C++ syntax without C++

Pretty big words to come out of the mouth of someone who just spent two days doing quite the exact opposite of that.

_You_, Don, started this by making a rather steep claim in this public forum. And you obviously are _not_ willing at all to back it up.

In what world would such behaviour put _you_ in a position to admonish others about backing up claims?

If you want to make rules, you better be prepared to live by them yourself.

Reply to
Hans-Bernhard Bröker
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I'll answer in kind: Go and die, old fart.

And now you can start thinking about the kind of attitude you've shown in some of your recent postings.

Bullshit. You've proved nothing whatsoever, except that you're losing your manners.

I'll refrain from commenting that one.

Reply to
Hans-Bernhard Bröker

Hi Don,

I realise this is why you were annoyed at a couple of my posts. I didn't quite see that at first - and as I believe I have said before, annoying you was certainly not my goal.

I think you are unusually good at thinking through things before posting them here - /you/ may do your homework, but a great many posters on Usenet do not. So in general, it would be wrong to make such assumptions when replying to posters here - but of course I have read thousands of posts from you over the years, and don't consider you an "average" c.a.e. poster!

And even those with long experience in a field sometimes get themselves stuck down the wrong track and are seeing difficulties that could be avoided by a different approach. Then it is useful for someone to suggest taking a step back and describing the higher-level goal rather than the problems with their current solution to that goal. Of course, sometimes it is of no use at all, and the developer is already on the best track. But the point of discussing things with other people is to get possible new ideas, or to be prompted into thinking these new ideas themselves.

So no, I will /not/ assume that you know /everything/ about your problem when you post, or that you have done /all/ your homework. I'll assume you've done a lot - more than most people do - but I will still assume there is a chance you have missed something. I will still challenge you to question yourself, your ideas and your preconceptions, because I think that is sometimes what people need (perhaps especially for developers with long experiences). And I hope you would do the same for me - I /know/ that is sometimes what /I/ need.

However, I will certainly endeavour to be a more polite about this, especially in response to posters like yourself who clearly /do/ think things through before posting. And I will try to make it clearer what I mean to suggest - I never meant to imply that you don't know what you are doing/saying/asking, but I can see how my posts sometimes look that way.

On the subject of assumptions, however, I would ask you, Don, to assume that my posts are aimed to help and inform, or encourage new thoughts and ideas. I don't write long posts aimed at insulting or annoying people (though occasionally I might insult someone's ideas in an attempt to force them to re-think things). Also remember that there may be lots of people reading these messages - they are not purely a personal reply, and sometimes things that sound patronising to you are actually written with that in mind (again, I could be clearer on such points).

Anyway, I hope that has cleared the air between us. I felt bad about having unintentionally provoked your earlier outburst, and hope that it is all behind us now.

I think people grumble about the lengths of my posts too...

Reply to
David Brown

I didn't *think* it was intentional on your part. However, when I *repeatedly* hear "read a book" sort of comments (I blew up at your second in as many days -- if you look through your history of replies to me, you will see there were others, prior) I get annoyed at the implication: that I've *not* thought about my question(s) before asking.

[Note Mr Lucas' "read a book" comment in the Stroustrup example I posted! And, my "proof" that I *had*, in fact "read a book"; one by none other than Stroustrup himself; that the book *appeared* to contain an error (which was the source of my confusion and reason for my post) and that he -- Lucas -- hadn't taken the time to READ THE POST. Would you consider "frustrating" or "annoying" to be the better adjective? :> ]

I guess I look at things differently. I try to give the party the benefit of the doubt and, if *I* don't understand their question, I ask myself "what am I missing?". Perhaps the querant has framed his question "less than ideally". Perhaps his command of language (esp English!) isn't what I would expect. Or, perhaps I am simply MISSING THE SIGNIFICANCE of his question.

I asked a question yesterday in s.e.d regarding power connectors used in laptops, and damn near every other bit of consumer kit nowadays (putting the AC mains in a separate box is an easy way to sidestep YOUR U.L. obligations). One of the respondents mentioned "three conductors" which made *no* sense to me. It's

*obviously* TWO conductors! However, coincidentally, another respondent also mentioned the third conductor BUT in a way that made it obvious to me where the "extra" conductor was "hiding"!

Both replies were correct. However, only one was able to move me past my blind spot on that issue.

Of course! If you look at my posts, you will see that they often "end" with my "conclusion" that I've already found the right approach -- given the criteria that leak out through the conversation. As such, *not* discussing the issue would often leave me with the same result -- but far less certainty as to its correctness. And, perhaps, a delay in actually getting on with the implementation ("Hmmm... HAVE I missed something, here? Something that will bite me in the ass, later -- when it will be costly to fix?")

I don't claim to know everything about my problems. If I did, there's no need to question! :>

And, questioning forces you to *defend* your idea. Forces all the "intuitive" reasons that you may have chosen it to be put into words -- cuz others can't read your mind.

"If two of us agree, one of us is unnecessary!" Hearing someone else's criticisms of an idea/approach is the only way to find out what's WRONG with an approach. Or, what's LESS wrong with it than with the alternatives!

And, discussing *complex* issues often lets others "reading over my/your shoulder" get exposed to things they might not have, otherwise. So, perhaps, they question how they approach new problems or imagine *different* solutions.

(sigh) The "book/read" issue is a sore spot as I probably read more than most folks I know -- esp in terms of technical literature and research into new technologies. So, maybe I'm too "thin skinned" in that regard (?). And, owe you an apology for my impatience and profanity (I think you will find I have tended to be patient and AVOID profanity in virtually all my posts over the past few decades).

I didn't mean to suggest you were doing so! But, starting off with such a comment tells me, "Why bother to read what follows? Is this going to be Introduction 101 -- if he thinks I need to go read a book?"

Understood. I engage whomever I am speaking to, at the time, with the knowledge that others are reading over our shoulders. And, that they might NOT understand the (technical) issues that we are discussing.

For example, George N and I are engaged in a lengthy discussion re: capabilities. We've corresponded, previously. I am aware of his abilities. So, when I reply to his comments, I could immediately "talk at that level" (i.e., KNOWING he will understand the terms/arguments I am using). This would shorten the discussion as we can skip over stuff we both know.

OTOH, if we were going to take that approach, we could do it in PM. Carrying on the discussion *publicly* allows others -- perhaps too timid to jump in lest they appear ignorant -- to follow along with our arguments. Someone may have an entirely different idea that "fits" some aspect of our discussion at a particular point and choose to inject it. This isn't possible in "private" correspondence.

I think this is esp true when it comes to "research" -- things that are often beyond the "markets" that c.a.e folks typically address (resource limitations, etc.). But, you don't get exposed to a new (old!) idea unless you hear someone discussing it in *a* context.

I don't bear grudges -- nor will I hope you. Rather, see such events as "missed opportunities" (in this case, of MY choosing). I just try to avoid the issue until it the emotion fades.

It makes it clear why folks don't complain about the lack of specifications for their work tasks: they wouldn't bother to READ them! (TL;DR) Also makes you wonder about the effort they put into their *work* :-/

Morning tea. Then, back to downloads (such fun!).

Thanks for taking the time to reply! You'll note Mr Harmon hasn't bothered to retract his insults. I guess he's *still* convinced my "story is grossly distorted and overblown, based on a shred of a fragment of underlying fact, unless he comes up with at least some minimal hint of evidence otherwise"

Folks deny The Holocaust so there's no accounting for personal belief systems! Or "reputations".


Reply to
Don Y

quite often I have the impression that you only want a confirmation of your "right approach".


Oliver Betz, Munich http://oliverbetz.de/
Reply to
Oliver Betz

Are you suggesting that I *not* have a solution in mind before I pose a question? That I *not* have already considered the arguments in favor and against? Isn't that my *job*?

Do you hand off a design to "Test" before you have convinced yourself that it "is done; works"? You *hope* they don't discover something wrong with it -- because you have already tested it to the best of your abilities.

OTOH, you don't *bypass* "Test" on the assumption that you are infallible. If they find a problem, then you have an opportunity to fix it BEFORE your customers complain about it.

Don't you do the same with your designs, prior to implementation? Or, do you "design by committee"? (camel == horse)

I expect my clients and colleagues to be aggressive in criticizing my design choices. And, they expect me to be able to justify each of them and not just when asked for an explanation. They might not *agree* or may have taken a different approach entirely.

"Well, I would have..."

"Yes, but *you* weren't the one charged with doing it! Other than curiosity and any COROLLARY implications, your possible approach doesn't matter. As *mine* wouldn't in analyzing one of *your* designs."

But, if they can't find a flaw in my approach or my rationale, then why should I change it? OTOH, if they see something that I've

*missed* or handled improperly (or less than ideally), then I want to fix that -- and its repercussions before it's a problem!
Reply to
Don Y

On Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:10:27 -0700 in comp.arch.embedded, Don Y wrote,

The most I said was "I don't believe you." It's not wrong to withhold belief for unlikely claims with no support. It turns out you found a few typos. BFD.

Reply to
David Harmon

Ain't USENET great?

"And the reality is that you told some made-up self-aggrandizing bunkum story at the expense of a better man than you, and when Charles asked for specifics you have Zilch."

You said far more than "I don't believe you". You explicitly accused me of fabricating ("made up") a *nonsense* account for the purpose of enhancing my own reputation. And, that you did so in writing in a public way -- intending to harm *my* reputation in the eyes of others.

You will note that my comments re: BS's publication were measured and not excessive/exaggerated:

Years ago, I was reading one of Stroustrup's C++ books. I had to keep RE-reading a section (a few pages) as it seemed entirely WRONG to me. Yet, here's the guy who created the language... surely the problem must be one of comprehension (lack thereof) on my part!

In fact, it was one of BS's books -- on C++. It was "years ago" (almost 20). He was the guy who created the language. And, it was "backwards" -- wrong. I don't see any ERRORS or EXAGGERATIONS in that accounting. And, surely not "nonsense" (bunkum)!

No, it's not a "typo" -- he is taking a consistent position and repeating it. "What am I missing?"

He repeats the "mistake" 5 different times -- 4 symbolically (syntax) and once textually. That is evidenced in his accounting of the error in his published errata. He is consistent in his presentation. Note that my tone is still self-deprecating -- *I* must not be understanding some subtle detail, here! Not, "Boy, is this guy a dope!"

I finally took the opportunity to write to him -- humbly citing chapter and verse and explaining my dismay at failing to understand (or agree with) his points: "What am I missing?"

Again, *I* must be the one with the comprehension problem, not him!

[The only way I can prove this correspondence took place would be to drag out the records of the third-party mail servers that relayed it or his reply. Or, contact him directly -- as I suggested *you* do to DISPROVE this *part* of my claim. Producing a copy of my outbound email message would undoubtedly be met with your continued skepticism so why even bother looking for it?]

His reply: everything he had written was WRONG. (WTF? Surely *you* with the most experience in YOUR creation...)

I didn't claim he had made some horrendous error. I didn't claim he was inept. Instead, I *assumed* he was experienced, disciplined, invested in the language and its success/acceptance *and* intelligent. Yet *still* managed to make a significant mistake in something that would be reproduced in large numbers and very visible (the text explaining the origins of the language).

What does that say about those of us who are less experienced, less disciplined, less invested or less intelligent? People who imperfectly know something inevitably make mistakes. People who aren't "motivated" don't CARE about their mistakes. Presumably, Bjarne was neither -- yet still made a glaring mistake -- and printed tens of thousands? of copies thereof! (apparently coming as a surprise to him as he didn't indicate it was a "previously reported error")

And, subsequently presented proof that I had noticed this before a corrected version had been printed and had publicly asked for clarification (not gloating over his error but, rather, still seeking understanding of his printed words) in a newsgroup devoted *to* the language prior to that corrected edition.

My "story" sure seems self-consistent. Hardly "made up" in light of the supporting information archived in USENET and BS's web site. "By a preponderence of the evidence"

Nor was my accounting "at his expense". The fact that I didn't have specifics for Charles for a correspondence that had happened 19 years earlier I guess, in your mind, qualifies me as a "self-aggrandizing" fabricator (liar)?

You shot your mouth off. Then, doubled-down on it.

And were wrong.

And, now, instead of apologizing for the libel, you're trying to rationalize away the significance of my claims.

(sigh) I guess we know who the *better* man in this exchange is.

Reply to
Don Y

I agree. The current crop of ultra high coercivity magnetics are likely to last longer than any of the CD/DVD phase change film media.

I've heard claims of 30+ years for well made PC discs with proper storage, but I wouldn't necessarily trust any of them that long.

Among other things I used to design QC/QA systems for disc production handling systems. The original recordable discs were physically pitted when written - as are stamped manufactured discs - and were extremely durable. I'm not so sure about any of the phase change media: among other things many of the films are sensitive to UV and to repeated hot/cold cycling.

There actually is some data which suggests that the films used in re-writables may be more UV stable than those in the write-once.

There is a UV protection layer over the film layer, but cheap discs often skimp on application of some - or all - of the layers. Some now even are skimping on the plastic substrate ... in recent years I've been encountering really insubstantial discs that wiggle like the old

5.25in floppies.

FWIW: It is safe to store sleeved or boxed discs on their faces. Storing discs on spindles also generally is safe: the discs aren't actually flat but are slightly thicker in the middle [that's why they slide so easily when simply stacked]. The spindle keeps the discs aligned so that the faces are separated and helps prevent the faces from contacting even when discs are added/removed. Don't shake or drop your partly filled spindles and you'll be fine.

It's far more important to protect (re)writable discs from large temperature swings and from strong UV light (direct sun, tanning lamp, plant grow light, EPROM eraser, etc.).


Reply to
George Neuner

I have no reason to doubt the magnetic patterns on the disk.

I'm far less sure of the long-term durability in terms of: (1) the formats will still be readable, cf NASA mag tapes and (2) that the PCBs will survive without short-circuits due to tin whiskers and (3) semiconductors will survive metal/ion migration

Reply to
Tom Gardner

From first hand observation of literally THOUSANDS of disks annually, I'd be far more concerned that the spindle drive fails. The disk just never spins up.

Or, heads fail to unload.

In either case, the drive is toast -- regardless of how intact all those magnetic domains may be! Sure, you *may* be willing to bring the drive to a service bureau and pay more to recover the data than the drive was worth, new. Or, as is more often the case, you'll just toss the drive.

That's the problem with mag disks -- too much at stake on a single spindle! Drives that I intend to use for backups I buy in pairs and manually mirror them -- taking care not to let a single "PC" mangle both simultaneously!

(mount one, copy to scratch area, unmount & spin down; mount second, copy from scratch area, unmount & spin down).

An old FreeBSD release had a nasty bug in SCSI driver that affected the drives I was using, at the time. Mount drive; now it's "useless"! Take cold spare off shelf as "secondary backup"; mount -- and watch the same problem manifest!

Move to different FBSD release, newfs the dead drives and start feeding optical media to recreate the archive -- both copies!

[I now strap my SCSI disks so they are R/O when used as backups! Even if I forget to mount R/O *or* if the OS has a bug that mangles the contents regardless of my mount settings! This option doesn't seem to exist on ATA drives...]
Reply to
Don Y

Miscommunication: "disc" vs "disk".

"PC disc" = phase change CD/DVD media.

I'm agreeing that magnetics most likely are more durable.


Reply to
George Neuner

Never come across that distinction before. Disc=old world, disk=new world, otherwise the same!

Reply to
Tom Gardner

On 19/11/13 00:13, George Neuner wrote:> Miscommunication: "disc" vs "disk". > > "PC disc" = phase change CD/DVD media.

Never come across that distinction before. Disc=old world, disk=new world, otherwise the same!

Reply to
Tom Gardner


Sorry for the confusion.

Probably many people pay no close attention, but in the US there is a long tradition of distinguishing magnetic disks from optical discs. [I don't know the reason for the distinction - probably advertising.]

The terms are applied consistently in our computer literature and advertising.


Reply to
George Neuner

I suspect trademark may come into play? "Compact Disc" is what the technology was called by Philips -- a play on "Compact Cassette". Note LVD's also bore the "disc" name. Ditto MiniDisc, MODisc, etc.

Though colloquially, many play free and loose with all sorts of "disk" terms (floppy disk vs. diskette vs floppy).

Reply to
Don Y

Same here John. I found it very informative and must have taken quite a bit of time to prepare. I read it from end to end.

There's too much of this sort of thing nowadays - sensitive egos looking to find fault where there is none and completely ignoring the generosity of others. Sad really...


Embedded Systems Hardware & Software Engineering 
Oxford England 
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My first serious s/w development machine was an Apple II with a 5 Mbyte hard drive and never filled it, as all the work then was in asm. Did get a copy of the Aztec C compiler later, but the output from it was too slow for any serious work.

There's now something like 400 Gbytes on the lab server, any part of which can be accessed just by clicking on a directory. There are archived projects, email and more dating back to around 1985. I still have to find a way of getting all the data from the Apple II box of floppies, but it's on the to do list, even if only to see what sort of work I was doing back then. Timeline can be quite usefull as imspiration for new projects...


Embedded System Hardware & Software Engineering 
Oxford England 
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FWIW: Aztec had both bytecode and native 6502 compilers. The bytecode compiler was sold separately as a student edition - the professional version included both compilers.

I thought Aztec's native compiler produced decently fast [though too large] executables for most purposes ... I wouldn't do lots of double hires graphics with it, but for pretty much anything else it worked well.

I wrote some fairly large applications for the II series using Aztec and Orca compilers. Orca's native compiler produced slightly better code, but Aztec's ability to mix native code with bytecode often was the deciding factor when programs got large.

YMMV, George

Reply to
George Neuner

That's been on my list of things to do for years too. I recently came across:

formatting link

Which looks like it might do the trick. The device is claimed to attach a 5.25" drive on one side, and USB on the other, and be able to read (only) a variety of formats, including the Apple 3.2/3.3/ProDOS. formats, as well as a number of other ones (not least IBM-PC/MS-DOS).

Reply to
Robert Wessel

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