July Week 2
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 16 July 2022

Get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer with our weekly digest. It summarizes the week's news together with links to the week's book review and the titles selected for Book Watch Archive. This week's featured articles cover how to add WiFi connectivity to the micro:bit using the low cost ESP8266 and a history article about Steve Jobs and the early years of Apple.

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July 7 - 13, 2022 

Featured Articles  

Micro:bit - Getting On WiFi
Harry Fairhead
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The BBC micro:bit has a radio that works in Bluetooth LE and point-to-point ad-hoc mode, but at the moment it lacks WiFi connectivity. The solution is to use the low cost ESP8266 to make the connection via the micro:bit's serial port. This is an advanced chapter from Harry Fairhead's book, Micro:bit IoT in C.

Steve Jobs and the Early Apple Years
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Steve Jobs - the name needs no further explanation. Many think he was, and remains, the most important figure in technology's history and today, over a decade after his untimely death, he has  been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Our account is of the early years, before the era of the iPhone for which Jobs himself became an icon.


Programming News and Views   

Rust GCC Is Official
13 Jul | Harry Fairhead
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Rust, the language we all like to consider using, is about to be even more difficult to avoid. The GCC Steering Committee has just voted to approve the contribution of the Rust Frontend to the GCC.

No Language Left Behind - Meta's Progress Toward Universal Translation
13 Jul | Sue Gee
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Meta has made impressive progress with its No Language Left Behind project. It has already built a single model that can translate between 200 languages and has now open sourced the  AI translation tools that made this breakthrough. 

Snowflake Improves Developer Support
12 Jul | Kay Ewbank
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Snowflake has improved its support for developers with greater accessibility for Python alongside other improvements including new hybrid tables.

wxWidgets 3.2 Released
12 Jul | Kay Ewbank
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There's a new release of wxWidgets, the open source cross-platform C++ framework for writing advanced GUI applications using native controls. The new release comes almost nine years after the beginning of the last wxWidgets stable release series.

Scratch Can Even Do Linux Kernel
11 Jul | Nikos Vaggalis

Is writing a Kernel module in Scratch, the block-based programming language used primarily by kids, possible? Absurd it may be, but yes, it is absolutely possible!

Zoom Expands Developer Platform
11 Jul | Kay Ewbank
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Zoom has announced an expansion of its developer platform with a new SDK. The Zoom Apps SDK is described as providing developers with the resources and support infrastructure needed to build Zoom Apps within the Zoom client. 

Relive The Good Old Days With Macintosh Pi
10 Jul | Harry Fairhead
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Feeling nostalgic for computing in the pre-millennium era? For so many of us, it was the computer games of the 1980s and 90s that provided the initial impetus for a career in programming. Here's a Raspberry Pi project that provides a retro Mac OS experience to reawaken memories of bygone times.

JetBrains Announces Increased Subscription Pricing
08 Jul | Kay Ewbank
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JetBrains has announced increased subscription pricing for its IDEs, .NET Tools, dotUltimate and the All Products Pack. The new subscription prices come into effect on October 1, 2022 and meanwhile there is a way to postpone paying extra.

Muriel Médard Recognized For Network Coding Algorithms
08 Jul | Sue Gee
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The 2022 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award, went to Muriel Médard for contributions to the theory and practice of network coding, optical networks, and wireless communications, including recent work on a universal decoder expected to increase the efficiency of AR devices and 5G.

Vim 9 Updates Script Language
07 Jul | Ian Elliot
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There's a major new release of Vim, the popular text editor, with a major new version of the Vim script language, Vim9 script, along with a wide range of more minor improvements.

DataBricks Open Sources All Of Delta Lake
07 Jul | Kay Ewbank
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Databricks has now made all of Delta Lake open source, including all the APIs. The storage layer of the product was made open source in 2019. Delta Lake can be used to build data lakehouses, which enable data warehousing and machine learning directly on the data lake.



Books of the Week

If you want to purchase, or to know more about, any of the titles listed below from Amazon, click on the book jackets at the top of the right sidebar. If you do make Amazon purchases after this, we may earn a few cents through the Amazon Associates program which is a small source of revenue that helps us to continue posting.

Full Review 


Verdict: If you want a book that presents a set of examples of how to create plots using Python combined with a range of programming topics in no particular order then you might like this book. If you are scientist and want to get ahead in your field I think I would recommend spending more time learning the details and ideas not just of Python but of programming - it's your most powerful tool and you need to treat it as a first class skill, not just an afterthought.

Added to Book Watch 

More recently published books can be found in Book Watch Archive.

From the I Programmer Library

Latest publications: 



This month sees the publication of the revised second edition of Programmer's Python: Everything Is An Object in which Mike James reveals how Python has a unique and unifying approach with regards to class and objects. This is the first of a set of titles at intermediate level for the programmer who wants to understand what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages, hence the strap line "Something Completely Different - which is, of course, a reference to the Monty Python TV and film brand that inspired Guido Van Rossum to name his new language. The subject is roughly speaking everything to do with the way Python implements objects. That is, in order of sophistication, metaclass; class; object; attribute; and all of the other facilities such as functions, methods and the many “magic methods” that Python uses to make it all work. 



This is the second of that Something Completely Different titles and explores the way that data is treated in a distinctly Pythonic way. What we have in Python are data objects that are very usable and very extensible. From the unlimited precision integers, referred to as bignums, through the choice of a list to play the role of the array, to the availability of the dictionary as a built-in data type, Python behaves differently to other languages and this book is what you need to help you make the most of these special features. There are also complete chapters on Boolean logic, dates and times, regular expressions and bit manipulation.

MIke James is now working on the third book in the series, Programmer's Python: Async which not only covers the latest asyncio in depth, but has all you need to know about the many approaches to async that Python provides - threads, processes,futures,tasks, schedulers. This is the book you need to understand all the options, trade-offs and gotchas. 

These books aren’t for the complete beginner and some familiarity with both object-oriented programming and Python is assumed, with the first chapter providing a quick recap. They also share an Appendix on using Visual Studio Code from Python.



Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way that the rest of the world doesn't. In this book Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill involves and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike looks at how we convert a dynamic process into a static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you're a programmer, his intent is to give you a clearer understanding of what you do so you value it even more.  

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 July 2022 )