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unchecked conversion warning.

 
 
Robert Klemme
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      06-01-2012
On Friday, June 1, 2012 2:48:23 PM UTC+2, Eric Sosman wrote:
> On 6/1/2012 2:14 AM, Robert Klemme wrote:
> > On 31.05.2012 22:50, Eric Sosman wrote:
> >>[...]
> >> (JavaDoc is both a blessing and a curse: It's a blessing in that
> >> developers *are* encouraged to write documentation, and it's a curse
> >> in that *developers* are encouraged to write documentation.

> >
> > In what ways is that a curse? I would actually say that the weight
> > totally falls on the blessing side because JavaDoc together with modern
> > IDE makes the threshold so low to write documentation that there really
> > is not much of an excuse left to not do it. And documentation is important.

>
> First, don't overlook the smiley.


I didn't but I was curios what you meant by that.

> My point is simply that the people who write code are trained in
> writing code, not necessarily in writing documentation. Meanwhile,
> the people who are good at expository technical prose are quite often
> not empowered to change the code. Result: You nearly always get
> documentation (that's the blessing), but the quality thereof is a
> crap-shoot (the curse).


Right, still often mediocre docs are better than no docs. I agree that a lot of people in the software industry can use some training when it comes to writing documentation (either in code or separate in office document formats).

> As an example of what I consider unhelpful documentation, take
> a look at java.io.PipedInputStream. We are told
>
> "A pipe is said to be /broken/ if a thread that was
> providing data bytes to the connected piped output
> stream is no longer alive."
>
> Does this make sense? Does it imply that a PipedOutputStream is
> writable by one and only one Thread? Which Thread? Or, if it's
> writable by many Threads, does it mean that the PipedInputStream
> gets "broken" as soon as any one of those threads exits, even if
> the others are still alive and writing? What, exactly, *does*
> this statement mean? To me, it means "Use the Source, Luke" --
> Which is where I'd have been were there no JavaDoc at all.


"broken" is not a property of the stream which can be learned via a method of the API so the comment is really only of limited usefulness.

> Finally, don't overlook the smiley.


Huh, what smiley?

Cheers

robert
 
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Jim Janney
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      06-01-2012
Eric Sosman <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> (JavaDoc is both a blessing and a curse: It's a blessing in that
> developers *are* encouraged to write documentation, and it's a curse
> in that *developers* are encouraged to write documentation.


If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
can think clearly too.

--
Jim Janney
 
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Stefan Ram
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      06-01-2012
Jim Janney <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
>something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
>them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
>can think clearly too.


»I've found that some of the best [Software ]developers
of all are English majors. They'll often graduate with
no programming experience at all, and certainly without
a clue about the difference between DRAM and EPROM.

But they can write. That's the art of conveying
information concisely and clearly. Software development
and writing are both the art of knowing what you're going
to do, and then lucidly expressing your ideas.«

http://praisecurseandrecurse.blogspo...ogrammers.html

»Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally
good mastery of one's native tongue is the most vital
asset of a competent programmer.«

Edsgar Dijkstra

»While sloppy writing does not invariably mean sloppy
thinking, we've generally found the correlation to be
strong -- and we have no use for sloppy thinkers.
If you can't yet write competently, learn to.«

Eric Raymond

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#skills4

»The narrative measures of conjunction use, event
content, perspective shift, and mental state reference
were significantly predictive of later Math scores.«

http://www.arts.uwaterloo.ca/%7Edone...and%20math.pdf

 
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markspace
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      06-01-2012
On 6/1/2012 8:44 AM, Patricia Shanahan wrote:
> Help! I hate writing English essays, and was never very good at it.
>
> Perhaps I picked the wrong career, but it's a little late now that I'm
> retired on the proceeds of my ill-chosen career path. I needed to know
> that I would not be good at programming back in 1970.



Yes! What we need now is a time machine!

<http://xkcd.com/1063/>

Darn it!
 
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Gene Wirchenko
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      06-01-2012
On Fri, 01 Jun 2012 08:44:19 -0700, Patricia Shanahan <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>On 6/1/2012 7:41 AM, Jim Janney wrote:
>> Eric Sosman<(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>
>>> (JavaDoc is both a blessing and a curse: It's a blessing in that
>>> developers *are* encouraged to write documentation, and it's a curse
>>> in that *developers* are encouraged to write documentation.

>>
>> If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
>> something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
>> them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
>> can think clearly too.
>>

>
>Help! I hate writing English essays, and was never very good at it.


I find your writing to be clear. I think the problem with
essay-writing is when the academics get hold of it. It seems to
attract arbitraries.

I would evaluate an essay on clarity of language and logic. That
is what we are looking for in documentation.

>Perhaps I picked the wrong career, but it's a little late now that I'm
>retired on the proceeds of my ill-chosen career path. I needed to know
>that I would not be good at programming back in 1970.


Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
 
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Jim Janney
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      06-01-2012
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de (Stefan Ram) writes:

> Jim Janney <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
>>something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
>>them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
>>can think clearly too.

>
> »I've found that some of the best [Software ]developers
> of all are English majors. They'll often graduate with
> no programming experience at all, and certainly without
> a clue about the difference between DRAM and EPROM.
>
> But they can write. That's the art of conveying
> information concisely and clearly. Software development
> and writing are both the art of knowing what you're going
> to do, and then lucidly expressing your ideas.«
>
> http://praisecurseandrecurse.blogspo...ogrammers.html
>
> »Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally
> good mastery of one's native tongue is the most vital
> asset of a competent programmer.«
>
> Edsgar Dijkstra
>
> »While sloppy writing does not invariably mean sloppy
> thinking, we've generally found the correlation to be
> strong -- and we have no use for sloppy thinkers.
> If you can't yet write competently, learn to.«
>
> Eric Raymond
>
> http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#skills4
>
> »The narrative measures of conjunction use, event
> content, perspective shift, and mental state reference
> were significantly predictive of later Math scores.«
>
> http://www.arts.uwaterloo.ca/%7Edone...and%20math.pdf


Not an original thought, obviously

There are probably counter-arguments to be made, but I don't recollect
ever seeing one. Not a well-written one, anyway...

--
Jim Janney
 
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Jim Janney
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      06-01-2012
Patricia Shanahan <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> On 6/1/2012 7:41 AM, Jim Janney wrote:
>> Eric Sosman<(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>
>>> (JavaDoc is both a blessing and a curse: It's a blessing in that
>>> developers *are* encouraged to write documentation, and it's a curse
>>> in that *developers* are encouraged to write documentation.

>>
>> If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
>> something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
>> them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
>> can think clearly too.
>>

>
> Help! I hate writing English essays, and was never very good at it.
>
> Perhaps I picked the wrong career, but it's a little late now that I'm
> retired on the proceeds of my ill-chosen career path. I needed to know
> that I would not be good at programming back in 1970.


If your writing in this group is any example, you wouldn't have any
trouble passing.

--
Jim Janney


 
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Eric Sosman
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      06-01-2012
On 6/1/2012 11:44 AM, Patricia Shanahan wrote:
> On 6/1/2012 7:41 AM, Jim Janney wrote:
>> Eric Sosman<(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>
>>> (JavaDoc is both a blessing and a curse: It's a blessing in that
>>> developers *are* encouraged to write documentation, and it's a curse
>>> in that *developers* are encouraged to write documentation.

>>
>> If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
>> something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
>> them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
>> can think clearly too.
>>

>
> Help! I hate writing English essays, and was never very good at it.
>
> Perhaps I picked the wrong career, but it's a little late now that I'm
> retired on the proceeds of my ill-chosen career path. I needed to know
> that I would not be good at programming back in 1970.


Pull the other one; it's got bells on.

--
Eric Sosman
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)d
 
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Eric Sosman
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      06-02-2012
On 6/1/2012 7:44 PM, Patricia Shanahan wrote:
> On 6/1/2012 10:54 AM, Eric Sosman wrote:
>> On 6/1/2012 11:44 AM, Patricia Shanahan wrote:
>>> On 6/1/2012 7:41 AM, Jim Janney wrote:
>>>> Eric Sosman<(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>>>>
>>>>> (JavaDoc is both a blessing and a curse: It's a blessing in that
>>>>> developers *are* encouraged to write documentation, and it's a curse
>>>>> in that *developers* are encouraged to write documentation.
>>>>
>>>> If I ever found myself screening applicants for a programming job (not
>>>> something that's ever likely to happen) I would be very tempted to ask
>>>> them to write a short essay. If you can write clearly then I know you
>>>> can think clearly too.
>>>>
>>>
>>> Help! I hate writing English essays, and was never very good at it.
>>>
>>> Perhaps I picked the wrong career, but it's a little late now that I'm
>>> retired on the proceeds of my ill-chosen career path. I needed to know
>>> that I would not be good at programming back in 1970.

>>
>> Pull the other one; it's got bells on.
>>

>
> Yes, I'm joking about reconsidering my choice of career, but if getting
> a programming job in 1970 had depended on English writing skill, I would
> have been rejected - I write much better now than I did then.


Aside from pure linguistic tasks -- writing grammatically and
correct, spelling words propperly, punctuating well that, sort?
of thing -- The developer needs some skill at separating himself
from his own context when documenting his artifact. The person
who wrote the code participated in the design discussions, knows
what approaches were considered and rejected (and why), remembers
only too clearly the bugs that were easy to fix and those that
kept him awake nights, and is aware that class X began as a bunch
of parallel `switch' statements in class Y before refactoring.
When he sets out to document class X, he may have a hard time
writing in a way that will be intelligible to someone who does
not share his prior knowledge.

A documentor needs some of the same skills as a teacher, most
especially the knack of seeing things from the point of view of a
reader not yet versed in them. "Empathy," if you will.

--
Eric Sosman
(E-Mail Removed)d
 
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Roedy Green
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      06-10-2012
On Thu, 31 May 2012 16:50:24 -0400, Eric Sosman
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted
someone who said :

> There's nothing fundamentally wrong with Vector. People will
>moan and wring their hands over the cost of its synchronized methods,
>but I haven't heard of any actual measurements.


Originally Vector was much slower than ArrayList then somebody souped
up the low level code for locking and most of the difference
disappeared. I am just repeating what I heard.

JComboBox insists on a Vector of choices. You also need it for code
you want to run under any version of Java. JTable constructor likes
Vectors though you can get around that.


--
Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
http://mindprod.com
Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming.
~ Brian W. Kernighan 1942-01-01
..
 
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