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donderdag 17 oktober 2013

Don't people want to learn anymore?

During the past few years I've noticed an alarming trend amung developers. MySQL+PHP developers in particular. They don't want to learn.

A few weeks ago I told a forumuser that what he was trying to do was nearly impossible in MySQL (which it was, honest) but that it was a trivial thin in just about any other database. This triggered another user, a die-hard MySQL user ,to say "Most of us MySQL user's simply don't care how it's done in other databases".

And a few days ago when I remarked that PDO has no benefits over the default API, the most common argument was that it's easier to migrate if all your database API calls are the same. When I replied that you only have a handfull of those because you only have once class that executes queries, I was told that "in your universe, people wrap PHP API's in their own classes".

Now, for the MySQL thing, I can understand that if your problem is with MySQL right now, it's discouraging to know that your problem is caused by your choice of database. But when you hear that other databases have solutions for the problems you are having, shouldn't that at least make you investigate what that solution is? It may not be the solution right now, but it may prevent you from having the problem again in future.

For the PDO thing I was really amazed that there are people who call me stupid because I have thought about how to design my code... I mean, D.R.Y. is not a very difficult concept, is it?  When you see that you are typing the same code over and over, that makes you extract the code into a function at least, preferably into a class... is that weird?

And I notice these things more often than I used to. Developers seem to live in their own little bubble and when someone says something that doesn't fit their own ideas, the other develoepr is wrong.
The dont ask WHY the other developer says what he says, he's just wrong and that's it.

How can you improve your skill with such a pathetic attitude?

vrijdag 11 oktober 2013

Google translate, no thanks!

Today I came across a nasty side effect of Goolge-translate. Computer-translations have never been good and Google's transations are... how do I put this politely... oh fsck it, they're crap!

In woodworking it's quite handy if you can clamp a piece of wood down, for example to the bed of a tablesaw. To do this you use what's known in the trade as a "toggleclamp", so named because it has only two states; open and closed. Google, oblivious to the context of the word, translates this in dutch to "gaffelklem". A "gaffel" is a piece of wood at the top of  a sail on old sailingships, used to keep the sail extended when there is no wind. They have no clamps. So why does google use this, completely irrelevant word? Because a toggle is also a type of connection in sailboat rigging and that is also "gaffel" in dutch.

So what's the problem?

Alibaba.com uses google translate to get dutch productdescriptions. They advertise "gaffelklemmen" by the boatload, and not a single dutchman will ever find them because they are looking for the correct dutch word "spanklem" (roughly translated: tensionklamp).

So, if your manager suggests that you translate the product descriptions using google because "a bad translation is better than no translation", tell him from me to go and polish is "gaffelklem".