0409: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)"

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simo
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby simo » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:13 pm UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:
Dobblesworth wrote:As someone who spent last night demolishing my family at Mario Kart: Double Dash, and as someone who can't code for toffee and who doesn't know this "Calvin and Hobbes" thing, I'm going to have to say I only enjoyed the upper strip.


What? You don't know Calvin and Hobbes? You don't know Calvin and Hobbes??? YOU DON'T KNOW CALVIN AND HOBBES????!!!!!!

Here. Educate yourself. Enjoy. It might take you a few days to read them all. That's fine. Put on a pot of coffee. Buy a case of Mountain Dew. Be enlightened.


Calvin and Hobbes isn't something we have in the UK. If we do, it's very much been and gone and it certainly never touched on my childhood, or the cartoon strip sections of a sweep of British newspapers in general. I think I might have seen them on a schoolfriend's parent-enforced desktop background, but otherwise no - I Don't Know Calvin & Hobbes. I am not trolling. I am merely saying some readers of xkcd don't reside in typical midwestern American suburbia and don't read cartoon strips of a ~5yr old protagonist philosophising with his plush tiger whilst riding downhill in a very American red suburban child wagon.



Errrr, even though I never used to be consciously aware of it, when I was young, Calvin and hobbes is everywhere in the uk. And it did used to be printed in news papers here. Its totally saturated the pop culture, I don't think its got anything to do with being American. Thats like saying you've never heard of the Simpsons because you don't live in a middle American christian family(..and talking of which, the Simpson's has had like 12 references to Calvin and hobbes over the years. Maybe more. The best one recently is when Moe asks Bart if he has a teeshirt with "Calvin peeing on hobbes". lol). I'm guessing you just missed out, but theres still time for you!
Last edited by simo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby DeadCatX2 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

NaYoN wrote:Why doesn't anyone say anything about the Python/C reference :D It made me laugh :D

I know! Where are all the programmers? Why are we not having a glorious debate about Python and C in the forum!?

I have said this sort of stuff before, but I referenced linked lists. It's not important to be able to code a linked list right now, but it's important to have coded it before. No one will ask you to write that in the real world, but they will ask you to understand how to use it, and that sort of insight is only provided by actually having written your own linked list before.

In a similar fashion, I think it's more important to have done C/assembly, than to be able to do it. All the high-level coders who never get close to the machine will always be bitten by leaky abstractions. When you go to do something and it doesn't work, the one who has done C will have some idea of where it might have broken. The one who lived far away from the machine all their life will be flustered for hours.

Alternately, you could just develop your own hardware. VHDL FTW!

(I SO hope Randall does a VHDL vs. Verilog comic. I want to be one of the four people who will understand it!)

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby TheKhakinator » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:20 pm UTC

When I first saw the comic, I thought "They're carring trays of peas and a watermelon to throw at people." I've never in my life even heard of a tray of peas, but that's what I thought.

Then I came here, and read the post that said "Is that a Mario Kart reference in the top comic?"

Oh, of course. Red, green shells.

Wii MarioKart sucks.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby VelociraptorEvader » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:24 pm UTC

I like this Randall, the featuring of Calvin and Hobbes in it was icing on the cake. I like the swipe at philosophy in the alt text. God damn art and philosophy students. Agghh they're attacking us with radical ideas, Campbell's soup cans and short changing us at the fast food drive thru's in which they work.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby JGefell » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:53 pm UTC

by far my favorite comic yet.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby EpeeGnome » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:58 pm UTC

superjoe30 wrote:
MatrixFrog wrote:
jakebw wrote:Funny how Hobbes is drawn as a tiger and not a stuffed animal, as he usually is when someone besides Calvin is around.
That's because Randall knows the truth: That he is actually a tiger, contrary to what adults might think.


you beat me to the punch


I thought that was interesting too. I always thought that Hobbes' stuffed/alive status was irrelevant. It's all about your Perspective on it. I would have done the same thing if I drew a comic with Hobbes in it, because I always 'saw' him as real too.

Edit: speelling
Last edited by EpeeGnome on Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:00 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby dharmamama » Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:59 pm UTC

I love this comic so much, I could marry it, have its babies, divorce, then marry it again just for the fun of it. I got a tear in my eye. *sniff*

I *lvoe* the guy in the last panel on top, scratching his head: "Turtles? Huh?"

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby bumpgrrl » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:08 pm UTC

MatrixFrog wrote:
jakebw wrote:Funny how Hobbes is drawn as a tiger and not a stuffed animal, as he usually is when someone besides Calvin is around.
That's because Randall knows the truth: That he is actually a tiger, contrary to what adults might think.


I didn't even blink when I saw Hobbes as a tiger, not a toy, because he's always been real to me. (Ah, ninja'd by epeegnome!)

Also, for the record, not being an avid Mario Kart player myself, I will be the second to admit confusing thoughts of peas, and also pies, when I first read the upper strip.

As for the artwork on the lower strip, it's definitely not the first full colour, and he's done full-on Calvin, well, Spiff, really landscapes before. I think the point here is that it's more of a blending and tribute rather than a borrowing. if you'll forgive the pun, "two worlds collide". I got the reference even before the appearance of the dynamic duo, but it wasn't even the trees - it was the whole hill/sidewalk/philosophizing gig - love it.

As for concrit, I too was a wee bit disappointed at the actual appearance of C&H, and the artwork seemed a bit off. Heh - I guess this is why Randall normally draws stick figures. The kablammo 'splosion also seemed a bit coarse, compared to some of his other work.
But then again, without the appearance of C&H, there wouldn't be the actual joke of the comic.

(Although, I, too, am now deadly curious as to what C&H were discussing!)
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby DreadArchon » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

I liked this comic a lot. The "No words, no words, they should have sent a poet" kind of "a lot."

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Linux0s » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:15 pm UTC

dharmamama wrote:I *lvoe* the guy in the last panel on top, scratching his head: "Turtles? Huh?"

I like the fact that you get your own theme music in the background while pitching shells.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Severius » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:33 pm UTC

Oh me yarm classic! Oh how I miss you Calvin and Hobbes!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Zuntrios » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:43 pm UTC

I got the MK reference immediately, but the C&H reference eluded me until the end. But I knew that scenery was familiar... Also, I imagined the background music to be Waluigi Pinball... Probably because it's one of my favorite musics in the game.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby audioMIME » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:46 pm UTC

MatrixFrog wrote:
jakebw wrote:Funny how Hobbes is drawn as a tiger and not a stuffed animal, as he usually is when someone besides Calvin is around.
That's because Randall knows the truth: That he is actually a tiger, contrary to what adults might think.


Hmm, I just happen to own the The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book along with his fifteen others, and just happen to know Watterson's stance on the truehobbes-dichotomy by heart...
Let's have a looksy at the alt text under the source code, shall we?

XKCD's godfather, William Watterson wrote:"The so-called "gimmick" of my strip--the two versions of Hobbes--is sometimes misunderstood. I don't think of Hobbes as a doll that miraculously comes to life when Calvin's around. Neither do I think of Hobbes as the product of Calvin's imagination. The nature of Hobbes's reality doesn't interest me, and each story goes out of its way to avoid resolving the issue. Calvin sees Hobbes one way, and everyone else sees Hobbes another way. I show two versions of reality, and each makes complete sense to the participant who sees it. I think that's how life works. None of us sees the world in exactly the same way, and I just draw that literally in the strip. Hobbes is more about the subjective nature of reality than about dolls coming to life."


I think, via showing the XKCD stickfigures able to coexist in the same panel with the living version of Hobbes, we're being told that the mentality of the strip is closer to that of Calvin than that of society; that XKCD exists closer to the inner universe of Calvin than the "real world." I love the message.

If there are die-harder C&H fans than me out there *chuckles in self-satisfied disbelief* and I have erred somehow in my quoting (Don't bother googling it; I haven't.), please release your spiky-blue shells on me, for I shall have deserved them.

P.S. I'm reasonably confident that I know which panel-montage of Watterson's the scenery in this comic was modeled after, & it makes me go all fuzzy inside! (get the reference, Johnny Fanboy?). Spectacular job with the trees in the foreground. Deep thanks for the thought that was put into this.
P.P.S. Friends don't let friends wander and ponder...
P.P.P.S. I take issue with your lionization of "C"ers... Python's no cakewalk, amigo.
Last edited by audioMIME on Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:32 pm UTC, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby brazuca » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:58 pm UTC

Great. Now if xkcd ever goes away I will feel the pain of losing C&H all over again.

*sniff*

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby MarioMaster151 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:02 pm UTC

Wow. Congratulations, Randall, you have just given me my goal in life. Does anyone know where I can get red turtles, or will i have to paint normal ones? Seriously, that comic was awesome!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Celtic Minstrel » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:10 pm UTC

DeadCatX2 wrote:
NaYoN wrote:Why doesn't anyone say anything about the Python/C reference :D It made me laugh :D

I know! Where are all the programmers? Why are we not having a glorious debate about Python and C in the forum!?
I'm wondering the same thing! I guess the Mario Kart reference (which went right over my head) is overshadowing this.

DeadCatX2 wrote:In a similar fashion, I think it's more important to have done C/assembly, than to be able to do it. All the high-level coders who never get close to the machine will always be bitten by leaky abstractions. When you go to do something and it doesn't work, the one who has done C will have some idea of where it might have broken. The one who lived far away from the machine all their life will be flustered for hours.
This makes sense.

I don't think Python is really that much easier than C – it has its own annoying things, such as treating a list as a pointer. But it's true that it does some of the low-level stuff for you. Part of this is simply in the predefined types, particularly lists and dictionaries.

Personally, I like C++ and Python about equally. In C, you need to deal with arrays, which isn't actually very hard, but it's easier when you can use a C++ STL vector or a Python list.

Does coding in C make a better programmer? Probably not, but learning to code in C probably does... then, once you've learned, you can move on to Python or Java, which is better for portability.

(Wow. That's long for a first post...)

P.S. I didn't get the Calvin and Hobbes reference in the scenery either, though of course I recognized them in the last panel!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby hagger » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:17 pm UTC

Well... perhaps I'm getting into this too much, but I thought the slamming into Calvin & Hobbes was more a light-hearted way of saying "enough philosophy now, we're almost copying them!" In any case, I still found it hilarious, especially because I associate those types of philosophical arguments so strongly with C&H, it was just beautifully linked. The programming idea was good also, although I didn't like the structure so much. While scrolling down it's very easy to skip ahead, which kind of ruins the last twist. But in any case, that was one of the few comics which made me actually laugh out loud. Congratulations Randall!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby GCM » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:32 pm UTC

DeadCatX2 wrote:I know! Where are all the programmers? Why are we not having a glorious debate about Python and C in the forum!?


Heh, that's because not all of us get to be programmers :( .

bumpgrrl wrote:I didn't even blink when I saw Hobbes as a tiger, not a toy, because he's always been real to me. (Ah, ninja'd by epeegnome!)


Ditto. Though that's only because it's a lot cooler for him to be real. (I'd love to have a tiger buddy!)

Linux0s wrote:
dharmamama wrote:I *lvoe* the guy in the last panel on top, scratching his head: "Turtles? Huh?"

I like the fact that you get your own theme music in the background while pitching shells.


Super Mario theme! Doo do, dood, doo dood, DOOD! Duhn...
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby The Tagger » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:35 pm UTC

Combining Mario Kart and Calvin and Hobbes, and on a Friday no less?? I'm not sure what we've done to deserve this wonderful blessing, but we'll take it. I'm gonna enjoy the hell out of this weekend.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby srpski » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:36 pm UTC

This comic is so perfect.

Made my day right there!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby ahawks » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:55 pm UTC

Alt text:Unsafe vehicles, hills, and philosophy go hand in hand.

Seems to me it should be hand in hand in hand ;)

What a great friday comic! Mario Kart and Calvin and Hobbes, perfect!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby captainoblivious » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

Damn rubberband AI. You get in the middle of a deep philosophical conversation and then someone twelve-year-old douchebag uses the rambunctious-child-and-tiger attack and glides right past you. Plus, they totally broke the controls on the skateboard. It's like the game wants them to win.

Also, Hobbes is a tiger because he's always in tiger form when they go down the hill in the wagon. Duh.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Banksy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

Mario Kart, Programming, Calvin and Hobbes, all combined within XKCD.
This is the most perfect comic I have seen in a very, very long time.
:)

Edit: Used the wrong coding system... silly me...
Last edited by Banksy on Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:28 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby polymath69 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:24 pm UTC

It's the first half of the comic I didn't get. Mario Kart, huh? I've never seen this game, but have now gone and read the Wikipedia entry. It doesn't seem to mention anything about throwing or collecting tortoises (it's not clear to me from that panel which is occurring.)

Anyway, just ringing in as one scratching his head in the other possible way...

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby danwall88 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:47 pm UTC

aaahhhhhhh! They're red shells! From Mario Kart! I came to these forums specifically to find the answer.

I too thought they were supposed to be pies. :(

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Gentleman_Jesse » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:10 pm UTC

I actually had to register on the forums just so I could post something about this comic.

Way super cool, man. When I scrolled down to the last panes I immediately thought of Calvin and Hobbes as I saw the trees--I hadn't even seen Calvin or Hobbes in the bottom corner! What I'm wondering is what they were pondering on their wagon-ride down the hill.

High fives for Philosophising while operating unsafe vehicles on hills!

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Akhilys » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:13 pm UTC

Wow, I loved this comic.
I swear, when reading the first few frames of the second part, I thought, "Hey, this reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes. I havn't read any of those in a while." Then I see them and their wagon-cart! :D

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Darth Eru » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:27 pm UTC

I know this will be an unpopular opinion, but this was definitely not my favorite xkcd comic. Sure, the double comic, the two references and the programming/philosiphy things were great, but it's not awesome. The first one was about average as far as xkcd goes, taking something relatively commonplace and changing it in a way that you wouldn't immediately think of.

The second comic was better, if only for reasons of nostalgia, but IMO, it's not worth the hype everyone is giving it. It's a reference to one of the most popular and well loved comic strips in North America. That makes it cool, but in the end it's not very original humour.

But then, I may just be contrarian :wink:

Also, my thoughts on why this was a double comic are that both ideas were good enough to post, but he didn't want to to them on separate days, since people might assume he was starting a series about the longboard.

Also, while programming in C may build character, programming in assembly does not make you a better programmer. It makes you crazy.
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Megums » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:13 pm UTC

xkcd + Calvin and Hobbes = bliss.

This comic made my day life.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby zahlman » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

Celtic Minstrel wrote:I don't think Python is really that much easier than C – it has its own annoying things, such as treating a list as a pointer.


Er, it does no such thing. It uses C's '*' syntax for variable-length parameter lists, and it has reference semantics for objects, but neither of those are anything like "treating a list as a pointer", because there is nothing in Python that is anything quite like what C calls a pointer.

In C, you need to deal with arrays, which isn't actually very hard


Code: Select all

typedef struct pair_t { int first, second; } pair;

typedef struct pairlist_t { pair* pairs; int count; } pairlist;

int* get_firsts(pairlist* pl) { /* passed by pointer to avoid a copy; caller has to do something like '&pl' */
/* and you have to rely on documentation to know that you're not supposed to pass an array of pairlist, for example */
  int* result = malloc(sizeof(int) * count); /* caller has to remember to free() this at some point */
  if (!result) return result; /* let the caller decide how to handle a memory failure */
  for (int i = 0; i < count; ++i) {
    result[i] = pl->pairs[i].first;
  }
  return result;
}


vs.

Code: Select all

def get_firsts(alist): return [x[0] for x in alist]


Whatever you say... (never mind what happens when you want to concatenate things.)
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby eijkaibjck » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:41 pm UTC

Not my favourite comic, but close to the best. It bothers me this double feature thing. It would be more than enough with the lower strip.

What would top it:

I so would sike to see the other half of the story viewed from Calvin's point of view, and how they somehow crash with these stck figure people. Double crossover mirroring strips. Everybody wins.
Ok, I take it back.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

Bill Watterson can you hear me?
Bill Watterson please don't fear me
Don't treat me like I have rabies
I only wanna have your babes
[/Lemon Demon]

Couldn't stop grinning the moment that red wagon caught my eye.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Clumpy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:45 pm UTC

Wow! I've lost enthusiasm about this strip recently, but these two really nailed it out of the park. I thought that the Calgin and Hobbes landscape parallel was unintentional until the final panel. A complete geeky parallel to some of the great philosophical rants in that strip. Great stuff.

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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Celtic Minstrel » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:08 pm UTC

danwall88 wrote:aaahhhhhhh! They're red shells! From Mario Kart! I came to these forums specifically to find the answer.

I too thought they were supposed to be pies. :(
I hadn't the faintest idea what they were supposed to be until coming here.

Darth Eru wrote:Also, while programming in C may build character, programming in assembly does not make you a better programmer. It makes you crazy.
Heh, maybe it's good I haven't tried that then!

zahlman wrote:
Celtic Minstrel wrote:I don't think Python is really that much easier than C – it has its own annoying things, such as treating a list as a pointer.


Er, it does no such thing. It uses C's '*' syntax for variable-length parameter lists, and it has reference semantics for objects, but neither of those are anything like "treating a list as a pointer", because there is nothing in Python that is anything quite like what C calls a pointer.
I'm referring to the fact that if you pass a list into a function and change it within the function, then it's also changed outside the function. It's not exactly like a C pointer, but it has similarities to the concept.

((Note\/: I have en-spoilered the code examples to save space.))
zahlman wrote:
In C, you need to deal with arrays, which isn't actually very hard


Spoiler:

Code: Select all

typedef struct pair_t { int first, second; } pair;

typedef struct pairlist_t { pair* pairs; int count; } pairlist;

int* get_firsts(pairlist* pl) { /* passed by pointer to avoid a copy; caller has to do something like '&pl' */
/* and you have to rely on documentation to know that you're not supposed to pass an array of pairlist, for example */
  int* result = malloc(sizeof(int) * count); /* caller has to remember to free() this at some point */
  if (!result) return result; /* let the caller decide how to handle a memory failure */
  for (int i = 0; i < count; ++i) {
    result[i] = pl->pairs[i].first;
  }
  return result;
}


vs.

Code: Select all

def get_firsts(alist): return [x[0] for x in alist]


Whatever you say... (never mind what happens when you want to concatenate things.)
Okay, so it can be hard to deal with arrays – I guess I just didn't have a complicated enough example in mind to properly compare. Your C example is a little confusing, though.

Spoiler:
Actually, I didn't know you could do that in Python. I probably would've done it like this:

Code: Select all

def getfirsts(alist):
    result = []
    for x in alist:
        result += x[0]
    return result
But that's still a little easier than the C example.

Code: Select all

struct pair {
  int first, second;
};

struct pairlist {
  pair* pairs;
  int count;
};

int* get_firsts(pairlist& pl) { // passed by reference to avoid a copy
    // and you have to rely on documentation to know that you're not supposed to pass an array of pairlist, for example
    int* result = new int[count]; // caller has to remember to delete[] this at some point
    if (!result)
        return result; // let the caller decide how to handle a memory failure
    for (int i = 0; i < count; ++i) {
        result[i] = pl.pairs[i].first;
    }
    return result;
}
I like C++ better than C. :D And you don't really need the pairlist type - you could pass the size as another parameter. And if you used an STL vector, it would be algorithmically identical to the Python example I gave just above:

Code: Select all

#include <vector>

struct pair {
  int first, second;
};

vector<int> get_firsts(vector<pair>& pl) { // passed by reference to avoid a copy
    // and you have to rely on documentation to know that you're not supposed to pass an array of pairlist, for example
    vector<int> result; // although you don't really need to pre-initialize it to the desired size, it would make it more efficient for larger arrays.
    // not sure what the vector constructor does if malloc fails... so I can't handle it here, even though I probably should.
    for (int i = 0; i < count; ++i) {
        result += pl.pairs[i].first;
    }
    return result;
}
Notice that's almost exactly like my less simple Python version?

Disclaimer: I haven't programmed in C++ for a while, so there could be some errors in those examples. The same is not true of Python.

jbrons
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby jbrons » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:15 pm UTC

Hi all. Longtime xkcd reader here, and I'm registering for the forums just to make this post.

audioMIME wrote:I think, via showing the XKCD stickfigures able to coexist in the same panel with the living version of Hobbes, we're being told that the mentality of the strip is closer to that of Calvin than that of society; that XKCD exists closer to the inner universe of Calvin than the "real world." I love the message.


I disagree, but I love that we're having this discussion.

I read and relate to Calvin & Hobbes more closely than to any religious text. I also respect Bill Watterson's firm desires never to have Calvin & Hobbes parodied, referenced, or duplicated; as such, even a respectful C&H homage as well-done as this is treading on sacred ground and should be subject to intense scrutiny.

Obviously he wanted the characters on the skateboard as entrenched in Calvin & Hobbes' world as possible; to write dialogue like Watterson and to compose a scene like Watterson. The idea of the strip is brilliant. But I have two major complaints about its execution, where I feel he failed on two counts (and C&H is such sacred ground that I'm splitting hairs finely enough so that anything short of perfection is failure):

First, the strip hits us over the head with what it's trying to accomplish. Its reference to "building character," obviously Calvin's dad's mantra, is said in earnest, and exists only as a red flag in case you didn't follow from the artwork yet. Additionally, it uses the word "philosophy" in lieu of actual philosophy. Not only is that lazy, forceful writing, but it's *telling* us what it's doing, not *showing* us, which is jarring and wrong in the context of how the wagon strips played out artistically and textually.

Second, it misunderstands the Hobbes duality. While Hobbes' true nature may be up to interpretation, it is very consistent: Hobbes is always in stuffed tiger form when there are other humans around. Calvin's world is his alone.

I disagree that the mentality of the strip places its characters "closer to that of Calvin." Its discussions of Python/C, skateboards, and Mario Kart firmly ground it in our own human world, where Hobbes would be in stuffed form.

That said, this is still a very moving strip. IMO, which admittedly is incredibly picky, it just falls short of a goal within its reach. A truly respectful tribute to C&H should be done perfectly (i.e. consistent with the C&H world) or not at all. Just remove the line about "my philosophy" or replace it with an actual philosophy, and draw Hobbes in his stuffed form, and this would be it.

zenten
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby zenten » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:17 pm UTC

Dobblesworth wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:
Dobblesworth wrote:As someone who spent last night demolishing my family at Mario Kart: Double Dash, and as someone who can't code for toffee and who doesn't know this "Calvin and Hobbes" thing, I'm going to have to say I only enjoyed the upper strip.


What? You don't know Calvin and Hobbes? You don't know Calvin and Hobbes??? YOU DON'T KNOW CALVIN AND HOBBES????!!!!!!

Here. Educate yourself. Enjoy. It might take you a few days to read them all. That's fine. Put on a pot of coffee. Buy a case of Mountain Dew. Be enlightened.


Calvin and Hobbes isn't something we have in the UK. If we do, it's very much been and gone and it certainly never touched on my childhood, or the cartoon strip sections of a sweep of British newspapers in general. I think I might have seen them on a schoolfriend's parent-enforced desktop background, but otherwise no - I Don't Know Calvin & Hobbes. I am not trolling. I am merely saying some readers of xkcd don't reside in typical midwestern American suburbia and don't read cartoon strips of a ~5yr old protagonist philosophising with his plush tiger whilst riding downhill in a very American red suburban child wagon.


That's like saying that being American is some sort of defense against having seen Monty Python.

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espire
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby espire » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:33 pm UTC

Amazing. After reading "builds character," my subconscious rattled on about Calvin & Hobbes, but my conscious only slightly paid attention. Despite it, I did NOT expect that ending until it happened. That was quite amazing.
DANGER! RAPTORS! IT'S SAFE HERE

Random832
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

jbrons wrote:I disagree that the mentality of the strip places its characters "closer to that of Calvin." Its discussions of Python/C, skateboards, and Mario Kart firmly ground it in our own human world, where Hobbes would be in stuffed form.


Whereas the discussions of someone who would commandeer a submarine (in a lake?) just to get a hat back from someone who took it, of a Richard Stallman who is in constant fear of Ninjas sent by Microsoft and keeps Katanas under his bed, of a mom who can type (and think) fast enough to break SSL encryption in real time, while baking cookies and wearing oven mitts, do rather the opposite. Face it, XKCD has as much a dual nature (and maybe more - I haven't even touched on the romance, or the surreal stuff from some of the early strips, which I'd need to do to get a coherent theory of XKCD) as C&H.

jbrons
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby jbrons » Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:12 pm UTC

Random832 wrote:
jbrons wrote:I disagree that the mentality of the strip places its characters "closer to that of Calvin." Its discussions of Python/C, skateboards, and Mario Kart firmly ground it in our own human world, where Hobbes would be in stuffed form.


Whereas the discussions of someone who would commandeer a submarine (in a lake?) just to get a hat back from someone who took it, of a Richard Stallman who is in constant fear of Ninjas sent by Microsoft and keeps Katanas under his bed, of a mom who can type (and think) fast enough to break SSL encryption in real time, while baking cookies and wearing oven mitts, do rather the opposite. Face it, XKCD has as much a dual nature (and maybe more - I haven't even touched on the romance, or the surreal stuff from some of the early strips, which I'd need to do to get a coherent theory of XKCD) as C&H.


Yes it has its own surreal duality. Suggesting that they exist in the same world, where this stick figure can collide with Calvin and a stuffed Hobbes, is one thing. I'd allow that. But to suggest that xkcd is worthy of existing in Calvin's world, where these characters would see Hobbes as Calvin sees Hobbes, is blasphemy. Only Bill Watterson can do that, and he has not.

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mursidae
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Re: "Electric Skateboard (Double Comic)" Discussion

Postby mursidae » Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:16 pm UTC

seriously one of the best comics ever.
like many before me, as soon as I saw the trees I knew it was Calvin & Hobbes time.
Also, even though in the comic it's spring/summer (guessing by the leaves on the trees), something about seeing the C&H trees with a not-colored ground reminded me immediately of the tons of winter/snowman comics from C&H.
this comic made my day :D
as youuuuu wishhhhhhh!


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