Environmentally responsible coding

This is a discussion on Environmentally responsible coding within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I think brewbuck's point is about doing something on those areas where one can intervene and that have a high ...

  1. #16
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I think brewbuck's point is about doing something on those areas where one can intervene and that have a high impact. Assuming the numbers are right, I can surely see his point. And it's an interesting one. Any skepticism won't remove the fact it's a valid point.

    Being fatalist about it, or comparing to other areas where we could do a higher impact, will do nothing. The whole point of Action is to do something, not sit around looking at what hasn't been done.

    Yet, I do agree that to some extent that hoping software developers will optimize their algorithms is akin to hoping the web will start using less images. It's just not going to happen. Surely there's a desire to optimize code. But this ends when the code performs as required. And that is also affected by other external factors, like an increase in broadband or the average processor clock. Going beyond that requirement is often seen as unnecessary and even risky, considering the possibility of introducing bugs or making the code harder to maintain.

    So we need to match our green conscious with what we have been taught during our academic studies and throughout our careers. They aren't just that much compatible. Green in this context, goes pretty much against everything we have bee told; Do not over-optimize, don't fix what is working, do not add unnecessary complexity, keep your code readable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brafil View Post
    But maybe... Microsoft could make a light windows system with nice graphics (XP-Style) and low system requirements...
    The technology behind current operating systems concerning energy consumption is pretty much transversal to all of them. Pointing a finger at Microsoft won't help, when you then have to point a finger at Apple, and a large part of the Linux community responsible for projects like Gnome or KDE and distributions like RedHat, SUSE or Ubuntu.

    Ultimately you would need to point the finger at yourself for your use of the computer which is largely composed of moments doing nothing, or nothing deemed meaningful. Turn your argument on its side and you will be facing the same kind of responsibility concerning energy consumption in your house. In the end, there's so much software providers can do. The real use of the energy is what matters. And that is happening right now in front of you and as you read this.

    So stop the Microsoft bantering. Makes you look like the rest of the useless bunch out there screaming for a greener planet, but refusing to let go of their comfort, their wool and cotton clothes, and their computers.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #17
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    I don't blame Microsoft, that was just a nice kick in the side.

    I know that there are far more important things about environmental protection - for example old cars using tons of fuel (I use trams and busses) and millions of trees being knocked down for... Soy beans? For chicken. That's why I don't eat those types of things...

    at least not often... I prefer organic food...

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brafil View Post
    I know that there are far more important things about environmental protection - for example old cars using tons of fuel (I use trams and busses)
    Using the same old car for twenty years, no matter how poor the fuel economy is, will always be more friendly on the environment than changing cars three times in the same period.
    Producing a brand new car is a CO2 heavy task, and especially the batteries for electric and hybrid cars are really bad.
    If you wan't to spare the environment, keep your car for as long as possible.
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

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    I don't speak about changing your car every three years - I think that keeping a car from the 1950s, including maintenance of the car, is worse than having a decent one. Of course you should use a car as long as possible, but this doesn't apply for the cars I wanted to mention, which may even need lead in their fuel.

    If companies try to recycle cars, a part of this CO2-waste is prevented as far as I know.

  5. #20
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brafil View Post
    Course not. That would require many hours of additional computer courses for most of the users, which means more fuel is wasted for transport.
    Oh malarky. Using a command line app just requires you to remember words and patterns, and exercising your memory does not require computer training. Anyone who can talk can remember words and patterns.

    Anyway, I didn't mean get rid of the GUI desktop. You might have to add some functionality to the basic windows terminal, which is to say, improve it, otherwise of course no one will want to write CLI's for the MS platform. People have been misled into believing that a GUI is "by definition" easier to use than the command line, and this is often not true. They certainly tend to use way way fewer system resources, and are less persistent.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Well, my mum would probably go crazy if she saw even a tiny edge of the command line and would refuse to do anything. I think there are many people like this. Try to tell her how to cd. And a big bonus of Microsoft (and of Apple) was that there was no need for a terminal anymore.

  7. #22
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brafil View Post
    Well, my mum would probably go crazy if she saw even a tiny edge of the command line and would refuse to do anything.
    This is what I meant by "People have been misled into believing...". I think the irony is that if your mom is anywhere close to my mom's generation and worked in an office in the 1980's, they used all kinds of terminal interfaces. Meaning there was often some typing and syntax (such as ctrl key combos) to remember. I still see them in a lot of supermarkets and with warehouse inventory systems. So it is only an alien thing to people <35.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Well, my mom apparently never worked with such kinds of things.

  9. #24
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Being fatalist about it, or comparing to other areas where we could do a higher impact, will do nothing. The whole point of Action is to do something, not sit around looking at what hasn't been done.
    I wasn't being a fatalist so much as raising the issue of the potential for grotesque self-congratulatory behaviour here. This is why it is important to understand that capitalist enterprise alone CANNOT do much good for the environment, because that is something that REQUIRES SPENDING -- there is no potential for personal or institutional profit, except in so far as one might procure government contracts, heh-heh.

    Throwing shot glasses of water on a towering inferno does not cut the mustard. If (programmer or no) you cannot perceive ways of helping to effect much more drastic changes in behaviour than this, then don't kid yourself -- this is simply a feel good exercise.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  10. #25
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I don't speak about changing your car every three years - I think that keeping a car from the 1950s, including maintenance of the car, is worse than having a decent one. Of course you should use a car as long as possible, but this doesn't apply for the cars I wanted to mention, which may even need lead in their fuel.
    Actually I'll trade my car when and if it dies or when I feel like trading it. I'll use a car as long as it is economically viable for me to do so and not a minute longer. Since I'm a performance car kinda guy I rarely buy a car for MPG plus I realize the MPG numbers are way off anyways.
    The worst thing you can do to a fuel-injected car is putter around in it and clog up all the injectors. You will spend more cleaning the fuel system and cause more pollution b/c the injectors will get clogged forcing the computer to ask for more and more fuel. Honestly modern cars don't cause that much pollution when properly maintained.

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