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Is programming.reddit impractical?

I read programming.reddit religiously but I rarely see something that could be used in a non-startup environment.  Am I wrong, or are you considering deploying a haskell enterprise web application?  And if the stuff discussed isn't relevent for the next 5 years (ie a erlang based webapp) will it ever be relevant.

My theory.  programming.reddit is a great place to learn on great academic technology that is being released, but I more often not find that is there.
Bot Berlin
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
You ARE a bot, aren't you!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Admittedly, lots of the things that show up on programming.reddit aren't likely to see corporate use (Haskell Web apps, for example).  That doesn't mean they aren't valuable, particularly as exercise for the mind.  Also, some of the lesser known technologies are good for mISV  type companies and can give those companies a productivity advantage.
Joshua Volz Send private email
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Says the guy with a link to a factor website. ;-)

Who cares if it's impractical? It's fun!  There are plenty of other places to get practical how-to information for work.  There are plenty of niche communities that address your "day-job" needs, whether it's ASP.NET, J2EE, SQL, or whatever.

I guess is the closest thing to that covers more practical stuff.  But for some reason I haven't bookmarked it or setup an rss feed.
Grant Send private email
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Dzone is madly cool as well. Yesterday I cleaned up over 60 Dzone links, many of which made my personal bookmarks. Together with Dzone, the Startup News by Paul Graham are very cool:

I've mostly given up on Reddit by now. :-) Because the new Google Reader combined with these news grouping feeds seems enough to keep me too busy already.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
The WSJ did an article a few weeks ago stating that they had found that a high percentage of the articles submitted to these social bookmarking sites are done by just a handful of highly active submitters. So my theory is that there are one or two Haskell groupies that absolutely dominate programming.reddit.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
So what if it is? It's interesting. Don't really see the point of this criticism, there's lots of websites out there with practical info on C# or whatever.
Matt Send private email
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Crikey Matt.  The OP was just make an observation and checking it ("Am I wrong?").
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Bot: Duh.

Why would you go to a "New AND Interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" site for "Tried and true" solutions?
Allen David
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I consider it practical, but I am doing programming for fun, not just for the money.

By the way, a corresponding article from today:
So the answer is yes and no.
teki321 Send private email
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
My day job is leading a team that maintains a public-facing web application for one of the world's largest financial institutions. Our application has more than 3,000,000 registered users.

Yes, I use what I read on in my day job. That's one of the reasons I *have* this day job: it's part of what I do to sift through all of the cool stuff and find the things that are practical today.

Since you mentioned Haskell, I'll mention something from an upcoming blog post:

Consider a multi-threaded application with shared memory, like a really big web server that has some big shared collection of things in memory. From time to time you add things to the big collection, from time to time you remove them.

One way to arbitrate multiple threads is to have one copy of the collection with strict locking protocols that apply to its coarse-grained operations like add, remove, and fetch.

The various protocols (for example, rw locks versus separate r and w locks) have various performance characteristics based on the likelihoods of various coarse-grained events colliding. Do you read more often than you write, and so on.

This class of protocols are called pessimistic protocols: you assume bad things will happen and prevent them from happening up front.

Another way to do it is to make copies of the collection whenever you perform an update. When a thread needs the collection, it grabs the latest copy.

Copying the entire thing is expensive, so you need to do clever tricks where you only copy the things that change and share the things that don't change. And you still have locks, but they're much finer because you're locking pieces of the collection, not the entire thing, so there are fewer collisions.

And some times, two updates will interfere with each other, so you need to be able to roll back and try again, just like a transaction in the database. This is an optimistic protocol.

Depending on how many threads you have, what kinds of operations are most likely, and other factors, this can be orders of magnitude faster than coarse-grained pessimistic locking.

So what?

Oh yes, what I've just described is EXACTLY how languages like Haskell implement mutable collections like dictionaries and lists. Learning about Haskell is extremely useful for learning about writing Enterprise-scale Java applications.
Reg Braithwaite Send private email
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Bot, after thinking about my response, I expanded it into a blog post:

It's such a great question! But please let me know if quoting the question was inappropriate.

You may also find this useful, "Haskell in the Real World":

I should say that I am not a Haskell programmer, so I am not the right person to ask whether Haskell itself is useful. I am only trying to saythat learning about languages and ideas that you won't use directly at work is still useful.
Reg Braithwaite Send private email
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I see.
Bot Berlin
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I'm the primary instigator at, and I think is actually much more interesting and valuable than the main reddit site. I don't really care a whole lot for cool photos, oddball news, or someone else's idea of political news I need to be aware of. I do, however, value the community-driven filtering process that helps me reliably locate developer links I might be interested in.

P.R.C. (a humorous acronym, given the suggestions some people make about the overall bias of reddit participants) is arguably the most useful and valuable piece of the whole operation. As developers, we all benefit if enough of us are willing to make the sub-minimal contribution of merely voting.

I have great respect for the reddit technology and team, so please don't be confused by my disdain for the silly links that make the main page. I love P.R.C. and hope that it thrives for many years to come.

Rick Ross
Rick Ross Send private email
Friday, April 06, 2007

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