Programming News and Views

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Progress On JavaScript SIMD
Oct 31 | Ian Elliot
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While most of the hot news in fast computation centers around the GPU, there are untapped possibilities in most CPUs. JavaScript is currently getting a new set of commands that give it hardware-assisted parallel processing. 



New APIs for Office 365
Oct 30 | Kay Ewbank
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At TechEd Europe, Microsoft has announced new APIs in the hope of getting developers to create apps for Office 365.



jQuery Adopts Semantic Versioning
Oct 30 | Ian Elliot
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Semantic versioning is a great idea and the ever-logical jQuery has decided that from now on this is what it is going to do. However, at the next upgrade you might be wondering where your jQuery has gone. 



Google Introduces Signed-In Maps
Oct 30 | Alex Armstrong
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The latest feature in Google's JavaScript API sounds attractive - unless you have problems with Google knowing all your location-related preferences.



Learning To Be A Computer
Oct 29 | Mike James
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We have recently seen how much neural networks can learn, but the latest example is very strange. Google has succeeded in teaching a neural network to be a computer simply by showing it programs and what results they produce.



HTML5 Is A Finished W3C Standard
Oct 29 | Ian Elliot
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If you are a web developer you will probably want to remember where you were on the day (October 28th, 2014) that HTML 5 became a standard. But my best guess is that you will just yawn and get on with the real task of working in an ever-evolving environment. 



Self Paced Haptics MOOC
Oct 29 | Sue Gee
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Introduction to Haptics is an online self-paced course that introduces a topic increasingly important in robotics and engineering. To get the most out of it you need to build your own Hapkit, an interesting project in its own right.



New Docker Engine
Oct 28 | Kay Ewbank
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Docker has released a new version, Docker Engine 1.3, and has signed a partnership with Microsoft to add the open container technology to the next Windows Server and Azure.



MATLAB 2014b - Must Have Tool For Data Scientists
Oct 28 | Alex Armstrong
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The latest release of MATLAB features a new graphics system for better visualization and new functions for processing big data on your desktop that can scale for use with Hadoop. This makes it even more powerful for working with big data.



Firefox OS Comes To Raspberry Pi
Oct 28 | Ian Elliot
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Firefox OS hasn't taken over the world yet despite its promise. Now we have a small effort from Mozilla to make it run on one of the most successful budget devices in the world - the Raspberry Pi.



GNU Emacs 24.4 Released
Oct 27 | Alex Armstrong
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The new version of the cross platform text editor widely used on Linux represents quite a big update and includes new functionality.



EF7 Drops XML Modeling Favors Code First
Oct 27 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft is dropping some ways of modeling data in the next version of Entity Framework (EF) to make the database tool more lightweight.



CheckCell Detects Bugs In Spreadsheets
Oct 27 | Janet Swift
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A free Excel  plug-in that takes a new approach to automatically finding data errors in spreadsheets has been released. Rather than looking for errors in programs and formulas, CheckCell sets out to debug the underlying data.



Microsoft Garage - What?
Oct 26 | Harry Fairhead
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The Garage is a place that Microsofties go to play with their pet projects. Now Microsoft has decided to make this into the stuff of myth and legend and let us get at the fruits of this unpaid labour. What is going on?



Bring Back RoboGames And Inspire Underprivileged Kids
Oct 25 | Lucy Black
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A new series of the show in which weaponized robots wage battle in the arena is planned for 2015 - but only if  $40,000 can be raised on Kickstarter. This isn't just a commercial venture. Instead it aims to reach a new generation of robot enthusiasts.



October Week 3
Oct 25 | Editor
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I Programmer reports news of interest to developers. We cover new releases of languages and tools and a lot more besides. Sometimes we are controversial and we always welcome your comments. This round-up covers October 16-22.


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Book Review of the Day


12 More Essential Skills for Software Architects
Wednesday 29 Oct

Author: David Hendricksen
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2014
Pages: 304
ISBN: 978-0321909473
Print: 032190947X
Kindle: B00MY5KWUC
Aimed at: Software architects
Rating: 4 (for software architects); 2.5 (for programmers)
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank


Is this a book that will appeal to you? It depends on your background.


 

Featured Articles


Geekuni Dancer Web Development Course
Nikos Vaggalis
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Geekuni is a recent start up for rapidly acquiring professional coding skills. Nikos Vagglis leaped at the chance to attend its web development course introducing Dancer 2, a Perl web development framework.



Linq and XML
Mike James
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XML, which is all about tree structured data, and Linq, which is all about querying collections, might not seem to fit together, but they work together just fine.



Getting Started With jQuery - Filters
Ian Elliot
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Mastering the core of jQuery is first a matter of understanding selectors and then DOM manipulation. Filters are often confused with selectors but they are quite different and serve an important purpose.


 

Unhandled Exception!
Good Code

Good Code

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

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Read more...
 

Book Watch

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Becoming a Better Programmer (O'Reilly)
Thursday 30 Oct

If you’re passionate about programming and want to get better at it, Pete Goodliffe presents a collection of useful techniques and approaches to the art and craft of programming that will help boost your career. He presents sound advice that he’s learned in 15 years of professional programming spanning the range of a software developer’s life—dealing with code, learning the trade, and improving performance. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a hobbyist, you’ll find valuable tips 

<ASIN:1491905530>



Multithreading for Visual Effects (A K Peters/CRC Press)
Wednesday 29 Oct

Developers from DreamWorks Animation, Pixar, Side Effects, Intel, and AMD share their successes and failures in the messy real-world application area of production software. They provide practical advice on multithreading techniques and visual effects used in popular visual effects libraries (such as Bullet, OpenVDB, and OpenSubdiv), the visual effects package Houdini, and proprietary animation systems. Useful to developers of high performance software as well as those in the visual effects arena.

<ASIN:1482243563>



Programming Elixir (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
Tuesday 28 Oct

You want to explore functional programming, but are put off by the academic feel (tell me about monads just one more time). You know you need concurrent applications, but also know these are almost impossible to get right. Meet Elixir, a functional, concurrent language built on the Erlang VM. Elixir's pragmatic syntax and built-in support for metaprogramming will make you productive and keep you interested for the long haul. 

<ASIN:1937785580>



App Inventor 2 (O'Reilly)
Monday 27 Oct

Co-authored by App Inventor creator and MIT Professor Hal Abelson and David Wolber of appInventor.org along with Ellen Spertus and Liz Looney, two of the Googlers who helped develop App Inventor, this second edition has been fully updated for App Inventor 2. As before, it is  full of cool apps and tutorials you can build, along with an Inventor's Manual for learning computer science and programming concepts. 

<ASIN:1491906847>



If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript (No Starch Press)
Friday 24 Oct

What if William Shakespeare were asked to generate the Fibonacci series or Jane Austen had to write a factorial program? Angus Croll imagines short JavaScript programs as written by famous wordsmiths. The result is a peculiar and charming combination of prose, poetry, and programming. The best authors are those who obsess about language—and the same goes for JavaScript developers. To master either craft, you must experiment with language to develop your own style, your own idioms, and your own expressions. 

<ASIN:1593275854>



21st Century C 2nd Ed (O'Reilly )
Thursday 23 Oct

Throw out your old ideas of C, and relearn a programming language that’s substantially outgrown its origins. With the subtitle C Tips from the New School Ben Klemens presents up-to-date techniques that are absent from every other C text available. C isn’t just the foundation of modern programming languages, it is a modern language, ideal for writing efficient, state-of-the-art applications. No matter what programming language you currently champion, you’ll agree that C rocks.

<ASIN:1491903899>



Make: Wearable Electronics (Maker Media)
Wednesday 22 Oct

With the subtitle "Design, prototype, and wear your own interactive garments" this book is intended for those with an interest in physical computing who are looking to create interfaces or systems that live on the body.  Kate Hartman introduces you to the tools, materials, and techniques for creating interactive electronic circuits and embedding them in clothing and other things you can wear. Each chapter features experiments to get you comfortable with the technology and then invites you to build upon that knowledge with your own projects.

<ASIN:1449336515>



Introduction to Agile Methods (Addison-Wesley)
Tuesday 21 Oct

Many people with varying levels of work experience are interested in understanding the architecture and nuances of Agile, but it is difficult to know where to start. Here Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan use academic research and their own experiences with numerous Agile implementations to present a clear description of the essential concepts for students and professionals who want to understand Agile and become conversant with Agile values, principles, framework, and processes.

<ASIN:032192956X>



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