Justin Wells Knows Better than You

Posted 9 Mar 2004 at 23:09 UTC by ncm Share This

This is just a place where Justin Wells, trance9. is welcome to post his opinions, so that he won't feel obliged to post them in places where his particular brand of wisdom is under-appreciated.

grow up, Nathan, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 03:03 UTC by trance9 » (Master)

You know you're dealing with a child when...

Nathan, you created a thread called Java: Failure or Crime and now you are throwing a temper tantrum because someone showed up your igorance? Your problem with me appears to be that I responded to your rant with facts. What are you trying to do, take Advogato to an all new low? What's next, are you going to packet me?

Grow up, really.

Facts, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 03:33 UTC by tk » (Observer)


  1. "Ailing C++ projects" were rescued from the brink with the great Java. No, you don't need to know the details, you just need to know Java is good.
  2. Reading files line-by-line is too old hat. Solution: use one of 3 methods, each of which is more complicated than reading line-by-line.
  3. High-level abstractions like BuckleSwasher are very essential.
  4. Altavista ran on Java, and still runs on Java, even though Altavista is hiding it really well. (Maybe they've stopped using Java in the back-end. No! How can that be?)
  5. Java shouldn't need to be as fast as C++, even though its syntax is a lot more verbose.
  6. The above are obviously facts.

This Is Your Place, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 04:58 UTC by ncm » (Master)

Justin, this is your place. You don't need to complain about other people and what they say, or even pay them any attention whatsoever. Just educate all your readers on the fine points of whatever the hell it is your eight whole years of experience have revealed to you. Go wild. Nobody will interrupt you. Nobody will tell you that you haven't the faintest notion about the real topic under discussion, because here you get to decide what the topic is. All your faithful readers will come back again and again to draw from the well of your wisdom.

Go ahead. The world is listening.

yes, tk, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 04:58 UTC by trance9 » (Master)

Yes, tk, I worked at AltaVista and my project was to support the conversion of AltaVista to Java (and WebMacro). I've since moved back to Toronto, as I didn't much like life in the valley, nor did I like living so far away from my family. Meanwhile high-level abstractions like like "Connection" are in fact essential for many projects. And you're correct: Java need not be as fast as C++, just like C++ need not be as fast as assembler, for exactly the same reason, and in exchange for exactly the same kinds of benefits.

There You Have It, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 05:42 UTC by ncm » (Master)

The Master has spoken. Please, continue... we await your every word with bated breath.

Pray, what does "igorance" mean? (Should I have written "Mahth-ter", above, instead?) And what does "packet" mean, as a verb? Is it illegal in Georgia?

More facts, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 05:51 UTC by tk » (Observer)

More facts:

  1. Connection is very very very essential. Why? Oh, don't argue.
  2. It's also very very very obvious that Altavista has never once removed a single line of Java code ever written by trance9. Again, don't argue.
  3. C++ is just as verbose as assembler. Why? Because trance9 says it is.
  4. If you don't agree with trance9, you're an idiot.
  5. trance9 has 8 years of experience writing Java, so he must be wise.

"Show Me The Code", posted 10 Mar 2004 at 05:53 UTC by tk » (Observer)

trance9, what language does your site run on?

my site, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 07:16 UTC by trance9 » (Master)

semiotek.com has been offline since I stopped consulting and took a fulltime job, about two years now.


And..., posted 10 Mar 2004 at 07:18 UTC by tk » (Observer)

...more translations:

Java is portable. My Java program works on Windows, and Sun says it's portable, so I just assume it'll work everywhere.

High-level abstractions are very very essential. Creating needless high-level abstractions are essential for job security.

Java is GC-safe. I've never heard of the Boehm-Weiser GC. Anyway, it's non-standard, and it's too low-level.

Java can be distributed in real-time over a network. I really don't know how to make it run fast on one machine, so I'll just give a lame excuse.

In practice in every application I've worked on the CPU is idle most of the time. The Java program has been distributed in real-time over a network. Perhaps if it were written in C++ I can get everything to run quickly on one CPU, but since we have several CPUs, let's waste all of them.

tk, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 07:27 UTC by trance9 » (Master)

Portable: Where I work we have a lot of linux, a lot of NT, a few solaris boxes in production, and a couple of AIX boxes for one client. I deploy the exact same package everywhere and it always works. In fact, typically when I deploy I have no idea what the target OS is, I post my code up through an automated deployer and it just works. That's portable.

Abstraction: Yes, abstraction is what this industry is really about. Having them standardized is nice--it means everybody does things the same way.

GC: Yes, you can get a GC for C++. It's not standard. It's a good idea, I highly recommend it to you.

CPU: That is in fact my observation. I see systems bottlenecked by network or file IO, or waiting for the database, or limited by memory. I hardly ever see systems limitd by processor speed. It is *rare*, with any language.

You really should try Java out sometime and dispell this myth that you seem to have that it's slow.

How utterly childish, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 09:43 UTC by djm » (Master)

ncm, you should stop. Much as I share your dislike of Java, you are only making a fool of yourself with your vitriol and personal attacks. Worse, you are annoying every user of Advogato in doing so.

Stupid flamewar, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 11:37 UTC by faassen » (Master)

I tried to figure out what this was all about. Turns out the previous obvious troll posting about Java turned into a nasty usenet-style flamewar, and the participants apparently thought we'd all enjoy their antics in a fresh thread.

Guys, especially ncm who started this new thread, please cut this out as soon as possible, which means right now. I know you don't understand how ridiculous this has become, but trust me, it has. trance9, you're only feeding the flames, nobody is reading this for education anymore (if they ever did), and you're never going to convince nmc.

If you all want to enjoy this further, take it to private email. I think you won't though, and it might be interesting for you all to carefully examine your motivations to keep this public. Not in this thread though.

friends, calm down, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 16:00 UTC by graydon » (Master)

I've talked with both of you extensively in the past, and you're both a lot more clever than this flamewar makes you out to be. it is just an unfortunate pairing of two reasonable fellows with aggressive argument styles and differing backgrounds. please let it go; it's embarassing to watch.

Ridiculous, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 16:20 UTC by ncm » (Master)

faassen: I know precisely how ridiculous it has become; hence, the article above. The previous article was meant for pure fun. Some people seem to have no concept of fun, and insisted on posting long, boring, off-topic screeds, so this is a place just for them. For the record, djm, I really don't care one whit about Java, as such, but I do hold you in great respect, and thank you for your work on OpenSSH. That matters.

One of the great things about Advogato is that it is easy to ignore everything that happens under any given article, if you're not interested. One of the bad things is that it's hard, without annoying others, to get tedious cranks to stop flaming under an article you are interested in. This article is an attempt to rectify that, somewhat.

While the nominal topic of this thread refers to one particular tedious crank, please feel free to refer any others here. Remember the article number, 756.

outta here, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 17:53 UTC by trance9 » (Master)

It's funny how free/open software can be so mature, and yet the developer community so incredibly immature.

I saw an article that basically said "java sucks", and I came along and posted a lot of substantive, technical reasons why I think it doesn't suck. I've been told that sort of post is off topic here--and really, I do invite you all to review all my comments on the other thread and judge for yourselves--Advogato, apparently, is more about flaming and packeting people than it is about discussing technology. If that's what I wanted, I'd hang out on IRC and trade w4r3z.

Well I'm outta here. Graydon, I'll catch you and others in more mature venues. It's no wonder there are hardly any articles on Advogato these days--who'd have thought a community of opensource developers could be even LESS mature than slashdot.

Not off-topic here, off-topic *there*, posted 10 Mar 2004 at 18:47 UTC by ncm » (Master)

trance9: You were told (repeatedly) that you were off-topic there, not here. Your tedious protestations (like everyone else's! Come one, come all!) are more than welcome here where they cannot pollute what is, in essence, a comedy article . That you so entirely failed to recognize its nature, even after numerous explicit clues, leaves you little excuse for pique. Learn the right lesson.

A little digression here... When my mother was a teenager, she was cleaning a champagne flute by pushing the dishrag deep into it, and it broke, cutting her badly. For decades after, she took the lesson to be that one should not try to clean the bottom of a champagne flute, rather than the correct lesson, that one should not push hard on glass.

If you want to assert Java's serious applicability to elaborating indefinitely multi-layered abstractions, you are explicitly invited to make your own article. Everyone interested will positively flock to it. No one will complain as you elaborate endlessly. After all, it's your article.

So let me get this straight, posted 11 Mar 2004 at 08:09 UTC by jbuck » (Master)

So ncm's flame against Java was intended to be comedy, so therefore trance9's attempts to take it seriously and refute it make him a figure of fun, and therefore ncm is starting another thread devoted to a personal attack on trance9. And now we are told that if trance9 wants to discuss the issue seriously he should start yet a third thread, because supposedly the article's author has sole power to set the tone of a discussion as well as of all replies.

Advogato continues on its path to greatness. I used to be digusted, now I try to be amused, as the song goes.

All we need now is yet another article about the trust metric, and we'll be set for the month.

Universal, posted 11 Mar 2004 at 14:56 UTC by ncm » (Master)

The problem of people pissing on discussions is universal, anywhere there are discussions. In every such context, people either invent methods or mechanisms to keep discussions from being derailed by cranks, or the medium dies. This particular thread is an attempt at such a method, because Advogato doesn't provide any mechanism. Nothing in the posted article constitutes an attack. (I suspect you may be attributing others' postings to me.)

You can't reasonably complain about an excessive volume of article postings -- it's been very low. The way to ensure a good flow of quality content is for everyone to post what they like. (Presumably you will like some of it too.) If you're not posting anything, how can you complain that what is being posted isn't to your taste? It's a shared responsibility. In fact, back when more people posted, the volume of what you would identify as frivolous postings was much higher, but they washed away quickly.

If Justin were, actually, to post an article of his own, with a rambling dissertation on how modernly high-level and fast-enough Java is, how would that harm Advogato? It would be recognizable for what it was. Anyone interested could discuss it on its merits, and people trying to make fun might be directed to go post in "Java: Failure or Crime" instead. That's healthy.

If Advogato is in decline, that is traceable directly to the rise of various other 'blog media that members here keep announcing, in their diary entries, that they prefer to use. The fewer postings you find here, the fewer you will find to like. Recall the restaurant critic's remark, "The food was awful, and there wasn't enough of it." The Central Limit Theorem implies that we need a greater flow of material if we are to expect to find much to our own tastes. The only possible source of that material is us.

Too bad we can't moderate people down, posted 12 Mar 2004 at 07:49 UTC by ping » (Master)

ncm: Shame on you for poisoning this forum with personal fights. Please stick to content.

Judging, posted 12 Mar 2004 at 13:28 UTC by ncm » (Master)

ping: It disappoints me to see you rush to judge. Have you really studied the full circumstances?

It is possible to moderate me down. My "Master" certification actually depends on very few ratings, among them that of Russ Nelson who would most probably change his upon request.

Ratings, posted 19 Mar 2004 at 14:45 UTC by abraham » (Master)

ncm: If I understand the system right, you aren't supposed to be rated based on the quality of your messages here, but based on your contributions to free software. And nobody has questioned those.

I guess it doesn't matter though, the site seem mostly dead anyway. Was advogato ever anything but an experiment with trust metrics?

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