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11:29 AM
Ugh, my Xorg generates 100% CPU and lags. I'll have to look at this later when I have the time.
Unfortunately I had an upgrade yesterday and a major upgrade two days ago (including X) so it might not go away after a reboot
 
 
3 hours later…
2:22 PM
@AndrasDeak Debian upgrade? On stable?
 
2:57 PM
@FaheemMitha debian testing
 
3:50 PM
@AndrasDeak Ah
 
4:03 PM
reboot solved it for now...
 
4:26 PM
@AndrasDeak So Debian is your main OS now?
 
@FaheemMitha it's been exactly 4 years as of yesterday :) chat.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/33775869#33775869
it's my only OS
 
@AndrasDeak Once you go Debian, you don't go back?
 
Hehe, yeah. Although I switched from ubuntu so I didn't go far. And who knows where gradual insanity will lead me eventually.
 
Lots of strange names in that chat.
Oh, never mind, it's the Python room.
Busy, is it?
 
It varies
 
4:33 PM
@AndrasDeak Plan 9? OS X? <Gasp> Microsoft Windows?
 
Definitely not the latter two :P The only Plan 9 I know is that of Ed Wood, so maybe ;)
 
the Hurd ...
 
Ah, yes!
 
or even less mainstream, TempleOS!
 
OpenBSD, if we're going crazy.
 
4:43 PM
I thought Hurd was peak "crazy hermit" crazy
In any case I expect to stay within gnu/linux
 
@AndrasDeak Crazy hermit?
 
5:07 PM
Crazy hermit is a bit insulting.
 
I don't mean it that way
 
5:55 PM
@terdon "I was perfectly able to review it" Do you mean that it was method in your ... like you were perfectly able to fact-check and review the suggestion but chose not to? Sad.
@AndrasDeak I don't think that such disclaimer/warnings would be accepted. But you're welcome to try -- take this: unix.stackexchange.com/a/17117/431397. That answer is totally bogus -- if process substitutions worked as described there, then head <(yes) would never finish. Go on -- try slapping a warning on it.
 
Not my turf
 
6:14 PM
@user431397 No, I mean it has nothing to do with fact checking. That was a near complete re-write of the answer which, by definition, makes it a bad edit.
@user431397 If an answer is wrong and can be fixed with a small edit, then edit. If the answer is fundamentally wrong, then post your own answer with the correct solution and explain why the other one is wrong.
That said, could you explain what's wrong in Caleb's answer? I don't see it.
 
I also see 0 comments saying it's wrong in 9 years, which makes it a bit sus
 
@AndrasDeak what is "sus"? most answers here never get peer-reviewed in any way. Quoting from that answer "Process substitution runs the commands, saves their output to a special temporary file and then passes that file name in place of the command.". So, according to that, "head <(yes)" is just syntax sugar for "yes > tmp; head tmp", which will never finish by itself.
 
Sorry, it's a currently memetic version of "suspicious".
 
@AndrasDeak I know, I was wondering why you find it "suspicious". It's all too natural that nobody bothers to correct obvious mistakes here.
 
Ah. I just meant that blatantly wrong content typically gets comments saying so. And if you know for a fact that it's wrong presumably you could've/should've at least left a comment saying so, rather than just using it as an example.
 
6:32 PM
@user431397 What would you call the /proc/self/fd files if not "special files"?
It's a special file:
$ file <(echo foo)
/dev/fd/63: symbolic link to pipe:[178375273]
It's even explicitly mentioned in the answer:
> Note that the file created is not a regular file but a named pipe that gets removed automatically once it is no longer needed.
 
@AndrasDeak It's a culture of complete disregard for the facts. If you leave a comment saying that something's wrong, you get either ignored or have equivocations / belligerent crap / no-true scotsmans thrown at you. See terdon's message for an example ;-) If you suggest an edit -- let's not even enter into that ...
 
I don't really agree. A comment tells future readers to be careful. Then the smarter ones can make educated decisions to investigate the details.
It's not really about being right, is it?
 
@user431397 What about my message? Also, I would suggest you consider the possibility that if you were a bit less abrasive and agressive, your comments might get a better reception. Coming in with an attack instead of a correction is unlikely to go down well.
By the way, you have exactly 3 suggested edits and all three were approved, so I really don't understand what you are complaining about.
 
7:03 PM
@terdon I was not being aggressive, I haven't attacked anybody, and I don't care about the reception of my comments. I personally don't have to "complain" about anything -- and I find insulting your suggestion that people only "complain" when they have some skin in the game.
 
@terdon concerned citizen
 
@AndrasDeak Yes, I know I'm ridiculous. I always were.
 
Not sure how I implied that
Chalk it up to a language barrier
 
@user431397 Perhaps that isn't your intention, but the way you have initiated our conversations today and a few days ago absolutely felt like an attack. Note that CAPS are considered yelling and terms like "made up reasons", "disgusting" or "sad" come across as belittling and aggressive.
I don't know where I suggested that people only complain when they have skin in the game. I was responding to this statement of yours: "If you suggest an edit -- let's not even enter into that ..."
That implies you have tried to suggest edits and it wasn't a pleasant experience for you which I found surprising since you only have three edits and all of them have been accepted.
In any case, my question about the fd files was asked in earnest. What would you call something like /dev/fd/63 if not a "special file"?
Since you said that Caleb's answer is "totally bogus", and said that the part you object to is the use of the term "special file", I am assuming you find this to be fundamentally wrong. Can you explain how?
You may very well be right, I am not pretending to be an expert on this. So if it is indeed wrong to call it a special file, please explain why.
 
7:35 PM
@AndrasDeak People tend to think (for some reason) that Stallman was involved in the development of the Hurd. As far as I can, he really wasn't. He sort of "commissioned" it at some point, but his direct involvement ended not long after that.
I doubt he's got a background in microkernels or related things. He's not really a low-level sort of programmer. And he stopped any kind of programming in the 1990s, anyway.
 
On my level of ignorance Stallman == GNU :)
 
@AndrasDeak The GNU project involved (and involves) a lot of people.
 
Of course
 
For a while people were paid to work on the project. But I don't know if that is the case now. I think probably not.
 
He's just a strong advocate for GNU and the FSF, and a very characteristic person so it's tempting to make pointless jokes about him
I also don't think he sleeps with sheathed katanas attached to his bed
 
7:41 PM
He's semi-retired now, anyway. He recently resigned as President of the FSF, for no good reason. Some idiot bloggers launched an attack on him, and it presumably stirred up sufficiently bad publicity to cause his resignation.
@AndrasDeak I didn't think you did.
 
He did come here to talk about stuff ~10 years ago, and a guy I know asked him to sing the Free Software Song, which he did
 
@AndrasDeak Sounds like fun. I've never seen him in person. My father did once, when he came to give a talk in Bombay.
That was many years ago, of course.
@AndrasDeak You attended one of his talks in person.
 
@FaheemMitha Nope. But the guy I know did.
 
@AndrasDeak Ah.
 
@FaheemMitha I heard quite a few accusations concerning sexual harrassment, so it might be more than "idiot bloggers" attacking him. And yeah, I think that was related to his resignation from FSF.
 
7:45 PM
My father remarked that he seemed like "a practised speaker". Also, he didn't understand how he managed to have such a long beard, because beards itch.
@AndrasDeak Those accusations are complete rubbish, as you'll find out if you look into it.
 
@FaheemMitha I probably should
 
Apparently his behavior is often considered "inappropriate", including towards women. I can well believe that, but that doesn't constitute sexual harassment.
For example, he used to ask out women he didn't know, and then ignore them if they said no. Stuff like that.
 
Yeah, there were stories of him hitting on women on sight. Which has a wide range of potential creepiness depending on context and details.
 
@AndrasDeak Still not sexual harassment.
 
There are definitely options in that scenario that constitute sexual harrassment. But this is not really a topic for this room, probably.
 
7:48 PM
There seems to be a fair amount of consensus that he has very poor social skills. Among other things, he tends to be very moody, and often controlling of conversations. Things like that.
@AndrasDeak It's harassment if you don't take no for an answer. Asking is not a crime.
As far as I know, nobody has ever accused him of anything like that. Some women didn't like being asked by an older man with physical appearance and manners that they deemed "unsuitable". Things like that.
 
Anyone here do C++?
I'm reading "A Tour of C++" and I'm pretty sure this is just a typo, but if it's not there's some big concept I'm missing:
```
struct Record { string name; // name is a member or Record (a string member) // ...};
```
I'm pretty sure that "or" should say "of." (?)
 
@Wildcard Yes, that's a typo.
 
@FaheemMitha thanks!
 
8:05 PM
@Wildcard If you are reading a C++ book, you'd probably want to look at "C++ Primer", now in its 5th edition. Most C++ books are terrible. That's the only one I found that was any good.
For historical background, "The Design and Evolution of C++" is also definitely worth looking at.
 
@FaheemMitha Tour of C++ is by Bjarne Stroustrup and the 2nd edition (that I'm reading) is from 2018.
 
@Wildcard Oh, I don't know that one.
 
what does he know about C++ anyway ;)
 
@AndrasDeak LOL
 
though to be fair that doesn't guarantee that he can write a good intro book
 
8:07 PM
Here's a piece of the preface:
Think of a sightseeing tour of a city, such as Copenhagen or New York. In just a few hours, you are given a quick peek at the major attractions, told a few background stories, and given some suggestions about what to do next. You do not know the city after such a tour. You do not understand all you have seen and heard. You do not know how to navigate the formal and informal rules that govern life in the city. To really know a city, you have to live in it, often for years. However, with a bit of luck, you will have gained a bit of an overview, a notion of what is special about the city, and
(Ah, the word "not" should be italicized most or all times it appears in the first paragraph.)
 
Hmm, interesting concept
 
A colleague of mine recommended it and said it's extremely readable. Seems good so far.
 
I guess he didn't want to write the 1500-page book that makes you know the city
(or he may have done that already)
 
@Wildcard Ah, 1st edn is 2013. So fairly new.
Which explains why I haven't heard of it.
 
I can imagine that such a book can leave a lot of loose ends that could lead to a lot of programming questions on SE
 
8:10 PM
@terdon I don't think the name "special file" is particularly wrong (and I didn't read the full conversation), but I could see how that could be considered technically inaccurate. It's not really a file at all, but a virtual directory entry in a virtual directory that magically exists separately for each process that looks at it.
 
Most C++ books are pretty useless (including Stroustrups, probably) because they don't go into enough detail to be useful in real life scenarios.
 
@FaheemMitha elaborate please?
 
C++ is such a monster there are an infinitude of special cases and edge cases and things interacting in unexpected ways. The "C++ Primer" was the only book I found that went into the standard in enough detail to be at all useful.
 
Do you mean useless for writing code from scratch, or useless for learning to read and understand and possibly troubleshoot existing code?
 
@Wildcard Both, probably.
Of course, one can also just read the standard, but it tends to be a bit dry and lacking in exposition.
 
8:12 PM
@FaheemMitha Cool, I'll probably read that book next. Right now I just want to get rapidly up to speed on the various language features and syntax that I'm going to be reading most frequently.
 
However "C++ Primer" is now somewhat out of date, so it will be of limited use, considering the numerous changes that have happened since then.
 
@Wildcard "special file" usually covers all of these. Part of the whole "everything is a file" mentality.
 
@Wildcard I assume you're using it for work?
 
@FaheemMitha yup.
 
@FaheemMitha note that Stallman used to have a whole thing about defending pedophilia. I think that was a large part of why he stepped down. He's since apologized, but he was on record defending some pretty hard to defend things.
 
8:14 PM
@terdon yeah, like I said, I think it's a fine term. I'm just mentioning the rationale by which I could understand nitpicking arguments against that term (not that I would necessarily agree with those arguments).
 
@Wildcard Ok. Well, my normal advice for people considering learning C++ is - scream and run. But I guess that wouldn't be relevant in your case.
 
@FaheemMitha LOL.
I think I'll prefer it to Java.
 
@terdon Yes, there were some exchanges on a mailing list.
 
Tim
What do you use C++ for
 
@Tim making cat videos.
(Kidding completely.)
 
Tim
8:15 PM
Linux API is all in C
 
But there is this thing called free speech. Some people have difficulty understanding the concept.
 
@FaheemMitha you know the relevant xkcd, right?
 
Tim
Is it correct that C++ usage is shrinking?
 
@AndrasDeak Assume I don't.
 
@FaheemMitha it's xkcd.com/1357
 
8:15 PM
@Tim I don't think anyone knows the answer to that. But I don't know if any evidence for that.
 
@Tim Depends. Amongst hobbyists, probably true. But it's still a backbone of a LOT of systems programming in a lot of places.
And nothing really geared to replace it.
 
@AndrasDeak I've probably seen that before, yes. Not sure.
 
@Wildcard I was just curious since user431397 called the entire answer "complete bogus", so I figured they had some good reason for it. Something more than "this kind of file is not a file even on a system on which everything is a file".
 
@terdon Ah, see, I didn't even read that much. I just read the one chat message I was replying to, although I could see there was obviously some context I was missing.
 
@Wildcard It's sort of fascinatingly horrible. Like some kind of weird mythical beast.
 
Tim
8:18 PM
system programming vs web programming
 
@FaheemMitha Accurate.
 
I'm not up with the latest changes, so I don't know how they've altered the character of the language.
Supposedly they're improvements. That concepts thing was getting a lot of press, but I've never used it.
 
@Tim Well, C++ is definitely not used to write websites. Ever. But it is used a lot for back-ends to websites. Though really, that can be done in lots of languages.
 
Does Stroustrup cover the recent changes/updates to the standard?
 
Tim
C vs C++ for "back-ends to websites"
 
8:20 PM
@FaheemMitha again I'll quote the preface:
This book gives an overview of C++ as defined by C++17, the current ISO C++ standard, and implemented by the major C++ suppliers. In addition, it mentions concepts and modules, as defined in ISO Technical Specifications and in current use, but not scheduled for inclusion into the standard until C++20.
 
@Wildcard Concepts is supposed to be in C++20.
I don't know if it is, though.
 
@Tim I doubt any website backends anywhere are written in C. Python, Java, Go, C++, in no particular order.
@Tim One place where C++ is still king is in graphical desktop software.
Web browsers and computer games and office application suites.
Also video editing software, photo editing software, graphic design software, etc. All are pretty much always written in C++.
@FaheemMitha please feel free to correct me if any of that is wrong. I'm not a C++ expert.
 
@Wildcard I'm not either, but it sounds mostly accurate.
Though I don't know about "pretty much always".
There is a school of thought that strong static typing is one of the few effective ways to hold large projects together. Though even if that is true, there are other ways to do it. Also, type inference.
 
@FaheemMitha Do you know of any counter-examples? I couldn't find any.
 
@Wildcard Counter-examples to...?
 
8:28 PM
Maybe some experimental software or "pet projects" somewhere.
@FaheemMitha the "pretty much always" statement that you said you don't know about. :D
 
gimp seems to be written in C. Half credit?
 
@Wildcard You mean something that is not written in C++ and belongs to the classification of video editing software, photo editing software, graphic design software?
 
@FaheemMitha yeah, preferably a well known piece of software.
@AndrasDeak definitely, good example!
@FaheemMitha or even a web browser or office application suite or (major) computer game.
 
@Wildcard Calibre is written in Python.
 
(There are a lot of computer games in a lot of languages, but the big immersive "blockbuster" games are mostly all in C++. Probably more variance in this area than the others I mentioned, though.)
@FaheemMitha Nice!
 
8:32 PM
Assuming you've heard of it.
 
Okay, so maybe not "pretty much always." I still think it's "the vast majority of the time" though.
Like if you asked a random non-technical person to name a desktop application, chances are extremely high that whatever they named would be something written in C++.
 
if you ask a random non-technical person to name a desktop application they will either say "word" or "facebook"
 
@AndrasDeak Well, Facebook isn't a desktop application.
 
I know...
 
I think it's still quite common to use C for such things. E.g. GNOME.
 
8:37 PM
But yeah, Excel, Word, Chrome, Firefox, Photoshop, World of Warcraft, and on and on.
So back to the original question:
@Tim C++ is definitely not going away any time soon.
 
Gnumeric is written in C, for example.
 
It's not so much that you can't find desktop software written in other languages (as has been shown in this chat, you certainly can), it's that there is a staggering amount of software that billions of people use daily that is written in C++.
 
Tim
@Wildcard I hope GUI is still alive. Now is web UI
Is knowledge in system programming such as Linux API still valuable for today's software engineering positions?
 
"still"?
 
@Tim depends where you go, really. There is definitely a market for that sort of expertise, but it's not at all the same market as that for front-end development.
 
8:43 PM
@Wildcard So, did you vote? :-)
 
@FaheemMitha I filled out the ballot. Haven't turned it in yet.
 
@Wildcard Ah. Well, you probably don't want to leave it to the last moment. What state are you in?
 
@FaheemMitha the crazy one.
 
@FaheemMitha desperate?
@Wildcard the crazy crocodile one or the crazy rifle one? :D
 
Tim
is it crazy for conservative to live in a liberal state
 
8:44 PM
@AndrasDeak neither.
 
@Wildcard ha!
 
What's the mood on the ground? From here things are looking quite tense.
 
There is a whole cadre of immediately aggressive numbered accounts on the site at the moment which I have imagined are all the same person
 
@Wildcard Well, that narrows it down.
 
I'm out of "stereotypically crazy states"
 
Tim
8:45 PM
CA
 
presumably Wildcard would've answered directly if they wanted the answer to be publicly available
I suggest not guessing anymore
 
@FaheemMitha I think Trump is going to win in a bigger landslide than 2016 and the media is going to be even more shocked and incredulous than they were four years ago. Right now they've got themselves deluded into thinking Biden is vastly more popular. Which he's not. And that's a major understatement.
 
@Wildcard sounds like 2016...
 
@Wildcard I really hope you're wrong.
 
Tim
@Wildcard dire warning
 
8:47 PM
@AndrasDeak eh, I've mentioned previously I'm in CA. But thanks.
 
"they literally can't offer anyone less likely to be elected than Trump". rest of US: "hold my beer"
 
@FaheemMitha Biden is the most terrifying candidate I've ever seen.
 
@Wildcard ah, not what I typically consider to be crazy :)
 
@Wildcard Terrifying?
@AndrasDeak Me neither.
Well, relatively speaking.
 
@FaheemMitha You may not agree with Trump, but at least you know he's the one making decisions.
 
8:48 PM
perhaps it was acerbic commentary on the US situation in general
 
@Wildcard Um. Not sure how to respond to that.
 
Biden is 100% owned by special interest groups. Who knows who would actually be calling the shots. Add to that his clear inability to string a sentence together, and you have a literal puppet vying for the most powerful political office in the world.
 
Tim
Your vote doesn't matter anyway
 
@Tim That's typically called "voter suppression." ;)
 
@Wildcard funny, because Trump's debts kind of put him in the exact same situation
 
Tim
8:50 PM
To me, Biden is lesser of two evil
 
@Tim What evil, though?
 
Tim
@Wildcard That is called dilution
 
We had a booming economy until COVID hit. Record low unemployment. Things were going great.
 
but it's not like most of the population doesn't "inform" themselves from severly biased "news" sources prolonging this insane dichotomy of us vs them
 
Tim
@Wildcard That is near sighted
 
8:52 PM
@Wildcard I think a lot of people would disagree with that assessment.
 
@Tim No new wars. Ending old wars. Everyone worrying that Trump would start WW III with NK, and what happened instead?
 
@Wildcard He's in the direction of the old-fashioned isolationists, yes. But that's only part of the picture. And no new wars so far would be a more accurate description.
 
@FaheemMitha the first two parts are not opinions.
 
Tim
It is not my first time that I heard someone working in software/computer industry supports the right wing
 
@FaheemMitha Well, Obama got a peace prize and he sure started a lot of wars.
 
Tim
8:54 PM
It is very sad, indeed
 
@Tim It's actually super unusual.
 
@Wildcard Depends on the definition of "booming economy".. And employment can also cover a lot of different things.
 
Anyway...I usually don't discuss politics for that very reason.
 
Tim
I know the economy works for some people. But that is not the whole picture
 
@Wildcard One that I know of. But I agree that the Peace Prize was wildly inappropriate.
 
@Wildcard Don't feel obliged on my account. I just wondered how things were looking over there.
 
Tim
@MichaelHomer detective homer, what is your finding?
 
I know people in the US, but haven't been talking to any of them.
 
@FaheemMitha np.
@Tim thanks for the question about C++ breadth of usage, by the way. That was a fun conversation.
 
@Tim I deduced that that is where one could create a new room that wasn't this one and put whatever they wanted in it
 
8:58 PM
Methinks Michael Homer has a greater aversion to political discussions than even I do. :)
 
Tim
@Wildcard I agree with you on the polls and MSM
 
@Tim thanks. Now let's talk technical.
:)
Actually I'm going to jump back into my book.
Current piece of code that prompted me to do some more study was:
void add(int64_t value = 1) {
Is that a default parameter value, as in Python, so that the function can be called without arguments?
 
@Wildcard If you mean, can you set a default, I'm pretty sure you can, yes. But I can't remember how, off the top of my head.
 
@Wildcard without knowing C++ barely at all it's hard to read that declaration as anything else. If I were you I'd directly search for default arguments in C++, coming from the other side with a good hunch.
 
@Wildcard Oh, looks like that syntax works. Though they have to appear at the end.
(I think.)
 
9:04 PM
Thanks, yep, confirmed.
 
Basic C++ is simple enough. It's when you start using its "features" that things get hairy. Particularly when they are used in combination. <Shudder.>
 
@FaheemMitha you mean anything above C?
 
@AndrasDeak Things like templates.
That's a whole can of worms right there.
 

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