December Week 3
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 23 December 2017

For many, today is the start of a holiday break and we wish you "Happy Holidays". This week's news includes both Google and Microsoft closures, an IDE for Go from JetBrains, and a massive robot. Book-wise, we have added to Programmer's Bookshelf with recommended JavaScript titles at advanced level. From our history section we look back at the UK Micros of the 1980s. 

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December 14 - 20, 2017


Book Watch

Another title in the I Programmer Library written by Mike James is the latest addition to our archive of newly published computer books:

 Android Programming in Kotlin: Starting With An App (I/O Press)

 Cloud Native Infrastructure (O'Reilly)

 Learn Java the Easy Way (No Starch Press)

Book Reviews

  • Parsing with Perl 6 Regexes and Grammars


    Nikos Vaggalis gives an full 5-star rating and his review does a lot more than outline the contents of the book and reveals his enthusiasm for both regular expressions and Perl 6 which he describes as: a magnificent language whose depth is only starting to emerge.

  • Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age

    Sue Gee awards this book 4.5 out of 5 and the reason for any reservation is that from the title you might expect to read more about Grace Hopper herself. In fact it cover many other pioneers of hardware and software and about the machines and technologies they pioneered, as suggested by the subtitle. Highly recommended to anyone interested in history of computing/




JavaScript Ecosytem Under Scrutiny   Wednesday 20 December

The one-line verdict from a survey into the State of JavaScript 2017 is that the JavaScript world is richer and messier than ever.  A wealth of detail is available from the results, which are presented as interactive charts plus Random Comments, and here are some highlights. 

Microsoft Kills Off HomeGroup   Wednesday 20 December

The holiday season is recognized as a good time to announce that popular APIs and features have been dropped. I don't think that Microsoft's dropping of the HomeGroup feature in Windows 10 was deliberately timed, but it does add to the list of announcements. 

Hadoop 3 Adds HDFS Erasure Coding   Wednesday 20 December

There's a new release of Hadoop with improvements including support for HDFS Erasure coding, a preview of v2 of the YARN Timeline Service, and improvements to YARN/HDFS federation. 

WiFi Sensors With No Electronics   Tuesday 19 December

article thumbnailThis is a clever idea that solves the real problem of the IoT - creating sensors that can work without being hardwired to anything. It is difficult to know how practical this approach is but it deserves und  erstanding because it not only eliminates the need for a battery but for any electronics at all. 

GoLand Adds Go To IntelliJ   Tuesday 19 December

JetBrains has released a Go IDE built on top of the IntelliJ Platform, and changed its name from Gogland to GoLand. The new IDE adds coding assistance and integration for Go on IntelliJ in a similar way to PyCharm for Python or IntelliJIDEA for Java. 

Google's Project Tango Shut By Tweet   Monday 18 December

article thumbnailProject Tango, Google's first attempt to provide an augmented-reality experience. is being deprecated according to an announcement on its Twitter feed. 

HTML 5.2 Gets W3C Backing   Monday 18 December

The latest version of HTML, version 5.2, is now a W3C Recommendation. This makes the existing HTML 5.1 recommendation obsolete, with HTML 5.2 now the official web standard, with support for JavaScript modules and better handling of online commerce. 

The Robot With A Human For A Head   Sunday 17 December

I have to admit that I just want more people to see this video. There isn't too much to add to it. This robot isn't particularly advanced but it is an interesting and impressive configuration.


Programmer Gifts   Saturday 16 December

Programmers aren't difficult to please, you just have to give them a few bits. But seriously, what do you want this holiday season? We have been having fun looking for things we'd like to get.


Python for Excel Scripting Under Consideration   Friday 15 December

Microsoft is considering providing Python as a scripting language in Excel and is asking for feedback from the developer community. If you'd like this to happen speak up now - and if you have a different idea contribute to the discussion.


dbForge Adds Data Generator   Friday 15 December

There's a new Enterprise Edition of dbForge Studio for MySQL with a data generator and database documenter. The new edition also includes all the features in the Professional edition.


Google Opening AI Center In China   Thursday 14 December

Google has confirmed that it is opening an AI center in Beijing. The new lab, which will be led by Fei-Fei Li and Jia Li, has already recruited some team members and there are more than 20 jobs currently open.


GitHub Enterprise Adds Global Webhooks   Thursday 14 December

There's a new release of GitHub Enterprise with new tools to help developer teams stay focused. Improvements include project board enhancements, global webhooks, and repository archiving.


Professional Programmer

Advanced JavaScript Book Choices   Monday 18 December

article thumbnailJavaScript is the most popular language for open source projects, but it is one that suffers from its very name. It is often misunderstood simply because of the inclusion of "script" in its name. Yes, it can be used as a scripting language - but that's just part of its role. It also doesn't do objects in the way that its namesake Java does, and this makes it even more missunderstood.



UK Micros of the 1980s   Thursday 14 December

article thumbnailSomething special happened in the UK at the start of the 1980s and  it  altered the  face of computing as we know it. You  may  be  of  the opinion that all that ever happened in the past was Apple and IBM, but not so, not in the UK at least - there was an explosion of machines unlike any other before or since.



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Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 December 2017 )