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Captain Ned
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:38 am

whm1974 wrote:
After hearing about issues such as this, I wonder if users of laboratory equipment should write the software themselves.

Why do you think FORTRAN still exists?
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whm1974
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:49 am

Captain Ned wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
After hearing about issues such as this, I wonder if users of laboratory equipment should write the software themselves.

Why do you think FORTRAN still exists?

Yes but how many end users write applications themselves?
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:52 am

Go study.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:56 am

whm1974 wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
After hearing about issues such as this, I wonder if users of laboratory equipment should write the software themselves.

Why do you think FORTRAN still exists?

Yes but how many end users write applications themselves?

Enough to create much of the Linux ecosystem? A lot of Open Source software gets created because someone wants a tool/application to perform a specific task and doesn't find a suitable existing one.

bthylafh wrote:
Go study.

Seconded.
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whm1974
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:58 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Why do you think FORTRAN still exists?

Yes but how many end users write applications themselves?

Enough to create much of the existing Linux ecosystem?

bthylafh wrote:
Go study.

Seconded.

I was referring to laboratory equipment.
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:00 am

Users of lab equipment tend to be scientists and engineers, many of whom will have at least a passing familiarity with software development.

I suspect most of the custom stuff is coded in C (not FORTRAN) though, at least for the front-end control/monitoring functions. There may still be a fair bit of FORTRAN lurking in the analysis back-end code though.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:10 am

The "passing familiarity" part is the worrying part.

That path leads down to unmanageable spaghetti.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:18 am

just brew it! wrote:
Users of lab equipment tend to be scientists and engineers, many of whom will have at least a passing familiarity with software development.

I suspect most of the custom stuff is coded in C (not FORTRAN) though, at least for the front-end control/monitoring functions. There may still be a fair bit of FORTRAN lurking in the analysis back-end code though.

How widely is FORTRAN still in use these days? Sounds useful enough to learn, even if it is just to be able reuse old very costly equipment with modern systems.
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:34 am

Go back to studying!
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:20 pm

Do not bother with FORTRAN now (if ever). Get a solid footing in fundamentals using a widely used language first.

Learn FORTRAN later if you need it for a paying gig.

You're like the dog in "Up!".

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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:58 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Do not bother with FORTRAN now (if ever). Get a solid footing in fundamentals using a widely used language first.

Learn FORTRAN later if you need it for a paying gig.

You're like the dog in "Up!".

SQUIRREL!

This! There are pockets of Fortran (of all types) in the wild but learning it won't be useful in general. Learn it if you need it down the road.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:23 pm

Waco wrote:
There are pockets of Fortran (of all types) in the wild but learning it won't be useful in general. Learn it if you need it down the road.

This reminds me of MUMPS. I know one of the people who developed it way back when, and he's made his career on being one of the few people left alive who is very fluent in it. He's been semi-retired for a decade or so now, but takes a few consulting jobs a year where a client flies him to a location, puts him up, and he adds features to an existing system or -- more commonly now -- helps to port old software into a new language.
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:42 pm

Waco wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Do not bother with FORTRAN now (if ever). Get a solid footing in fundamentals using a widely used language first.

Learn FORTRAN later if you need it for a paying gig.

You're like the dog in "Up!".

SQUIRREL!

This! There are pockets of Fortran (of all types) in the wild but learning it won't be useful in general. Learn it if you need it down the road.

It also does absolutely nothing towards achieving his goal of developing games, because no sane developer would be coding games in FORTRAN these days. (Where I'd define "these days" as "since the early 1980s".)
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:47 pm

JBI wrote:
It also does absolutely nothing towards achieving his goal of developing games


Oh no. no. nooooo.

whm1974 that is a crap industry. Don't aim for that sort of job.
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:47 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Waco wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Do not bother with FORTRAN now (if ever). Get a solid footing in fundamentals using a widely used language first.

Learn FORTRAN later if you need it for a paying gig.

You're like the dog in "Up!".

SQUIRREL!

This! There are pockets of Fortran (of all types) in the wild but learning it won't be useful in general. Learn it if you need it down the road.

It also does absolutely nothing towards achieving his goal of developing games, because no sane developer would be coding games in FORTRAN these days. (Where I'd define "these days" as "since the early 1980s".)

In that case I'll just stick with C++ and a few suitable scripting languages. Maybe take a look at the Godot gaming engine?
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:54 pm

whm1974 wrote:
In that case I'll just stick with C++ and a few suitable scripting languages. Maybe take a look at the Godot gaming engine?

Before you do anything you need to acquire some impulse control and stop looking for the new shiny thing. You'll never get through your coursework if you can't stick solely to what NEEDS to be done.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 1:56 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
In that case I'll just stick with C++ and a few suitable scripting languages. Maybe take a look at the Godot gaming engine?

Before you do anything you need to acquire some impulse control and stop looking for the new shiny thing. You'll never get through your coursework if you can't stick solely to what NEEDS to be done.

This.

The specific language or engine matters very little in the long run. Get the basics, then move on to applications in the real world.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:11 pm

I just read an article somewhere (I can't remember..) that there is or will be a huge demand for COBOL (or FORTRAN) programmers, since most of the banks still run on that old stuff, and the original programmers are all dying off..

I learned COBOL when I got my programming degree in like 1998, but I don't think I want to go back down that rabbit hole!
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:16 pm

Yeah, old languages never really die they just fade from popularity, but you don't want to pigeonhole yourself. That can happen even if you study modern languages. Get stuck in a rut, let a few years go by, and suddenly your skill set isn't so modern anymore.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:56 pm

whm1974 wrote:
In that case I'll just stick with C++ and a few suitable scripting languages. Maybe take a look at the Godot gaming engine?

Something I haven't seen mentioned lately is that once you can program in one language, learning others is comparatively very easy. It doesn't even matter as much as you might think what that first language is. Early on, languages are hardly more than a distraction from the real skillset of programming, and once you've got that down, you'll have gotten rid of enough unknown unknowns that your view of the language landscape will probably look very different (and you'll have what you need to act accordingly).

If I'm going to recommend something, I recommend choosing one and only one language and sticking with it until you feel like you can do what you want to do in it. From there, branching out will be no big deal. You should choose your initial language based on how much of the work you want to do will be doable in it. If there's a particular game engine or framework you want to work with, pick whichever language integrates most seamlessly with that. If you're undecided but know you want to work with more engine support under you, C#. If you're undecided and want to be closer to the metal, C++. If you think you'd learn programming fundamentals better with a scriptier language, Lua.

All the big names in game engines get along well with C#. If that's the kind of space you'd like to work in, you can't go wrong with it. Lua is uniquely useful for game dev because it's fast (LuaJIT is basically at ludicrous speed as far as scripty languages go) and it's particularly easy to have game logic written in Lua on top of engine code written in C/C++ (for cases where there isn't a Big Name supporting the engine for you).
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:11 pm

Mild annoyance, incremental updates.

Updating an app here and instead of just downloading the most recent version and overwriting the needed files, the updater is going patch by patch. And each needs a reboot. I'm on server reboot 6 so far. And three more to go after.

Why? Why do this? I can't see a valid reason for this being setup like this. Each update is about 97MB, downloaded each time, so this is not for saving space.

Could you imagine updating graphics drivers like this? Nvidia's is like 433MB now. So imagine updating a year old driver, 433MB each download, and all 10-13 driver updates...5.5GB of updates.
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:13 pm

Sounds like .net framework.
 
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Re: Stupid and terrible software.

Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:20 am

If you have an application where persistent on-disk data structures can change from release to release, allowing updates between arbitrary versions means the updater needs to be able to handle data format conversions between any previous version and the current one. That complicates the updater, from both coding and testing perspectives. Forcing sequential updates means the conversion code only needs to go from the previous version to the current one.

Rebooting after each update is because Windows doesn't allow files which are currently in use to be deleted. (On *NIX, deleting an open file causes processes that still have it open to continue seeing the old version, even as a new version is being created. This greatly reduces the need for reboots after updates, but has its own potential pitfalls.)
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