Archive for June 2010

Terminology confusion

I ran into an old friend of mine on Messenger today, who I haven’t seen in several years.  We were great friends in high school and ended up going to the same college, but then sorta drifted apart.  So we spent a while catching up and talking about how things were going in each other’s lives.

He’d always been a pretty serious computer geek, so I asked him if he knew about StackOverflow.  The part I didn’t remember, at least right away, was that he was not only into programming, but also computer security and “ethical hacking” type of stuff.  So his response kinda caught me off guard.

“Yeah, of course.  It’s a great way to gain root!”

*facepalm*  Not quite what I meant… 😛

In search of public outrage

This one’s a bit off-topic, and mostly just for those of us from the USA.

Remember the 2008 elections?  The world’s moving so fast these days that that can feel like a long time in the past, but it shouldn’t be completely out of everyone’s memory yet.  When Barack Obama ran for President, one of the things he promised was to “take a back seat to no one” on Net Neutrality.  And he also pledged that there would be more openness and transparency in government.  But now the FCC is trying to sell us all out.

Instead of openness and transparency, they’re currently holding meetings behind closed doors with telecom corporations to decide what the rules will be.  Just as Congress did with copyright law from the 70s to the 90s, the FCC is currently in the process of allowing the very people that it is supposed to be protecting us from to write the rules!

This is a crime against the American people and needs to be treated as one.  Unlike a lot of political topics, Net Neutrality enjoys almost universal support among the American people.  This isn’t a liberal agenda topic or a conservative agenda topic; it’s something that We The People want.  All of us!  (Well, everyone except the telecom industry, who wants to be able to control how we communicate with each other online.)

Unfortunately, it’s starting to almost look like things are to the point where nothing but massive public outrage will get anything done.  But even though Net Neutrality is an issue that will affect all of us if we lose it, it’s not something easily visible.  Certainly not as easily visible as, say, a leaking oil well.  That’s visible enough to generate its own outrage.  Just point a camera at it, and suddenly all the turkeys in DC are falling all over themselves to demonstrate just how committed they are to fixing the problem.  That’s exactly what we need to have happen for Net Neutrality, but it’s not happening.

So I guess we’ll have to generate some public outrage of our own.  Get the word out.  The FCC is trying to hand the Internet over to the corporate predators it’s supposed to be regulating.  There’s a petition here that you can sign, directed at the White House and the FCC, but unless we get enough signatures to indicate serious public interest it won’t amount to much.  If anyone can think of a way to focus more attention on this issue, please put it into action.  Enough is enough.

Generics and the Covariance Problem

Since some version of this question keeps showing up on StackOverflow, and the answer’s always basically the same, I figured I may as well write up a post on here that people can link to.  Here’s the question, in simplified form:

“Why can’t I pass a TList<TMyDerivedObject> to a function that’s expecting a TList<TMyBaseObject>?  You can pass a TMyDerivedObject to a parameter expecting TMyBaseObject, so why doesn’t it work for lists?”

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Inheritance baggage

A couple posts ago, I mentioned that I’ve been working with code generation lately.  This is for a part of the TURBU project.  An RPG relies pretty heavily on scripting, and RPG Maker, the system I created TURBU to replace, has a fairly extensive, if limited, scripting system.  The limitations were one of the things that made me say “I could do better than this,” in fact:  No functions, no local variables, callable procedures exist but parameters don’t, so any “passing” has to be done in global variables, only two data types: integer and boolean, no event handlers, minimal looping support, etc.

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AnyDAC: First impressions

Over the last few days, when I’ve had some free time available, I’ve been working with AnyDAC’s TADMemTable, which Dimitry Arafiev, the author, pitched to me as a replacement for and an improvement upon TClientDataset. I’d like to report on how smoothly everything went and how well it works, and spend some time on my experience with the dataset and the new features it brings to the table.

Unfortunately, I don’t always get what I’d like.  I can’t really talk about stuff like that because I haven’t reached that point yet, due to various bugs and other implementation hurdles.

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