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Programming News and Views

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Google Improves Firebase Analytics and Open Sources SDKs
May 22 | Kay Ewbank
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Google has announced that its Firebase client libraries, for developers creating realtime apps for iOS, Android and the web, are being open sourced, and that Firebase Analytics is getting new features. 



AWS Chatbot Challenge
May 22 | Sue Gee
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A contest to build a chatbot that understands, and responds with, natural language and does something useful, such as booking a hotel or answering queries, is underway on Devpost. The chatbot must run on Amazon Lex and AWS Lamba and be deployed to a messaging platform like Slack, Facebook, or Twilio.



Button Feedback With An Electric Arc
May 21 | Mike James
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Yes, its another odd ball idea from the ACM CHI Human-Computer Interactions conference. Have you ever wished that your keyboard could be more responsive? Well careful what you wish for. Your next keyboard could come with 10K Volts of feedback!



Virtual Lorenz Machine Honors Bill Tutte
May 20 | Harry Fairhead
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A Virtual Lorenz SZ42 machine, the encryption device used by the Wehrmacht High Command in World War II, has been put online for anyone to use as part of the centenary celebrations honoring Bill Tutte, the codebreaker who cracked its code.



May Week 3
May 20 | Editor
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If you want to get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer, I Programmer has book reviews, articles and news written by programmers, for programmers. Each week our digest gives a handy summary of what's new. 



Google Assistant Prepares For Dominance
May 19 | Sue Gee
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So far Google seems to have been oddly lagging in the race to incorporate AI into interfaces. But news from Google I/O suggests that it could leapfrog the competition - and all because of its superior search.



Top 10 From Around the Web: Web Design Resources
May 19 | David Conrad
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The I-Programmer team reports a lot of news and originates loads of helpful articles, but there's far more out there than we can possibly cover. So we look out for interesting external blog posts. Here's some on the topic of web design. 



CockroachDB Production Ready
May 19 | Kay Ewbank
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CockroachDB 1.0 has been released as the first open source, cloud-native SQL database. The announcement included details of $27 million new funds invested in the company behind CockroachDB.



Kotlin - New Language For Android
May 18 | Mike James
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This is not one you could have guessed and even with perfect hindsight it doesn't seem obvious. The latest Android Studio 3.0, now in the Canary channel, supports Kotlin, the JVM language that JetBrains invented in 2011. What does this mean for Android?



AWS and Ionic Team Up In Starter Project
May 18 | Nikos Vaggalis
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Amazon is quick in recognizing that just offering support for a number of popular programing languages is not enough to lure hoards of developers to the platform. That's why we are seeing a move towards wrapping its AWS services with greater user-friendliness.



Azure Data Lake Tools For Visual Studio Released
May 18 | Kay Ewbank
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Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio is now generally available. The toolkit gives you a code editor for developing big data queries, including U-SQL scripts, from within Visual Studio. 



Three Tips for the Linux Shell Addict
May 17 | Nikos Vaggalis
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This time around we have three great tips for the Linux shell addict, three sites that will increase your productivity and save valuable time in your daily interactions with the shell.



Bitcoin Is Not The Only Cryptocurrency
May 17 | Mike James
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The rise of the cryptocurrency is a phenomenon worth study. It came out of nowhere and the fear is that it might well go back to nowhere, leaving lots of people with a huge loss. Can physics help to explain the dynamics?



Microsoft Expands Cognitive Services APIs
May 17 | Sue Gee
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At last week's BUILD 2017 Microsoft announced more intelligent APIs and launched its Cognitive Services Labs, which will enable developers to experiment with AI services that are still in early development. One of these, Project Prague for gesture control and interaction, is already in private preview. What is more, AI is becoming truly useful and usable.



Cosmos DB Strengthens Microsoft's Azure Database
May 16 | Kay Ewbank
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Microsoft is improving the database features of Azure, with a number of features shown off at Build 2017, Microsoft's annual developer conference. 



Make With Ada Embedded Software Contest
May 16 | Sue Gee
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The second annual Make With Ada contest has just opened for submissions that design and implement an embedded software project where Ada and/or SPARK are the principal language technologies. To discover what's required take a look at last year's prize winning entries.


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Book Review


Joe Celko’s SQL for Smarties Advanced SQL Programming 5th Ed
Friday 19 May

Author: Joe Celko
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Pages: 854
ISBN: 9780128007617
Print: 0128007613
Kindle: B00R17NZZC
Aimed at: Advanced SQL developers or computer science students
Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank


This is a must-read book for any SQL programmer, covering advanced topics in an understandable way.


 

Featured Articles


Perlito - 4 Years On
Nikos Vaggalis
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Perlito, the open source compiler collection that implements a Perl5 and a Perl6 compiler has just launched a brand new Java backend. It seemed a good time to catch up with the project by talking to its lead contributor, Flavio Glock.



Parentheses Are Trees
Mike James
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Parentheses are at the heart of programming. Understand parentheses and you can rule the earth. No, seriously! Parentheses, trees and stacks are all interconnected in a very deep and fundamental way.



Asynchronous Code In JavaScript
Ian Elliot
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Events are central to the programming in JavaScript and most programmers master their use early on. Asynchronous programming is just another aspect of an event driven environment, but this is much more difficult to master. Let's find out what the relationship is and why it is so difficult. 



Principles Of MP3
Harry Fairhead
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MP3 is just a file format for audio files but judging by the revolution in the way music is listened to since it was introduced you might think it was much more and in a sense it is.



Scapegoating Encryption
Nikos Vaggalis
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Blaming everything on encryption is a recurring event. Whenever something bad happens that the intelligence services have no control over, it's because the encryption is at fault.


 

 

Unhandled Exception!
Code Quality 3


Code Quality 3

Click for larger version

This is having a bad effect on my code. I actually want Ponytail or someone with the same linguistic ability to describe my code in this beautiful stream of consciousness flow of adjectives and similes. I know I should desire the converse, but something in me makes me want to be bad.
Make sure you have read Code Quality and Code Quality 2

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

Read more...
 

Book Watch

Follow Book Watch on Twitter


Learning Swift 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Monday 22 May

This book covers Swift 3, the latest version of Apple's programming language. Authors Paris Buttfield-Addison, Jon Manning and Tim Nugent show how to code with Swift 3 by developing three complete, tightly linked versions of the Notes application for the OS X, iOS, and watchOS platforms. In the process, you'll learn Swift's fundamentals, including 

<ASIN:1491967064>



Business Software Development (CreateSpace)
Thursday 18 May

This book is intended to advise everyone in the development of software for businesses, with a mix of principles and practices based on traditional wisdom and years of experience on the part of the author, Anthony Penn. Although aimed at commercial businesses working on typically small to medium sized projects, either for internal or external client use, many of the principles apply to software development in general.

<ASIN:1514815834>



Reactive Extensions in .NET (Manning)
Tuesday 16 May

This is a step-by-step guide with examples in C# that shows developers how to build event-driven applications using the Rx library. Tamir Dresher first provides an overview of the design and architecture of Rx-based reactive applications before looking at the rich query capabilities that Rx provides and the Rx concurrency model that allows developers to control asynchronicity of code and processing of event handlers.

<ASIN:1617293067>



iOS and macOS Performance Tuning (Addison-Wesley)
Monday 15 May

Focusing on performance optimization for macOS and iOS, Marcel Weiher drills down to the code level to help you systematically optimize CPU, memory, I/O, graphics, and program responsiveness in any Objective-C, Cocoa, or CocoaTouch program. Drawing on 25 years of experience optimizing Apple device software, he identifies concrete performance problems that can be discovered empirically via measurement.  

<ASIN: 0321842847>



Electronics Cookbook (O'Reilly)
Friday 12 May

If you’re among the many hobbyists and designers who came to electronics through Arduino and Raspberry Pi, this cookbook by Simon Monk will help you learn and apply the basics of electrical engineering without the need for an EE degree. Through a series of practical recipes, you’ll learn how to solve specific problems while diving into as much or as little theory as you’re comfortable with.

<ASIN:1491953403>



Jump Start Responsive Web Design, 2nd Ed (Sitepoint)
Wednesday 10 May

Learn responsive techniques to make your designs look magnificent on any device, future-proof them, and reduce development time and budget. Chris Ward helps you deal with the very real problem of not knowing where and how your application will be used with RWD,  Responsive Web Design.

<ASIN:099434709X>



Introduction to Programming in Java, 2nd Ed (Addison-Wesley)
Monday 08 May

This example-driven guide focuses on Java’s most useful features and sets out to bring programming to life for every student in the sciences, engineering, and computer science. Robert Sedgewick and Kevin Wayne provide an accessible, interdisciplinary treatment that emphasizes important and engaging applications, not toy problems.

 

<ASIN:0672337843>



Unreal Engine VR Cookbook (Addison-Wesley)
Friday 05 May

Subtitled "Developing Virtual Reality with UE4" this book is by Mitch McCaffrey well known for his VR Lab YouTube channel. In it he brings together best practices, common interaction paradigms, specific guidance on implementing these paradigms in Unreal Engine, and practical guidance on choosing the right approaches for your project.

<ASIN: 0134649176>

 



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bookwatch@i-programmer.info


 
 
   
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