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Phil Deakins

SL and its Learning Curve

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Yes, I know why she brought it up. I refered to it in one of the recent posts. And I agreed that prior knowledge does make things easier. But she took it much further by effectively accusing me of lying about what I'd done. I'm certain that she's envious, because she isn't capable of even scratching the surface, and she doesn't like to think that I am. She certainly isn't making any sense, or giving any sound reasonings. All she can come up with is that people don't do it like that these days, so you can't have done it like that back then. Therefore, you are not telling the truth. Which, of course, is bollocks.

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Envy is one way to see it, again not knowing her background (or gender, but I'll take cues from you since you seem to be sure) I wouldn't like to guess one way or the other. My reading isn't that she accused you of lying, but I can understand that you might feel your prestigious history was impugned. :P

I can understand that the times they have a'changed - I am very much one of those programmers who prefers to write my own code (perhaps like you, except that I write programs without the 'me' :P), mostly because I think without firm control it's hard to prove that bugs and exploits weren't inherited. I didn't learn how to code all that long ago, but my approach is definitely out of fashion in the wider industry. It's not much new learning, getting familiar with the 'plug-ins' people seem to enjoy using today - Bootstrap, Node.js, jQuery... and it certainly saves me trying to kludge my way through Javascript just to find a few CSS selectors, or figure out how to handle IIS's magically stupid way of managing ODBC connections.

Code isn't a monolith, I don't see the point in comparing masculine sexual appendages against a ruler. I think the more pressing question is that with so many brainy folks in this thread, what else can we get done? :P

 

 

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:)

She did effectively call me a liar (I did originally use the word 'effectively), by arguing that what I said isn't the way that programmes are written, concluding that what I said was therefore untrue, and that I'd merely put some bits of code in to tie other people's routines together. That's paraphrasing her, because I'm not going to go and quote it all, but it's an accurate paraphrase. She would have been better to simply say that she didn't believe me, instead of going into details about how big programmes are written - something that she can only read about - even though that would also have been calling me a liar. I wonder who she thinks writes the stuff that other people use in their programmes. Gods? Perrie? Certainly not humans, or there would be no reason to disbelieve that a human such as myself could do it.

She was only right about one thing concerning me - that I was an amatuer when I wrote the 2 games but, by the time she wrote that, I'd already said that I wasn't a professional programmer until after I'd written them. As far as programming is concerned, I've been an amateur for most of the 30 years that I've been doing it. It's been my main hobby for most of that time.

During the years when I wrote those games, I used to get up, turn the computer on, do programming, and turn it off again when I went to bed, barely having left the computer at all. When I wrote the one that played my musical backings, I had all day every day to be immersed in it, as there was nothing else to do except eat and go to the loo, and I only worked in the evenings. So again I was an amateur at that stage too. I only became a professional when I was employed to write the search engine one in the first years of this century.

I have no certainty as to her gender. I just go by what her avatar is, although I've only seen her avatar in her previous incarnation.

I could write programs without the 'me' but I don't want to dilute the english language :P

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Phil Deakins wrote:

:)

She did effectively call me a liar (I did originally use the word 'effectively), by arguing that what I said isn't the way that programmes are written, concluding that what I said was therefore untrue, and that I'd merely put some bits of code in to tie other people's routines together. That's paraphrasing her, because I'm not going to go and quote it all, but it's an accurate paraphrase. She would have been better to simply say that she didn't believe me, instead of going into details about how big programmes are written - something that she can only read about - even though that would also have been calling me a liar. I wonder who she thinks writes the stuff that other people use in their programmes. Gods? Perrie? Certainly not humans, or there would be no reason to disbelieve that a human such as myself could do it.


Right now, at the theatre I'm working at, we're working on a play set in the early 1940's. Some of the characters will be wearing dresses that we'll make for the show that are meant to be period-accurate. Our costume designer picked out some pictures of dresses from a department-store catalog and showed them to our cutter-draper, who is capable of working out how to make a dress that will look like the one in the picture without having to see the actual dress itself. Once the dresses are finished, if you were able to find the original dress and compared the new one to it you'll probably find that in some ways the construction will be identical and in some ways the construction will be slightly different. This is simply  because there are only so many ways of putting a dress together that will work.

Your program(me)s were written for computers that you didn't design, which are capable of performing a certain number of actions in a certain number of ways. They were written to behave similarly to pre-existing programs. Even though you can accurately say that your coding work is your own as you weren't directly copying someone else's code, there's a limit to how original your work could have been.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I just take her gender to be what her avatar is

This is all I ever use - unless someone states their wishes in another way. :)

I don't even know how long I've been writing code - what even counts as code. I picked up BASIC before I was ten from a rusty Commodore64, then wrote websites and computer games - well, console games - before I was twelve (though to be fair, my main interest at that point was CG graphics). Scary to think that's a bit past 20 years ago! Heck, I've now been writing LSL regularly for a decade.

In lots of ways though, I'm still an amateur. :P


Phil Deakins wrote:

 I could write programs without the 'me' but I don't want to dilute the english language
:P

My boss would like you!

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

:)

She did effectively call me a liar (I did originally use the word 'effectively), by arguing that what I said isn't the way that programmes are written, concluding that what I said was therefore untrue, and that I'd merely put some bits of code in to tie other people's routines together. That's paraphrasing her, because I'm not going to go and quote it all, but it's an accurate paraphrase. She would have been better to simply say that she didn't believe me, instead of going into details about how big programmes are written - something that she can only read about - even though that would also have been calling me a liar. I wonder who she thinks writes the stuff that other people use in their programmes. Gods? Perrie? Certainly not humans, or there would be no reason to disbelieve that a human such as myself could do it.


Right now, at the theatre I'm working at, we're working on a play set in the early 1940's. Some of the characters will be wearing dresses that we'll make for the show that are meant to be period-accurate. Our costume designer picked out some pictures of dresses from a department-store catalog and showed them to our cutter-draper, who is capable of working out how to make a dress that will look like the one in the picture without having to see the actual dress itself. Once the dresses are finished, if you were able to find the original dress and compared the new one to it you'll probably find that in some ways the construction will be identical and in some ways the construction will be slightly different. This is simply  because there are only so many ways of putting a dress together that will work.

Your program(me)s were written for computers that you didn't design, which are capable of performing a certain number of actions in a certain number of ways. They were written to behave similarly to pre-existing programs. Even though you can accurately say that your coding work is your own as you weren't directly copying someone else's code, there's a limit to how original your work could have been.

I have never suggested that what I wrote was totally created by me. Only the programming was totally created by me. If you go up a few posts, you'll see that I said several times that all ideas come from pre-existing ideas that other people had. In this case, I said where each of the ideas for the games came from. The other 2 major programmes came from other pre-existing ideas. No idea is totally new.

But this discussion isn't about where the ideas came from. It's about someone telling me that I didn't really write every byte of code for those programmes. I don't know why she would want to argue it and all I can come up with is envy. Whatever the reason, she effectively called me a liar.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:

I don't even know how long I've been writing code - what even counts as code. I picked up BASIC before I was ten from  rusty Commodore64, then wrote websites and computer games - well,
console
games - before I was twelve (though to be fair, my main interest at that point was CG graphics). Scary to think that's a bit past 20 years ago! Heck, I've now been writing LSL regularly for a decade.

In lots of ways though, I'm still an amateur.
:P
Phil Deakins wrote:

 I could write programs without the 'me' but I don't want to dilute the english language
:P

My boss would like you! 
LOL

Without knowing your current age (and I'm not asking) I can't work out how long you've been at it. Not that it matters. We're not in a pissing match about who has done what the longest lol.

I was about 40 when I started. I bought an Oric home computer in the mid-80s because I wanted to write a programme that would sort out which videos to deliver to which customer. So I learned the BASIC that came with it and, eventually, I succeeded in writing the programme. I'd been trained in electronics (cipher machines) in the army, and computers certainly interested me a lot, so I then learned to programme in machine code. After that, I took the Oric apart, drew it's circuit on paper and learned what every part did. By adding a chip, I actually improved its memory, but only for machine code programmes. The chip allowed me to use of the 16k of RAM that was overwritten by the ROM. I then started up in the computer business, inventing, manufacturing, and selling add-ons for a certain make of home computers (Amstrads). It's been interesting :)

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I was about 40 when I started. I bought an Oric home computer in the mid-80s because I wanted to write a programme that would sort out which videos to deliver to which customer. So I learned the BASIC that came with it and, eventually, I succeeded in writing the programme. I'd been trained in electronics (cipher machines) in the army, and computers certainly interested me a lot, so I then learned to programme in machine code. After that, I took the Oric apart, drew it's circuit on paper and learned what every part did. By adding a chip, I actually improved its memory, but only for machine code programmes. I made use of the 16k of RAM that was overwritten by the ROM. I then started up in the computer business, inventing, manufacturing, and selling add-ons for a certain make of home computers (Amstrads). It's been interesting
:)


Nice! That's cool work. I don't think I got on the scene properly until Compaq started being practical machines in... the 90s? I started off on a 386. I'm also 29 - not a secret, the problem is (biological) memory, mostly anything before I was about 19 (incidentally, the age I joined SL) is missing except on paper records. :P

I think my biggest application of BASIC was a chatbot, nothing as complex as Alice/Eliza but I've always liked ciphers too. While I was still in compulsory education I co-authored a book and interactive CD based around Fibonacci - a distraction from writing the foundational code to my desktop personal assistant (which is still running, though it's moved languages and datastores a few times - it's now purely online).

But yes I know it doesn't matter - except for the previous discussion on subjective knowledge/difficulty. :) Just interesting!

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I was about 40 when I started. I bought an Oric home computer in the mid-80s because I wanted to write a programme that would sort out which videos to deliver to which customer. So I learned the BASIC that came with it and, eventually, I succeeded in writing the programme. I'd been trained in electronics (cipher machines) in the army, and computers certainly interested me a lot, so I then learned to programme in machine code. After that, I took the Oric apart, drew it's circuit on paper and learned what every part did. By adding a chip, I actually improved its memory, but only for machine code programmes. I made use of the 16k of RAM that was overwritten by the ROM. I then started up in the computer business, inventing, manufacturing, and selling add-ons for a certain make of home computers (Amstrads). It's been interesting
:)


Nice! That's cool work. I don't think I got on the scene properly until Compaq started being practical machines in... the 90s? I started off on a 386. I'm also 29 - not a secret, the problem is (biological) memory, mostly anything before I was about 19 (incidentally, the age I joined SL) is missing.
:P

I think my biggest application of BASIC was a chatbot, nothing as complex as Alice/Eliza but I've always liked ciphers too. While I was still in compulsory education I co-authored a book and interactive CD based around Fibonacci - a distraction from writing the foundational code to my desktop personal assistant (which is still running, though it's moved languages and datastores a few times - it's now purely online).

But yes I know it doesn't matter - except for the previous discussion on subjective knowledge/difficulty.
:)
Just interesting!

It IS interesting. I had no idea that you have that (impressive, to me) side of you. We don't tend to learn much about other SL users, unless we become good friends.

I used to write too, but I've never written a book, though, like a great many people, I'd love to write one. I used to write monthly columns in a couple of the UK's glossy computer mags. I'd try writing a novel but I'm useless at descriptive writing. I'm fine at factual stuff, but that's not what novels are made of.

An interesting (to me) aside: I've just read a book about Gordon Welchman, who, along with Alan Turing, was one of the main people at Bletchley Park. It was an interesting book, made more interesting to me because I learned that GCHQ is the continuation of Bletchley Park, and I trained to maintain and repair a particular cipher machine there. I trained on others during my normal army training, but that particular machine had to be learned at GCHQ. So I'm Bletchley Parker - twice removed :D

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Phil Deakins wrote:

:)

She did effectively call me a liar (I did originally use the word 'effectively), by arguing that what I said isn't the way that programmes are written, concluding that what I said was therefore untrue, and that I'd merely put some bits of code in to tie other people's routines together. That's paraphrasing her, because I'm not going to go and quote it all, but it's an accurate paraphrase. She would have been better to simply say that she didn't believe me, instead of going into details about how big programmes are written - something that she can only read about - even though that would also have been calling me a liar. I wonder who she thinks writes the stuff that other people use in their programmes

i didnt call you a liar, effectively or otherwise. I said that you are self-delusional to make the claim you did

writing anything large and complex in any language without reference to any other source is nonsense

what we can get big ups for from our peers in the field is our design work, and the choices of algorithms and how efficiently we can then code them up

you have already started walking back what you initially said. Was a pretty bold claim so am not surprised that you are. Is good that you have as well

if we did go thru all the programs you have written then we would be able to see a whole heap of stuff invented by others embedded in your work. Any peer review of your works would show this. You might not recognise this yourself, until is pointed out to you tho. Which if you had researched prior to coding stuff up then you would have seen this for yourself

 

this is true of any large complex program

what peer review can also reveal is that there can be some technique that the coder has used to efficiently implement a algorithm(s) in a way not seen before

what is more common tho is that the design of the app (the flow and the choices of algorithms included). And the efficiency of the coding is such that the app works really well as a whole. And when so the programmer can get big ups for that from their peers, and rewarded by the buyers

+

seeing as how we now sharing I just add something about myself

i have mentioned before that I am a social worker. Is my specialist field

what I also am is a software review analyst. The org I work for and our affiliates and sister orgs, buy a lot of bespoke software and customisations. We have millions of dollars of public money to account for

my job is to ensure that we all get what we paid for. And that the supplied code, both bespoke and customisation, is unencumbered by 3rd-parties, and when 3rd-party is included then it has been used compliant with 3rd-party licenses, patents and copyrights. Whether the contractors know this or not

and then after review I write a report which then goes to Legal. After Legal have reviewed and annotated it, then it comes back to me. And then taking what Legal may have said into account, I redraft the report and also write a buy or dont buy recommendation for the HoD and CEO. Which when recommended as Buy then gets included in a further CEO report to the Board

I also review the responses we get from contractors to our RFQs (which I also have a part in drafting). On response I just make a recommendation to winnow the contractors down to more than 1 and not greater than 3. And then I sit in the meetings with these 2 or 3 and ask questions. And then after that round then I write a recommendation, which also goes to HoD and CEO and Board, where the decision is made. And I have to present my report in person as well

in doing this I read truckloads of code. I read truckloads of supporting documentation as well. And I research everything. I will ask questions, and in the meetings with our contractors I will call it as I see it. And when I get offered generalisations then I will just call that straight out as well

bc we are talking millions of dollars of other peoples money then some of the meetings can get a bit rugged sometimes. I have been called worse than a liar. I dont think there is a insult that I have never heard. I just let it all wash over me tho, and keep the focus on the documents and the questions

has got lots better tho in the last about 2 years now. The people sitting across have worked it out. How it works at our place. We not interested in buying stuff based on generalisations and bold claims that any cursory examination of can be shown to be less bold than whats been claimed

whats important in these situations are the questions and that they are asked. The answers given speak for themselves. Not asking the questions is where stuff fails

is what the contractors dont know that concerns us as orgs. It can get really expensive when the contractors dont know that what they have coded up and supplied isnt their property

why that often is, is bc the contractors dont ask questions of themselves. They define themselves, and what they subsequently do, by the answers they give to questions from others

is a big factor this in why lots of large complex software projects fail. People often dont ask questions of themselves as buyers, or of themselves as suppliers

+

you are right tho about one thing about me. I am not expert at any one thing. I just have broad knowledge about the stuff I need to know in my work

thru gaining this knowledge I have never presumed that any question that might occur to me has never been asked by someone else before. And bc so then when I do research then I am looking for the question. Like how else could this question be framed ?

when find the questions then the answers come. The answers might not always be complete, but when so they can often lead to reframing the initial question. Which is helpful I find

 

 

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Phil Deakins wrote:

An interesting (to me) aside:
I've just read a book about Gordon Welchman, who, along with Alan Turing, was one of the main people at Bletchely Park. It was an interesting book, made more interesting to me because I learned that GCHQ is the continuation of Bletchely Park, and I trained to maintain and repair a particular cipher machine there. I trained on others during my normal army training, but that particular machine had to be learned at GCHQ.
So I'm Bletchely Parker - twice removed
:D


That's awesome. I recently saw The Imitation Game film about Turing's work at Blechely Park, but I've had a long-held love of A Beautiful Mind (very similar, and I relate to a little more closely) for ages. Can't say I've ever been inspired to go too closely to the modern incarnations but I love all those stories - people realising for the first time that computers exist and that they are super-compatible with them. I kind of wonder what we'd all do if Amstrad and BBC didn't do what they did!

Under my own steam I wrote five small philosophy.. things. Shorter than books (they were published in psych. journals), but like you I'm terrible at fiction - no patience for it (my latest work is fiction, but very loosely, and it's taking forever). Writing is still very much a hobby - one of many - but definitely one I wish I had more time and patience for.

It's been really cool finding more about Theresa and Wherorangi's backgrounds too! Thanks for sharing. :) I really like the sound of the broadbrush approach of Wherorangi's backgroubnd - and I could definitely use more peer review! :D

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wherorangi wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

:)

She did effectively call me a liar (I did originally use the word 'effectively), by arguing that what I said isn't the way that programmes are written, concluding that what I said was therefore untrue, and that I'd merely put some bits of code in to tie other people's routines together. That's paraphrasing her, because I'm not going to go and quote it all, but it's an accurate paraphrase. She would have been better to simply say that she didn't believe me, instead of going into details about how big programmes are written - something that she can only read about - even though that would also have been calling me a liar. I wonder who she thinks writes the stuff that other people use in their programmes

i didnt call you a liar, effectively or otherwise. I said that you are self-delusional to make the claim you did

It wasn't a claim. It was a statement of fact. I'll accept that self-delusion means that the person can think s/he's telling the truth when s/he isn't, and, therefore, isn't lying. Nevertheless, you effectively said that I wasn't telling the truth and, since I
know
the truth, because I was actually there doing it (and you weren't), you are talking out of your wishful thinking brain - i.e. envy, because you are totally incapable of doing it.

writing anything large and complex in any language without reference to any other source is nonsense

Nonsense for you, yes. That's because you can't do it. But not nonsense for programmers. Not being a programmer, you wouldn't realise that all programmes, however large and complex, consist of small parts. Anyone who can write a small part on their own can write lots of small parts on their own and make them work together. Another thing your ignorance causes you to fail to realise is that, in a business setting, companies want programmes to be written as quickly as possible, so they often use other sources for some of their code (why reinvent the wheel when there's one ready for use), whereas in a hobby setting, other sources aren't needed because it's just a hobby. In my case, NO other sources of code were used. EVERY BYTE of it was conceived and written by me.

what we can get big ups for from our peers in the field is our design work, and the choices of algorithms and how efficiently we can then code them up

Who is the "we" you're talking about. You're not a programmer so you're not included. But, even if you were, how you went about it is your concern. You are not talking about that. You are trying to make out that I couldn't do it any other way, when the reality is that I did it another way all by myself, without any reference to anyone else's code or algorimths, except the concept of the binary tree, which I already mentioned. To be perfectly frank, you are wrong in your head to think that what I did can't be done. Common sense tells anyone that it can be done, and that it is actually done.

you have already started walking back what you initially said. Was a pretty bold claim so am not surprised that you are. Is good that you have as well

"
walking back what I initially said
"? In what way? I haven't back-tracked in the slightest. What I said I did, and I haven't said anything different. You need to explain yourself.

if we did go thru all the programs you have written then we would be able to see a whole heap of stuff invented by others embedded in your work. Any peer review of your works would show this. You might not recognise this yourself, until is pointed out to you tho. Which if you had researched prior to coding stuff up then you would have seen this for yourself

Are you serious? You really are crazy - and envious. Is your skin turning green yet? Since I learned to programme, from the basic book I started with, and then a book called 'DOS Programmer's Reference' for the machine code, I've never studied or even looked at anyone's else's code. Perhaps you are meaning things like the FOR....NEXT loop. Of course we didn't conceive things like that. They are part of the programming language, and not considered to be other people code.

 

this is true of any large complex program

You have no experience with the creation of a large complex programme. All you know about them is what you do with them and, from that, you accuse someone of being self-delusional because they say that they did something on their own. There is someone who is delusional in this conversation, but it's not me.

what peer review can also reveal is that there can be some technique that the coder has used to efficiently implement a algorithm(s) in a way not seen before

Now you're struggling. What you're trying to say here is that, if a piece of code turns out to be very similar to a piece of code that someone else wrote, then the second person to write it didn't conceive it by him/herself, but had seen it somewhere and, perhaps subconsciously, remembered it. It's one possible way out of your dilemma, I suppose. Your dilemma being that you've accused me of something that you have no possible evidence for. All I can say to that is that I've never been one to look at other people's code, flow charts, etc. I don't remember ever doing it. I've never looked at anyone else's work with a view to seeing how they did it because I want to do it. I wouldn't even know where to look. As a hobby, programming is something that I learned from the book as I was going along, and, when I write programmes, I simply sit down and got stuck in, without reference to anything else - every time.

what is more common tho is that the design of the app (the flow and the choices of algorithms included). And the efficiency of the coding is such that the app works really well as a whole. And when so the programmer can get big ups for that from their peers, and rewarded by the buyers

Oh, it's "
more common
" now, is it? It's no longer '
always
'? That's a neat little back-track for you.

+

seeing as how we now sharing I just add something about myself

i have mentioned before that I am a social worker. Is my specialist field

what I also am is a software review analyst. The org I work for and our affiliates and sister orgs, buy a lot of bespoke software and customisations. We have millions of dollars of public money to account for

my job is to ensure that we all get what we paid for. And that the supplied code, both bespoke and customisation, is unencumbered by 3rd-parties, and when 3rd-party is included then it has been used compliant with 3rd-party licenses, patents and copyrights. Whether the contractors know this or not

and then after review I write a report which then goes to Legal. After Legal have reviewed and annotated it, then it comes back to me. And then taking what Legal may have said into account, I redraft the report and also write a buy or dont buy recommendation for the HoD and CEO. Which when recommended as Buy then gets included in a further CEO report to the Board

I also review the responses we get from contractors to our RFQs (which I also have a part in drafting). On response I just make a recommendation to winnow the contractors down to more than 1 and not greater than 3. And then I sit in the meetings with these 2 or 3 and ask questions. And then after that round then I write a recommendation, which also goes to HoD and CEO and Board, where the decision is made. And I have to present my report in person as well

in doing this I read truckloads of code. I read truckloads of supporting documentation as well. And I research everything. I will ask questions, and in the meetings with our contractors I will call it as I see it. And when I get offered generalisations then I will just call that straight out as well

bc we are talking millions of dollars of other peoples money then some of the meetings can get a bit rugged sometimes. I have been called worse than a liar. I dont think there is a insult that I have never heard. I just let it all wash over me tho, and keep the focus on the documents and the questions

has got lots better tho in the last about 2 years now. The people sitting across have worked it out. How it works at our place. We not interested in buying stuff based on generalisations and bold claims that any cursory examination of can be shown to be less bold than whats been claimed

whats important in these situations are the questions and that they are asked. The answers given speak for themselves. Not asking the questions is where stuff fails

is what the contractors dont know that concerns us as orgs. It can get really expensive when the contractors dont know that what they have coded up and supplied isnt their property

why that often is, is bc the contractors dont ask questions of themselves. They define themselves, and what they subsequently do, by the answers they give to questions from others

is a big factor this in why lots of large complex software projects fail. People often dont ask questions of themselves as buyers, or of themselves as suppliers

Ah. So, because you review software, you think you know it all. You think you know how everyone does it. You (wrongly) think very highly of yourself, but you only know about the stuff that comes to you. You have no idea about everything else, and yet you seek to tell me that I didn't do what I said I did. You really are something.

+

you are right tho about one thing about me. I am not expert at any one thing. I just have broad knowledge about the stuff I need to know in my work

And you have no knowledge about, or experience of, stuff that you don't need to know in your work - such as people like me writing major programmes. So why do you post as though you do? It's not the cleverest thing to do, is it?

thru gaining this knowledge I have never presumed that any question that might occur to me has never been asked by someone else before. And bc so then when I do research then I am looking for the question. Like how else could this question be framed ?

I see. And that leads you to believe that, if someone sits down and writes a piece of code, they can only do it if they have some concious or subconcious knowledge of how someone else achieved the same thing. I wonder how the very first person to code each particular routine managed it, without having that prior knowledge.

when find the questions then the answers come. The answers might not always be complete, but when so they can often lead to reframing the initial question. Which is helpful I find

You are suffering from self-grandeur. You have some experience, and you imagine that what you know is all there is. That makes you believe that you know it all. So much do you believe it that, when someone comes along and says they wrote several major programmes all by themselves and without any reference to what had gone before, you think you know better (because you know it all), and you even go so far as to tell them that they are "self-delusional". There can't be much that's more self-delusional than that belief of yours, can there? Your experience covers your experience, and nothing else.

 

In case it's not clear to you by now, I'll tell you again. I wrote those programmes, all by myself, and, apart from the binary tree concept being explained to me, without any coding or flow reference whatsoever to anything that had gone before, either conciously or subconciously. For each one, I sat at my computer, thought about how to do what I wanted, and did it bit by bit. And each of the programmes took at least months of full time programming to write. That's all there is. I have never studied other people's work, so no subconciously stored algorithms and methods could have been be possible with me.

I'll tell you something else. It wasn't until I joined SL some years later, that I was even aware that it's possible to make use of other people's work like SL does, and I only became aware of that through posts in the forum. Even if I known, I wouldn't have used any of it, because the games were written as a hobby, and not a livelihood, the music one was written for my own use only, and when I did the search engine one, I wasn't yet aware of the possibility of using other people's stuff, and now that I'm aware of it, I doubt that anything would have been useful.

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

An interesting (to me) aside:
I've just read a book about Gordon Welchman, who, along with Alan Turing, was one of the main people at Bletchely Park. It was an interesting book, made more interesting to me because I learned that GCHQ is the continuation of Bletchely Park, and I trained to maintain and repair a particular cipher machine there. I trained on others during my normal army training, but that particular machine had to be learned at GCHQ.
So I'm Bletchely Parker - twice removed
:D


That's awesome. I recently saw The Imitation Game film about Turing's work at Blechely Park, but I've had a long-held love of A Beautiful Mind (very similar, and I relate to a little more closely) for ages. Can't say I've ever been inspired to go too closely to the modern incarnations but I love all those stories - people realising for the first time that computers exist and that they are super-compatible with them. I kind of wonder what we'd all do if Amstrad and BBC didn't do what they did!

I've never heard of The Imitation Game, or A Beautiful Mind. I bought the Welchman book at Bletchley Park when I visited it recently. I haven't had a huge interest in it but I've fancied visiting it since we found out what happened there.

It wasn't so much Amstrad and BBC that moved computers towards what we have now, although, along with Sinclair, they played a very major role in getting them into homes in the UK. It was Bill Gates and IBM who were mainly responsible for what we have now. IBM because the left their one-off PC open circuit, which meant it could be copied. "One-off" because they only expected to sell 1500 units and that would be the end of it. Bill Gates because he took advantage of the PC's open circuit, and IBM not having him sign anything that would prevent him from selling the operating system. Those two things brought about IBM compatibles, which led to the cheap computing we have today.

Under my own steam I wrote five small philosophy.. things. Shorter than books (they were published in psych. journals), but like you I'm terrible at fiction - no patience for it (my latest work is fiction, but very loosely, and it's taking forever). Writing is still very much a hobby - one of many - but definitely one I wish I had more time and patience for.

I sometimes wonder if I could write short stories that don't need too much in the ways of descriptiveness - like the Sherlock Holmes short stories. But I've never sat down to even try. I've come up with an overall method though. If I did have a go, I'd write or sort of linear(ish) overall flow chart of the whole thing, so that where it goes is pre-planned. I imagine that's what many writers do.

 

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Definitely check out both films! I'm sure there's book versions if you prefer paper. Imitation Game directly followed Turing during the Enigma events, while A Beautiful Mind followed John Nash - mathematician who developed founding principles of Game Theory.

Thanks for the historical clarification! Like I say, memory issues - I piece together the things that I can from external sources. :)

I think the flowchart writing idea is a promising one! You could try something like NaNoWriMo - I'm sure there's more than just me interested in your stories - fiction or no. :)

Enjoy all your weekends.

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50,000 words are the minimum required to partake in the NaNoWriMo project, and I don't think I even have 5000 in me :(

You may be interested in my stories, but I don't have any. I think I'm like most people - I fancy writing a novel, but that's as far as it gets. We don't have any stories bursting to get out lol. When I read fiction, it does seem as though I could wrtite that, but give me a blank screen and a keyboard, and that's where my imagined abilities hit the deck.

I did write a few songs though when I was singing - just a few. I've always said that, for me, tunes come 10 a penny, but lyrics are different. I can't write good lyrics, although I was very pleased with the lyrics I came up with for two of the songs. One was about an inflatable Councellor Deanna Troy (Star Trek) and the other was started as a romantic song, at the request of a girlfriend. It's set when were are old and grey, and reminiscing about the times when we were young. But it ended up a bit different.

As I sit here with you in my old rocking chair,
I'm thinking of times that we knew.
I remember the day we first met at the fair,
And the kiss as I walked home with you.
The old river bank where we walked hand in hand,
And the church we we said, "I do".
But the fondest of mem'ries I hold in my heart
Is the barn where we had our first screw.

I just couldn't resist it. And so it went on.

We've digressed a bit, haven't we? :)

 

ETA: Imitation Game is available on my Virgin System but it costs £2.99. It'll come through on normal TV before long so I'll keep an eye out for it.

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I've decided to write a very short, and to the point, reply to everything you've said about what I've done ...

You say that I didn't do what I said I did. You are wrong. I did exactly what I said I did, and without any external references, code, whatever, of any kind. You can argue all you want, but that's the whole story, and anything different to that is wrong. The end.

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I loved Imitation Game, so bought a biography of Turing. NOT like the movie! And all this detailed math stuff, ugh.

Why can movie makers not just tell what really happened, like a documentary but acted out? Is RL not dramatic enough?

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Phil Deakins wrote:

The end.

the end is Phil that you dont like to be questioned

when we write code

how do we know what the language syntax is ? how do we know what the language and  API functions and parameters are ? How do we know how they are used ?

how do we know how binary trees work ? how do we know how 2D sprite graphics work ? How do we know how to create screen components ? How do we know to accept and validate user inputs ? How do we know how to build a randomiser ? how do we know what a scenegraph is and hows it used ? How do we know how to read/write to storage ? How do we now how to transmit data over a network ? How do we know all the other things that a coder needs to know ? 

we dont just "know" these things

 

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And still you're arguing! <sigh>

You are being silly - again. We know those things because we learn them. I.e. we learn a programming language and how to use it. After that we create programmes with what we've learned. That is absolutely all there is to it. You don't think that's how it's done? You think that the only way to write a big programme is to import other people's code? (You said that). You think we are not capable of writing it on our own? How do you imagine those other people wrote the code that's imported? Did they have to import yet other people's code? According to your argument, there is a bunch of code out there. Nobody knows how it was created, because nobody can actually write it, but all programmers of large programmes have to use some of it because they are incapable of writing what they need themselves. Or is your argument that competent programmers can actually write all those parts but they can't write more that perhaps one or two of them per programme, and after that they have get other people's code because they are incapable of writing more parts? Or is your argument that we can actually write those parts but only after we've seen other people's methods of achieving the required result? (You said that even though it can't be true, because someone had to be the first to conceive and write it). I honestly don't know how anyone can be so dumb.

A very realistic analogy: We learn the basics of the English language. We learn the meaning of many words and the general idea of putting a sentence together (that's something you need to work on, btw). From those basics we write things like sentences that convey what we want to say, and we write books, articles, poetry, forum posts, etc. We don't need to copy anyone else's paragraphs and sentences. We just sit down at the keyboard, or with a pen and paper, and do it, because we understand the language and how to use it.

If you had any worthwhile experience, you would know that that is exactly how programming is done. We learn the programming languages we need, and how to use them. Having done that, we conceive ways of writing a programme to do what we want it to do, and we just write it. It's just the same as writing a book, which is written in small parts - sentences, paragraphs, chapters, which together end up as a whole book. We write programmes in small parts that end up as a large programme. We don't need anyone else's input. We just do it. Of course, we can make use of other people's input, but we don't need to. I didn't need to.

I have to say that I would never have thought that you were so dense as to continue plugging away in the face of such total defeat, but it's shown me something more about you. Your current incarnation has been very revealing.

You are wrong about me not liking to be questioned. I don't mind that at all, and I'd be more than happy to answer, but you haven't questioned me. You simply stated that I didn't do what I said I did. That's not questioning. It's stating, and accusational. What you really meant to say is that I don't like to be found fault with. I don't think anyone likes to be found fault with. Sometimes the fault-finding is justified and sometimes it isn't. What nobody can correctly say about things like this, though, is that a person didn't do what the person said s/he did, when the accuser has no evidence whatsoever (imagination and/or wishful thinking doesn't count as evidence). But that's been your argument. You guessed that I didn't do what I said I did, and you've spent ages trying to prove it. Your evidence has been what you've seen other people do, and, in spite of pure common sense, you've refused to accept that anyone can do it any other way than what you've seen.

The really silly thing about it is that you are trying to persuade me that I didn't do something that I know I did. I'm the one who was here doing it, for goodness sakes. Where were you? It's really dumb, isn't it?

I wonder if you would have reacted the same if it had been Qie who said that he'd done what I said I'd done. Would you have attempted to show that he hadn't done it at all, and that he was self-delusional? What about Freya? She's stated in this thread that she writes programmes the same way. You haven't come back at her. I'm inclined to think that it's just me, and I'm inclined to think that it's because you felt burned when I criticised you for quickly reading a web page or two and then attempting to teach the americans and british about themselves, as though you knew it all and were a fount of knowledge. I think it got to you and you saw this as a way of getting back. But you failed. Common sense has stood rigidly in your way. Perhaps you should wait for a better opportunity, because this was never a good one, and it's getting you nowhere. In fact, if anyone is still following this, it's showing you in a very poor light indeed.

ETA 1: Incidentally, I'm not oblivious to the fact that you have been back-peddling in an attempt to save face. You did it yesterday, and I pointed it out. And you did it again in the post that I'm replying to. Originally you stated that I must have used other people's code to write the programmes, even going so far as to say that I would then have written some code to tie it all together. Now you are pointing to the necessity of learning how to use a programming language, which is something that goes without saying, of course. It is also something that I said in an earlier post, but I suppose it's all you have left to try. And you are now using it as though it's what you've been talking about. It wasn't and it's back-peddling. But do keep going. You'll soon be back-peddled enough to say something like, "Alight, you did do all that, but first you had to learn not only the languages, but how to use them as well, which is what I meant all along" :D

ETA 2: Btw, I ought to say that I'm happy to continue this argument, largely because I don't remember ever being in argument that was so blatantly black and white that the opponent was unable to make any points whatsoever, and partly because I do enjoy a good argument.

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I've decided so sum up what you have been thinking and posting :)

Part of your RL work is to check major programmes for things, and, from doing that, you know that those programmers use code from external sources in their finished programmes. You've decided, therefore, that all major programmes are done that way. Then someone comes along and describes some major programmes for which he claims to have written every byte of code all by himself, and without any reference to any external code or method. That doesn't match what you think you know, and he must therefore be wrong and self-delusional because, as you yourself know from your own experience, it simply isn't done that way. In fact, it can't be done that way.

That just about sums up what you've been saying. A bit silly, init? :D

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wherorangi wrote:

how do we know how binary trees work ?


Be honest. You had never heard of a binary tree until I mentioned it. And if you now know the concept of it, it's only because you looked it up on the web after I mentioned it. If you claim differently, tell me why the word 'binary' is used. Also tell me how you would handle equalities in a binary tree.

For someone who tries to push the appearance of being knowledgable on a wide range of subjects, you do have a habit of falling on your face. You'd do far better to stick to what you do actually know.

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Just one more thing. You shouldn't mind because you often make several posts when answering one post.

Please explain this to me...

I'm sure you accept that programmers can write small programmes without the need to use any external code and/or study externally written methods to achieve the required result. So, assuming you accept that, you must also accept that the same programmers are capable of writing many such parts. You already said that they are able to write code to make the various parts work together as one whole programme. That being the case, please explain why you think that I, or anyone else, couldn't have done that to create a major programme.

It's a simple request that I really would like you to reply to.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I've decided so sum up what you have been thinking and posting
:)

Part of your RL work is to check major programmes for things, and, from doing that, you know that those programmers use code from external sources in their finished programmes. You've decided, therefore, that all major programmes are done that way. Then someone comes along and describes some major programmes for which he claims to have written every byte of code all by himself, and without any reference to any external code
or method.
That doesn't match what you think you know, and he must therefore be wrong and self-delusional because, as you yourself know from your own experience, it simply isn't done that way. In fact, it can't be done that way.

That just about sums up what you've been saying. A bit silly, init?
:D

You mentioned that you learned programming from various manuals. Did those manuals happen to have examples?

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I've decided so sum up what you have been thinking and posting
:)

Part of your RL work is to check major programmes for things, and, from doing that, you know that those programmers use code from external sources in their finished programmes. You've decided, therefore, that all major programmes are done that way. Then someone comes along and describes some major programmes for which he claims to have written every byte of code all by himself, and without any reference to any external code or method. That doesn't match what you think you know, and he must therefore be wrong and self-delusional because, as you yourself know from your own experience, it simply isn't done that way. In fact, it can't be done that way.

That just about sums up what you've been saying. A bit silly, init?
:D

I think the basic question is not whether or not you wrote your programs "all by [your]self" (in someone else's programming language, which "goes without saying") but why you think we should be impressed by this.

The basic difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional is being paid for their time with someone else's money. Given a choice between someone who can write a program over a period of months while writing every byte of code themselves or someone who can perform the same task at least as well in much less time by the legal use of prefabricated parts, any rational employer would choose the second option unless the first person is billing at such a low rate as to make them hardly a professional at all.

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Does SL have a steep learning curve? Yes. It's not as steep as the infamous EVE Online, which has a vertical wall of pain, but quite steep nonetheless. Of course, new users can be divided into engineers (those with technical savvy and previous experience of MMRPGs) and regular folk like me. I did manage to figure out the basics, but without inworld friends to teach me, I'd have never fully understood the power and grandeur of SL.

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