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Showing posts from September, 2014

presumably unnecessary ambiguities in Java

[WORK IN PROGRESS, noob bashing welcome]

Its specification allows accessibilities to conflict.
Java lets you control how much of your program can access any given variable or class. However, the default level of accessibility doesn't have a closed specification, that is, it can be 'overloaded'; this causes problems when you have more than two packages and mix certain accessibility modifiers with inheritance between them. (The problem with the linked case is that it's syntactically correct and but the resulting output varies depending on the compiler you use. This matters not for the small number of programs it cockblocks or crashes, but because compiler writers are scarily devoted and prescient, so to see them failing to resolve ambiguity is a blow to human pride and existential security.)

Escape characters and directoriesYou can't use certain directories within strings, cos backslash is used to mark escape characters and the beginning of Windows directories (e.g. for…

the Scotland question

(c) "The Ship Comes In", JD Fergusson (1931)

The dark dry questions are breaking heads.
And what have the red and blue to do
with that dark river in which we swim?"

- Iain Crichton Smith

In case you haven’t heard, the Scottish questions are “Why independence? Why the Union? Who needs to prove what?” People usually get fixated on just one issue – whether fear of new borders, fear of the Euro, fear of losing arms jobs, boo the monarchy, boo the expenses scandal. I've tried to get all pros and cons into view; as a result, this post stretches on. If you refuse to sit through 4000 words of amateur political analysis, please skip to the punchline here.

I was undecided before writing this. This time last year I was dead against independence, on the grounds that nationalism is 1) bullshit and 2) dangerous bullshit. That’s still true, but the first thing to notice is that supporting independence doesn't make you a nationalist. (That sounds obvious, but everyone makes t…