Am 19.12.2012 15:05, schrieb Old G.:
> Thanks for all the comments. The generosity of the folks on this forum
> is amazing.
>
> As a bonus, there seems to have been a lively discussion about "best"
> code.
>
> I fully support the honest attempts by developers to write the best
> code. But in my case, I simply want to write quick one-off programs that
> do the job, and might never be used again. I use whichever language

Pretty often they do tend to being used again...

> is found by google, including languages that I know nothing
> about.
>
> Here's an example. There's a Rubik's cube on this site:
> http://www.schubart.net/rc/
>
> It's an applet, so nothing can be saved. I wanted to be able to save the
> "last good position" before I mess everything up. Or to simply save a
> position and return to it some other day.
>
> At that point, I hadn't written a line of java in my life. So I
> contacted several java forums and asked for advice. Most replies
> recommended me to read 3 java books, attend 2 courses, and get a java
> qualification to at least Nobel Peace Prize level. None of the replies
> gave me a list of the steps that I needed to take to save the cube.
>
> So I contacted the developer. He advised me to change the line:

[...]

> I don't understand any of it. I still don't know what "Serializable"
> means. (I feel quite guilty about that.) But it works great.

Kind of sad :(

Reminds me of a child that's just begun to learn reading
and questions (or has to question) his parents about every
street sign or billboard on the way to school.

Only the child eventually will be able to read on his own...

> My code is so ugly that the only people who are allowed to see it are
> young family members and friends who are writing their first programs.
> The big reward for me is when they come back later and show me how I
> should have written the code :)
>
> Regarding my original post, the zenspider reference quoted by Bartosz
> Dziewoski is excellent. That's how I found out what "?" means. It's
> just a C conditional statement.
>
> In any language other than ruby, I might have recognized the combination
> of "?" and ":"
>
> But about half of ruby syntax uses ":"  so that threw me off. (There are
> 186 occurrences of ":" in the zenspider reference.)

They are used to signify symbols.

> I've just found out that almost all of the non-alphanumeric characters
> in ruby are in the first three pages (yes, three double-column pages) of
> the index for "Perl in a Nutshell". That's convenient. I can find

But Perl is **not** Ruby!

> alphabetic references by googling. It's not so easy to google for "@",
> or "::", or "~". But Eric Christopherson's link to symbolhound looks
> very useful.

Reading up on the basics would be a better investment than
wasting time with googling.

> Many thanks for all the help, including those whose name I might not
> have mentioned :)


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