Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Crappy Stories, Shitty Journalism, etc.

I read the tech news fairly regularly: mostly via since it's conveniently catalogued there (but not only for that reason). I occasionally drive-by comment. But today's headlines do seem a bit crappier than usual so I guess it's time for a bit of a rant. I think I finally got the hacker worked out of me for the time being too (and I need to get the house ready for a party), so that's always good for a rantfest.

I wont link to the articles, check the source if you care, which you probably don't.
Is Windows 8 Metro failing even at Microsoft?

SJVN is normally worth a read, it's all a bit fluffy but at least he's (usually) fairly on track. But today SJVN's lost the plot a bit, surely an ex-developer using an Apple PC must be the end for Microsoft?!

This one almost got me to sign up to zdnet, but thankfully I decided against that - the commenting readers there are pretty rabid and like them i'm only likely to comment when pissed off.

Although clearly the 'tablet shell on a desktop pc' idea is insanity, and so is a 'desktop shell on a phone', but the main thrust of the article seems to be dissing a photograph of some ex-microsoft lad sitting at a desk adorned with an Apple PC?

Firstly, who cares what some guy i've never heard of has behind him in a picture of him seated at a desk. Even if he was still at microsoft (although I'm lead believe their culture is kind of fucked up so wouldn't allow it), it's no big deal to track the competition: actually it's quite smart. And apart from that we all know that plenty of Free Software, `open source', and Linux developers use Apple PC's.

And people in big companies leave all the time, and for software that is more likely to happen at the end of a release. This is something Roy on seems to get worked up a bit too much over as well.

FSF Wants To Police JavaScript Use

Well any article purportedly about the Free Software Foundation which mentioned `open source' in the first paragraph isn't even worth reading. So I didn't.

Can't have had much thought put into it.

iOS More Crashtastic Than Android (they've even got some stupid 'copyright' notice when trying to copy and paste the title, i decided to delete it)

This seems to be a PR release from 'Crittercism' (whomever-the-fuck they are) with almost no journalistic input.

From a magazine calling itself 'Linux Insider', you'd think they'd point out one of the main points of Android's stability: it's kernel is Linux, which has had far more resources put into it than any kernel in history. No single corporate identity could ever compete with that.

Not to mention the application layer technology which is the real issue when talking about end-user application software:

  • Android's application layer is based on a mature platform proven to be stable, robust, and above all: crash-resistant. Java.

  • iOS' is based on C. That should be `'nuff said', but not only that, some fucked up weird-arsed dialect of C, unfamiliar to most of the programming world. And we all know how robust and crash resistant C is. I really love C, and can write good C (IMNSHO), but crash-proof and robust it is clearly not.

I've told this anecdote before, but when I first started coding in Java again (after a year-long-ish stint pre-2000), I was astonished that my code didn't ever crash. Sure i could get piles of exceptions and things wouldn't function; but the application would keep plodding along tickety-boo. I had just had 3 years of c-hash, and I'd always been lead to believe that dot-net was basically just the same as Java.

And that crashed all the time. It's not as easy to crash as C which makes something of an art out of it, but it still crashes, and even what should be non-fatal errors can bring the application down with no indication of the cause.

But of course it isn't like Java at all: at the heart of it, dot-net is just a different and more dynamic linkage system for object files distributed in an intermediate format. So it still crashes like C, particularly when the platform was so immature and badly written (WPF, how I don't miss you). That's before you add the shitty memory management and crappy compiler to boot (oh man, and visual studio: i'm still astonished anybody could do more than barely-tolerate that piece of shit: some people actually seem to like it).

Is GNU/Linux just not cool anymore?

This article isn't really too bad, for what it is (and it isn't much). For for the `Free Software Magazine', they could have at least grabbed the google trends on 'free software' and 'open source'.

Particularly considering the only non-commercial searches they performed were for 'linux mint', and 'gnu/linux', and two others weren't even related to software development in any way-shape-or-form and seem to have been added just to find an up- and a down-pointing curve to add visual aesthetics to the page.

Ok, so maybe the article wasn't so good after-all.

If they had have tried `free software', at least they'd have found a fairly flat trend. Unlike `open source' which only sees steady decline (despite it being term more often showing up in discussions about security matters based on it's other, more-descriptive meaning).

No comments: