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3:45 AM
@terdon I've never understood the argument against having whitespace be syntactically significant. People certainly find whitespace necessary to make the code readable; and there is a whole category of bugs prevented by having the way the code looks tied directly to what the code means. Care to try to make the case, just for my own understanding?
@FaheemMitha or perhaps you might answer the above message?
@FaheemMitha out of curiosity, what question was this? (I don't see it by looking in the obvious places.)
 
4:04 AM
@jesse_b short naps can be surprisingly refreshing, if you can actually manage to "shut down" that quickly. (I can once in a blue moon, but not ordinarily.)
 
4:38 AM
@AndrasDeak that's a great site, I don't think I've seen it before.
 
 
3 hours later…
7:15 AM
@Wildcard One issue is that formatting can easily get screwed up, for example when pasting. Or just by moving the cursor around. It's an intrinsically fragile thing.
If one makes systematic use of version control, it's not a huge issue. But still not ideal.
When nesting (like in loops), whitespace is obviously critical. And if it gets messed up, it can be non-trivial to fix. You have to go through the whole logic again. Of course, this is less of an issue if you break stuff up into small functions, but one may not chose to do so. For readability reasons, or for performance reasons.
Also, unlike languages where whitespace isn't significant, you can't get the editor to format your code for you. You have to do it yourself. Compare Emacs support for C/C++ vs Python. The former does virtually flawless code indentation. The latter cannot do code indentation at all. I'm currently using Elpy, which is a big improvement over the Python mode I was previously using. (Though I'm told it is the same functionality, it's just that it needs to be configured.)
But of course even Elpy cannot magically format Python code.
It's also worth noting that syntactically significant whitespace is an outlier. I'm not aware of any others besides Python.
 
@FaheemMitha well, there’s Whitespace :-P
 
7:54 AM
@Wildcard Personally, it bothers me first in principle, I like having braces for self contained bits of code. I find whitespace harder to follow.
Then, it makes it very hard to copy/paste and reuse bits of code. Either copying it from one source file to another where it has to be at a different level of indentation, making it easy to get it wrong, or into a terminal running a python shell for testing. If you have code that's part of a class, for example, and you want to test that in a shell, you need to remove one level of indentation.
Finally, it makes it easy to make a mistake if your editor doesn't indent properly (granted, not a big issue these days) or if you move something by mistake and then need to remember and figure out where it was nested. That can get tricky for complex code.
And yes, I know the python mantra that if it's a problem I am not coding well and should write better code, and it is indeed mostly true, but it doesn't change the fact that sometimes I might want to write something simple and ugly dammit, or that someone might not know any better.
@FaheemMitha What do you mean it can't do indentation for python? Of course it can! And quite well!
 
@FaheemMitha make? Haskell?
For that matter, C: i + + + j is syntactically-significant whitespace away from two significantly different programs, though I guess you mean the off-side rule specifically
 
8:43 AM
@terdon don't forget "use a proper editor"
@FaheemMitha emacs problem. Vim indents like a (py)charm
OK, ending blocks can be ambiguous
 
9:10 AM
@AndrasDeak I do. I use the world's best, prettiest, kindest and most beautiful editor. Emacs.
And it handles indentation just fine.
And yes, as my python skills have improved, the whitespace issue becomes less and less of a problem because I'm writing more "pythonic" code, and so smaller nested loops. I very rarely have indentation blocks that don't fit in a single page so I am far less often confused by it.
Nevertheless, I would still prefer to have braces. I guess old habits die hard.
 
@terdon from __future__ import braces
 
Yeah, I know. But (and I realize this might seem contradictory after the above rant), that just feels like I'm making my life harder :P
I'm not that into braces :)
 
@terdon from __future__ import belt
 
lol
 
heh
 
9:36 AM
TIL I could probably use my DSLR as a webcam unix.stackexchange.com/questions/604285/…
 
9:53 AM
@terdon We are sorry to inform you that your moderating privileges on this forum are revoked :-)
 
20 hours ago, by Jeff Schaller
@AndrasDeak if only ed(1) could solve world peace, too!
seems very à propos here
 
@Kusalananda Silence, vimfidel!
 
:-P
My main editor has been nvi for about a year, actually
 
Mine too. Assuming you mean "not vi" :P
 
:-P
 
10:00 AM
Oh wow, OK, this nvi thing has one hell of a lineage!
nvi (new vi) is a re-implementation of the classic Berkeley text editor, ex/vi, traditionally distributed with BSD and, later, Unix systems. It was originally distributed as part of the Fourth Berkeley Software Distribution (4BSD). Due to licensing disputes between AT&T and the Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California, Berkeley, the CSRG was required to replace all Unix-derived portions of BSD source with new and unencumbered code. nvi was one of many components rewritten, despite the fact that the original vi was from UC Berkeley. AT&T had a legal claim over the license...
> It was originally derived from the first incarnation of elvis
!!!!
Presumably before the first time he died.
 
He still merges PRs on his home planet
 
:)
I'd gotten my ex to switch to Linux using Mint and she as quite pleased with it. But only as long as we were together so she had ready tec support. She went back to Windows when we broke up :/ And my current partner is a mac person who won't be moved away from macs with a crowbar.
 
There is a version of Zorin OS (Ultimate Edition) that looks a lot like Mac OS, but I doubt it would fool a hardened Mac user.
 
Yeah, the illusion would fail as as soon as she tried to connect her iphone to it :)
Plus, she's a professional artist, so design is incredibly important to her. It's usually her foremost concern, so Apple appeals to her.
And hey, at least it's not Windows and is an actual *nix system, so I'm happy :)
 
10:54 AM
I've been a full-time Linux user for only two and a half years, but when I made the switch, it was so easy I regretted not having done it earlier. There were a few things that made it easier, such as not being dependent on MS Office and Outlook, having installed Fedora for user testing purposes and having done some light Debian admin work.
 
@terdon we all rack up regrets during our lives
 
I've been one for just over twenty years now, so I barely remember what it was like to be a Windows user.
@AndrasDeak Eh, not really one of my big ones, to be honest :)
 
I should've added ":P" :P
My mother hated "this debian" I installed on her ancient netbook and wanted "her ubuntu back". I did replace the OS but her problem was replacing gnome with xfce. She wanted something faster...
I really need to find a windows-looking linux for her...
something that would run on a literal matchbox
I think it's a dell inspiron mini 10...
 
11:12 AM
Xfce can be customised quite a lot; it should be possible to get close to a Windows look, although I can't find a YouTube tutorial for the moment. (It's easier to find that sort of tutorial for Cinnamon.)
 
She said she "couldn't find anything". Pretty much all she needs is chrome and nautilus and I put some shortcuts on her desktop... :)
 
@terdon It can't indent deterministically. Or by itself, if you prefer. Obviously, since the indentation level isn't completely determined by the code. Since whitespace is syntactically meaningful.
To be even more specific, if I keep hitting tab, elpy will cycle through all the possible different levels of indentation. It even show them visibly, as gray bars (my background is currently black). But it doesn't know which one is correct, of course. How could it?
I got my parents to use a Linux-based system for a bit. Probably a mistake.
This was a while back, of course. They're both dead now.
I think there's some kind of a lesson in there, somewhere.
 
11:32 AM
@FaheemMitha I'm sorry :(
 
@AndrasDeak Thank you.
@AndrasDeak That was an interesting discussion yesterday, and I learned some new stuff. Thank you for sharing.
And everyone else too, of course.
 
11:52 AM
@FaheemMitha Ah yes, of course. As the sticker I used to have on my computer in my old lab said "This machine has no brain. Use your own" :P
And yes, that is a problem that is very nicely solved by braces.
 
 
1 hour later…
1:13 PM
Even though I'm told it was only expected, Mozilla cuts 250 jobs, says Firefox development will be affected. Ugh.
 
Tim
@FaheemMitha What new stuff did I miss that you learned?
@all I was thinking about whether to look again at using Emacs like an IDE general-purposed for programming languages
I thought it would be tremendously helpful a few years ago, till I was criticized for that thought
Emacs with different plugins for different languages would still provide more coherence user interfaces than different IDEs for different languages, I guessed.
 
 
1 hour later…
2:46 PM
Hey @JeffSchaller: I heard some guy has been stealing the wheels off cop cars in your area
 
@jesse_b yeah, the police are working tirelessly to catch him
 
:)
 
@jesse_b The other day, I asked my son to go get me a phone book. He laughed, called me a dinosaur, and handed me his iPhone.
 
Online phone books are not as good as the old school ones
 
The spider is dead, the iPhone screen is cracked, and my son is furious!
 
2:52 PM
hah
I literally just had to kill a spider for my wife
I made her a spider killing mace but she always makes me use it, it's just a 4x4 attached to the end of a wooden closet rod
 
clever! I debated buying one of those bug vacuums, but figured I'd end up being called anyway
 
I want to get one of the salt shooting guns. They are actually reasonably priced
"bug a salt"
 
killing bugs online and offline -- that's your Unix system administration team
 
rm -rf spider
I guess it should be kill -9
I was reading the other day that colorado is supposed to get hit with some wave of migrating tarantulas soon
 
Tim
I was thinking the other day that the US election would be a rival between the mainstream media and the "silent majority".
Never underestimate the latter.
 
3:03 PM
Ignorance is bliss
 
Tim
I am still amazed that conservatism and populism can coexist.
 
I'm amazed that people spend so much time worrying about issues they cannot even remotely influence
 
Tim
Because the issues can influence them
 
I capture spiders and put them outside, with the idea that they’re helpful; but more often than not a bird swoops down and eats them...
 
I'm not a religious man but one of my favorite quotes is the one about granting me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change....
 
Tim
3:06 PM
probably because the mainstream media and social media sometimes successfully provoked me
 
@StephenKitt How do you normally capture them and do you have wolf/huntsman spiders where you live?
 
@jesse_b plastic bag or envelope to catch them in, with something else to push them towards it
and yes, we do have wolf spiders, among many others
 
they are so fast. I don't think I would be able to catch them
Looks like you probably have huntsman as well which I often confuse with wolf spiders
both are fast
 
we leave part of the garden fairly wild, and we have lavender and thyme, so we end up with quite a lot of wildlife — solitary bees, lots of spiders, a hedgehog, ladybirds, lizards, birds...
yeah you have to get the trap set up before you start nudging the spider
we have a lot of small jumping spiders in the garden, I can’t catch those
 
I like the jumping spiders
 
3:11 PM
yes they’re amusing
the lizards manage to catch them
 
hah, I'm sitting here waiting for a vendor meeting to start and I just realized they are actually 12 minutes late
 
Tim
Looks like covid-19 doesn't affect your business much
How come does it affect Mozilla's Firefox that much?
Covid-19 or not, web browser is still used widely
 
@StephenKitt Huh. I've always used a glass or bowl. Largely because I also want to get a good look at 'em before letting them go.
 
@terdon ah, yes, get a glass over them then slide a piece of cardboard...
 
I can catch wolf spiders. Largely because they tend to stay somewhere and lurk for their prey. So I can put a glass over them easily enough. Much harder if you tip them off and they start moving though!
@StephenKitt Yeah, I caught a snake that way once. And then paraded through the village with it (small village in an island in Greece) which resulted in my catching a mate of my own species too! :)
 
3:21 PM
@terdon ha ha nice one
I imagine you didn’t use a glass or bowl for the mate of your own species
when I was a kid we’d go to the Pyrenees a fair bit, and I found quite a few discarded snake skins, but I’ve never been aware of a live snake close by
 
@StephenKitt Only in the sense of "Hey, lookee here, I got me a snake in a bowl, wanna see?"
And she did so I did and we did!
 
Tim
Python is still alive
 
Luckily, the snake I had caught was considerably smaller than a python. That would have taken a much larger bowl!
 
Tim
I encountered snakes multiple times in remote past and in my dreams
where there was high grass or water, I knew there might be snakes
especially when I saw dried saliva hanging on grass
 
3:37 PM
@terdon most unusual chat-up line ever
 
I found a snake in my yard while mowing two years ago and moved him to the fence
later that day I found my dog eating it
 
Tim
so dog can't be poisoned by snake?
 
3:54 PM
the animal version of Final Destination
 
@Tim it wasn't a venomous snake but most venomous animals are greatly overrated
The rattlesnakes we have here pose very little threat to healthy adults or even dogs, even without any medical treatment
 
4:16 PM
@Tim There was a political discussion of sorts in this room yesterday. See the transcript.
@JeffSchaller One should not kill spiders. They're not vermin.
I suppose it's tricky if the spider is poisonous.
 
@FaheemMitha all spiders are venomous, most are not particularly harmful to humans though
Although if we didn't have access to clean water and soap you would be very likely to die from virtually any spider bite
 
@FaheemMitha I appreciate that they hunt other insects, and I've relocated my fair share to outside the home. Not this one.
 
@jesse_b All of them? Really?
@jesse_b I don't follow.
 
@FaheemMitha I'm sure there are some exceptions but yes for the most part they all use venom to kill their pray, most of it poses no threat to humans and/or many species of spiders are incapable of penetrating human skin deep enough to deliver it
 
I don't think snakes do well in this city, but I see the occasional spider. India is full of snakes. Just not here.
 
4:30 PM
The main reasons spiders are almost instinctively feared by humans is because virtually all of their bites will give you an infection and without being able to keep yourself clean an infection has a very high chance of killing you
 
I quite like spiders for some reason. Perhaps they make me think of Spiderman. I don't know.
But I hear spider phobia is not uncommon.
There are lots of other insects I really dislike. Cockroaches are probably at the top of the list. I'm not trying to defend this as being rational...
 
for most of human history any infection was a good chance of death, but with access to alcohol, soap and water, and band aids they aren't as severe anymore
 
@jesse_b Are you saying it's necessary to wash a bite? Because I don't usually. I get bitten by insects all the time. I think my blood must be cordon bleu.
 
@FaheemMitha well I'm sure you shower fairly regularly and don't sleep in dirt so the wound stays relatively clean, but yes you should wash all wounds
except for snake bites as they may be able to identify the snake by venom left outside the wound, but once the snake is identified they will wash the wound
 
4:51 PM
@jesse_b I see. I've never washed a bite.
Yes, I shower daily. That's pretty much a necessity here, given the climate. And I don't sleep in dirt.
 
@FaheemMitha well most bug bites differ from spider bites too, a spider bite will typically leave an open wound which is very easy to get contaminated so it should be washed regularly and covered with something sterile.
I think mosquitoes are still like the number 1 killer in the world though
 
"‘You’re dead,’ he said.
Keli waited. She couldn’t think of any suitable reply.
‘I’m not’ lacked a certain style, while ‘Is it serious?’ seemed somehow too frivolous." [Mort by Terry Pratchett](http://www.chrisjoneswriting.com/mort.html)
 
5:10 PM
Ö
 
 
1 hour later…
6:34 PM
@jesse_b Ä
 
@Kusalananda wat up man, how have you been?
 
@jesse_b Tired and hot. Just back at work from vacation. Not doing much. Waiting for cooler weather.
And you?
 
@Kusalananda overwhelmed mostly
 
@jesse_b Seems about right.
 
Where did you go on vacation to
 
6:37 PM
Anything in particular?
@jesse_b The living room, mostly.
 
@Kusalananda toddler and a never ending pile of tasks at work
 
Ah, yeah. Life.
Had issues with the 10.15.6 macOS update. My iMac kept crashing after about 26h uptime, consistently. Turns out there was a kernel memory leak triggered by running Virtualbox. New macOS supplementary update today fixes it.
... but it got me to avoid the computer for most of the summer. Which was good.
 
7:03 PM
I don't remember a mac update that didn't break something
 
@Kusalananda I thought you were strictly BSD.
 
Kusalananda exclusively uses windows ME
ducks
 
7:28 PM
@FaheemMitha AFAIK, macOS is generally counted as one of the BSDs.
The userland is largely FreeBSD.
@jesse_b Jesse mostly uses duckOS
 
@Kusalananda Darwin. Some kind of fork.
But normally used on its own, as far as I know.
 
@Kusalananda :) my favorite
 

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