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"Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Muli s and Chen s comments illustrate the big difference between Shrinkwrap (i.e: marketplace) software and Internal one. (as was put forth in Joel Spolsky s
    Message 1 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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      Muli's and Chen's comments illustrate the big difference between
      Shrinkwrap (i.e: marketplace) software and Internal one. (as was put
      forth in Joel Spolsky's "Five Worlds"). Shrinkwrap plays by completely
      different rules: it has to be easy to install, compile out the box, has as
      few bugs as possible, meet the users' expectations perfectly, and has all
      the features a user can possibly want.

      An internal use software fills a niche, but that's it. It could have a lot
      of issues, hideous dialogs, and rely on a thousand different programs
      being present on the installed computer. It requires much less control and
      discpiline.

      Open-Source and Redmond software both belong as Shrinkwrap. Mercury's
      in-house SCM is internal software. Making it shrinkwrap would take a lot
      of effort, which is often not worthwhile. I.e: Mercury would rather say:
      use BitKeeper/Aegis/Arch/Subversion and leave us alone.

      I can testify that my autoconf scripts and the script I wrote to prepare a
      Freecell Solver distro under Win32 qualify as internal software. The fact
      that Freecell Solver is shrinkwrap caused me to exert a lot of effort in
      making it "just right" for users who needed it. From autoconfisication to
      RPM Specing to putting it in the Debian Pool, to adding a lot of redundant
      features that were considered "standard" among Freecell enthusiasts who
      were used to Microsoft Freecell. (which, IMO, is positively broken)

      Putting Internal Software into the wild many time results as
      Consultingware: a software that requires so many consultants and
      contractors to install properly and show you how to run it, that it seems
      it does nothing except that.

      The choice of whether to release an in-house software as shrinkwrap
      cannot be taken lightly, and cannot be said "yes" to on the sport.
      Open-Source idealists are abundant, but even a Slashdot GPL kiddie will
      start thinking differently about the development life-cycle of shrinkwrap
      once his pet project become useful to a steady group of dedicated users.
      And if he's "homesteading the noosphere" (to quote ESR) - then his
      experience would be twice or three times fold.

      There were many times I downloaded a piece of software I heard of and
      tried it out and said: whow! This thing kicks ass! Examples are: valgrind,
      WebMetaLanguage, Haskell (which is pretty useless for everyday work),
      Perl/Gtk, Perl/Tk, GImageView and KDE, XMMS. But most of the software
      you'll see in Freshmeat or on SourceForge is dead on arrival. Good
      intentions are common. Discipline and Effort are much less so.
      Furthermore, releasing as open-source is one thing; doing a full-fledge
      Cathedral style is another.

      If you really like a piece of software, send the author a thank you
      letter. He'll very much appreciate noticing that his effort has made
      someone at least a little happier.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      BTW, I should add that I believe Freecell Solver was a place where the
      noosphere had been homesteaded. BTW, Freecell Solver is an excellent ice
      braker. "You know I wrote a program that solves Freecell boards?" "Really?
      Wow! How did you do that." It's something every random guy (and especially
      chicks) can understand.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
    • Gilad Ben-Yossef
      ... How did you get THAT? Easy to install is fine. But compile out of the box? shrinkware comes in binary (even you do get the source). It can have many many
      Message 2 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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        On Thu, 2002-09-19 at 15:45, Shlomi Fish wrote:

        > Shrinkwrap plays by completely
        > different rules: it has to be easy to install, compile out the box, has as
        > few bugs as possible, meet the users' expectations perfectly, and has all
        > the features a user can possibly want.

        How did you get THAT?

        Easy to install is fine. But compile out of the box? shrinkware comes in
        binary (even you do get the source).

        It can have many many bugs and often do (Windows, anyone?) but needs to
        be usuable to some sxtent.

        'Meet the user expectation prefectly' is almost by definition something
        that shrinkware can't and wont do - it just has to be 'good enough'.

        'Have all the fatures that the user can possibly want' is meaningless -
        it doesn't happen in any software. Most often it has more feature then
        the user ever wants but not the one he *needs*.

        Gilad.

        --
        Gilad Ben-Yossef <gilad@...>
        http://benyossef.com

        "Too many journalists think that C4I really stands for Inteligence,
        Communication, Control, Computers and Consiparcy."
      • Shlomi Fish
        ... You are right. OSS Shrinkwrap should compile out of the box everywhere. Sourceless one needs to be installed and run everywhere. ... Naturally. However, a
        Message 3 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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          On 19 Sep 2002, Gilad Ben-Yossef wrote:

          > On Thu, 2002-09-19 at 15:45, Shlomi Fish wrote:
          >
          > > Shrinkwrap plays by completely
          > > different rules: it has to be easy to install, compile out the box, has as
          > > few bugs as possible, meet the users' expectations perfectly, and has all
          > > the features a user can possibly want.
          >
          > How did you get THAT?
          >
          > Easy to install is fine. But compile out of the box? shrinkware comes in
          > binary (even you do get the source).
          >

          You are right. OSS Shrinkwrap should compile out of the box everywhere.
          Sourceless one needs to be installed and run everywhere.

          > It can have many many bugs and often do (Windows, anyone?) but needs to
          > be usuable to some sxtent.
          >

          Naturally. However, a developer should make sure he eliminates all the
          bugs one by one. There are some rare cases where eliminating a bug will be
          more costly than keeping it and adding new feaures. (Spolsky gives as an
          example an obscure crash of a Window app on OS/2)

          > 'Meet the user expectation prefectly' is almost by definition something
          > that shrinkware can't and wont do - it just has to be 'good enough'.
          >

          It depends. If I'm used to Win98 as a desktop then KDE has to resemble it
          as much as it can if it wishes me to migrate. Now I think KDE is superior
          to Windows and so if Microsoft wants me back, they'll have to behave more
          like KDE.

          Of course, sometimes I encountered a completely innovative way of doing
          things and was hooked by its power. I switched from the Turbo C++ debugger
          to gdb, and never looked back.

          > 'Have all the fatures that the user can possibly want' is meaningless -
          > it doesn't happen in any software. Most often it has more feature then
          > the user ever wants but not the one he *needs*.
          >

          Ahhhh...

          I actually found a software package that has everything I need and I could
          tweak it exactly the way I wanted it to behave: GImageView. Of course,
          some users may say: hey, but this is missing. As for Freecell Solver, the
          only thing I've heard missing from it is compatibility to MS Freecell.
          FCS has many features that can be thought of as redundant, but I actually
          found most of them useful myself.

          You can usually fulfill the need of 99% of the users out there. But that
          would mean giving most of them the feeling that the software has a lot of
          redundant features. Check:

          http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000020.html

          Regards,

          Shlomi Fish

          > Gilad.
          >
          > --
          > Gilad Ben-Yossef <gilad@...>
          > http://benyossef.com
          >
          > "Too many journalists think that C4I really stands for Inteligence,
          > Communication, Control, Computers and Consiparcy."
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
          >
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >



          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
          Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
          Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
          Home E-mail: shlomif@...

          "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
          "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
        • Chen Shapira
          ... I d like to point out that my posts don t represent any official mercury view. I didn t ask anyone about the official OpenSource policy, nor did I ask
          Message 4 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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            > Open-Source and Redmond software both belong as Shrinkwrap. Mercury's
            > in-house SCM is internal software. Making it shrinkwrap would
            > take a lot
            > of effort, which is often not worthwhile. I.e: Mercury would
            > rather say:
            > use BitKeeper/Aegis/Arch/Subversion and leave us alone.

            I'd like to point out that my posts don't represent any "official"
            mercury view. I didn't ask anyone about the official OpenSource
            policy, nor did I ask about the SCM division.
            I was merely guessing.

            > Putting Internal Software into the wild many time results as
            > Consultingware: a software that requires so many consultants and
            > contractors to install properly and show you how to run it,
            > that it seems
            > it does nothing except that.

            I disagree.
            Consultantware has to be better than internal stuff.

            The software still needs to be very stable, it can't crash infront
            of a customer. It needs to support all kinds of platforms and OS
            configurations. It has to support the security standards of your
            customers. Also it needs to be configurable and scriptable.
            In-house software can have many things hard-coded.
            It also need to be independent of things you have inhouse, but
            can't expect the clients to have.

            I recently had the happy job of adapting inhouse software to
            consultingware, and then visit the client as the consultant.
            Not a happy experience (although the client was in down-town
            San-Fransisco). The said client, a large bank, nearly fainted
            when I asked him to insert his DB password into our configuration
            file in clear-text. I agree with him, but when it was inhouse, it
            didn't seem that important.

            Anyone here has any experience from the client side of consultingware?

            Thanks,
            Chen.
          • Orna Agmon
            ... Do you really think that women are the equivalent of lowest common ground ? -- Orna. | http://tx.technion.ac.il/~agmon The trouble with a kitten is
            Message 5 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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              On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote:

              > noosphere had been homesteaded. BTW, Freecell Solver is an excellent ice
              > braker. "You know I wrote a program that solves Freecell boards?" "Really?
              > Wow! How did you do that." It's something every random guy (and especially
              > chicks) can understand.


              Do you really think that women are the equivalent of "lowest common
              ground"?

              --
              Orna. | http://tx.technion.ac.il/~agmon

              The trouble with a kitten is that
              Eventually, it becomes a cat. --Ogden Nash
            • Shlomi Fish
              ... Orna, that s not what my meant. I m just more interested in impressing girls than I do in impressing fellow Linux gurus. Most girls and guys out there
              Message 6 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Orna Agmon wrote:

                > On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote:
                >
                > > noosphere had been homesteaded. BTW, Freecell Solver is an excellent ice
                > > braker. "You know I wrote a program that solves Freecell boards?" "Really?
                > > Wow! How did you do that." It's something every random guy (and especially
                > > chicks) can understand.
                >
                >
                > Do you really think that women are the equivalent of "lowest common
                > ground"?
                >

                Orna, that's not what my meant. I'm just more interested in impressing
                girls than I do in impressing fellow Linux gurus. Most girls and guys out
                there don't know too much about Linux, its internals, the Internet, and
                various protocols involved and all the other technobable. But everyone
                (well almost) knows about Freecell.

                I might be straight (which is also doubtedly not a good thing) but I'm not
                sexist. Honestly.

                > --
                > Orna. | http://tx.technion.ac.il/~agmon
                >
                > The trouble with a kitten is that
                > Eventually, it becomes a cat. --Ogden Nash
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >



                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
              • Shlomi Fish
                ... LOL. Now I should work on a baby talk synthesizer so I can impress babes . (YHBT) Regards, Shlomi Fish ... Shlomi Fish shlomif@t2.technion.ac.il
                Message 7 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                  On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Chen Shapira wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > > Do you really think that women are the equivalent of "lowest common
                  > > ground"?
                  >
                  > He didn't say "women", he said "chicks".
                  >
                  > From the dictionary:
                  > chick:
                  > 1. A young chicken.
                  > 2. The young of any bird.
                  >
                  > Of course, if something is so simple that even small birds
                  > can understand it, it must be a good line :-)
                  >

                  LOL. Now I should work on a baby talk synthesizer so I can impress
                  "babes". (YHBT)

                  Regards,

                  Shlomi Fish

                  > Thanks,
                  > Chen
                  >
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >



                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                  Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                  Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                  "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                  "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                • Nadav Har'El
                  ... Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me about it? I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard of
                  Message 8 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                    On Thu, Sep 19, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Re: ice- breaker [was: Re: "Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software]":
                    > girls than I do in impressing fellow Linux gurus. Most girls and guys out
                    > there don't know too much about Linux, its internals, the Internet, and
                    > various protocols involved and all the other technobable. But everyone
                    > (well almost) knows about Freecell.

                    Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me
                    about it?

                    I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard
                    of the variant you call "freecell".

                    --
                    Nadav Har'El | Thursday, Sep 19 2002, 14 Tishri 5763
                    nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                    Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Tact: The ability to describe others as
                    http://nadav.harel.org.il |they see themselves. - Abraham Lincoln
                  • Chen Shapira
                    ... He didn t say women , he said chicks . From the dictionary: chick: 1. A young chicken. 2. The young of any bird. Of course, if something is so simple
                    Message 9 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                      > Do you really think that women are the equivalent of "lowest common
                      > ground"?

                      He didn't say "women", he said "chicks".

                      From the dictionary:
                      chick:
                      1. A young chicken.
                      2. The young of any bird.

                      Of course, if something is so simple that even small birds
                      can understand it, it must be a good line :-)

                      Thanks,
                      Chen
                    • Tzafrir Cohen
                      ... Every windows ( =95) user, that is ... Which means that you are a Windows Illiterate. I have a feeling you don t really miss it. -- Tzafrir Cohen
                      Message 10 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                        On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                        > On Thu, Sep 19, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Re: ice- breaker [was: Re: "Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software]":
                        > > girls than I do in impressing fellow Linux gurus. Most girls and guys out
                        > > there don't know too much about Linux, its internals, the Internet, and
                        > > various protocols involved and all the other technobable. But everyone
                        > > (well almost) knows about Freecell.

                        Every windows (>=95) user, that is

                        >
                        > Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me
                        > about it?
                        >
                        > I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard
                        > of the variant you call "freecell".

                        Which means that you are a Windows Illiterate.

                        I have a feeling you don't really miss it.

                        --
                        Tzafrir Cohen
                        mailto:tzafrir@...
                        http://www.technion.ac.il/~tzafrir
                      • Omer Zak
                        Hey my most cherished and dearest ladies, chicks and shrews, Leave him alone. Let him find what actually works and what not by actually trying his stuff in
                        Message 11 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                          Hey my most cherished and dearest ladies, chicks and shrews,

                          Leave him alone. Let him find what actually works and what not by
                          actually trying his stuff in parties and pubs.

                          --- Omer
                          WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html

                          On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Chen Shapira wrote:

                          >
                          >
                          > > Do you really think that women are the equivalent of "lowest common
                          > > ground"?
                          >
                          > He didn't say "women", he said "chicks".
                          >
                          > >From the dictionary:
                          > chick:
                          > 1. A young chicken.
                          > 2. The young of any bird.
                          >
                          > Of course, if something is so simple that even small birds
                          > can understand it, it must be a good line :-)
                          >
                          > Thanks,
                          > Chen
                        • Alexander Maryanovsky
                          ... *That* is a pickup line? What happened to Hi, I m Shlomi, what s your name? I doubt you ll pick up many girls your way. On the other hand, the ones you
                          Message 12 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                            >Of course a typical pick up line would be something like:
                            >
                            >1. Do you know this "Freecell" game in Windows?

                            *That* is a pickup line? What happened to "Hi, I'm Shlomi, what's your name?"
                            I doubt you'll pick up many girls your way. On the other hand, the ones you
                            will are keepers :-)


                            Sasha.

                            At 07:07 20.09.2002 +0300, Shlomi Fish wrote:
                            >On Fri, 20 Sep 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:
                            >
                            > > On Thu, Sep 19, 2002, Tzafrir Cohen wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Re:
                            > ice- breaker [was: Re: "Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software]":
                            > > > > Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me
                            > > > > about it?
                            > > > >
                            > > > > I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard
                            > > > > of the variant you call "freecell".
                            > > >
                            > > > Which means that you are a Windows Illiterate.
                            > > >
                            > > > I have a feeling you don't really miss it.
                            > >
                            > > That's not exactly true... Until two years ago, I was using Windows 95, 98
                            > > and NT quite frequently, and people were actually coming to me for solving
                            > > their Windows problems ;) But I always prefered Unix variants, and didn't
                            > > spend too much time exploring the wonderful world of built-in games in
                            > > Windows. I also never played mine-sweeper before I installed one on my Palm
                            > > Pilot [1].
                            > >
                            > > For some reason, I suspect that I'm not the person in the world who never
                            > > played this game... I would bet that a majority of the so-called chicks (as
                            > > well as a majority of the guys) have never laid eyes on this game.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > [1] I also installed Solitaire, which I remembered fondly from Windows 3.1,
                            > > on my Palm Pilot. That was a mistake: I soon got addicted to playing it,
                            > > which wastes a lot of my time and wears down my Palm's touch-screen...
                            > > Anybody know of a solitairoholics anonymous group in the Haifa area? :)
                            > >
                            >
                            >I'll start one with you. I'm addicted to Freecell and to Simple Simon,
                            >both are present in the excellent PySol.
                            >
                            >
                            >Of course a typical pick up line would be something like:
                            >
                            >1. Do you know this "Freecell" game in Windows?
                            >2. Possible responses - is no - I only know solitaira then I go to never
                            >mind.
                            >3. Well I written (and worked on for quite a while) on a program that
                            >solves it automatically.
                            >
                            >Etc. Etc.
                            >
                            >Regards,
                            >
                            > Shlomi Fish
                            >
                            > > --
                            > > Nadav Har'El | Friday, Sep 20 2002, 14
                            > Tishri 5763
                            > >
                            > nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                            > > Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Why aren't fishmongers generous? Their
                            > > http://nadav.harel.org.il |business makes them selfish.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            > > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            > >
                            > >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >----------------------------------------------------------------------
                            >Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                            >Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                            >Home E-mail: shlomif@...
                            >
                            >"Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                            >"Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            >hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Nadav Har'El
                            ... That s not exactly true... Until two years ago, I was using Windows 95, 98 and NT quite frequently, and people were actually coming to me for solving their
                            Message 13 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                              On Thu, Sep 19, 2002, Tzafrir Cohen wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Re: ice- breaker [was: Re: "Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software]":
                              > > Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me
                              > > about it?
                              > >
                              > > I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard
                              > > of the variant you call "freecell".
                              >
                              > Which means that you are a Windows Illiterate.
                              >
                              > I have a feeling you don't really miss it.

                              That's not exactly true... Until two years ago, I was using Windows 95, 98
                              and NT quite frequently, and people were actually coming to me for solving
                              their Windows problems ;) But I always prefered Unix variants, and didn't
                              spend too much time exploring the wonderful world of built-in games in
                              Windows. I also never played mine-sweeper before I installed one on my Palm
                              Pilot [1].

                              For some reason, I suspect that I'm not the person in the world who never
                              played this game... I would bet that a majority of the so-called chicks (as
                              well as a majority of the guys) have never laid eyes on this game.



                              [1] I also installed Solitaire, which I remembered fondly from Windows 3.1,
                              on my Palm Pilot. That was a mistake: I soon got addicted to playing it,
                              which wastes a lot of my time and wears down my Palm's touch-screen...
                              Anybody know of a solitairoholics anonymous group in the Haifa area? :)

                              --
                              Nadav Har'El | Friday, Sep 20 2002, 14 Tishri 5763
                              nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                              Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Why aren't fishmongers generous? Their
                              http://nadav.harel.org.il |business makes them selfish.
                            • Sagi Bashari
                              ... And you re not the only one. I ve been using all versions of windows since 3.11 and have never played freecell. I did play solitaire though, years ago. I
                              Message 14 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                                On 9/19/2002 11:46 PM, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                >On Thu, Sep 19, 2002, Tzafrir Cohen wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Re: ice- breaker [was: Re: "Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software]":
                                >
                                >
                                >>>Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me
                                >>>about it?
                                >>>
                                >>>I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard
                                >>>of the variant you call "freecell".
                                >>>
                                >>>
                                >>Which means that you are a Windows Illiterate.
                                >>
                                >>I have a feeling you don't really miss it.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >That's not exactly true... Until two years ago, I was using Windows 95, 98
                                >and NT quite frequently, and people were actually coming to me for solving
                                >their Windows problems ;) But I always prefered Unix variants, and didn't
                                >spend too much time exploring the wonderful world of built-in games in
                                >Windows. I also never played mine-sweeper before I installed one on my Palm
                                >Pilot [1].
                                >
                                And you're not the only one. I've been using all versions of windows
                                since 3.11 and have never played freecell. I did play solitaire though,
                                years ago.

                                I still don't get the idea of using a computer program to solve a game,
                                except showing that it's possible.

                                Sagi
                              • Shlomi Fish
                                ... I ll start one with you. I m addicted to Freecell and to Simple Simon, both are present in the excellent PySol. Of course a typical pick up line would be
                                Message 15 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                                  On Fri, 20 Sep 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                  > On Thu, Sep 19, 2002, Tzafrir Cohen wrote about "Re: [hackers-il] Re: ice- breaker [was: Re: "Shrinkwrap" vs. In-House Software]":
                                  > > > Would you believe that I never heard of freecell before you told me
                                  > > > about it?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I know about Solitare (back from the Windows 3.1 days), but never heard
                                  > > > of the variant you call "freecell".
                                  > >
                                  > > Which means that you are a Windows Illiterate.
                                  > >
                                  > > I have a feeling you don't really miss it.
                                  >
                                  > That's not exactly true... Until two years ago, I was using Windows 95, 98
                                  > and NT quite frequently, and people were actually coming to me for solving
                                  > their Windows problems ;) But I always prefered Unix variants, and didn't
                                  > spend too much time exploring the wonderful world of built-in games in
                                  > Windows. I also never played mine-sweeper before I installed one on my Palm
                                  > Pilot [1].
                                  >
                                  > For some reason, I suspect that I'm not the person in the world who never
                                  > played this game... I would bet that a majority of the so-called chicks (as
                                  > well as a majority of the guys) have never laid eyes on this game.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [1] I also installed Solitaire, which I remembered fondly from Windows 3.1,
                                  > on my Palm Pilot. That was a mistake: I soon got addicted to playing it,
                                  > which wastes a lot of my time and wears down my Palm's touch-screen...
                                  > Anybody know of a solitairoholics anonymous group in the Haifa area? :)
                                  >

                                  I'll start one with you. I'm addicted to Freecell and to Simple Simon,
                                  both are present in the excellent PySol.


                                  Of course a typical pick up line would be something like:

                                  1. Do you know this "Freecell" game in Windows?
                                  2. Possible responses - is no - I only know solitaira then I go to never
                                  mind.
                                  3. Well I written (and worked on for quite a while) on a program that
                                  solves it automatically.

                                  Etc. Etc.

                                  Regards,

                                  Shlomi Fish

                                  > --
                                  > Nadav Har'El | Friday, Sep 20 2002, 14 Tishri 5763
                                  > nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                  > Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Why aren't fishmongers generous? Their
                                  > http://nadav.harel.org.il |business makes them selfish.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                  > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >



                                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                  Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                                  Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                                  "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                                  "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                                • Oleg Goldshmidt
                                  ... I never even learned the rules of Solitaire until an employer of mine gave me an iPAQ. I got bored after about 3 minutes, and I was waiting for my plane at
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Sep 19, 2002
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                                    "Nadav Har'El" <nyh@...> writes:

                                    > I also never played mine-sweeper before I installed one on my Palm
                                    > Pilot [1].

                                    I never even learned the rules of Solitaire until an employer of mine
                                    gave me an iPAQ. I got bored after about 3 minutes, and I was waiting
                                    for my plane at Heathrow at the time. I still don't know what Freecell
                                    is. I gather it is a game, but what is the point of a game if a
                                    machine can "solve" it (I guess that's what Shlomi's s/w does).

                                    ;-)

                                    --
                                    Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
                                    =================================================================
                                    "... Of theoretical physics and programming, programming embodied
                                    the greater intellectual challenge." [E.W.Dijkstra, 1930 - 2002.]
                                  • Oleg Goldshmidt
                                    ... I am glad it works for Shlomi. I also hope the other party asks to explain the algorithms. Will one of the chicks[1], broads, gals (a.k.a. beautiful
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Sep 20, 2002
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> writes:

                                      > 1. Do you know this "Freecell" game in Windows?
                                      > 2. Possible responses - is no - I only know solitaira then I go to never
                                      > mind.
                                      > 3. Well I written (and worked on for quite a while) on a program that
                                      > solves it automatically.

                                      I am glad it works for Shlomi. I also hope the other party asks to
                                      explain the algorithms.

                                      Will one of the chicks[1], broads, gals (a.k.a. beautiful ladies) on
                                      this list explain to me[2] why this would work as a pick-up line? I
                                      never wrote a freecell solver, so I am afraid to use it lest I am
                                      exposed as a fraud quickly. Will "I know a guy who wrote a freecell
                                      solver" be effective? Will "I used to be Russia's checkers champion
                                      and I did not use a computer for that" be helpful?

                                      [1] GeekChicks: http://www.geekchicks.com/
                                      LinuxChix: http://linuxchix.org/

                                      [2] Preferably in a candid, openminded, personal email,
                                      of course. Alternatively, please attach a photo in any non-M$
                                      format and the discussion may be deferred till dinner or drinks,
                                      depending on your GIMP skills (algorithm: for the same photo, if
                                      you have no GIMP skills dinner is likelier). [A big ;-) goes here
                                      in case someone thinks I mixed up mailing lists.]

                                      This grew entirely off-topic, I am afraid. What's more, discussion of
                                      pick-up techniques can conceivably be offensive to the female part of
                                      the audience, so can we drop it, at least till the next round of beers
                                      among us guys?

                                      --
                                      Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
                                      =================================================================
                                      "... Of theoretical physics and programming, programming embodied
                                      the greater intellectual challenge." [E.W.Dijkstra, 1930 - 2002.]
                                    • Shlomi Fish
                                      Notice that I only used the Do you know the game Freecell for Windows? , Yes. , Well, I wrote a computerized solver for it? mostly on Technion crowd. I
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Sep 21, 2002
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                                        Notice that I only used the "Do you know the game Freecell for Windows?",
                                        "Yes.", "Well, I wrote a computerized solver for it?" mostly on Technion
                                        crowd. I have no idea how much it would work on a girl or a man that is
                                        not very technologically inclined.

                                        My point was that a solver for Freecell is something that everybody can
                                        easily understand. Many projects out there require quite in-depth
                                        knowledge in the way UNIX, Linux, TCP/IP or whatever works. But everybody
                                        may know about Freecell and understand what a Freecell solver may do.

                                        I'm terribly sorry if I offended anyone by using the "chick" word. I
                                        should have used "girl" instead.

                                        Sincerily yours,

                                        Shlomi Fish

                                        On 20 Sep 2002, Oleg Goldshmidt wrote:

                                        > Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...> writes:
                                        >
                                        > > 1. Do you know this "Freecell" game in Windows?
                                        > > 2. Possible responses - is no - I only know solitaira then I go to never
                                        > > mind.
                                        > > 3. Well I written (and worked on for quite a while) on a program that
                                        > > solves it automatically.
                                        >
                                        > I am glad it works for Shlomi. I also hope the other party asks to
                                        > explain the algorithms.
                                        >
                                        > Will one of the chicks[1], broads, gals (a.k.a. beautiful ladies) on
                                        > this list explain to me[2] why this would work as a pick-up line? I
                                        > never wrote a freecell solver, so I am afraid to use it lest I am
                                        > exposed as a fraud quickly. Will "I know a guy who wrote a freecell
                                        > solver" be effective? Will "I used to be Russia's checkers champion
                                        > and I did not use a computer for that" be helpful?
                                        >
                                        > [1] GeekChicks: http://www.geekchicks.com/
                                        > LinuxChix: http://linuxchix.org/
                                        >
                                        > [2] Preferably in a candid, openminded, personal email,
                                        > of course. Alternatively, please attach a photo in any non-M$
                                        > format and the discussion may be deferred till dinner or drinks,
                                        > depending on your GIMP skills (algorithm: for the same photo, if
                                        > you have no GIMP skills dinner is likelier). [A big ;-) goes here
                                        > in case someone thinks I mixed up mailing lists.]
                                        >
                                        > This grew entirely off-topic, I am afraid. What's more, discussion of
                                        > pick-up techniques can conceivably be offensive to the female part of
                                        > the audience, so can we drop it, at least till the next round of beers
                                        > among us guys?
                                        >
                                        > --
                                        > Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
                                        > =================================================================
                                        > "... Of theoretical physics and programming, programming embodied
                                        > the greater intellectual challenge." [E.W.Dijkstra, 1930 - 2002.]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                        > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >



                                        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                        Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                                        Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                                        "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                                        "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                                      • Nadav Har'El
                                        ... While using the word chick was not the most politically-correct thing you could have done, there are certain people here that need to remember that they
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Sep 21, 2002
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          On Sat, Sep 21, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Ice-Breaker Disclaimer":
                                          > I'm terribly sorry if I offended anyone by using the "chick" word. I
                                          > should have used "girl" instead.

                                          While using the word "chick" was not the most politically-correct thing
                                          you could have done, there are certain people here that need to remember
                                          that they should not take personal offense by everything someone writes.
                                          These people should especially be careful of taking offense by someone
                                          writing in a language other than his or her first language, or when the
                                          reader himself or herself speaks that language as a second language.

                                          For examples why, take a look at the well known joke:
                                          http://www.thehumorarchives.com/humor/0000164.html
                                          A sign in a Japanese hotel said "You are invited to take advantage of the
                                          chambermaid". As the saying says, never attribute to malice what can be
                                          explained by stupidity.

                                          Incidentally, I was watching some British movie on TV this evening, and
                                          one of the things I like about British movies is paying attention to their
                                          language, diction and slang. British slang, or even language that you can
                                          find in dictionaries, is sometimes quite different from the American one
                                          that I am much more accustomed to. For example, the noun "fag" means
                                          completely different things to an American and a Brit (check out m-w.com,
                                          definition 3 is the British one, definition 4 is the American). One of
                                          words that the Brits in that movie seemed to use while Americans never,
                                          is using the word "bird" for a girl (take a look in m-w.com if you don't
                                          believe me). If bird means woman, it's obvious why chick could mean a young
                                          woman. m-w.com lists "chick" as slang, and indeed it is (as far as I can
                                          remember, it is mostly American slang). It is considered a "low" word,
                                          which you would say to your male buddies, not something you'd write on
                                          paper; Nevertheless, using this word is no reason for crucifixion.

                                          And to girls that are offended by the slang "chick", well, the British
                                          slang "bloke", for a man, doesn't sound that much better :) The word
                                          "hunk" describing a good-looking man doesn't sound that respectful either.

                                          By the way, looking in google with a few words I wrote above, I found some
                                          page trying to summarize the differences in slang between four different
                                          English-speaking countries: http://us2uk.tripod.com/slang.htm
                                          Some of the slangs there are wrong (or "euphemized"), however. Anyway,
                                          to anyone offended by the word "chick" for a girl, see what you think about
                                          the south-african alternative listed, "cherry". Check out m-w.com's
                                          definition 3b of cherry if you don't know what cherry really refers to...

                                          Cheerio,
                                          Nadav.

                                          --
                                          Nadav Har'El | Sunday, Sep 22 2002, 16 Tishri 5763
                                          nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                          Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Microchips: what's left at the bottom of
                                          http://nadav.harel.org.il |the bag when it reaches you.
                                        • Shlomi Fish
                                          ... For my own accusation, I can say I knew the word chick was a bit derogatory, and used it deliberately. But it was a bad idea in the first place. ...
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Sep 21, 2002
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            On Sun, 22 Sep 2002, Nadav Har'El wrote:

                                            > On Sat, Sep 21, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Ice-Breaker Disclaimer":
                                            > > I'm terribly sorry if I offended anyone by using the "chick" word. I
                                            > > should have used "girl" instead.
                                            >
                                            > While using the word "chick" was not the most politically-correct thing
                                            > you could have done, there are certain people here that need to remember
                                            > that they should not take personal offense by everything someone writes.
                                            > These people should especially be careful of taking offense by someone
                                            > writing in a language other than his or her first language, or when the
                                            > reader himself or herself speaks that language as a second language.
                                            >

                                            For my own accusation, I can say I knew the word chick was a bit
                                            derogatory, and used it deliberately. But it was a bad idea in the first
                                            place.

                                            > For examples why, take a look at the well known joke:
                                            > http://www.thehumorarchives.com/humor/0000164.html
                                            > A sign in a Japanese hotel said "You are invited to take advantage of the
                                            > chambermaid". As the saying says, never attribute to malice what can be
                                            > explained by stupidity.
                                            >
                                            > Incidentally, I was watching some British movie on TV this evening, and
                                            > one of the things I like about British movies is paying attention to their
                                            > language, diction and slang. British slang, or even language that you can
                                            > find in dictionaries, is sometimes quite different from the American one
                                            > that I am much more accustomed to. For example, the noun "fag" means
                                            > completely different things to an American and a Brit (check out m-w.com,
                                            > definition 3 is the British one, definition 4 is the American). One of
                                            > words that the Brits in that movie seemed to use while Americans never,
                                            > is using the word "bird" for a girl (take a look in m-w.com if you don't
                                            > believe me). If bird means woman, it's obvious why chick could mean a young
                                            > woman. m-w.com lists "chick" as slang, and indeed it is (as far as I can
                                            > remember, it is mostly American slang). It is considered a "low" word,
                                            > which you would say to your male buddies, not something you'd write on
                                            > paper; Nevertheless, using this word is no reason for crucifixion.
                                            >
                                            > And to girls that are offended by the slang "chick", well, the British
                                            > slang "bloke", for a man, doesn't sound that much better :) The word
                                            > "hunk" describing a good-looking man doesn't sound that respectful either.
                                            >

                                            Actually, according to m-w, hunk means a well-built man who is usually
                                            good-looking. But I think it now applies to men of lesser physique who are
                                            just dashing.

                                            This make me wonder: does anybody of you considers himself good-looking? I
                                            think I'm moderately good looking but not much. I wonder if the most
                                            beautiful women I know (i.e Terry Farrel, Veronica Blume, Valeria Golino,
                                            Shania Twain, to name some of the international ones) look at themselves
                                            in the mirror and say "Man, I'm looking good!". It's a bit narcistic if
                                            you ask me.

                                            Regards,

                                            Shlomi Fish

                                            > By the way, looking in google with a few words I wrote above, I found some
                                            > page trying to summarize the differences in slang between four different
                                            > English-speaking countries: http://us2uk.tripod.com/slang.htm
                                            > Some of the slangs there are wrong (or "euphemized"), however. Anyway,
                                            > to anyone offended by the word "chick" for a girl, see what you think about
                                            > the south-african alternative listed, "cherry". Check out m-w.com's
                                            > definition 3b of cherry if you don't know what cherry really refers to...
                                            >
                                            > Cheerio,
                                            > Nadav.
                                            >
                                            > --
                                            > Nadav Har'El | Sunday, Sep 22 2002, 16 Tishri 5763
                                            > nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                            > Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Microchips: what's left at the bottom of
                                            > http://nadav.harel.org.il |the bag when it reaches you.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                                            > hackers-il-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                            >
                                            >



                                            ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
                                            Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
                                            Home E-mail: shlomif@...

                                            "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
                                            "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"
                                          • Nadav Har'El
                                            This is getting more and more off-topic... Maybe we should open a new list, hackers-il-male-chauvinist-lingo? :) Just kidding! ... You are right, the word
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Sep 22, 2002
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              This is getting more and more off-topic... Maybe we should open a new
                                              list, hackers-il-male-chauvinist-lingo? :) Just kidding!

                                              On Sun, Sep 22, 2002, Shlomi Fish wrote about "[hackers-il] Re: Ice-Breaker Disclaimer":
                                              > > And to girls that are offended by the slang "chick", well, the British
                                              > > slang "bloke", for a man, doesn't sound that much better :) The word
                                              > > "hunk" describing a good-looking man doesn't sound that respectful either.
                                              > >
                                              >
                                              > Actually, according to m-w, hunk means a well-built man who is usually
                                              > good-looking. But I think it now applies to men of lesser physique who are
                                              > just dashing.

                                              You are right, the word "hunk" usually describes a guy with a good-looking
                                              muscular body, not necessarily a good-looking face (though preferably that
                                              should be the case too).

                                              > This make me wonder: does anybody of you considers himself good-looking? I
                                              > think I'm moderately good looking but not much. I wonder if the most
                                              > beautiful women I know (i.e Terry Farrel, Veronica Blume, Valeria Golino,
                                              > Shania Twain, to name some of the international ones) look at themselves
                                              > in the mirror and say "Man, I'm looking good!". It's a bit narcistic if
                                              > you ask me.

                                              On an optimistic day, I'll go to the mirror and say, "Man, I'm average
                                              looking!" :)

                                              This question can be asked about many attributes, not just good looks. For
                                              example, once in a while someone decides to annoy me by asking a question
                                              like "are you a genious"? To that I usually reply "no, I don't consider
                                              myself one", and after that an argument start, the other person trying to
                                              convince me that I am, and I try to explain why I think I am not.

                                              Good looks, smarts, weight, height and most other human attributes are
                                              continuous, meaning that it's not easy to say where exactly on the scale
                                              of good looks etc. you are, or to define how good do you have to look before
                                              you can actually call yourself "beautiful". A pretty girl might not admit
                                              to being beautiful but will more easily admit to being "prettier than
                                              average, but still there are many girls more prettier than me all around me".
                                              Similarly, I don't mind admitting being "smarter than average" (I have
                                              various scores, grades, and so on to back that claim up) but I wouldn't
                                              admit to being a genious.

                                              It's also hard, many times, to seperate your intrinsic attributes from
                                              external influences; For example a beautiful girl might say "I'm not
                                              beautiful, I'm just good with make-up and go to an expensive hair stylist";
                                              An educated person might say "I'm not a genious, I just had the good fortunes
                                              of attending a good school and have read good books".

                                              Mental illnesses which completely distort your ability to estimate your
                                              location in these continuous scales can be very dangerous. Girls (usually)
                                              with Anorexia know they are thin, but (because of their mental illness) do
                                              not admit that it is thin enough, and to the brink of death believe that
                                              they should be slightly thinner to be called "thin enough".

                                              If you want to run a survey on how good-looking people think they are,
                                              or at least how they try to represent themeselves to the outside world,
                                              take a look at any dating site. You might be surprised, most girls (I
                                              didn't check guys, for understandable reasons ;)) mark themselves as "good
                                              looking". It doesn't necessarily mean that is what they think about
                                              themselves, but it's what they pretend to be to the rest of the world.

                                              --
                                              Nadav Har'El | Sunday, Sep 22 2002, 16 Tishri 5763
                                              nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
                                              Phone: +972-53-245868, ICQ 13349191 |Linux is just like a wigwam: no Windows,
                                              http://nadav.harel.org.il |no Gates and an Apache inside.
                                            • Oleg Goldshmidt
                                              ... ObHack: Was it Dirac who observed that there must be an optimal distance from which a woman looks most attractive? Proof: attractiveness (visual) is
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Sep 22, 2002
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                "Nadav Har'El" <nyh@...> writes:

                                                > Good looks, smarts, weight, height and most other human attributes are
                                                > continuous, meaning that it's not easy to say where exactly on the scale
                                                > of good looks etc. you are, or to define how good do you have to look before
                                                > you can actually call yourself "beautiful".

                                                ObHack:

                                                Was it Dirac who observed that there must be an optimal distance from
                                                which a woman looks most attractive? Proof: attractiveness (visual) is
                                                non-negative (that's a generous assumption, but let's take a subset of
                                                women whose attractiveness *is* non-negative) and is a continuous
                                                function of distance, in two limiting cases - zero and infinity - it's
                                                0 because one cannot see anything.

                                                > If you want to run a survey on how good-looking people think they
                                                > are,

                                                In the 1920ies a group of prominent scientists, physicists and
                                                biologists (IIRC the well-known physicist max Delbruck and the famous
                                                geneticist Timofeev-Resovsky, both close to Bohr, were among them)
                                                amused themselves by conducting a quasi-scientific survey of female
                                                beauty in Europe. IIRC they gave each woman they pointed out to their
                                                friends as beautiful 4 points, each woman they did *not* point out to
                                                their friends 5 points, each average-looking woman 3 points, etc. They
                                                proceeded then to draw a map of Europe with the distribution plotted
                                                as contour lines. The maximum turned out to be in what later became
                                                Yugoslavia (Dubrovnik?) and also in Czechoslovakia. I don't know what
                                                kinds of bias they introduced into the sample, but these were serious
                                                guys.

                                                > You might be surprised, most girls (I didn't check guys, for
                                                > understandable reasons ;)) mark themselves as "good looking". It
                                                > doesn't necessarily mean that is what they think about themselves,
                                                > but it's what they pretend to be to the rest of the world.

                                                The reasons are quite clear...

                                                --
                                                Oleg Goldshmidt | ogoldshmidt@...
                                                =================================================================
                                                "... Of theoretical physics and programming, programming embodied
                                                the greater intellectual challenge." [E.W.Dijkstra, 1930 - 2002.]
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