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Topic Nazis (OR Mystery: static variables & performance)

MSG
Michel Bardiaux <mi************ *@peaktime.be> wrote in message news:<G4******* *************@g iganews.com>...
Mark Shelor wrote:

OK, Sidney, I am considering it. I can certainly understand the premise
that a group might choose to entertain ONLY those questions that can be
resolved purely by a reading or clarification of (drum roll please) The
Standard. But how utterly boring, and what a waste of talent. It
reduces the newgroups participants to a mere gaggle of lawyers.


I agree 100% with you.


Mark Shelor's question was off-topic, but not for the reasons
mentioned.

To interface C and Perl, it is necessary to *call* functions. The
standard however does not define the stack size, so the behavior of
any function that calls another function is undefined, and therefore
we can not discuss it here. QED.

Yeah, sure. You can predict the behavior of function calls *if* the
stack is known to be big enough, but by the same logic, you can
predict a lot of things if some extras are known. Well, they ain't.
Not in The Standard!

So, read my lips: no...function.. .calls!

We can only discuss things that are happening entirely inside
"main()". Everything else ist verboten!

Heil...
MSG
Nov 14 '05
109 4218
Mike Wahler wrote:

"Thomas Stegen" <ts*****@cis.st rath.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:40******@n ntphost.cis.str ath.ac.uk...

"No soup for you!"


"Come back ONE YEAR!"

FWIW, I don't think that guy was on any other episodes,
but was referred to in some (Remember, Elaine stole his
recipes. :-) ).

I think he made a cameo in the final episode (the trial).

Brian Rodenborn
Nov 14 '05 #81
On 10 Feb 2004 00:52:38 -0800, the right honourable ms*****@yahoo.c om
(MSG) wrote:
Michel Bardiaux <mi************ *@peaktime.be> wrote in message news:<G4******* *************@g iganews.com>...
Mark Shelor wrote:
>
> OK, Sidney, I am considering it. I can certainly understand the premise
> that a group might choose to entertain ONLY those questions that can be
> resolved purely by a reading or clarification of (drum roll please) The
> Standard. But how utterly boring, and what a waste of talent. It
> reduces the newgroups participants to a mere gaggle of lawyers.


I agree 100% with you.


Mark Shelor's question was off-topic, but not for the reasons
mentioned.

To interface C and Perl, it is necessary to *call* functions. The
standard however does not define the stack size, so the behavior of
any function that calls another function is undefined, and therefore
we can not discuss it here. QED.

Yeah, sure. You can predict the behavior of function calls *if* the
stack is known to be big enough, but by the same logic, you can
predict a lot of things if some extras are known. Well, they ain't.
Not in The Standard!

So, read my lips: no...function.. .calls!

We can only discuss things that are happening entirely inside
"main()". Everything else ist verboten!

Heil...
MSG


Why has this thread become one of the longest in this group ?

I suspect it has to do with the phenomenon Umberto Eco describes in a
speech he held on march 10, 1981, at the celebration of the 25th
anniversary of the municipal library of Milano.

He describes two kinds of libraries
One, where you have to ask the librarian for the book you need. The
librarian then gets the book for you, while you wait behind the
counter.
The other kind is one, where you go and find the book for yourself.
While doing that, you notice the book next to the one you need. That
book also triggers your interest and you thus learn something
unexpected.

Eco says, this second library is much better.

frgr
Erik
Nov 14 '05 #82
In <vg************ *************** *****@4ax.com> Erik <et57 at correos calor dot com> writes:
On 12 Feb 2004 14:44:28 GMT, the right honourable Da*****@cern.ch (Dan
Pop) wrote:
In <lp************ *************** *****@4ax.com> Erik <et57 at correos calor dot com> writes:

As an engineer who has worked on and contributed to standards, I can
assure you that a standard is a moving target.
As soon as standards, like ISO, are voted from draft to standard, new
work begins on the revision of it.
A standard is a snapshot, outdated when taken.


Tell this to the committee members from comp.std.c and you'll be laughed
at.

I did discuss this general phenomenon with the convenor of another ISO
standard, who fully agreed.


Which doesn't mean that it automatically applies to the C standard.

Anyone who has read comp.std.c long enough is familiar with the modus
operandi of this committee. The draft becomes "frozen" long before
being submitted for approval and only bug fixes are allowed. The final
C99 standard has been basically frozen ever since its adoption, with the
exception of a few bug fixes, published 2 years later (and another batch
of bug fixes is expected). No addendum has been issued in the meantime
and there is no such work in progress. The committee has not yet started
considering changes for the next version of the standard, all the work was
focused on bug fixes (defect reports, in the standardese lingo).

These are the facts and the text included at the beginning of this post
doesn't match them, even if it might be true for other standards, that
get outdated much faster than the C standard.

Furthermore, for the average C programmer, the C89 standard hasn't lost
any of its validity and this is the standard that is fully supported by
most of the implementations in current use today, 15 years after its
adoption. Quite remarkable for something that is supposed to be a moving
target, isn't it?

Dan
--
Dan Pop
DESY Zeuthen, RZ group
Email: Da*****@ifh.de
Nov 14 '05 #83
On 12 Feb 2004 18:35:30 GMT, the right honourable Da*****@cern.ch (Dan
Pop) wrote:
In <vg************ *************** *****@4ax.com> Erik <et57 at correos calor dot com> writes:
On 12 Feb 2004 14:44:28 GMT, the right honourable Da*****@cern.ch (Dan
Pop) wrote:
In <lp************ *************** *****@4ax.com> Erik <et57 at correos calor dot com> writes:
As an engineer who has worked on and contributed to standards, I can
assure you that a standard is a moving target.
As soon as standards, like ISO, are voted from draft to standard, new
work begins on the revision of it.
A standard is a snapshot, outdated when taken.

Tell this to the committee members from comp.std.c and you'll be laughed
at.

I did discuss this general phenomenon with the convenor of another ISO
standard, who fully agreed.


Which doesn't mean that it automatically applies to the C standard.

Anyone who has read comp.std.c long enough is familiar with the modus
operandi of this committee. The draft becomes "frozen" long before
being submitted for approval and only bug fixes are allowed. The final
C99 standard has been basically frozen ever since its adoption, with the
exception of a few bug fixes, published 2 years later (and another batch
of bug fixes is expected). No addendum has been issued in the meantime
and there is no such work in progress. The committee has not yet started
considering changes for the next version of the standard, all the work was
focused on bug fixes (defect reports, in the standardese lingo).

These are the facts and the text included at the beginning of this post
doesn't match them, even if it might be true for other standards, that
get outdated much faster than the C standard.

Furthermore, for the average C programmer, the C89 standard hasn't lost
any of its validity and this is the standard that is fully supported by
most of the implementations in current use today, 15 years after its
adoption. Quite remarkable for something that is supposed to be a moving
target, isn't it?


hm, I can think of many, many reasons why a standard does not get
revised.
Especially in a fast moving field as ours.

frgr
Erik

Nov 14 '05 #84

"Erik" <et57 at correos calor dot com> wrote in message
news:ku******** *************** *********@4ax.c om...
Why has this thread become one of the longest in this group ?

I suspect it has to do with the phenomenon Umberto Eco describes in a
speech he held on march 10, 1981, at the celebration of the 25th
anniversary of the municipal library of Milano.

He describes two kinds of libraries
One, where you have to ask the librarian for the book you need. The
librarian then gets the book for you, while you wait behind the
counter.
The other kind is one, where you go and find the book for yourself.
While doing that, you notice the book next to the one you need. That
book also triggers your interest and you thus learn something
unexpected.

Eco says, this second library is much better.

frgr
Erik


For what its worth, Erik, I completely agree with you. The C and C++ groups
seem to be populated by the most self-righteous people on Usenet, which I
find very sad because they are my favorite languages (out of the several
dozen I've had to use over the years). They (the people) are even worse
than the Ada and Java zealots. Not that all people how use those languages
(I'm one) are zealots, but those languages do seem to attract a lot of them.
Most other groups I frequent are very pleasant. People ask (near) off-topic
or "fringe" questions here and there and no jump on there pulpit to lecture
at them. Those groups have not digress in to chaos, nor lost sight of their
"chosen" topics as people here fear will happen.

I usually don't even bother posting anymore. I've seen to many newbies ask
pretty reasonable questions upon finding these groups, only to be attacked
by pompous, wannabe moderators who want to dictate terms to all. The "you
should lurk a few weeks before asking" being the most ridiculous. Someone
who does not frequent news groups may stumble upon them desperately seeking
help with a college or work assignment.

I don't expect it will change. Not while the "regulars" (the exalted one
who have the luxury of time to sit here all day waiting to pounce upon the
ignorant--possibly because they are in academia and don't have real jobs and
lives to worry about) feel them can and must dictate terms to the rest. Not
that all the regulars are bad either, some are pretty nice but the term
has--to me anyways--a bad connotation in this group.

Regards,

DrX


Nov 14 '05 #85
Erik wrote:
So, from the viewpoint of a technical person, a programmer or a
compiler designer, often not the most politically-adept, the standard
MUST be imperfect-but-heck-it's-the-best-we-got.
So I prefer to always be critical, always questioning, always use my
own brain, as Kant suggested as a good way to live your life :-)

Indeed.

In his own words:

"Aufklaerun g ist der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbstverschuld eten
Unmuendigkeit. Unmuendigkeit ist das Unvermoegen, sich seines
Verstandes ohne Leitung eines anderen zu bedienen."

Undoubtedly Kant would also have referred to a slavish dependence on
(drum roll please) THE STANDARD as "eine selbstverschuld ete Unmuendigkeit."

Mark

Nov 14 '05 #86
Xenos <do**********@s pamhate.com> scribbled the following:
For what its worth, Erik, I completely agree with you. The C and C++ groups
seem to be populated by the most self-righteous people on Usenet, which I
find very sad because they are my favorite languages (out of the several
dozen I've had to use over the years). They (the people) are even worse
than the Ada and Java zealots. Not that all people how use those languages
(I'm one) are zealots, but those languages do seem to attract a lot of them.
Most other groups I frequent are very pleasant. People ask (near) off-topic
or "fringe" questions here and there and no jump on there pulpit to lecture
at them. Those groups have not digress in to chaos, nor lost sight of their
"chosen" topics as people here fear will happen. I usually don't even bother posting anymore. I've seen to many newbies ask
pretty reasonable questions upon finding these groups, only to be attacked
by pompous, wannabe moderators who want to dictate terms to all. The "you
should lurk a few weeks before asking" being the most ridiculous. Someone
who does not frequent news groups may stumble upon them desperately seeking
help with a college or work assignment. I don't expect it will change. Not while the "regulars" (the exalted one
who have the luxury of time to sit here all day waiting to pounce upon the
ignorant--possibly because they are in academia and don't have real jobs and
lives to worry about) feel them can and must dictate terms to the rest. Not
that all the regulars are bad either, some are pretty nice but the term
has--to me anyways--a bad connotation in this group.


You know, this is not the only C forum out there. (It's just the best
one, but then that's my opinion. I'm one of the standard-thumpers.) If
you want a forum that'll be happy to answer questions that are more
defined by hardware manufacturers than programming languages, there's
always other comp.* or alt.* newsgroups, web-based fora, and
implementation-specific mailing lists. No one's forcing you to restrict
yourselves to this particular newsgroup.
I'd prefer if this particular newsgroup kept to what it is all about:
the C language! Not C compilers, not operation system or hardware device
APIs with C linkage. Once you think of it, the matter of which IO
command to send to the parallel port to change its state (for example)
really depends on the parallel port, not the C language, even though
you send the command by calling a C function.
When filling out a loan application (printed on paper), would you think
that the rules the bank sets for a loan are a property of pen and paper?
No? Then why do you assume the same thing for APIs with C linkage and C?

--
/-- Joona Palaste (pa*****@cc.hel sinki.fi) ------------- Finland --------\
\-- http://www.helsinki.fi/~palaste --------------------- rules! --------/
"The question of copying music from the Internet is like a two-barreled sword."
- Finnish rap artist Ezkimo
Nov 14 '05 #87
On Wed, 11 Feb 2004 20:09:25 +0000 (UTC), in comp.lang.c , Richard
Heathfield <do******@addre ss.co.uk.invali d> wrote:
that television program. Believe it or not, however, 95% of the population
of this planet does /not/ live in the USA, and might not be familiar with
US television culture (appalling as this may sound to those who cannot
imagine anything else).


or alternatively, somewhat of a relief.... :-)

--
Mark McIntyre
CLC FAQ <http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/C-faq/top.html>
CLC readme: <http://www.angelfire.c om/ms3/bchambless0/welcome_to_clc. html>
----== Posted via Newsfeed.Com - Unlimited-Uncensored-Secure Usenet News==----
http://www.newsfeed.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! >100,000 Newsgroups
---= 19 East/West-Coast Specialized Servers - Total Privacy via Encryption =---
Nov 14 '05 #88
In message <c0*********@cu i1.lmms.lmco.co m>
"Xenos" <do**********@s pamhate.com> wrote:

"Erik" <et57 at correos calor dot com> wrote in message
news:ku******** *************** *********@4ax.c om...
Why has this thread become one of the longest in this group ?

I suspect it has to do with the phenomenon Umberto Eco describes in a
speech he held on march 10, 1981, at the celebration of the 25th
anniversary of the municipal library of Milano.

He describes two kinds of libraries
One, where you have to ask the librarian for the book you need. The
librarian then gets the book for you, while you wait behind the
counter.
The other kind is one, where you go and find the book for yourself.
While doing that, you notice the book next to the one you need. That
book also triggers your interest and you thus learn something
unexpected.

Eco says, this second library is much better.

frgr
Erik


For what its worth, Erik, I completely agree with you. The C and C++ groups
seem to be populated by the most self-righteous people on Usenet, which I
find very sad because they are my favorite languages (out of the several
dozen I've had to use over the years). They (the people) are even worse
than the Ada and Java zealots. Not that all people how use those languages
(I'm one) are zealots, but those languages do seem to attract a lot of them.
Most other groups I frequent are very pleasant. People ask (near) off-topic
or "fringe" questions here and there and no jump on there pulpit to lecture
at them. Those groups have not digress in to chaos, nor lost sight of their
"chosen" topics as people here fear will happen.

I usually don't even bother posting anymore. I've seen to many newbies ask
pretty reasonable questions upon finding these groups, only to be attacked
by pompous, wannabe moderators who want to dictate terms to all.


I've got a large amount of sympathy with this view. The flaming versus
interesting discussion ratio is extremely poor. And whenever I post a serious
question on a point of language or the standard (here or comp.std.c), I'm
lucky if I get more than 1 reply.

I'm sometimes tempted to put void main() in one of my examples just to get a
response; the regulars don't seem to have the energy left over to answer
difficult questions after all the arguments about whether to cast malloc or
not :(

Other language groups, such as comp.lang.forth have got a far better balance.
But then, I suppose that's largely because they don't feel in danger of being
swamped like comp.*.c might be due to the ubiquitousness of the language.

Maybe comp.lang.c.mod erated could be loosened up; leave it up to the
moderator to determine what is on-topic enough to be posted, let him give a
reasonable amount of leeway, but have him rule that any arguments about
topicality be off-topic. Along with any other posts that just correct "void
main()" without providing any other useful/relevant informaton. Then leave
comp.lang.c full of the bickering.

--
Kevin Bracey
http://www.bracey-griffith.freeserve.co.uk/
Nov 14 '05 #89
On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 15:37:44 -0500, "Xenos"
<do**********@s pamhate.com> wrote:

For what its worth, Erik, I completely agree with you. The C and C++ groups
seem to be populated by the most self-righteous people on Usenet
I see more self-rightousness on the part of the protestors in this
debate than on the part of the "establishment" .
, which I
find very sad because they are my favorite languages (out of the several
dozen I've had to use over the years). They (the people) are even worse
than the Ada and Java zealots.
There's a type of zealotry here, but it isn't "language zealotry".
This particular group, from I've been able to discern (after really
only a few weeks of active participation), has a sound premise: answer
C /language/ questions, where the language is defined by the C
Standard. I seriously doubt any of the regulars here are on a mission
to, say, convert others to C/C++ from whatever else they're using. But
there does seem to be a mission to constrain the domain of this group.
The question is whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Personally, I /like/ that limiting the domain; that's because it is a
large and confusing enough domain all by its lonesome, without
attempting to encompass "everything and anything folks can and do use
C for." For both the regulars and itinerant visitors to the group (I
may or may not end up falling into one of those camps) to have a shot
at reasonably common ground for discussion/debate/verification of the
topics, any larger of a domain than the one they're attempting to
maintain would be, IMO, crazy-making.

So the choice being faced seems to be to either:

a) open up the group to all the kinds of questions the protestors want
the freedom to discuss here, which would possibly (probably?) dilute
the present focus on The Language so that it would become much more
difficult to answer language questions cogently, or

b) put up with these debates, which at least can be localized (more or
less!) to specific threads and subthreads, and manually filtered out
if desired.

Not that all people how use those languages
(I'm one) are zealots, but those languages do seem to attract a lot of them.
Most other groups I frequent are very pleasant. People ask (near) off-topic
or "fringe" questions here and there and no jump on there pulpit to lecture
at them. Those groups have not digress in to chaos, nor lost sight of their
"chosen" topics as people here fear will happen.
I don't buy that /anyone/ here who responds to a post by telling the
OP they're OT is doing so because they're eager to go jump onto their
soapbox and start lecturing. On the contrary; I sense that it is
regarded as rather unpleasant "dirty work" necessary in order to
maintain the quality of the group.

I usually don't even bother posting anymore. I've seen to many newbies ask
pretty reasonable questions upon finding these groups, only to be attacked
by pompous, wannabe moderators who want to dictate terms to all. The "you
should lurk a few weeks before asking" being the most ridiculous. Someone
who does not frequent news groups may stumble upon them desperately seeking
help with a college or work assignment.


I understand what you're saying. I began by participating in the
alt.comp.lang.l earn.c-c++ group, where many of the same knowledgable
folks hang out, and where all this is a non-issue. I was then drawn
into this group by way of a cross-post or two, and began grappling
with the issue almost immediately. In some ways, it's a jungle out
there, here (one poster welcomed me to "the fray", and that seems
apt). But when I publicly questioned some of the tactics, I received
what I considered to be very level-headed, sound rationale for them.
It's all in the archives; I believe folks when they tell me the
primary goal is to teach The Language. And I think the methodology
here is indeed quite effective in doing that, when not being the
target of evisceration attempts. I can't think of any better way to do
it, in fact.
-leor

Leor Zolman
BD Software
le**@bdsoft.com
www.bdsoft.com -- On-Site Training in C/C++, Java, Perl & Unix
C++ users: Download BD Software's free STL Error Message
Decryptor at www.bdsoft.com/tools/stlfilt.html
Nov 14 '05 #90

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