Getting Starting in JavaScript et al

Discussion in 'Javascript' started by Gene Wirchenko, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Hello:

    The company that I work for is going for a Web-based frontend for
    its client billing system and to integrate the various company
    databases and applications.

    The app will be internal for the projected future. The browser
    will be IE 9, the OS Windows 7. We will be using SQL Server Express
    for the DBMS. For the Web end, it will be JavaScript, VBScript, ASP
    Classic, and AJAX.

    I have some sample code, but have already found deficiencies with
    it. I have dealt with some of the deficiencies (escape characters was
    a big one), but it has been a slow and arduous time.

    I have found that there are many basic guides on the Web, but all
    too few that get into the nasty bits. For example, escape characters
    are not dealt by many pages, and I had to do a lot of hunting to find
    out what to do.

    I have read/skimmed the FAQ, and much of it is too high a level
    for me for now.

    Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?

    Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits? (Of the
    two mnetioned in the FAQ, one does not seem appropriate. The other
    one, I am not sure about.)

    You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    both.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko
     
    Gene Wirchenko, Nov 4, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Gene Wirchenko

    BOOK-AZ Guest

    óÅÍÉÍÉÌÌÉÁÒÄÎÙÊ ÖÉÔÅÌØ úÅÍÌÉ ÐÏÌÕÞÉÌ ÔÏÎÎÕ ÁÐÅÌØÓÉÎÏ× http://book-az.com
     
    BOOK-AZ, Nov 4, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Gene Wirchenko

    Erwin Moller Guest

    On 11/4/2011 4:41 AM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
    > Hello:
    >
    > The company that I work for is going for a Web-based frontend for
    > its client billing system and to integrate the various company
    > databases and applications.
    >
    > The app will be internal for the projected future. The browser
    > will be IE 9, the OS Windows 7. We will be using SQL Server Express
    > for the DBMS. For the Web end, it will be JavaScript, VBScript, ASP
    > Classic, and AJAX.


    Hello Gene,

    A few warnings:

    VBscript ASP classic?
    Are you sure about that?
    I maintain some old software I wrote many years ago which is written in
    classic VBscript on IIS, and it really hurts sometimes to wrap my mind
    around it. I never use VBscipt/classic ASP anymore for new projects (it
    has been like that for more than 10 years). Most developers won't use it
    for new projects (unless it is the only thing they know).

    Seriously, consider using something better since you give the impression
    your company will develop it from the ground up anyway.

    Also, make clear what you are doing serverside and clientside. In your
    posting you give me the impression you are not sure where what language
    runs exactly, but I might be wrong.
    For example, both VBscript and JavaScript can run clientside and
    serverside. If you are going to use AJAX, you must understand the
    differences between serverside and clientside very well.
    Especially if you are ever going to open up your webapp to the public:
    security matters.

    And last: Are you sure you want to support IE9 on Win7 only?
    Good webapps run on any browser. Just make sure you write your code
    sensible, and you support ALL BROWSERS worth mentioning.
    I can't think of any valid reason to support only IE9 on Win7, unless
    you are knee-deep into ActiveX components running inside the browser.
    (Don't do that if you can avoid it.)

    >
    > I have some sample code, but have already found deficiencies with
    > it. I have dealt with some of the deficiencies (escape characters was
    > a big one), but it has been a slow and arduous time.


    Possibly.
    In my experience it is easier to find poor scripts on the web than good
    ones.
    And it is hard for newcomers to tell them apart. :-(


    >
    > I have found that there are many basic guides on the Web, but all
    > too few that get into the nasty bits. For example, escape characters
    > are not dealt by many pages, and I had to do a lot of hunting to find
    > out what to do.


    Do you have an example of that?
    I am not sure I can follow.
    Are you talking about escaping characters like ' " \?

    >
    > I have read/skimmed the FAQ, and much of it is too high a level
    > for me for now.


    Yes, some topics are hard to grok (closures for example), but if you
    plan to move your application to your customers, you must have a certain
    understanding and do things right.
    If you don't, your app will fail on other browsers or in circumstances
    you cannot envision right now.
    You also have the serious possibility of making serious mistakes and
    create security holes.
    If don't know what business you are in, or in which country you live,
    but opening up private information can have serious repercussions in
    certain countries. Please take care.


    >
    > Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?


    Yes. Too many to sum up here.

    >
    > Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits? (Of the
    > two mnetioned in the FAQ, one does not seem appropriate. The other
    > one, I am not sure about.)


    I learned my basics from the "Definitive Guide", second edition that was
    I think, don't use that now. ;-)
    I think I learned more by lurking around in comp.lang.javascript.


    >
    > You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    > or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    > both.


    To be honest: I think you should start studying a lot, or hire a
    competent developer.

    Last tip:
    Always feel free to ask questions in here.
    Don't be scared to get spanked in the beginning.
    1) Post your examplecode/problem in here as clear as you can.
    Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions.
    2) You WILL be corrected, also on thing you didn't ask about.
    Take it all seriously, ignore some trolls, and you'll be good.


    >
    > Sincerely,
    >
    > Gene Wirchenko


    Good luck.
    Regards,
    Erwin Moller


    --
    "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without
    evidence."
    -- Christopher Hitchens
     
    Erwin Moller, Nov 4, 2011
    #3
  4. On Fri, 04 Nov 2011 11:55:31 +0100, Erwin Moller
    <> wrote:

    >On 11/4/2011 4:41 AM, Gene Wirchenko wrote:
    >> Hello:
    >>
    >> The company that I work for is going for a Web-based frontend for
    >> its client billing system and to integrate the various company
    >> databases and applications.
    >>
    >> The app will be internal for the projected future. The browser
    >> will be IE 9, the OS Windows 7. We will be using SQL Server Express
    >> for the DBMS. For the Web end, it will be JavaScript, VBScript, ASP
    >> Classic, and AJAX.


    >A few warnings:
    >
    >VBscript ASP classic?
    >Are you sure about that?


    That is what has been selected.

    >I maintain some old software I wrote many years ago which is written in
    >classic VBscript on IIS, and it really hurts sometimes to wrap my mind
    >around it. I never use VBscipt/classic ASP anymore for new projects (it
    >has been like that for more than 10 years). Most developers won't use it
    >for new projects (unless it is the only thing they know).
    >
    >Seriously, consider using something better since you give the impression
    >your company will develop it from the ground up anyway.


    Your impression is correct.

    >Also, make clear what you are doing serverside and clientside. In your
    >posting you give me the impression you are not sure where what language
    >runs exactly, but I might be wrong.
    >For example, both VBscript and JavaScript can run clientside and
    >serverside. If you are going to use AJAX, you must understand the
    >differences between serverside and clientside very well.


    It will be JavaScript on the client side and VBScript on the
    server side.

    >Especially if you are ever going to open up your webapp to the public:
    >security matters.


    I have been considering that.

    >And last: Are you sure you want to support IE9 on Win7 only?
    >Good webapps run on any browser. Just make sure you write your code
    >sensible, and you support ALL BROWSERS worth mentioning.
    >I can't think of any valid reason to support only IE9 on Win7, unless
    >you are knee-deep into ActiveX components running inside the browser.
    >(Don't do that if you can avoid it.)


    I know your arguments. This is to be an internal app, and we can
    enforce the platform. Later, we may expand it. It is more important
    to get the app going first. I do not plan to write to IE9/Win7, but I
    am not going to worry about breaking a different combo FOR NOW.
    Personally, I prefer Firefox.

    >> I have some sample code, but have already found deficiencies with
    >> it. I have dealt with some of the deficiencies (escape characters was
    >> a big one), but it has been a slow and arduous time.

    >
    >Possibly.
    >In my experience it is easier to find poor scripts on the web than good
    >ones.
    >And it is hard for newcomers to tell them apart. :-(


    Code that will not properly handle values with single quotes or
    ampersands are easy for this newcomer to detect. I have a solution to
    this. I do not know that it is complete w.r.t. weird characters.

    >> I have found that there are many basic guides on the Web, but all
    >> too few that get into the nasty bits. For example, escape characters
    >> are not dealt by many pages, and I had to do a lot of hunting to find
    >> out what to do.

    >
    >Do you have an example of that?
    >I am not sure I can follow.
    >Are you talking about escaping characters like ' " \?


    That was one.

    >> I have read/skimmed the FAQ, and much of it is too high a level
    >> for me for now.

    >
    >Yes, some topics are hard to grok (closures for example), but if you
    >plan to move your application to your customers, you must have a certain
    >understanding and do things right.
    >If you don't, your app will fail on other browsers or in circumstances
    >you cannot envision right now.
    >You also have the serious possibility of making serious mistakes and
    >create security holes.
    >If don't know what business you are in, or in which country you live,
    >but opening up private information can have serious repercussions in
    >certain countries. Please take care.


    I plan to. This is an internal app though.

    >> Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?

    >
    >Yes. Too many to sum up here.


    Can you give me some specifics? Even a checklist of "Not that,
    you fool!" would help.

    >> Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits? (Of the
    >> two mnetioned in the FAQ, one does not seem appropriate. The other
    >> one, I am not sure about.)

    >
    >I learned my basics from the "Definitive Guide", second edition that was
    >I think, don't use that now. ;-)


    That is the one I am not sure about. I will have to hunt down
    some reviews. The FAQ has little.

    >I think I learned more by lurking around in comp.lang.javascript.


    Yup. Did you know that there have been over 6,000 posts to this
    newsgroup in the past two years? (Sorry, but that counts the nude
    spams.)

    >> You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    >> or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    >> both.

    >
    >To be honest: I think you should start studying a lot, or hire a
    >competent developer.


    I am trying to study. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of
    very basics, but not so much of the stuff needed to really make a
    solid system.

    >Last tip:
    >Always feel free to ask questions in here.
    >Don't be scared to get spanked in the beginning.
    >1) Post your examplecode/problem in here as clear as you can.
    >Don't be afraid to ask stupid questions.
    >2) You WILL be corrected, also on thing you didn't ask about.
    >Take it all seriously, ignore some trolls, and you'll be good.


    Standard, good USENET advice.

    Thank you for your post.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko
     
    Gene Wirchenko, Nov 4, 2011
    #4
  5. On Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:30:14 +0100, Christian Kirsch <>
    wrote:

    >Gene Wirchenko schrieb:
    >
    >> You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    >> or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    >> both.


    >But what *are* your questions? You mention one thing ("escape


    They are the sentences that end with "?". Here they are again:

    Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?

    Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits?

    >characters"), and I don't even understand, what you mean by this. If you


    Maybe you use different terminology? In some languages, to
    represent certain characters in a string, one must escape the
    character. C example:
    char tab='\t';
    tab would then contain the tab character, not a backslash followed by
    a lower-case T.

    >want answers, you should probably be asking clear questions.


    One of the problems of getting started is finding out exactly
    where to start. When I have specific questions, I will ask them. For
    now, I am trying to get the lay of the land.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko
     
    Gene Wirchenko, Nov 4, 2011
    #5
  6. Gene Wirchenko wrote:

    > Christian Kirsch wrote:
    >> Gene Wirchenko schrieb:
    >>> You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    >>> or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    >>> both.

    >>
    >> But what *are* your questions? You mention one thing ("escape

    >
    > They are the sentences that end with "?". Here they are again:
    >
    > Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?
    >
    > Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits?


    You are just asking for it:

    <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>


    PointedEars
    --
    Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on
    a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web,
    when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another
    computer, another word processor, or another network. -- Tim Berners-Lee
     
    Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn, Nov 4, 2011
    #6
  7. On Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:46:46 +0100, Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn
    <> wrote:

    >Gene Wirchenko wrote:
    >
    >> Christian Kirsch wrote:
    >>> Gene Wirchenko schrieb:
    >>>> You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    >>>> or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    >>>> both.
    >>>
    >>> But what *are* your questions? You mention one thing ("escape

    >>
    >> They are the sentences that end with "?". Here they are again:
    >>
    >> Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?
    >>
    >> Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits?

    >
    >You are just asking for it:
    >
    ><http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>


    I was wondering if it were your past history with others or that
    you were just plain rude. Unfortunately, your reply strongly suggests
    it to be the latter.

    Just in case the above gave you a bit of pause, how would you (as
    a newbie) ask for a book on the subject of your newbieness that deals
    with non-trivial uses?

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko
     
    Gene Wirchenko, Nov 4, 2011
    #7
  8. Gene Wirchenko wrote:

    > Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:
    >> Gene Wirchenko wrote:
    >>> Christian Kirsch wrote:
    >>>> Gene Wirchenko schrieb:
    >>>>> You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    >>>>> or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    >>>>> both.
    >>>>
    >>>> But what *are* your questions? You mention one thing ("escape
    >>>
    >>> They are the sentences that end with "?". Here they are again:
    >>>
    >>> Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?
    >>>
    >>> Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits?

    >>
    >> You are just asking for it:
    >>
    >> <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>

    >
    > I was wondering if it were your past history with others or that
    > you were just plain rude. Unfortunately, your reply strongly suggests
    > it to be the latter.


    *PLONK*
     
    Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn, Nov 4, 2011
    #8
  9. Gene Wirchenko

    Elegie Guest

    On 04/11/2011 04:41, Gene Wirchenko wrote :

    Hi,

    > The app will be internal for the projected future. The browser
    > will be IE 9, the OS Windows 7. We will be using SQL Server Express
    > for the DBMS. For the Web end, it will be JavaScript, VBScript, ASP
    > Classic, and AJAX.


    Others have already commented on that choice. Note that you can also use
    ASP with JScript (this way you'd just have to learn one language instead
    of two, unless you already know VBScript).

    I used to do some ASP 3.0 about 10 years ago. I liked it very much, it
    was very easy, yet be careful about your design: it's all too easy, with
    ASP, to have your application layers interwoven (thus making your
    application incredibly difficult to extend).

    > Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits? (Of the
    > two mnetioned in the FAQ, one does not seem appropriate. The other
    > one, I am not sure about.)


    I don't know about books, but can tell you about my learning javascript.
    It all began in 1999, I started with some big book about HTML/Javascript
    (this gave me a feeling about the technology), then I started
    participating on comp.lang.javascript. I soon identified posters whose
    discussions and scripts looked interesting, and read all their past
    posts. While doing so, I also read the specifications, and made some
    test cases each time I encountered something new. In about 3 years, I
    was pretty confident in my skills.

    Authors I especially liked reading were Martin Honnen (I have never seen
    this guy make a mistake), Jim Ley and Gosha Bine (the stereofrog), and a
    few years later, Richard Cornford (who made decisive contributions to
    the global understanding of the nature of javascript).

    HTH,
    Elegie.
     
    Elegie, Nov 4, 2011
    #9
  10. Gene Wirchenko

    Clot Hears Guest

    In article <>,
    Gene Wirchenko <> wrote:

    > On Fri, 04 Nov 2011 20:46:46 +0100, Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > >Gene Wirchenko wrote:
    > >
    > >> Christian Kirsch wrote:
    > >>> Gene Wirchenko schrieb:
    > >>>> You can read my questions as being about JavaScript specifically
    > >>>> or the conglomerate of systems I mentioned. I could use help with
    > >>>> both.
    > >>>
    > >>> But what *are* your questions? You mention one thing ("escape
    > >>
    > >> They are the sentences that end with "?". Here they are again:
    > >>
    > >> Are there any gotchas that I should be particularly alert for?
    > >>
    > >> Are there any good books that get into the nasty bits?

    > >
    > >You are just asking for it:
    > >
    > ><http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html>

    >
    > I was wondering if it were your past history with others or that
    > you were just plain rude. Unfortunately, your reply strongly suggests
    > it to be the latter.


    It *is* the latter. But don't worry, he says that to *all* the girls.
    --
    Clothears
     
    Clot Hears, Nov 4, 2011
    #10
  11. Gene Wirchenko

    Elegie Guest

    On 05/11/2011 05:14, Richard Cornford wrote :

    Hi Richard,

    > For some reason the biggest "gotcha" with javascript is premature
    > confidence. There seem to be recurrent manifestations of the
    > Dunning-Kruger effect (if you are not familiar with than look it up as
    > it is an interesting, and all too human, psychological phenomenon).


    <snip>

    I did not know about it, but I like it very much. I believe I have seen
    this many times (including in my own behavior), and will surely reuse that.

    I recently tried and used the following to express similar ideas (but I
    don't know if it was well-received):

    "No knowledge is innocence, a bit of knowledge is obscurantism, a lot of
    knowledge is wisdom".

    Innocence is a blank page on which you can write things; it is also the
    state before the mind becomes corrupted.

    Obscurantism happens when you refuse to learn more and believe that what
    you have learnt is right. When an innocent person first learns
    something, and manages to put it in practice successfully, then he/she
    will gain confidence in both what they have learnt and their ability to
    learn. Success is sometimes worth less that failure, in that it can
    hinders further learning.

    Wisdom happens when you realize that the more you learn, the less you
    know. It does not mean that your actual knowledge is shrinking (quite
    the contrary), but rather that your horizon is expanding faster than you
    learn. True wisdom is not about knowledge, but about attitude.

    > Recently I had to write a technical test for some JS programmer
    > interview. I tried to include every common misconception about
    > javascript that I have noticed. These are (most of) the points I tested
    > for that bset qualify as "gotchas":-


    <snip>

    This is an interesting idea. Experts usually judge a script by these
    very criteria, so formulating a test requiring an explicit usage of them
    by the candidate appears quite logical.

    Regards,
    Elegie.
     
    Elegie, Nov 5, 2011
    #11
  12. Gene Wirchenko

    Sean Kinsey Guest

    Really? ASP? In 2011?
    Abstract this, and go for ASP.NET AJAX or WCF - it will solve _all_your potential problems with escaping and so forth.
    To continue; it will even provide you with ready made Javascript proxy methods so that you can call any method as if they were local (although async).

    If your management object to bringing in a 'new' technology - then tell them that it will be worth it (and I do know what I'm talking about).

    Seriously, if they're in SF, let me now and I'll stop by and call them stupid.
     
    Sean Kinsey, Nov 5, 2011
    #12
  13. Gene Wirchenko

    Evertjan. Guest

    Sean Kinsey wrote on 05 nov 2011 in comp.lang.javascript:

    > Really? ASP? In 2011?


    Classic ASP is marvelous, even in 2011.

    You can do Javascript serverside using the same functions you built
    clientside.

    This will enhance your capability just by experencing one language.

    And if you like vbs, so what?


    --
    Evertjan.
    The Netherlands.
    (Please change the x'es to dots in my emailaddress)
     
    Evertjan., Nov 5, 2011
    #13
  14. Gene Wirchenko

    beegee Guest

    On Nov 5, 6:07 am, Sean Kinsey <> wrote:
    > Really? ASP? In 2011?
    > Abstract this, and go for ASP.NET AJAX or WCF - it will solve _all_your potential problems with escaping and so forth.
    > To continue; it will even provide you with ready made Javascript proxy methods so that you can call any method as if they were local (although async).
    >
    > If your management object to bringing in a 'new' technology - then tell them that it will be worth it (and I do know what I'm talking about).
    >
    > Seriously, if they're in SF, let me now and I'll stop by and call them stupid.


    If they're in the NYC area, I will stop by and perform the same
    service. If for no other reason, think of the future maintenance on
    the project. If you do manage to hire programmers who are willing to
    program in VBScript at all, they will curse you every step of the way.

    If your company is dedicated to MS, which it sounds they are, go with
    Sean's suggestions.

    If you choose to ignore this advice, I suggest a third party AJAX
    library, probably YUI since it has no syntactic sugar to hide the
    javascript from newbies. IE9 lets you use the native HTTPRequest
    object but management of your calls is still going to be an advanced
    undertaking without a library.

    Bob
     
    beegee, Nov 6, 2011
    #14
  15. On Nov 5, 8:58 am, Elegie wrote:
    > On 05/11/2011 05:14, Richard Cornford wrote :
    >> For some reason the biggest "gotcha" with javascript is premature
    >> confidence. There seem to be recurrent manifestations of the
    >> Dunning-Kruger effect (if you are not familiar with than look it
    >> up as it is an interesting, and all too human, psychological
    >> phenomenon).

    >
    ><snip>
    >
    > I did not know about it, but I like it very much. I believe I have
    > seen this many times (including in my own behavior), and will
    > surely reuse that.

    <snip>

    Yes, the lesson from these psychological phenomenon is that they
    follow from having psychology, so from being human. We must all suffer
    from them, or at least be vulnerable to them, and the only defence is
    to be aware their existence and their tendency to drive us into
    fooling ourselves. And then suspect our own positions and seek more
    demonstrably objective justifications for them, or be willing to
    abandon them in the face of not being able to find that objectivity.

    >> Recently I had to write a technical test for some JS programmer
    >> interview. I tried to include every common misconception about
    >> javascript that I have noticed. These are (most of) the points
    >> I tested for that bset qualify as "gotchas":-


    ><snip>
    >
    > This is an interesting idea. Experts usually judge a script by these
    > very criteria, so formulating a test requiring an explicit usage of them
    > by the candidate appears quite logical.


    In this area the test was more a matter being able to recognise (and
    explain) the issues rather than actually use them. I wanted a test
    that would straddle the knowledge boundary that I was interested in.
    That worked in the sense that all of the candidates got most of the
    questions wrong (with more than 50% getting zero). The depressing part
    was that one of my colleagues noticed that I had effectively given the
    answer to an HTTP question in the example mark-up for a previous XHTML
    question, I decided to leave it and see what happened, and none of the
    candidates spotted the connection.

    Richard.
     
    Richard Cornford, Nov 8, 2011
    #15
  16. On Nov 5, 11:07 am, Sean Kinsey wrote:
    > Really? ASP? In 2011?
    > Abstract this, and go for ASP.NET AJAX or WCF - it will solve
    > _all_your potential problems with escaping and so forth.
    > To continue; it will even provide you with ready made Javascript
    > proxy methods so that you can call any method as if they were
    > local (although async).
    >
    > If your management object to bringing in a 'new' technology -
    > then tell them that it will be worth it (and I do know what
    > I'm talking about).
    >
    > Seriously, if they're in SF, let me now and I'll stop by and
    > call them stupid.


    Because people always react so openly to being called stupid?

    Richard.
     
    Richard Cornford, Nov 8, 2011
    #16
  17. Gene Wirchenko

    Scott Sauyet Guest

    Richard Cornford wrote:
    > Elegie wrote
    >> Richard Cornford wrote:
    >>> [... re: the Dunning-Kruger effect ...]

    >> I did not know about it, but I like it very much. I believe I have
    >> seen this many times (including in my own behavior), and will
    >> surely reuse that.

    >
    > Yes, the lesson from these psychological phenomenon is that they
    > follow from having psychology, so from being human. We must all suffer
    > from them, or at least be vulnerable to them, and the only defence is
    > to be aware their existence and their tendency to drive us into
    > fooling ourselves.


    Well, the lesson is not that clear. At least according to the
    Wikipedia article [1], this is an American phenomenon, with a much
    reduced effect for Europeans and a reversed version for Asians. I
    haven't read the original paper, but the fact that it won the Ig Nobel
    Prize for psychology in 2000 gives me pause about lending it too much
    credence.

    -- Scott

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect
     
    Scott Sauyet, Nov 8, 2011
    #17
  18. On Nov 8, 1:23 pm, Scott Sauyet wrote:
    > Richard Cornford wrote:
    >> Elegie wrote
    >>> Richard Cornford wrote:
    >>>> [... re: the Dunning-Kruger effect ...]
    >>> I did not know about it, but I like it very much. I believe I have
    >>> seen this many times (including in my own behavior), and will
    >>> surely reuse that.

    >
    >> Yes, the lesson from these psychological phenomenon is that they
    >> follow from having psychology, so from being human. We must all
    >> suffer from them, or at least be vulnerable to them, and the only
    >> defence is to be aware their existence and their tendency to drive
    >> us into fooling ourselves.

    >
    > Well, the lesson is not that clear. At least according to the
    > Wikipedia article [1], this is an American phenomenon, with a much
    > reduced effect for Europeans and a reversed version for Asians.


    Observing that there is a cultural bias in people's susceptibility to
    a psychological phenomenon does not mean that any individual will
    inevitably either be subject to it, or immune from it, due to their
    cultural origin.

    > I haven't read the original paper, but the fact that it won the
    > Ig Nobel Prize for psychology in 2000 gives me pause about lending
    > it too much credence.


    Being awarded an Ig Nobel Prize does not, of itself, reflect on the
    quality/validity of that research.

    "The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh,
    and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the
    unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science,
    medicine, and technology."

    Richard.
     
    Richard Cornford, Nov 8, 2011
    #18
  19. Gene Wirchenko

    Elegie Guest

    On 08/11/2011 12:33, Richard Cornford wrote :

    Hi,

    <snip>

    >> This is an interesting idea. Experts usually judge a script by these
    >> very criteria, so formulating a test requiring an explicit usage of them
    >> by the candidate appears quite logical.

    >
    > In this area the test was more a matter being able to recognise (and
    > explain) the issues rather than actually use them. I wanted a test
    > that would straddle the knowledge boundary that I was interested in.
    > That worked in the sense that all of the candidates got most of the
    > questions wrong (with more than 50% getting zero). The depressing part
    > was that one of my colleagues noticed that I had effectively given the
    > answer to an HTTP question in the example mark-up for a previous XHTML
    > question, I decided to leave it and see what happened, and none of the
    > candidates spotted the connection.


    I think that you need a drink :) It's too bad we don't live in the same
    country, I'd bought you one with pleasure.

    <follows drink talk>

    Can you imagine an accountant who takes one day to perform a closing,
    and another who takes a full month for that same closing? Well, in the
    IT industry, that seems to be the case. In the "Mythical Man-Month",
    Fred Brooks quoted a study which demonstrated that the skill level
    between two programmers could range from 1 to 10; and I was told later
    that the ratio was, nowadays, probably around 20 (I've got no study to
    back this, though).

    Of course, this difference can be attributed to other factors than
    skill, such as creativity. Yet, this indicates that the industry is
    still young, that methods are not well known (or even not well thought),
    and that programmers are most often left on discovering good practices
    rather learning them.

    Consequences of this are dangerous: programmers not only are slow to
    improve, but also believe "at all cost" in the knowledge they have
    gained, even if they're wrong - because there was pain in it. I
    currently believe that, even more than skills, it is attitude which
    should matter: strong analytical skills, intellectual honesty,
    curiosity, severity, ability to listen and comprehend, humility.

    You know that I am no professional programmer (although I intend to
    change that soon), but I do have some knowledge. However, I happened to
    meet lots of professionals, and among them some "javascript experts".
    Well, imagine how happy I was to learn that state-of-the-art javascript
    now necessarily includes libraries which would use browser-detection,
    favor function overloading and for..in loops as array iterators, extend
    host and built-in objects (without even realizing that one should never
    extend an external API) or even override their implementation, adopting
    functional programming style at all cost...

    To illustrate, I was recently told about that selector thing. I have not
    researched it, so I may be wrong, but my initial (and so far, sole)
    impression was not positive. Is the DOM API not flexible enough that it
    needs further abstraction? To me, it really felt like kids having fun
    building an interpreter (probably not even knowing what a token, a state
    or a continuation actually are), and being forced to eventually /use/
    it, well, because it'd be too bad to not use it, once it's been written.
    (I'm probably unfair here.)

    I see the path leading to expertise as follows:
    - First, you're new to the technology, the code you write is pretty
    simple. You read books and specifications, and test every bit of it
    (trying obvious and not-so-obvious things). You're gradually reaching
    step 2.
    - You write more complicated code. You're enjoying the language, which
    for javascript would translate as using loose-typing and reflective
    techniques more than you should, trying to transform the language into
    something you know (class-based inheritance, functional artifacts),
    imagining how design patterns apply to the language. You have someone
    read your code, he or she does not understand the least bit of it,
    you're happy, but think you'd be happier if they had understood it.
    - There comes a point when you yourself do not understand even more what
    you have written. If you have some courage, you try and analyze it. Why
    so complicated? Gradually, you write code which is becoming simpler and
    simpler. Eventually, people reading your code will assess it as being
    "clean", "obvious", "short" and "natural". You're not back to step 1,
    but rather have reached elegance, i.e. you have understood the paradigm
    of the language, and made it so that the language looks like it was made
    for your program rather than the contrary.

    Sorry for the rant! I believe that your story has reminded me of similar
    events, and of the feelings I had then (feelings which I believe you
    understand well).

    Cheers,
    Elegie.
     
    Elegie, Nov 8, 2011
    #19
  20. On Tue, 8 Nov 2011 06:21:50 -0800 (PST), Richard Cornford
    <> wrote:

    [snip]

    >Being awarded an Ig Nobel Prize does not, of itself, reflect on the
    >quality/validity of that research.
    >
    >"The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh,
    >and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the
    >unusual, honor the imaginative and spur people's interest in science,
    >medicine, and technology."


    I have found the paper to have wonderful predictive value. It
    explains a lot of behaviour that I have run into.

    Sincerely,

    Gene Wirchenko
     
    Gene Wirchenko, Nov 8, 2011
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Mixo Shiburi

    getting starting with ...

    Mixo Shiburi, May 5, 2004, in forum: Java
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    329
    Mixo Shiburi
    May 5, 2004
  2. cypher543
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    339
    cypher543
    Dec 30, 2006
  3. Replies:
    3
    Views:
    394
  4. Notgiven
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    139
    Notgiven
    Aug 7, 2006
  5. dhtml
    Replies:
    33
    Views:
    274
    dhtml
    Feb 21, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page