March Week 2
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 16 March 2019

This digest gives links to all our news coverage, the week's Book Review and additions to Book Watch. We start with the feature articles - an extract from Android Programming in Kotlin: Starting With An App in which Mike James considers State Management, and, from Ian Elliot, the answer to the question What Exactly Is A First Class Function - And Why You Should Care?

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March  7 - 13, 2019  


The Core

Android Programming In Kotlin: State Managment   Monday 11 March

AndroidgearsAndroid apps can be stopped and restarted at any time. Managing an app's state is a big problem unless you master the bundle and more. Here's how to do it in Kotlin, in an extract from my published book  Android Programming in Kotlin: Starting With An App .


What Exactly Is A First Class Function - And Why You Should Care   Thursday 07 March

knowcoverYou may have heard people saying that in some language or another that functions were first class objects, or have come across the term first class function. What does it mean? And why is it so good?


Book Review of the Week

SQL Server Advanced Data Types

Awarding a rating of 4 out of 5, Kay Ewbank  found this to be a useful book which brings together the details of how to use the new data types. Even the fact that they exist may be news to some SQL Server developers.

 Additions to Book Watch   




The JavaScript Standard Library   Wednesday 13 March

webfunOne of the problems with JavaScript is that there is no standard library as there is in other languages. This means that we have to download everything we need and not just the "extras". This is all about to change with a proposal to have browsers include JavaScript modules without downloading them.


OpenJS Foundation - New Merged Foundation For JavaScript   Wednesday 13 March

openjsfoundationsqThe plan to merge the the Node.js Foundation and the JS Foundation has materialized. The new OpenJS Foundation has been formed to serve the JavaScript community and promote collaboration across the JavaScript ecosystem.


World Wide Web's 30th Anniversary   Tuesday 12 March

timbernersleeacmSir Tim Berners-Lee used the occasion of the World Wide Web's 30th anniversary to reflect on how the web has transformed the world and to acknowledge the problems that need to be tackled. 


Apache Daffodil Improves DFDL Compatibility   Tuesday 12 March

daffodilApache Daffodil. an open source implementation of the Data Format Description Language to convert between fixed format data and XML/JSON, has been updated to improve DFDL compatibility. 


The Alexa Prize Third Time Around   Monday 11 March

The application period for the Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 3 opened last week. Amazon's aim in running this competition for teams of university students is to make advances in conversational AI and human computer interaction.  


Apache MXNet Deep Learning Adds Julia API   Monday 11 March

mxnetAn updated version of an Apache Deep Learning library has been released. Improvements in MXNet 1.4.0 include Java bindings for inference and Julia bindings. 


Google Takes On Quantum Computing   Sunday 10 March

googlequantumcompb1It is a year since Google announced Bristlecone, its 72-qubit quantum processor. Since then the Quantum AI team hasn't made any further announcements. However, there is now a series of videos that show that progress is being made


Festo's BionicSoftArm and Hand   Saturday 09 March

festobionicsofthandTwo new videos from Festo showcase its BionicSoftArm and its BionicSoftHand which are being designed for human-robot collaboration.


W3C Declares WebAuthn Official   Friday 08 March

webauthnThe World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance have announced that the Web Authentication specification is now an official web standard.


TensorFlow For Beginners From Coursera   Friday 08 March

aiforeveryoneThe first course in a new Machine Learning Specialization from has just made its debut on the Coursera Platform. An introduction to TensorFlow, the course is a collaboration between Andrew Ng's company,, and Google's TensorFlow team.


Unicode 12 Adds Four New Scripts   Thursday 07 March

unicodeThere's an updated version of the Unicode Standard. Version 12.0 adds 554 characters, four new scripts, and 61 new emoji characters.


Microsoft Finally Delivers 95% Share To Developers   Thursday 07 March

msfeestructureAfter a wait of 10 months Microsoft has finally introduced its promised better terms for apps in the Microsoft Store. But it's not a blanket deal - it excludes games and Xbox purchases.



If you want to delve into I Programmer's coverage of the news over the years, you can access I Programmer Weekly back to January 2012.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 April 2019 )