Posts tagged ‘microsoft’

Interesting programming language: F#

Has anyone coded in F# before? It looks fantastic, but since it was created by Microsoft I don’t expect a version I can use any time soon. but I like the way it describes and separates mutable and immutable data. I like the way it blends functional programming with object oriented stuff, and the way it is compatible with preexisting libraries written in other languages. I like the static type system and the type inference on top of it. It’s got a lot of cool things reminiscent of SML (or OCaml, presumably, if I knew it better) while at the same time keeping an imperative, object-oriented spirit about it.

I’m not wild about some of the syntax, particularly the way it’s hard to tell where the definition of a type ends. and that weird <- operator for storing mutable data. and the bizarre [|...|] delimiters of arrays. and the whole #light declaration and how that totally changes syntax (just pick one way or the other and stick with the decision). But so far my biggest complaint is the syntax, while everything else about F# seems pretty cool. Has anyone actually played around with F#? I'd be interested in hearing how it works in practice.

Different news

Things are at least beginning to change a little in American politics. The Democrats, since taking over the legislative branch of the government earlier this month, have already started passing ethics legislation to try to curb the problems Washington has been having with lobbyists. This is part of their larger plan to make changes now that they’re in power. We’ll see how far these measures actually go, but it’s at least a start. In particular, I hope they actually create an independent investigative group for ethics violations; it seems like many ethics problems in Congress get brushed aside because the people involved are also the ones in charge of policing such actions. Time will tell.

As part of rethinking the Iraq policy, President Bush has begun rearranging the military staff, and is considering sending in 30,000 more troops to the country. I don’t think adding in more troops is a good move; I imagine it would be more demoralizing for Iraqi civilians and give the insurgents hope because they were able to thwart the 140,000 US troops already over there. However, from what I’ve heard from Anderson Cooper’s interviews of soldiers in Iraq, they really need more troops, or else the country will never get out of its current troubles. I’m becoming more and more convinced that there is no way to get Iraq into a better situation in the foreseeable future, and the “best” thing for everyone might just be to pull out and let it sink into civil war for a couple years. I know it sounds heavy-handed, but I still haven’t heard of a strategy that doesn’t eventually degenerate into that anyway.

On a related note, the US death toll in Iraq broke 3,000 over New Years. I realize it’s not much compared to the tens of thousands of Iraqis killed (or the conflict in Darfur, or the Falun Gong persecution in China, etc), but it’s still worth noting.

A bit of a rant: the LA Time’s article that I linked to discusses “next week’s announcement next week” that President Bush is expected to give. Don’t they have editors for these articles? They could at least have someone give a quick once-over to these things. Bah.

The United Nations voted to impose sactions against Iran regarding its nuclear programme, and President Ahmadinejad has (I believe rightly) called these sanctions illegitimate, citing the right of all countries, according to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1970, to develop peaceful nuclear energy programmes. and as former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter describes in his book Target Iran, the current weapons inspectors in Iran right now can find absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. So, here’s what we’ve got from Iran at the moment: peaceful nuclear development, denial of the Holocaust, vows to destroy Israel, rejection of every trading package which would supply them with nuclear energy without developing it on their own (including Russia’s very generous offer), and now correctly calling the UN on their misguided sanctions. What on earth are they trying to accomplish? They have all the drawbacks of a real programme and an empty threat, without any of the advantages of either one. Any insight would be appreciated.

It seems that AT&T has given up on their anti-net neutrality stance, though I suspect the issue will flare up again in a year or so. Since the last time I discussed it, I have been convinced that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a really good stance on the issue: neither “side” on the issue is particularly meritorious (getting rid of net neutrality is obviously a bad thing, but getting the US government to examine and regulate most of the world’s internet traffic is a privacy problem waiting to happen). I don’t have a good solution to this yet, but I’ll keep watching the issue.

There has been a bunch of other news since I last posted, but this is starting to get pretty long. The condensed version: Saddam Hussein was executed, Bangkok experienced a series of explosions New Years Eve which injured/killed surprisingly few people, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is wanking that his $200,000 salary isn’t enough money, and Microsoft gave nice laptops to some bloggers hoping they would post good stuff about the company, but instead has received a backlash from other bloggers (who I think are mainly jealous that they didn’t get one). Right… I think that’s all the news for now.

We’re having a birthdayful week here. Yesterday was Elicia’s birthday, and today was both Whitney’s and Rami’s. Whitney spent the day at home with Zack, so I IM’ed her. Rami, however, was here. We got a group of 11 people, went to Buca’s, came back and had cake, and then 8 of us went bowling. What a fantastic night for bowling! Amanda got a 132, Robert got a 134, Rami got a 146, I got a 136, Nadia got a 117 (which is fantastic for her – it was the only time she broke 100), and then Robert got a 159(!). Rachel, however, had a bad night – she only broke 80. Well, she’ll do better next time.

Let’s see… Amanda bought an X-box over break, which is kind of neat. Then, this past week, Elisa and I (among others) went to an informational meeting about Microsoft. I’m a bit torn: they offer fantastic internships and it would be wonderful to get one. However, I spent much of the summer purging my system of anything Microsoft-related. I doubt I’ll be offered an internship, but if I am, I’m not sure if I want it, because on the whole I can’t stand Microsoft’s products. They’re like the AOL of operating systems: many people are reliant on them because they make it easy, and hold your hand every step of the way. However, you can’t get anything useful done on their machines, and they’re full of problems. I can accept that they offer a great service to the barely computer-literate masses, but they’re certainly not for me. Well, we’ll see. I doubt I’ll have to make a choice in the first place. I bring this up because they had a raffle, and Elisa won a game for the X-box (which she has given to Amanda), and I won a copy of Halo for the PC. Argh! Halo is a neat game, but I can’t use it, since I’m not running Windows. Robert has offered to lend me his computer if I want to play it.

Bridge Etc is closing down in a week, and in honor of that, there is no admission fee for the last game. Sheri and I will be going to that, but we really need to get our conventions straight before then. She’s coming over tomorrow to do that, and hopefully it’ll go well. But there are several things where we adamantly disagree on certain, important things (for example, she claims that jump responses are weak, while I say that that is preempting your partner, and they had better be strong). I don’t know who is right, but hopefully we’ll find out. On a related note, I’ve started work again on the guide to bidding that I began over the summer. First step: to switch it to LaTeX (\/\/00T!). If you are into math or science and don’t know about LaTeX (or another variation, such as MikTeX), you should definitely learn. It’s just wonderful. I now type up all of my homework in it.

So, I had a prefrosh named Mark yesterday and today. He’s a pretty cool guy. I hope he gets in here.

Well, that’s about it. Good night!