Friday, October 28, 2016

Q&A - 28/10

Guy Verhofstadt

Good news! We saved #CETA. Europe shld learn from this: take the citizens' concerns on board [..]

Citizens? 

You mean national parliaments, trade unions, etc? These are not "people" - they are representative bodies, interest groups. Guy on the street does not know nor care about the details of CETA, TTIP - in Germany main opposition to parts of TTIP deal came from the mittelstand, small businesses which are a powerful interest group. Interest groups know intricate details of such deals because it effects them. But "people" voted on Brexit without knowing all the details - who the hell do some naive politicians think these "people" are? Dude with a top hat and a pipe in his hand, he takes a drag, and goes "well dear chap, if we leave EU, Scotland will try to leave us, I weigh that with this other thing, blah blah"? Nothing of the kind occurs. Balancing the short term with the long term, the national with the international is the job of the politicians. The interest groups will lobby them one way or the other, and there is the final outcome.

News

Ecuador's government has confirmed that it has "temporarily restricted" Julian Assange's internet access [because of] the regular email dumps targeting the Democrats and Hillary Clinton that WikiLeaks has been putting out over the past few months.

I wish he hadn't done that

That was a mistake - but if you put yourself in this man's shoes - he is being hounded left and right by providing an essential public service - giving a way to whistleblowers to get out their story, but he is living the life of a prisoner, so he lashed out.

News

Soon you'll be able to run Linux apps on Windows [..]

Great

I'd go one step further: retire the Win kernel completely, replacing it with the Linux kernel and run Windows apps through a subsystem / emulation. You get two benefits from this: 1) developer mindshare 2) more stable kernel. I know #2 sounds bad, but Linux is an open system with much more people developing and debugging it, and at this point no commercial system can compete with this.

Question

How do you develop for Android?

The common approach sucks

So - not Java. Rule #1 of commercial ecosystems - they get bloated with time. In order to create a Hello World app, you'll need 5 files, an entire directory structure, and a f**king file that describes the other five f**king files.

Obviously all of this is unnecessary. For the simplest app all one should need is one or two files, and things should run. These guys have the right idea. They've done this, great, Android is still open enough and Linux enough people can hack it to create Kivy, so thanks to Google for that, at least we have that. But I feel like this should be the main approach to mobile programming rather than the other way around. I understand Java was chosen in the beginning because it was the most common language at the time, and Google had to compete with iOS. But some cleanup and shakeup is necessary. We can bring much more, great code into the ecosystem that is just waiting to be exploited. I should not go through hoops to bring libraries such as numpy, PIL into the phone.