Programming News and Views
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The Ever Expanding GitHub Octoverse
18 Oct | Janet Swift
GitHub has published its annual report on the State of the Octoverse and its growth has been phenomenal. The headline statistics are that, having welcomed more than 8 million new users since last year, GitHub now has more than 31 million developers and more than 2.1 million organizations.
RAPIDS GPU Data Analysis Platform Launched
18 Oct | Kay Ewbank
A collection of software libraries for machine learning and data analysis has been released by NVidia. The GPU-based system, RAPIDS, consists of a suite of open-source software libraries for data science and analytics pipelines on GPU.
Google To Charge For Its Android Apps In The EU
17 Oct | Mike James
The European Commission's strong approach to controlling all things computing might be a good thing, but it is certainly creating a two-tier environment. Google is now going to charge for its Android Apps and services but only in the European Economic Area.
GitHub Launches Actions
17 Oct | Kay Ewbank
GitHub has launched a new tool called GitHub Actions that you can use to build, share and execute code directly on the site. It is designed to cut down on the steps necessary to execute code.
Sourcegraph Powers Up Your Code Repository
17 Oct | Nikos Vaggalis
Sourcegraph is a code navigation engine that non-destructively rearranges your repository's structure to organize it, as well as powering it up with code intelligence and advanced search capabilities.
GitHub Extends Learning Lab
16 Oct | Alex Denham
At its annual GitHub Universe conference, GitHub is releasing three new Learning Lab courses, covering secure development workflows with GitHub, reviewing a pull request, and getting started with GitHub.
Mapbox Visual for Microsoft Power BI Upgrades Visualizations
16 Oct | Kay Ewbank
The Mapbox plugin for Power BI has been upgraded with support for 3D extrusions on fill maps and better handling for shape filters.
Paul Allen, Co-Founder of Microsoft, Dies
16 Oct | Sue Gee
Paul Allen, who with Bill Gates brought BASIC to the world and founded Microsoft, has died at the age of 65.
PostgreSQL 11 RC Available
15 Oct | Kay Ewbank
PostgreSQL 11 is here - well, it will be within days, and the release candidate is available for download now.
Hacktoberfest 2018 - Celebrate Open Source!
15 Oct | Nikos Vaggalis
Hacktoberfest is an annual event sponsored by DigitalOcean in partnership with GitHub and Twilio and while "Hacktoberfest" might sound or give the impression of something doable only by very experienced hacker programmers, in essence, it's just a wrapper around having to submit 5 Pull Requests to any Github hosted repository and earn some swag in return.
AI Makes Deep Fake News
14 Oct | Mike James
Lots of people worry about AI and the effect it is going to have on the economy and wider issues of society. Blaise Agüera y Arcas of Google AI has made a short film explaining how AI might just cause a transition from a fact-based world to something much less certain. You can no longer believe your eyes.
13 Oct | Harry Fairhead
I admit that this is about the video. To see Boston Dynamic's Atlas robot jumping around like it means it, is fascinating. How far have we come so quickly - but have we? Is this the robot you are looking for?
October Week 2
13 Oct | Editor
Catch up with everything that appeared on I Programmer last week. Our digest gives links to news coverage together with the week's book reviews and additions to Book Watch. The list finishes with two full length articles - an in-depth look at Bias and Chains in Android Studio's ConstraintLayout and an examination of the Storage Mapping Function.
CodeLobster Now Multi-Platform
12 Oct | Kay Ewbank
Microsoft Joins Open Invention Network
12 Oct | Sue Gee
In a move that consolidates its new relationship with open source and with Linux, Microsoft has announced that it is joining OIN - the Open Invention Network - a community dedicated to protecting Linux and other open source software programs from patent risk.
RStudio Reticulated Python
11 Oct | Kay Ewbank
The latest version of RStudio has improved support with a number of programming languages and platforms, including SQL, D3, Python, Stan, and C++. The Python support comes via a reticulate package that provides an interface to Python.
Infer.NET Machine Learning Framework Now Open Source
11 Oct | Alex Denham
Microsoft has made another of its products open source; this time its the Infer.NET machine learning network. Infer.NET is a framework for running Bayesian inference in graphical models that can also be used for probabilistic programming.
Neural Networks Learn to Produce Random Numbers
10 Oct | Janet Swift
It almost sounds silly - train a neural network to generate random numbers - but it has more practical uses than you might imagine.
Big Data: A Very Short Introduction
Tuesday 16 Oct
Author: Dawn E. Holmes
This book aims to introduce you to Big Data, how it’s stored and analysed, together with its social impact, how does it fare?
Bill Gates - Before He Was Famous
Microsoft as it is today is mostly the invention of one man - Bill Gates. But right at the start Paul Allen, who has recently passed away, made a significant contribution. It probably wouldn't have come about without the pair of them and it is timely to reconsider those early days.
Programmer's Python - Multiple Inheritance
Python supports multiple inheritance which can be scary, but the trick is to make it as much like single inheritance as possible and this is what Python does. This extract is from my new book with the subtitle "Something Completely Different".
What's In A DOS
Now that Microsoft has open sourced MS-DOS it's a good time to look at filing systems, blocks and the FAT and how they are used. Let's explore the basics of a DOS - Disk Operating System.
Android Programming In Kotlin: Bias & Chains
Android Studio is now very clear about what layout component you should use - only the ConstraintLayout. But what does it give you that wasn't in the other layouts? This extract about bias constraints and chains is taken from the chapter The ConstraintLayout in a new book aimed at Android programmers wanting to use Kotlin.
The Lost Art Of The Storage Mapping Function
You may not have heard of SMFs, Storage Mapping Functions, but you are likely to have used them. They tend to be overlooked because there are more exciting methods of implementing storage, such as hashing schemes, but really it all started right here with an SMF and there is a sense in which all exciting stuff is just SMFs reinvented.
Click for larger image
And so it goes. A security measure is put in place. Programmers worked long hours to implement it and it's super clever. It locks down the system in a way that makes something impossible and so programmers work long hours to find a super clever way to do the thing it stops you doing. Eventually the new approach becomes commonplace and the security programmers look at it again and ...
More cartoon fun at xkcd a webcomic of romance,sarcasm, math, and language
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Book Watch is I Programmer's listing of new books and is compiled using publishers' publicity material. It is not to be read as a review where we provide an independent assessment. Some but by no means all of the books in Book Watch are eventually reviewed.
Beginning Data Science with Python and Jupyter (Packt)
Thursday 18 Oct
This step-by-step guide is aimed at beginners who know a little Python and are looking for a quick, fast-paced introduction. Author Alex Galea explores machine learning models with real datasets. The book ends by showing how easy it can be to scrape and gather data from the open web.
Core Java, Volume II - Advanced Features, 11th Ed (Prentice Hall)
Wednesday 17 Oct
This is written as a no-nonsense tutorial and reference for experienced programmers who want to write robust Java code for real-world applications, and this eleventh edition has been updated to reflect Java SE 9. Author Cay S. Horstmann covers advanced user-interface programming and the enterprise features of the Java SE 9 platform. The book covers the most important language and library features and shows how to build real-world applications with thoroughly tested examples.
Computer Graphics Programming in OpenGL with C++ (Mercury)
Monday 15 Oct
This book provides step-by-step instruction on modern 3D graphics shader programming in C++ and OpenGL. Author V. Scott Gordon has written it for computer science undergraduate graphics programming courses and professionals who are interested in mastering 3D graphics skills. He places heavy emphasis on student learning, making the complex topic of shader programming as accessible as possible.
Kotlin Programming (Big Nerd Ranch)
Thursday 11 Oct
Based on the Big Nerd Ranch’s Kotlin Essentials course, this guide shows you how to work effectively with the Kotlin programming language through hands-on examples and clear explanations of key Kotlin concepts and foundational APIs. Written for Kotlin 1.2, in this book authors Josh Skeen and David Greenhalgh also introduce JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA development environment. Whether you are an experienced Android developer looking for modern features beyond what Java offers, or a new developer ready to learn your first programming language, the authors will guide you from first principles to advanced usage of Kotlin.
Previous Book Watch.