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Microsoft Q# Quantum Language And Toolkit
Dec 13 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft has released a preview version of Q#, its new programming language for quantum computing. The language is included as part of the Quantum Development Kit, alongside a quantum computing simulator and other resources designed to help developers get started writing applications for a quantum computer. 

Mozilla Launches WebXRViewer For iOS
Dec 12 | David Conrad
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Mozilla has launched an augmented reality app for iOS as part of its push to establish its recently proposed WebXR standard and persuade developers to build augmented reality experiences using open web technologies, WebVR, and Apple’s ARKit framework.

Top 10 From Around the Web: More About Rails
Dec 12 | Alex Armstrong
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This round up of interesting posts from external sites has hints, tips and recommendations for working with the Rails framework. We've also slipped in one on writing a command-line app in Ruby.

Amazon Starting To Monetize Alexa Skills
Dec 11 | Lucy Black
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The influence of Amazon's Alexa is spreading. As well as moving into the workplace, Echo devices can now be shipped to eighty countries. This promises an expanded market for Alexa skills, so Amazon's announcement of two new monetization methods is welcome.

Apache Bigtop Adds OpenJDK 8 Support
Dec 11 | Kay Ewbank
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Apache has released Bigtop 1.2.1 with support for OpenJDK 8, and a new sandbox feature that lets you run big data pseudo clusters on Docker. Bigtop is an Apache Foundation project that you can use for packaging, testing, and configuration of the big name open source big data components that make up the Hadoop infrastructure.

Worm Balances A Pole On Its Tail
Dec 10 | Mike James
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C. elegans is quickly becoming the mascot of AI. We have a complete circuit for its neurons and this has already resulted in some impressive achievements including building an artificial version of the worm's brain. Now we are moving into an era of using the circuits we have discovered creatively.

Free Software Foundation Fun For Xmas
Dec 09 | Kay Ewbank
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If you're looking for festive presents for programmers, the Free Software Foundation has some options that combine open software street cred with supporting open source and the GNU philosophy.

December Week 1
Dec 09 | Editor
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If you need to know what's important for the developer, IProgrammer Weekly puts the unmissable bits together in a handy digest together with our coverage of books. This week we also have a Programmer's Puzzle and an Android Programming tutorial about Barriers, the latest and somewhat mysterious addition to the ConstraintLayout.

Grace Hopper & Computer Science Education Week
Dec 08 | Sue Gee
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Tomorrow marks the 111th anniversary of the birth of Grace Hopper. Considered "the first lady of software" she is the figurehead chosen for Computer Science Education Week, which is timed to coincide with her birthday. To celebrate the date we have an "Amazing Grace" cartoon comic that summarizes her story.

MyRocks For Percona Server
Dec 08 | Kay Ewbank
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There's an experimental release of MyRocks in Percona Server for MySQL 5.7, with packages. MyRocks is open source software that was developed at Facebook to provide a way to use MySQL features with Facebook's RocksDB. It is also used in MariaDB as a storage engine.

DeepMind's AlphaZero Triumphs At Chess
Dec 07 | Sue Gee
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DeepMind's latest program, AlphaZero, has used reinforcement learning from playing against itself to master the game of chess. Given the important role that chess has occupied in computer science, this is a big breakthrough for neural networks.

Intellij IDEA Improves Coding Assistance
Dec 07 | Kay Ewbank
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There's a major update of Intellij IDEA, with smarter coding assistance, a better debugger, and a Run Dashboard that lets you rerun, stop and terminate applications. The Intellij IDEA is a well-known Java IDE. There are quite a few changes to the new version, spread across the various elements of the IDE. 

Get To Grips With Blockchain
Dec 07 | Sue Gee
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If you want to know about Blockchain, a 6-week course created by IBM  and designed for developers who are new to Blockchain began on December 4 on the Coursera Platform. 

Mozilla v Yahoo
Dec 06 | Janet Swift
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Mozilla has responded to a lawsuit from Yahoo Holdings and Oath for  improper termination of the agreement to make Yahoo the default search engine in Firefox by filing a cross complaint for breach of contract. Will this impact the positive financial outlook Mozilla has just reported? 

Google Starts Its Push To Progressive Web Apps - Bye Bye Chrome Apps
Dec 06 | Ian Elliot
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Google has removed Chrome apps from the Chrome Web Store and has made it clear that Progressive Web Apps are what you should move to. There is a lot that is unclear about all of this and, apart from a few small things, it all feels like a marketing exercise.

PHP 7.2 With Built-in Libsodium
Dec 06 | Kay Ewbank
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There's a new release of  PHP that adds several features, including a new sodium extension making PHP the first programming language to adopt modern cryptography in its standard library.

More Recent News



Book Review

Cloud Foundry: The Definitive Guide
Tuesday 12 Dec

Author: Duncan C. E. Winn
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 324
ISBN: 978-1491932438
Print: 1491932430
Kindle: B071SG9SFG
Audience: DevOps
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This is a guide to Cloud Foundry, the open source application platform originally developed by VMWare, and it lives up to its title of being the definitive guide.


Featured Articles

JavaScript Async - Promises, The Revealing Constructor Pattern
Ian Elliot
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There is something mysterious inside a Promise, object that is. You may think that you have Promises mastered but do you really know how they work? The whole security of the Promise is based on the revealing constructor pattern which is useful in its own right.

The Real Reason To Learn To Program - The Power
Mike James
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It's that time of the year again - The Hour of Code. Why should so many people bother to learn to code? There has been a lot of discussion of why people should learn to code, or more accurately to program. Yes, it is good for them because it teaches how to think and how to plan. But the real reason for learning to program is known all too well to all us programmers although we try hard not to mention it in such discussions - P O W E R!

Android Programming In Java - Guidelines And Barriers
Mike James
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Barriers are a mysterious addition to the ConstraintLayout but in practice they are easy to use and useful - once you know what they are all about.

Sharpen your Coding Skills - Elevator Puzzle
Joe Celko
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Introducing Melvin and Bugsy, characters who figure in a series of challlenges from Joe Celko. Sharpen your coding skills with puzzles that will both amuse and torment you.

JavaScript Async - Microtasks
Ian Elliot
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The workings of the JavaScript dispatch queue are more subtle and interesting than you might think. Far from just being a queue of events, there are tasks and then there are sub-tasks.


Unhandled Exception!
Digital Resource Lifespan

Digital Resource Lifespan

Click for larger image

It is strange to think that in the day of paper we got our information longevity for free. It wasn't designed into the process, it just happened. Now all the technology we use has a short life span and again it's almost accidental. Now where is that floppy I stored my magnum opus on - eight inch of course.

More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language


Book Watch

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Advanced Game Design (Addison Wesley)
Monday 11 Dec

In this book, author and games designer Michael Sellers shows how game design practices fit in a theoretical framework of systems thinking, the management technique where a system is analyzed by examining the links and interactions between the components of the system. Sellers looks at how this helps games designers analyze their work so they can produce better, more engaging games.


Database Reliability Engineering (O'Reilly)
Thursday 07 Dec

With this practical book, developers, system administrators, and junior to mid-level DBAs will learn how the modern practice of site reliability engineering applies to the craft of database architecture and operations. Authors Laine Campbell and Charity Majors provide a framework for professionals looking to join the ranks of today’s database reliability engineers. The book explores core operational concepts before examining a wide range of database persistence options, including how to implement key technologies to provide resilient, scalable, and performant data storage and retrieval.


The Official BBC micro:bit User Guide (Wiley)
Wednesday 06 Dec

The BBC micro:bit is a pocket-sized electronic development platform built with education in mind. Written by internationally bestselling tech author Gareth Halfacree and endorsed by the Micro:bit Foundation, this book shows how to get up and running fast with the BBC micro:bit. Learn everything from taking your first steps with the BBC micro:bit to writing your own programs. You'll also learn how to expand its capabilities with add-ons through easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.


Cloud Native Java (O'Reilly)
Monday 04 Dec

This practical guide sets out to show Java/JVM developers how to build better software, faster, using Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry. Authors Josh Long and Kenny Bastani cover the tools and methodologies that will help you transform your legacy application into one that is cloud native, in other words ones that use cloud computing, are based on test-driven development and continuous integration and are released in small batches as microservices to reduce the scope of change and the cost of change.


RxJS in Action (Manning)
Thursday 30 Nov

This book shows how to create reactive applications with RxJS, with both theory and practical examples that build on each other and help you begin thinking in a reactive manner. The foreword is by Ben Lesh, Project lead, RxJS 5. Using practical examples, Paul Daniels and Luis Atencio show how the tools can be used to build pipelines to move data through without worrying about the underlying boilerplate. Having covered the core concepts they move on to error handling, unit testing, and interacting with frameworks like React and Redux.



Android Programming In Java: Starting with an App 3rd Ed (I/O Press)
Wednesday 29 Nov

This book not only shows you how common tasks are done in Android Studio, but also explains why they are done in a particular way. Mike James also shows how having done something once you can generalize the approach to components you haven’t previously encountered. Revised and updated for Android Studio 3, it covers the use of lambdas and new features of the ConstraintLayout.


The Rails 5 Way 4th Ed (Addison Wesley)
Monday 27 Nov

This reference guide is aimed at professional developers using modern Ruby on Rails. Author Obie Fernandez illuminates the entire Rails 5 API, its idioms, design approaches, and libraries. He presents new and updated content on Action Cable, RSpec 3.4, Turbolinks 5.0, the Attributes API, and many other enhancements, both major and subtle. The book uses code examples to illustrate Ruby on Rails, to show why it is designed as it is, and how to make it do exactly what you want.


Programming with MicroPython (O'Reilly)
Thursday 23 Nov

This practical guide to MicroPython delivers the knowledge you need to roll up your sleeves and create exceptional embedded projects with this lean and efficient programming language that is an implementation of Python 3 for microcontrollers and embedded systems. Nicholas Tollervey takes you on a journey from first steps to advanced projects.The book is ideal for Python developers, introducing the types of devices that run MicroPython, and examining how the language uses and interacts with hardware to process input, connect to the outside world, communicate wirelessly, make sounds and music, and drive robotics projects.


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