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Remote/Pair-Programming in-the-cloud


On 3/08/19 10:34 AM, Chris Angelico wrote:
> On Sat, Aug 3, 2019 at 7:30 AM DL Neil <PythonList at danceswithmice.info> wrote:
>> On 3/08/19 8:44 AM, Chris Angelico wrote:
> Google Hangouts, or a proprietary internal platform ("Owl") which does
> similar things but is better able to handle different bandwidth
> connections.

Thanks. Will add to the mix...


>> I have used VNC-type software to slave screens, either in pairs
>> (tutorial - mine following a trainee's work) or in a 'class set' (using
>> my screen as a 'projector'). It seemed both finicky and fragile and
>> whilst working well on-the-LAN (ie in-class), was too slow and 'block-y'
>> updating the screens when we used it for remote tutorials. (of course
>> such [also] reveals that we didn't have very high-speed connections)
> Yeah, that would be basically what I'm talking about. It works fairly
> well with a trainer/trainee model, as the trainer wants to be "hands
> off" most of the time anyway (better to talk the trainee through doing
> it than to grab the keyboard and do it yourself), and the "projector"
> model you describe is definitely that style.

Yes. I would prefer something with a more collaborative mode - helpful 
rather than 'taking (over) the lead'...


>>> master's own text selection). Having everyone able to edit
>>> simultaneously creates technological problems, and then a social
>> One of the encouraging features of many options (on list in earlier
>> post) is the facility of "multiple cursors".
>> At first this confused me, because many text editors allow one to
>> declare "multiple cursors" in order to perform the same action at
>> multiple locations throughout the same source-file. In the
>> pair-programming context, "multiple cursors" means exactly what you say:
>> each contributor is able to work (relatively) independently of the
>> other, and the system keeps track of who-is-doing-what! ("IDE-independent"?)
> That would NOT be IDE-independent, as it requires help from the
> software itself (what I'm talking about is the way screenshare can
> jump across to your browser, a running app, etc, etc, and it's exactly
> the same as being inside the IDE).

Agreed - and just because two could work 'independently'...
(a) certainly doesn't make it a 'good idea'! and
(b) doesn't strike me as "pair programming", particularly not in the 
context of a PUG meeting - as you say...


> Multiple cursors is exactly what I meant when I referred to the
> technical problem and the social problem. The technical problem
> (there's only one ipt and every keystroke affects that point) can be
> solved with multiple cursors, but you're still left with the social
> problem (one person changes something up here, another changes
> something down there, and your changes affect each other - or, one is
> editing what another person tries to indent). So I'm actually quite
> happy with a blanket solution to the social problem by saying "only
> one person can edit at a time" - and forcing people to
> commit/push/pull to transfer the code to a new driver - and using that
> to avoid needing to go to the technical effort of multiple ipts.
> 
>> Which is why I assumed the need for Zoom or similar audio connection
>> (A/V 'on top' likely to overwhelm a wi-fi link)? None seem to offer
>> that, however some do provide a "chat" window.
> 
> Yes, some sort of audio link is HUGELY helpful, even if you do have
> multiple cursors. You can synchronize over it ("Okay, lemme try
> something") and just bounce ideas back and forth. If your software is
> replicating the display, you don't need video, and an audio connection
> is way lower bandwidth (also, a little latency can be handled - it's
> no big deal if you have 100ms or 250ms lag on the audio if you have
> snappy text updates).

Thanks for this assessment.


>> Yes, the "semaphore" is going to be my biggest concern on the night.
>> When done in-person, a lot can be communicated non-verbally (and,
>> perhaps particularly in this country: rather informally, eg even a nudge
>> of the elbow = 'move out of the way and let me in/I got this').
> 
> "Move, I have a kit" is occasionally effective even when said by your
> opponents... or maybe that's exclusive to Counter-Strike... anyhow.

Sorry, not a gamer. However, during 'the real thing' I wouldn't have 
dared to say such a thing to my buddy! (mind you, he was the unit's 
armorer) Most of the time they pushed me down/towards the back. One of 
the advantages of carrying the radios! (needed to tell the airedales 
where to direct their fire, and which RDV we're using - please, please, 
please come to take us home... Forget games, try music: "I wanna go 
home" or "I want to get out of this place"!)

Although as "nav" I did get to say "move out". Close enough?


>> I'm thinking that such will require a greater degree of formality and
>> courtesy. Radio operators are used to the discipline of letting the
>> other person finish talking...
> 
> Right. Works quite well IME.
> 
> Basically, what I'd be interested in seeing is a multi-player game of
> Notepad++, in contrast to IRC. http://www.bash.org/?85514

With the ability to frag your pair-programmer when (s)he makes a 
mistake? Remind me never to 'pair' with you!

I'll see what I can find...
-- 
Regards =dn