[rescue] Help with SunFire V240 Server

Cory Smelosky b4 at gewt.net
Sun Apr 7 19:10:43 CDT 2013

On 04/07/2013 07:47 PM, Carl R. Friend wrote:
>     On Sun, 7 Apr 2013, Peter Corlett wrote:
>> It's not always obvious from API documentation whether a field is
>> signed or
>> unsigned, and signed values will often get shoved into an int, whether by
>> accident, laziness, or a feature/bug in one's language.
>     On item (1) above, there is no excuse for lazy documentation; if
> something is worth writing, it's worth writing *correctly*, and if
> a value is *unsigned* (and that keyword exists for a reason) it
> should be so documented, or be patently obvious (e.g. "WTF is
> 'cylinder negative one'?").

There really is no excuse for lazy documentation...unless you DON'T want 
anyone to understand your project.

>     On item (2) above, that's what compiler warnings and good coding
> standards are all about.  Oh, wait; "lint" is a fond memory from the
> past and nobody pays any attentions to warnings any more because all
> the world's a GNU.

"It compiles, there are 300 warnings, but it compiles!  That degree I 
got by coasting my way through sure payed off!"

>> So it's defensive design to treat unsigned values with a MSB of 1
>> as an error.
>     ... which completely removes the usefulness of the data type.
>     And to think we call this "progress".
>> You'll see this pattern all over the place. For example, userspace
>> pointers in x86_64 operating systems are always positive when cast
>> to int64_t.
>     And since when is the x86/* any sort of paragon of virtue?

Since we've been force-fed the kludge that is x86 that continues to be 
tacked on to other architectures it's unfortunately become a de facto 
paradigm...not necessarily of virtue.

>> Java doesn't allow unsigned integers at all to avoid just this
>> problem.
>     Interpreted and B&D languages need not apply [for employment].
> This is the real world, not academia.  Try telling somebody doing
> embedded work that they should give up unsigned data-types.

Try telling that to the current wave of javascript fans. ;)

>     The point is that the data-type has *very* useful real-world
> applications.  Removing it from the lexicon -- or worse, bowlderdising
> it -- is a huge dis-service to computing.

Many university-level computer science courses are also doing a huge 
dis-serice.  Some people come out with less knowledge than they went in 

>     Cheers!
> +------------------------------------------------+---------------------+
> | Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
> | Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
> | mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
> | http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |
> +------------------------------------------------+---------------------+
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

Cory Smelosky
http://gewt.net Personal stuff
http://gimme-sympathy.org Experiments

More information about the rescue mailing list