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Showing posts from February, 2012

Magic is just programming without knowledge

There is nothing more cringe-inducing than seeing somebody try to program something without actually knowing what's going on. With some exceptions, programming allows you to know precisely what's going on. Not knowing how something works should trigger some alarm bells.

Magic might be an ancient form of "programming" nature where most of knowledge has actually been lost. Without factual information, only rituals were kept and some basic notions.

I wouldn't be surprised if in 1000 years or so we have a high-priest class of programmers that need to take care of computerized systems so old they forgot the logic behind them. They will basically become magicians.

LTS means ancient?

I was surprised today to see that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS comes with Mercurial 1.4! The latest Mercurial release is 2.1

Mercurial 1.7 also introduced a repository change, the dotencode requirement. This means any repository created after November 2010 with 1.7 and dotencode will not be accessible by the Mercurial from the Ubuntu LTS. This error should be familiar:

abort: requirement 'dotencode' not supported!
One solution is to use the Mercurial PPA to get a newer release.

But, it doesn't make sense to use an LTS if you are going to use software from PPAs, no?

With sun-jdk being pruned from the repositories, I'm starting to get annoyed by Ubuntu. I'm starting more and more to manage dependencies by hand instead of relying on the system. Which, imho, means the system is broken.