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Programming Microsoft

Microsoft Announces R Tools For Visual Studio (technet.com) 105

theodp writes: A year after its acquisition of Revolution Analytics, Microsoft announced a slew of R-related product offerings, and noted that Revolution R Open is giving up her maiden name and will henceforth be known as Microsoft R Open. Tucked away in the announcement was the news that R is coming to Visual Studio. Microsoft has released a teaser video for R Tools for Visual Studio (RTVS) and is taking sign-ups for early access.
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Microsoft Announces R Tools For Visual Studio

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  • Holy Shit! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 16, 2016 @03:54PM (#51315033)
    Damn, I am beginning to think that MS might actually be starting to take this whole free software thing seriously.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 )
      Not that seriously though. Like most large companies they're more than willing to open source their software when it doesn't cost them anything or there's no practical benefit to keeping the source closed, but Microsoft isn't going to open source their OS or other products that make them the bulk of their money. This is true of others like Apple or Google that contribute to various open source projects or have open sourced some of their code, but the software that's responsible for most of their income is s
      • Re:Holy Shit! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SoftwareArtist ( 1472499 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @08:07PM (#51315925)

        I've got no problem with that. These companies are in business to make money. They aren't charities, and I wouldn't expect them to give away the software that provides most of their income. If they did, they'd go out of business.

        But consider what you said. Just because it costs them nothing to open source something, and there's no benefit to keeping it closed, that still isn't a reason to open source it. They could just as easily keep it closed anyway. And in the old Microsoft, which saw open source as evil and did everything they could to discredit it, that's exactly what they would have done. Their new attitude seems to be, "If it doesn't hurt us to open source something, then sure, let's go ahead and do it." That's a big change.

        • Re:Holy Shit! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Sunday January 17, 2016 @04:46AM (#51316975)

          I've got no problem with that. These companies are in business to make money. They aren't charities, and I wouldn't expect them to give away the software that provides most of their income. If they did, they'd go out of business.

          But consider what you said. Just because it costs them nothing to open source something, and there's no benefit to keeping it closed, that still isn't a reason to open source it. They could just as easily keep it closed anyway. And in the old Microsoft, which saw open source as evil and did everything they could to discredit it, that's exactly what they would have done. Their new attitude seems to be, "If it doesn't hurt us to open source something, then sure, let's go ahead and do it." That's a big change.

          Well, it's because they have a new boss on top. The first boss said sharing was bad and you're an evil person if you did (Bill's famous letter to hobbyists in the 70s). The second one basically kept "Microsoft is dominant and we will rule" while the current one is more humble and akin to "OK, we have PCs, but PCs are not the be-all-end-all computing device anymore, and while we make a lot of money here, it's a mature product and it won't last". It's why they're putting Office everywhere - even on non-Windows things - you can have it on your smartphone, your tablet, etc. And while it's not necessarily great for producing content, if you need to update a slide on the way to the customer, well, that's a sale of Office365 subscriptions, because they can do it in under a minute, rather than try to dig out their laptop, start it up, etc.

          If anything, the new Microsoft realizes its no longer the central part of everyone's lives - you don't need a PC for everyone in the household (and likewise a Windows and Office license) - a lot, if not most, are perfectly happy to just use a smartphone and tablet, and maybe from time to time, use the shared PC.

          So it's busy finding new ways to be a part, to make itself relevant again. Not a bad thing, really - if you were wedded to a Microsoft solution, it just means Microsoft is now offering more ways to stay Microsoft only. If you're not, well, maybe it will attract you into the fold.

        • The attitude can actually go even further on some teams. On mine, we approach it as, "this should be open source unless there's a damn good reason for it not to, and even then we should first see if we can fix that reason".

          Why? We mainly do developer tools (including Python and R Tools for Visual Studio, just to bring this back on topic). In 2015, if you want respect from the developer community, you have to be open source, and in a real way (i.e. not just dumping the code as an incomprehensible tarball); a

          • by Xest ( 935314 )

            The problem seems to be what Microsoft has lost along the way. Whilst it's great that Microsoft has moved towards openness it also seems to have been accompanied by more freedom for developers at Microsoft dicking around on pet projects rather than focusing on things that actually help their customers.

            So for example, it's all well and good that they have R Tools for Visual Studio, but it's an absolute travesty that they have this, and yet no up to date managed framework for building modern Windows desktop a

            • Microsoft needs to calm the fuck down with all the hipster technologies it's desperate to support, because giving their devs free reign to work on whatever the fuck they want (or at least, that's how it appears) seems to mean that they no longer have anyone working on the things they need to work on.

              I've heard this many times, but you need to understand one simple thing. Developers aren't just fungible resources to be arbitrarily assigned to projects. They have their own preferences, and the same guy that's doing X won't suddenly start doing Y if X is cut (I've seen people leave over such things before); and even if they do, there is a big difference in productivity between working on something you love, and working for a paycheck, no matter how big.

              Then, of course, even ignoring personal interests, pe

              • by Xest ( 935314 )

                "I've heard this many times, but you need to understand one simple thing. Developers aren't just fungible resources to be arbitrarily assigned to projects. They have their own preferences, and the same guy that's doing X won't suddenly start doing Y if X is cut (I've seen people leave over such things before); and even if they do, there is a big difference in productivity between working on something you love, and working for a paycheck, no matter how big."

                I don't disagree with the general idea that it'd be

                • That aside though, does Microsoft really struggle to recruit these people? Is it really so hard to find people to sort out say WPF and keep it uptodate? With Microsoft's pay and benefits I can think of plenty of people that would more than happily do exactly that and wouldn't be competent enough to boot. Is Microsoft really looking to hire people like that? I believe most people would assume that Microsoft would be inundated with people with that sort of skillset, and so have simply never bothered to look to apply.

                  I can't speak specifically for WPF, not knowing that team closely. But there are two points. First, it does actually have a team (again!), and they are actually doing things. The real problem is that they have a lot of accumulated work from the period when it was neglected, and a lot of it is the rather unglamorous stuff like bug fixing, perf improvements, and supporting the more recent underlying tech (to remind, the existing renderer still uses D3D9, which becomes more of a problem as new drivers focus th

                  • by Xest ( 935314 )

                    "I think that very long-term, the bet is still on the WinRT stuff, which should be more palatable now that these apps can actually run in a window rather than fullscreen, and sandbox restrictions have been significantly relaxed. Obviously, the prerequisite here is widespread adoption of Win10+, so it'll take quite a while longer."

                    Where does this leave Microsoft's own products like Visual Studio and Office etc.? These sorts of applications just don't seem to fit the RT format, and Microsoft's own reluctance

                    • Where does this leave Microsoft's own products like Visual Studio and Office etc.? These sorts of applications just don't seem to fit the RT format, and Microsoft's own reluctance to move to them from a more classical desktop format seems to be an admittance in itself that if nothing else RT just isn't a format that is going to work for every desktop application. Maybe it's me that's at fault, but I just can't see how I can build our application decently to suit this "app" format that RT pushes - it's like switching Visual Studio to this "app" format, I just don't see it happening without crippling the product. In fact, Visual Studio hasn't of course even made the switch to ribbons and so presumably there must be at least some recognition at MS that not everything can be a tablet friendly app and that more classic development support is still going to be necessary for the foreseeable future? Unless we regress back to MFC, which does of course seem to be supported at least I don't see how WPF or at least something very much like it can ever go away.

                      Well, the boundaries of the "app format" have been vastly expanded in Win10 compared to the severely crippled sandbox that was there in Win8/8.1,and I'm hoping that it will continue to the point where something like VS actually can fit just fine. And if you look at the Win10 desktop today, WinRT apps actually feel much less "tablet-y" also - part of it is running windowed rather than fullscreen, but there are smaller changes in the same vein, too - e.g the shift away from all these hidden panels that you ha

                    • by Xest ( 935314 )

                      Yes, it's not just about sandboxing with regards to Lua, there are a number of factors, performance is indeed a key issue - right now there's just far too much of a performance hit martialling between Lua's unmanaged responses and our managed caller (part of the performance issue is our fault, the legacy code base is atrocious in the way it passes stuff back and forth with no caching of the scripts either meaning a full parse for every call) but of course, as I say the other issue is that we want to support

        • Releasing software as open source isn't free. You need to verify that you're not releasing anything you got from a third party and are not allowed to release, you need to go through the code and comments and make sure they'd all be acceptable when read on prime time TV, and typically pretty things up.

      • To be fair, though, for Microsoft to be even considered in the same league as Google when it comes to taking open source seriously is a big change from even 5 years ago. So if your assessment is how you really feel about it, I think we (I am a developer at Microsoft, working on open source software) have made considerable progress.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm loving some of the stuff they're doing to their dev tools (everything apart of their "universal" or "metro" garbage). But their OS is very quickly turning into a huge turd with their mobile-first approach and that is quickly turning me to other platforms.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Many Visual Studio shops are also Microsoft only shops where open source is frowned upon and use of tools not included in the standard install is verboten. Microsoft is doing this to try and get tools into the hands of people who otherwise wouldn't be able to access them on closed corporate networks. However, even this isn't always effective since some managers are in the nasty habit of banning certain languages, features or other parts of an otherwise "standard" install that they don't like, probably becau

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can say from personal experience that some managers on proprietary software projects are deathly afraid of the GPL and consequently frown on open-source anything just in case some obscure component is GPL.

      • And I know from personal experience that some managers are deathly afraid of hippies. They frown on anything that could be construed as polite behavior, because it could lead to a slippery slope and in the end the company would be left with a bunch of lazy hippies and go out of business. Gosh darn Obama ruining everything!

        Luckily, managers don't know enough about statistics to even figure out which charts are being produced from R. And it isn't used for applications, so even a product manager might never fi

    • , probably because they're worried that some new hire will write some mission critical program in "R" and that when he's gone in a year or two they will have to pay consultants huge amounts of money to maintain or re-write the app in a language that's easier to hire for.

      I'm somewhat suspicious of 'programmers'' who find it a challenge to learn a new language. I know some programmers are afraid of it,but I've taken those kinds of programmers and trained them in strange languages they were afraid of.

      It's more a matter of overcoming your fear, and digging in. If you work at it eight hours a day, a new language won't take you too long to learn.

      • by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @05:53PM (#51315529)

        You mean you've never said "hey, I have a spare weekend, wonder if I can (or how long it will take) to learn $language well enough to implement $some_project in it?"

        Some of us like hobbies to be challenging, thought provoking, and mentally stimulating....

        • ok, maybe instead I should have said:
          "I'm somewhat suspicious of 'programmers'' who don't believe they can learn a new language."
        • I'm very suspicious of people who claim, without any shame at all, to be so narrow in their interests that their weekend hobbies are the exact same thing that they're doing at their day job all week.

          If I got a job doing one of my hobbies full time... I'd switch my weekends to a different one. Duh.

          There are lots of things that are challenging, thought provoking, and mentally stimulating. If a person can only find a small number of things, I question their ability to become mentally stimulated.

          The reason for

          • by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @07:50PM (#51315887)

            "If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work a day in your life"

            • by Kjella ( 173770 )

              "If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work a day in your life"

              Said nobody who had a shitty day and wished they weren't obliged to show up. If you don't have days like that, you take too many happy pills.

              • I've had those sorts of days. But after the age of about 21, the rare times it happened I simply quit the job. Life is too short, and I'm worth more than that.

                The reason a lot of people keep doing it is because they misunderstand money, and they think being willing to be treated that way will reward them financially. But a little more arrogance might not only improve their lifestyle, it might improve their pay too.

                Your willingness to associate "happy pills" with happiness suggests you have an irrational bel

            • As much as I love word games, they're just laugh lines and don't really add anything. Like in business books, they use your quote as the quote at the start of a chapter, but in the actual text they use the normal word meanings, because to actually discuss how to make it all work you have to go back to the real meanings of the words.

              And in this case, it seems to assist mostly in missing the point.

              If you enjoy your work, it is still unhealthy for the brain if you're doing the same thing on your off time. It i

          • There are lots of things that are challenging, thought provoking, and mentally stimulating. If a person can only find a small number of things, I question their ability to become mentally stimulated.

            Unless your weekday job is a factory hand, and your weekend hobby is to move boxes around the living room most fields have ample opportunity to mentally stimulate people. In fact many are widely varying that the hobby and work are completely different despite being unrelated. I know software engineers who spend all week working on reports and specs, and barely any coding, then throw together hobby software on the weekend. I personally spend a lot of my electrical engineering degree doing reliability analysi

            • *woosh*

              The thing is, you have a different opinion than me but you phrase it as if you're correcting me. That shows you didn't actually understand the perspective I was putting forth, and so your comment doesn't address it.

              If they're called something different than what they actual do, then duh, my comment would cover them doing on the weekend the same thing they're doing during the week.

              Did you consider that my statement was probably about the cases where my statement is true, and not about edge cases where

      • It depends a lot on the language. If you know Java, you can be expected to pick up C# in matter of days, but something like Python might get some more time to adjust to, for example. And going from Java to, say, Lisp or Haskell, is a serious mental challenge, and that Java knowledge may well hinder you more than it'll help.

        R is actually kinda similar, and in some ways worse. It looks reassuringly familiar with its C-like syntax, and in many ways it will even behave the same if you write code in C style (tho

        • Of course it's different, but I still don't have much respect for a programmer who is afraid to pick up a new language (or believes they can't in a reasonable amount of time).
          • Well, in that sense it's not really just about languages, right?

            As the old joke goes, to determine if someone is a good programmer or a bad programmer is to ask them if they can do something extremely complicated. A bad programmer will say that they can't do it. A good one will say that they can do it, they just don't know how yet.

    • R is not quite in the same boat. Yes, it's a niche language, but it's a niche language with a niche that's actually different from regular software development. It's used for stuff like statistical modeling, data science and machine learning. And in those areas, it is dominant.

    • I'm confused by what side of the argument you come down on. The impression I get from the first few sentences is that you hate corporate culture, and how it can restrict developers desires to try new things to solve new problems. But then you make a very convincing argument for why the people who are invested in the business get to make the rules on how their business is run. If anything you made me a believer on why development shops should only have standard installs.
  • Can anyone comment on R vs. Python vs. something else for data science? I'm talking in terms of usefulness, maintainability, and finding enough candidates who know it (even hires straight from college)?
    • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

      I don't know anything about R but if its specifically designed for statistical analysis then its probably better at it out the box than Python. Having said that I can guarantee you'll find far more candidates with Python skills than you will R.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        '... you'll find far more candidates with Python skills than you will R.'

        Perhaps; but you'll find more people who know statistics amongst the R crowd.

        • Exactly, nobody really care that much about skills with a language when the set of skills you are really looking at is statistics. The R user is doing statistics while most of the python users don't know a fuck about statistics. So, if you are seeking for a stats guy and are too stupid to ask for it namely, you may ask for a R guy and get someone who knows stats. With python, you will get someone knowing python.
          • My experience is very different, but probably because I had to support R users in academia. Quite often they didn't really understand either statistics or programming -- they just read an article that used some freely available R script for something similar to their studies. And they happily demanded me to solve the unsolvable dependency hells, find resources that were able to survive scripts designed for completely different size of datasets and sometimes (although rarely) to explain what the results of t
    • by i.r.id10t ( 595143 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @04:39PM (#51315245)

      R is pretty much pure statistics. While it has a built-in interpreter to load data from csv files or user input or whatever and then run its functions against the data set, it really shines as a library to be used in other "real" programming languages where you have logic, loops, etc. available to you.

      And since there are R interfaces for Python (http://rpy.sourceforge.net/) it isn't a "versus" situation.... what a bargain!

    • by bangular ( 736791 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @04:44PM (#51315269)
      R is preferred by statisticians. Many statisticians are on the leading front of creating new traditional machine learning algorithms (not the GPU driven or map reduce stuff "hip" companies are dealing with right now). Things like supervised classification tasks and clustering algorithms. This usually means you have access to a researchers implementation of a new algorithm fairly quickly, long before it's in a commercial package. It also means you have to deal with a lot of 1-off code and deciding whether their function wants a row-vector or column-vector.

      Python seems to be much more popular with those having a computer science background. There are far fewer machine learning algorithms available in Python. However, if you are going to design a large system, it's generally much more convenient to do in Python. There are Python interfaces to R as well.

      Julia is new on the scene and attempts to solve the shortcomings of Python and R (insert xkcd comic here). Performance is good and has interfaces to many languages. I've used it a few times and it's maturing, but it's definitely risky doing any long term project in Julia.

      Then there's Java. Weka is a popular machine learning package with a GUI and all of the algorithms available as jar files. Very consistent API and includes pre-processing tools. Weka also has a marketplace for new algorithms. However, many times you just have to write a 1-time script for data cleanup or to compare algorithms, and it's definitely not convenient to do in Java. I haven't seen many pure Java people doing this type of work in the wild. The final implementation may end up in Java, but the initial work seems to almost always be in R and Python.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's no so much which mainstream language (they're all useful, maintainable and learnable) but how well you put it to use. If you're starting from a blank slate I would start with the availability of FOSS in your specific problem domain(s) then factor in relative popularity and of course licensing cost if that's an option. Also I'd be open to using more than one.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you know both a Scripting language eg. Perl or even bash, and a spreadsheeting program, then R is almost unbelievably easy to learn, I was doing semi "advanced" stuff in less than a day, and I am not that bright.
      The real problem will be understanding the specific statistics you are wilding, which can be a lot harder.

      this is one of the nicer intro's I have found but tastes vary
      http://www.statmethods.net/

      • In my opinion, if you're coming from a generic software development background, you will really prefer Python over R for pretty much anything that GP has listed. R is a very... quirky language, with an even quirkier standard library, and will quickly drive someone used to the familiarity and comfort of most mainstream languages nuts.

    • by ottothecow ( 600101 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @05:39PM (#51315487) Homepage
      R is kind of a shitty language compared to Python. It is based on S, which is itself an old statistics language. It isn't awful, but it lacks the refinement of a language that was developed from the ground up in the modern era. Syntax can be wonky or inconsistent....

      But, R is all about stats. It has great charting and analysis libraries, far exceeding those that exist in Python or any other general purpose language.

      SAS is kind of the corporate standard if you want long term maintainability and a large selection of potential workforce...but it is expensive and if I were starting out today, I am not sure I would pick it. It is however much more easy to scale to huge datasets than R...SAS pretty much works as long as you can fit the data on your hard drive. No need to fuck with breaking up projects into small pieces or investing in boxes with 1TB of RAM. Millions and billions of observations are totally OK as long as you are willing to wait for the program to finish running.

      R has been making inroads at replacing SAS and Stata as the teaching language of choice (mostly because it is free)...so it is probably easiest to find straight college grads with some R experience than anything else.

    • by reve_etrange ( 2377702 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @05:40PM (#51315491)

      MATLAB is amazing for general 'data science,' and is very widely used for certain tasks, such as image processing. It provides a huge array of already-implemented algorithms for computer vision, statistics, machine learning, and simulation. Many academic labs use it, and many students receive MATLAB training. On the other hand, MATLAB is proprietary and quite expensive. (It's semi-open source because most of it's functions are MATLAB scripts themselves). The language is very readable, except maybe the native array syntax, and comes with extremely good documentation, but it's clunky for general purpose programming. It has an OK IDE and one of the best debuggers in any language. The runtime is redistributable, so you *can* make portable applications, but again, it's a little clunky. The open-source GNU Octave and Scilab environments are also (mostly) code-compatible with MATLAB. All-in-all, it scores highly in all three aspects you mentioned, but it's very expensive.

      Python is also very good, once numpy, scipy, matplotlib, pandas and ipython/jupyter packages are installed. Like MATLAB, Python is widely used in academia, and lots of students receive training. There are many function/algorithms already available, but somewhat less so than in MATLAB. For example, the statistics capabilities are similar, but MATLAB has more image processing functions. Plotting and visualization also haven't quite caught up to MATLAB yet. Python has the great advantage of being totally free and open-source, and there are a large number of IDEs and debuggers available. Python is also a great general purpose language for self-contained, portable applications that may grow out of data analysis code. The documentation can be lacking in some modules, but there's good free support online via e.g. stackoverflow. Python is readable and easy to learn. It scores about the same as MATLAB, weaker in some areas, stronger in others, and is completely free. There's active development of the analytics modules and going forward Python will probably become more popular for data science.

      R is a bit of a special case. It has excellent statistics and machine learning capabilities, and there are a lot of extension packages available with specialized features, but it's really not as general as MATLAB or Python. I'm unaware of anyone using R for image processing, for example. As a language, it's very declarative, and the analyst doesn't need to understand statistics methods or their implementations in order to use them. That's great for beginners and convenient for experts, but can lead beginning/intermediate users astray if they don't appreciate the distinctions between significance and effect size, between different measures of significance/effect size, independence of variables, etc. Plots and visualizations in R tend to look nice when printed as PDF, but they're essentially non-interactive. R isn't general purpose at all, and personally I don't like its language conventions. I had the same experience with Mathematica, some people really like it and it's great for certain things, but I just can't stand the language. Back to R, I think the usefulness is great for statistics, less so for other tasks. Maintainability is OK - IMHO the language is not as intuitive as MATLAB or Python. My impression is that fewer people receive training with R, and it's a little less popular in general. It's the only one of these three languages I didn't see until grad school.

      My first choice for any new data analysis task is Python. I think it has the brightest future, and it's available to everyone for free. I'll use MATLAB if one of its built-in functions will save me a ton of time, or if I need to prototype something very rapidly (I guess it's still my strongest language). R I only use if I absolutely need something from one of its third-party modules. Lately, I've been experimenting with Julia, but it's not close to mature enough for my academic projects, let alone commercial ones. Sometimes I use external visualization tools, like LLNL VisIt, if I need to make high-quality, interactive visualizations of very large data sets. Hope that helps, sorry for the wall of text.

    • The thing about R is that the standard way of looking at data is in sets, and generally the most concise commands are applied to whole sets. So the utility is largely in these implicit loops and grouping that are along statistical lines of interest. One line of R might be 20 lines of C or python, but one line of C or python might be 20 lines of R.

      Because of that, it is mostly used on a command like REPL to generate one-off charts and diagrams after combining data sets by hand. It is also used as an embedded

  • The R ecosystem seems to be the opposite of Microsoft's traditional ecosystems. About the only thing R library designers can agree upon is "dataframe is good." Packages that try to put a consistent front-end on other packages (i.e. caret) definitely helps. However, even something as simple as "does this algorithm want a factor or dummy variables?" may require examining the source code. Other more subtle things like "Does it was the data to be centered and scaled?" may slip by.

    I hope Microsoft addresses t
  • by ze_foster ( 1888690 ) on Saturday January 16, 2016 @06:26PM (#51315627)
    I remember back when Cobol was going out of style, and I was an early adopter of C++ (1987-ish). ADA was going to change the world, C++ was doomed to never go anywhere, and C was going to vanish. Yourdon wrote a book about the fall of the American programmer. I wept over my keyboard. I told everyone I was crying because my C++ compiler was so frigging slow. But I knew the world was going to change, that ADA was going to kill all the other languages, and I really loved working in C and C++. So I waited for the world to change. Prolog was a big deal about the same time, and I didn't want to miss out, so I jumped on it for functional. And the "wow" thing of the day was Expert Systems. They were going to change the world. So I wrote some interesting diggers with Prolog. And I waited for the world to change. In around 1992 I entered the CHICAGO beta with Microsoft in preparation for Windows NT (which was going to change the world). I even wrote a device driver for CHICAGO to operate a RHETOREX PCM telephony board, and a printer driver for an old ATARI thermal printer. Fun projects, actually. Didn't make a dime, though. OS/2 WARP came out around then. It was going to change the world. It was 1994 when I first saw Java. It was going to change the world. I looked at the language, and it didn't interest me: I had C++, and C++ was starting to grow. And I couldn't even imagine not having pointers, not being able to talk to the CPU or devices directly (sans imported libraries). 1995 came along, a friend handed me a stack of floppies (I think about 20), and installed SLACKWARE LINUX over my Windows partition. "This is going to change the world," he said. It was funny, but I really and for truly was convinced this time that the world would be changed, and I didn't wait. I jumped into Linux with everything I had, and I've been working in C and C++ in linux ever since. I'm not trying to be funny or anything. The truth of the matter is that I've listed only several languages here, but I've worked in at least two dozen others that probably most people have never heard of (e.g. SPL for MTM/32). I keep seeing language come and go, that are supposed to change the world. As a young engineer I'd jump on every new language that came out, but most of the time the language turned out to be raspy in some way, was good at exactly one thing, and pretty sucky at everything else. And here we are. 2015. I still work in C and C++ every day of the work week, but I don't see ADA anywhere, I haven't cranked a line of FORTRAN since 1993, I never had to write RPG for a living, I've avoided Cobol altogether, HASKELL never took off like it was supposed to (ditto EIFEL), MATLAB costs too much (even though it is a heck of a tool), I like Python and don't much care for Perl, and on and on and on. And I've debugged way more Java code than I ever wanted to, but I haven't written a single line of Java, yet. And here's what I wanted to get to... I opened up Slashdot today and found the OP's article, and watched the video. And you know what? THIS ISN"T ANYTHING NEW! Not the features, not the tools, not the results. It is yet another language, yet another IDE, and I'm seeing the same kind of features I was using back in the 90's. Funny thing... I use gcc/g++ for my compilers; I use VIM for my editor; and I do quite well. I hate IDE's with a passion; and any time I've been sentenced to use a product with "code completion" or "intellisense", I feel like I've joined some kind of Commune of the Damned. I've quit jobs to escape the transition so the baloney world of IDE productivity. Maybe that means I'm out of touch or old fashioned or "stuck in the 80's". But I've never wanted for a job. And the kids we interview today mostly know the current "hip" language(s) and/or IDE (Hey! lets write a web page, yah!), but if you ask them about superscalar architectures, or how to write a Fibonacci generator using C++ templates, or what a 3-way handshake is for, you get a deer-in-the-headlilghts stare.
  • So why has no one mentioned RStudio yet? We just seem to be talking R. This is pretty much a clone of RStudio so far, with *slightly* better code-completion. MS tools for open languages rarely give anything I can't get elsewhere, just the same stuff over their own tooling. I remember them pitching Python tools as if they invented the first IDE with code-completion for Python while I had been using tools with equivalent functionality for 10 years prior.

    • Full disclosure: I am a developer on both PTVS and RTVS (different but intersecting subsets of the same team work on both).

      So why has no one mentioned RStudio yet? We just seem to be talking R. This is pretty much a clone of RStudio so far, with *slightly* better code-completion.

      And a license that is not Affero GPL v3.

      I think you will find that there are other differences that you may find interesting and useful beyond that, though. The video is a very brief overview, and doesn't show everything in detail, but some things are already visible. For example, notice how at 1:15 [youtu.be], the history brings up the entire multiline expression, that is editable as such (rather

      • by jma05 ( 897351 )

        OK then. I stand corrected. I really appreciate you taking the time. I was recalling from a conference/podcast from some years ago where an MS rep was speaking on how surprised all the Python folks were at a Python conference at the very idea of code-completion for Python. But it was unfair for me to talk of it as if it was an official pitch because I have seen no docs to that claims. That ticked me off then. Perhaps it was just one rep speaking off the cuff.

        I will take a look at the tooling again. Back the

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