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1:16 AM
in Tavern on the Meta on Meta Stack Overflow Chat, 48 mins ago, by random
Programmers is the general's tent. SO is the front line, the asthmatics.
1 hour later…
2:39 AM
If this is the general's tent, I want stars
2 hours later…
5:08 AM
@MichaelT yeah and I think it's not the last time: it turned out an excellent reference for release / packaging role related stuff ;)
10 hours later…
3:08 PM
Hey, if anyone's alive in here, I'd like some advice on how to improve this question:
Q: Why do we use curly braces?

SomeKittensThe definition of "C-Style language" can practically be simplified down to "uses curly braces ({})." Why do we use that particular character (and why not something more reasonable, like [], which doesn't require the shift key at least on US keyboards)? Wikipedia tells us that C uses said braces...

The biggest problem that I perceive with it is a lack of research / utility. That is a difficult thing to fix.
@SomeKittens "Why" questions are especially challenging for historical things - that unless one is able to find documentation to state it one way or another, it is mostly speculation. Speculation can have a multitude of answers, all of which equally correct in speculation. That is difficult to fit into the SE Q&A format.
4:15 PM
@Caleb Edited to make it non-trivial — SomeKittens 3 mins ago
@SomeKittens personally (and realizing my bias in this), I would suggest leaving it closed. Changing the fundamental nature of the question makes the existing answers not quite answering the question you are asking. There is nothing wrong with a closed question.
Looking at that question, I don't think it's a bad question. It's just not answerable by our user base. I highly doubt any user can give an authoritative answer, and it's just generating speculation. Perhaps there's something out there that explains why the creators of C used curly braces, but given that there's only speculation so far, I don't hold out much hope of that happening.
4:52 PM
Modesque question - is there any reason the migration stub on PM.SE was removed? programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/154533/…
@MichaelT It's intentional. Migrated posts will eventually be deleted.
If anyone has a link to the PM question, they'll get auto-redirected to Programmers. But if you click on the link in the migration notice, you don't get redirected.
I cleared the migration history from the question. The user hasn't followed it. Hopefully, though, someone who knows about FPA will answer it.
Just wondering - I dont think I've seen it so removed rapidly after migration. I wonder if they are useful to people of looking for something and then finding themselves on a site that is more appropriate... for those that actually read and notice things.
@MichaelT The question has been on P.SE for a long time...
IT was migrated almost a year ago.
Ahh, well... you can see how good of a reader I am.
I'm curious again - would it be useful to have a slightly different message then - rather than one of "removed for moderation" which has a negative connotation... to something more like "has been migrated to another site"?
5:06 PM
@MichaelT I don't know how easy that would be. Technically, it was removed as part of the moderation activities, although it was probably an automated process.
2 hours later…
7:31 PM
@ThomasOwens bad or not, but question comments appear to degrade into meta content dispute, revision history shows quick closure and even quicker reopen, accompanied with new close votes coming at it- again, making a heavy smell of meta content dispute. Is there an established / common way for moderators to handle stuff like that?
@gnat Flag it and we can lock it down.
There are timed locks. We can make a Meta post (if one doesn't exist), link to it, pull out relevant comments, clean things up, and let people iron things out in Meta appropraitely.
I'd say flag it. I'll ping someone else - I've got a meeting soon.
@ThomasOwens done - thanks for advice
7:46 PM
@gnat I managed to do it all before my meeting.
I would appreciate a couple of +s on my comment on the question so it is sure to get attention, if you could.
@ThomasOwens Its locked, and not eligible for voting on comments.
@MichaelT Oh. Interesting. I thought you could still vote. Never mind, then. Are you all able to see the comment?
Or is it behind one of the "view all comment" buffers?
I can only see 3 comments - no "all comments" - yours is #3.
OK. That works for me. There's also the thread on Meta if you all want to discuss this question.
Dirk's (This needs to ask a dead person), SomeKittens responding, and yours.
7:49 PM
@MichaelT I felt that Dirk's comment was relevant to the question, so I didn't delete it.
The others were either moved to Meta or just deleted because they were an irrelevant conversation about shift keys.
It indeed is. My comment grew too large to be a comment, so then I've got an epic answer.
And with that, I'm off to my meeting. Have a nice, constructive Meta discussion, guys.
I'll check in with it after work today, if not sooner.
1 hour later…
8:57 PM
Trying to formulate an answer to that meta question... the "history" tag has had changes over time as to what is acceptable. Quoting a mid '11 answer about "history on topic" and then having a contest that has a theme of history for a week in may '12 seems to conflict - that history can be on topic now.
Granted, its a year later, so maybe the pendulum has swung the other way.
@MichaelT History.SE launched during that time ;)
And then recently...
Q: Are word origin questions on-topic?

Robert HarveyThe latest example is here: Why are actual parameters called "arguments"? Note that the OP is not asking for the difference between "parameters" and "arguments," or even what the word means, but merely how the word came to be used in the software development context. I find these que...

And also...
9:00 PM
Mar 21 '12 at 20:01, by user2334
Save for the accepted answer, I thought the semicolons question was pretty good. Programming history has always been an overlooked aspect of Programmers's scope.
@MichaelT I'm firmly on the side of Programming History questions are OT if they can be backed up by objective evidence
been a rough couple of days
topically correct
shall we say
Topically Incorrect: TI TI TI...Uh Oh...
At least this isn't Math.SE where one could be topically correct, but topologically incorrect.
@MichaelT you could have a bad graph algorithm
or a bad network setup
typically those are suboptimal rather than incorrect though
9:05 PM
I was trying to be humerus... but this isn't anatomy.SE where I would be boned for such a pun.
@MichaelT I broke my humerus once...it wasn't funny. Drums + symbol crash
9:45 PM
Anybody know of decent languages that are easy to bootstrap such that they can run compatibly with an interperated language, say, written by the CEO's nephew in 1978?
@psr Lisp
So, the idea is that you can bootstrap an interperater in BLUB-- or, somehow, can easily compile into BLUB-- (included for completeness)
@WorldEngineer - Which version?
@psr I'd say Scheme on the grounds that it's about that old
and building an interpreter is one of the basic activities you do in the SICP
9:47 PM
Any reference on how to do the bootstrap? Do I get my metacircular evaluator going and then plug that in or something?
What is SICP? I may have heard it, I'm acronym challenged.
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
aka the Book of Purgatory: Part 1
Also, does building the interperater really get the bootstrap done? I can then just throw all the libraries in?
this link might help
Summon Eric Lippert
my understanding is that you want to turn some modernish language into Blub?
I pretty much get the stuff in that link - but if I try to do C++ in BLUB-- I have to do a lot because C++ just doesn't work that way. I'm looking for an existing language that DOES work that way. (And scheme was my best guess.)
Lisp or one of the MLs would be the best option
9:52 PM
@WorldEngineer Not exactly. I want to embed a better language into 7 billion lines of existing BLUB-- running in the BLUBOTRON72 interperater.
So, if it were possible to write, say, a scheme interpereter in BLUB with a relatively quick bootstrap such that it could quickly run the rest of scheme, that might be a good way to do it.
without knowing Blub I can't say
@WorldEngineer - That's just not true.
misread, yes that sounds reasonable
this looks interesting
Scheme built from C
9:58 PM
The question is whether the embedded language is easy to bootstrap. I have heard that this was either true or a goal for LISP, Smalltalk, and Forth, but I'm not sure how easy they would really be. And Smalltalk has that whole single image thing, which would seem to be problematic.
Scheme and Forth are very easy as languages go
Forth is a common classroom bootstrap project
I have just given away nearly I know about Forth.
Scheme is probably less alien
That is an interesting article. A finished version of such a thing would be a great read!
Ahh, the history of history questions. Ghads, there is a lot to it.
10:08 PM
@MichaelT It's like all the other scope questions on Programmers
it's the trouble with being statically typed and dynamically scoped
The best answer to the "are they on topic" seems to be "a number of high level people have given a qualified yes at one time or another - and a number of people have had issue with specific questions that fall into that category."
The thing I disagree with the most was closing because of a single meta post some time ago - ignoring everything else between then and now. I am certain that I can find a meta post that has a consensus for any opinion I may have.
@MichaelT as I've stated before, I'm mostly a yes on these particular things
btw, @raspi - I notice your DNS question... do you have questions about your question?
I would be tempted to say "no, it shouldn't have it because php does - and php is a bad example of what to do."
10:16 PM
@MichaelT unless Yannis Rizos is doing it in PHP
then it's probably a good example but you might want a second opinion anywya
From The 12 networking truths - "... perfection has been reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - the same is true for writing a language.
There exists some networking support, but its often rather rudimentary - mapping to the system calls on the box rather than trying to make a fancy library for it.
java.net.InetAddress.getAllByName(string) - that will fetch all, but when you dig into it, I believe thats the name of a system call.
@MichaelT that's a system call
@MichaelT does the candidate info page fully load for you?
10:31 PM
@WorldEngineer It appears to. I don't have any trouble.
ah there is goes
@MichaelT Yeah. Just wondering how it's rant, bad, I must be burned alive and then be fed to fish etc.. :) I'll might try to approach it more from teaching point of view of robustness. Like usually sockets are teached somewhat "here's socket, just use it, don't worry about connection problems! it will work!" and this leads to that easy to use function usage.. or something like that.
@raspi the bit at the end appears to some to be a rant.
I'm not native english speaker, so... I just tried to get possible answers from many perspectives with that. like language, os, teaching, etc perspectives
10:54 PM
@gnat Thank you for the edit.

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