stackoverflowknows December 6, 2019

This Week #StackOverflowKnows About Infinity, Internet-Speak, and Password Storage

We’re introducing this bi-weekly roundup of questions from around the network with the tag #StackOverflowKnows. Share yours on twitter.

Stack Overflow and our Exchange sites get some great questions and answers. We think the folks from our community who share knowledge should be celebrated. So we’re introducing this bi-weekly roundup of questions that tickled our fancy. Want to give attention to a great question and/or answer? Tweet it with the tag #StackOverflowKnows and we’ll consider them for future installments of this series. 

Intuitive explanation why some autonomous DEs go to infinity in finite time.


How is it possible for an autonomous differential equation to hit infinity in a finite number of steps? What sort of mathematical wizardry is this? Is the math wrong, or do you need to fix your “inaccurate intuition.” And wise words, with perhaps a more general application in the comments: “Things don’t have to go to infinity to get out of control.”

How to introduce new language features in a legacy source code?


Programming languages don’t stay still. How do you introduce new language features into a codebase after an upgrade? New features, like Java 12’s var keyword, will likely change the existing code style. As the answer points out “Changing the style of working code is a refactoring. Don’t refactor without tests.” It’s a slow process. Alternatively, “Only use new language features that blend well with the old style.” 

Keep password in macro?


Since everything requires a password now, why not store it in a macro? Just a quick key combination and you’re into your private birdwatching forum. There’s nothing that could wrong with this, right? (Narrator: “There was, in fact, a lot that could go wrong.”)

How can we distinguish between the metric expansion of space and the speed of light slowing over time?


Space is expanding, right? This question wonders if we define length by the distance traveled by light in a vacuum over a specific fraction of a second, how can we tell if space is actually expanding or if light is just slowing down? You’ll get your answer by checking the color of your supernova (Spoiler: it’s not champagne). 

Adding “dot com” to the end of a sentence? 


Do you ever add internet or programming terms into IRL conversations? You’re not alone dot com. But whatdoesitmean.gif? Is it just a simple emphasis of an idea? A sign that we are OfficiallyOld™ or is it something #MoreSinister? Very confused dot com slash us. 

Any question can receive multiple answers. With an accepted answer, you might think of new questions. We love seeing them all on Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network every day. So if you see a good one, share it on Twitter with #StackOverflowKnows and it might make it into the next edition of our blog post or newsletter.  

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