience, a lot of beginners in the 14-26 age group are interested in games. Personally, I think games are a great introduction to many aspects of both coding and computer science. I have some reservations about using Ruby, because I personally dislike the language and don't think it is well-suited to game programming (I come from a C++ background), but there is a lot of interest in Ruby because of Rails. More importantly, to prototype my idea in a web-based environment, Ruby is easier to virtualize and deploy than C++. Thoughts? How about industry demand for programming skills? What do you think is a relevant introduction to programming these days?
  4. trzy

    To goto or not to goto?

    My display is 60 lines. Long before I reached the goto, I'd seriously be questioning if the function should be broken up. Probably into at least 5 or 6 different subfunctions. It would be a very rare function that has legitimate reason to be that long. [/quote] I can think of plenty of cases where a 40-60 line function is appropriate. I'm not a professional programmer but I've looked at lots of open source code written by professionals, and it's quite common. It would be interesting to see a program of moderate to high complexity that had only a handful of functions more than 12 lines, as you suggest. I don't think it would be very easy to maintain or read. You'll be happy to know that the longest function in my current C++-based project is 3478 lines -- and I'm not counting comment lines and blank spacers. Okay, it's somewhat of a pathological case, but the function really has to be this long. You would actually ruin readability, maintainability, and performance if you tried breaking it up. Never say "never" ;)
  5. Thanks, I'll look into that! I found the problem and it turned out to be an uninitialized member in a struct.
  6. trzy

    To goto or not to goto?

    I'm always amazed by people who are enamored with exceptions, multiple inheritance, lambda functions, templates, and complex design patterns but panic at the site of a goto that jumps 10 lines forward in a one page long function. Oh, God! The complexity! Who could maintain this spaghetti?
  7. Hi, I'm working on a moderately complex project that is multi-threaded (two very independent threads, synced up once per frame) and have experienced a few very difficult-to-reproduce but severe bugs. They occur semi-randomly although when one happens, it can persist for the entire day (with or without changes to the code) and then suddenly go away as mysteriously as it came. I can confirm that the problem is due to memory being overwritten in a very peculiar, semi-random fashion. It typically occurs when threading is enabled and will not occur if threads are disabled and everything executes serially. But, I can also get similar problems in serial mode if I increase the size of a particular memory buffer that appears to be stomped on: by quadrupling the size of that buffer, problems develop in another part of the application in serial mode but things run fine with threads. One variant of the bug can be triggered by passing command lines that are too long (somewhere around 140 characters or so). There's no obvious reason for it -- I don't ever copy the command line around, so there are no buffer overflow issues. I suspect that there may be an overflow in a dynamically allocated memory buffer. It would be nice to have a tool that can log and track every bit of dynamically-allocated memory and perform bounds checking. I think BoundsChecker would do the job but I can't afford it. Has anyone faced similar problems? How did you tackle them? Thanks!
  8. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    ...and that nonsense marks the end of the thread. [/quote] Whatever. Your country benefits enormously from it. Easy for you to be a critic.
  9. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    I really do not understand why some people have hatred for Americans. What about Interpol? Are they not the world's police force whilst American is the world's current biggest bully and warmonger. [/quote] Interpol? LOL! America is an empire and the world prospers under Pax Americana. The Washington-New York axis runs the world.
  10. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    As far as I know, the US isn't in a state of war with Pakistan. A 'war' in this definition requires there to be two nations involved. Hunting international criminals inside another sovereign state is not a war. Which nations has America declared war against at the moment? [/quote] War does not and never has required two nations. Since after World War II, the United States military establishment has pursued an interventionalist policy allowing them to retain all options to influence foreign affairs, which means that declarations of war are obsolete. I also wonder whether most non-Western nations and groups would subscribe to the old-fashioned and distinctly Western notion of "civilized" war. I think there are two reasons why traditional wars between nations are increasingly less frequent: 1) the world is more economically and politically integrated and the sources of conflict are frequently internal matters or objections to the way maps have been drawn by disadvantaged minority groups and 2) nuclear weapons, the overbearing presence of the United States acting as world police, and the aforementioned economic interdependency make conventional war exceedingly costly and risky. Therefore, states are more likely to use asymmetric methods -- terrorist groups, for example, as Iran and Pakistan have been doing to promote their interests in the middle east and south Asia. While on the one hand, the global community is becoming ever more integrated, political commonality is ever more elusive. The international order envisioned by Woodrow Wilson and his intellectual descendants is a distinctly Western vision not shared by today's rising powers. Unconventional warfare is going to be an uncomfortable reality for a long while. Let's hope it doesn't lead to large, conventional wars any time soon! Let's also hope we don't bankrupt ourselves trying to manage the threat. The European international courts would've been happy to give him a trial -- in fact it would've been seen as a ridiculous show-trial if the Americans had done it themselves.[/quote] Bin Laden would have likely died of old age before the European courts reached a verdict. Also, the United States does not want to be subject to international tribunals. We call the shots because might makes right. They ran in guns blazing, so it's not an assassination? They offered a cash reward in an effort to incite someone to kill him, so it's not an assassination? What??? [/quote] True, it definitely was an assassination. All males in the compound were killed, but not the women, which makes the claim that the SEALs were fearful of suicide vests and booby traps dubious (the women would have just as likely triggered them). There are probably a lot of practical reasons why the US did not want the dramatic spectacle of putting Bin Laden on trial. But one also has to wonder whether they were hoping to protect the Pakistanis from embarrassing revelations about cooperation between Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the ISI. The US clearly wants to make its dissatisfaction well known to check Pakistani behavior, but it cannot afford to sever the relationship altogether, as officials have stated recently. Pakistan is a massive country that is on track to be the fifth most populous nation on Earth, after the US itself, possesses nuclear weapons, and is dangerously unstable.
  11. trzy

    Male is now the weak sex?

    It has been my experience that women generally perform far better at most male-dominated jobs than men are willing to give them credit for. Woe to the male manager who still harbors an irrational bias against them. That women are graduating at a higher rate than men and filling more managerial positions is not the least bit surprising to me.
  12. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    It might be key if you hadn't trotted out things like cancer survivorship rates, or if that regression were more definitive. [/quote] Survival rates are a different matter but nevertheless a very important contributor to the United States' overall excellent life expectancy. Another factor you may want to look into is the infant mortality rate, which is computed differently (and, arguably, more accurately) by the United States, seemingly inflating the number. The government aggressively regulates the price of medical procedures, which keeps the cost of most routine medical services extremely low, so while it's still a significant expenditure on the national level it's far less expense per patient than in the US (even with the government picking up ~70% of the tab in many situations). [/quote] Reducing costs is never as simple as dictating price. Either quality is being sacrificed, or providers are finding ways to recoup the money elsewhere. Japan does indeed have problems. As I noted above, doctors there are not pleased with their pay, especially because lower income makes it more difficult to offset the cost of medical school, as well as making going through that training less rewarding. Japan does have a very high debt-to-GDP ratio, but it's debatable how "crushing" that is for their economy. [/quote] Time will tell but presently, Japan's lethargic economy is costing the younger generation income and opportunity. It can't go on forever.
  13. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    Life expectancy factors all of this into account, and the US may actually be leading there. Does the U.S. Lead in Life Expectancy? I pretty much agree with the rest of your post. But the point made above is key. And why does everyone in these debates have such a hard-on for the European system? The UK system is not the shining example. That's why I mention Japan, and all that you came up with was that some Japanese doctors suck and/or are shy, conveniently ignoring the better life expectancies and similar (if not better) health outcomes. And by the way, Japan doesn't have socialized medicine in the way that the UK does. So your apparent position, that American can choose between its current system or a Western European system is a false dichotomy. There are other choices, which work better and for less money. [/quote] I don't know enough about Japan's system to comment any more. All I'll share is that in my limited experience, things are not necessarily as they may seem in Japan. The Japanese are especially shy about reporting things that reflect badly on their welfare state. And let's not forget their crushing debt burden. Maybe all is not well in Japan.
  14. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    Permission is not necessary to combat national security threats. War is the breakdown of law. No one can grant permission, by definition.[/quote]Then why did the US ask the UN for permission first, before being knocked back and then pulling the "imminent threat" card and going it alone?[/quote] Political face-saving, obviously. It's a matter of protocol, that's all. Are we still talking about Afghanistan? Sorry, but there's a lot of laws, treaties and conventions regarding war. That statement is so unfounded that it beggars belief that someone would present it seriously. There's no way to even have a discussion if you're not grounded in reality... [/quote] The application of international law is purely discretionary, thanks to national sovereignty and the lack of an enforcer. Afghanistan asked for proof that they were a threat, or in any way connected to the 9/11 terrorism, and no proof was given. While we're at it, can you dig up a source for the claim that Bin Laden has admitted to planning 9/11? [/quote] Osama took credit in a 2004 audio tape. There was other evidence linking Bin Laden to the organization and financing of the effort. You may as well question how they linked KSM to it. Admissions mean little either way. If the United States wanted a scapegoat, they would've picked someone else -- someone they could have easily captured or killed. Bin Laden wasn't taking extraordinary measures to hide from US intelligence for no reason. Neither were his Pakistani protectors. It's interesting to see who you're willing to give the benefit of the doubt here.
  15. trzy

    Osama Bin Laden is Dead.

    Permission is not necessary to combat national security threats. War is the breakdown of law. No one can grant permission, by definition.
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