Programming News and Views
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Microsoft Solitaire Is 30 Years Old
24 May | Kay Ewbank
Microsoft Solitaire has turned 30, and Microsoft is marking the occasion with a world-record breaking attempt for the most games played in a single day. Microsoft estimates that Solitaire is still being played by 35 million people a month, with 100 million games played daily.
May Week 3
23 May | Editor
This Is The Year Of Linux On The Desktop - Via Windows
22 May | Harry Fairhead
Windows and Linux are natural enemies, but they have been growing closer together recently. Build 2020 sees them join at the GUI. Could this be the year of the Linux desktop at long last? If it is, who would have predicted that it would be all because of Microsoft.
Java At 25
22 May | Sue Gee
Java celebrates its 25th birthday on May 23rd 2020. It is a class-based, object-oriented, strongly-typed language known for its "write once run anywhere" philosophy. It is also regarded as the most widely used "professional programming" language with nine million Java developers worldwide in 2017, according to an estimate from Oracle.
Machine Learning Python Plugins For GIMP
21 May | Nikos Vaggalis
The open-source raster graphics editor, GIMP, gets a big creative boost with brand new Machine Learning extensions dubbed GIMP-ML.
Microsoft Releases New Windows Package Manager
21 May | Kay Ewbank
Microsoft has unexpectedly announced a new package manager for Windows. The announcement was made at Build 2020, Microsoft's conference for developers that's being held virtually this year.
Project Reunion To Fix The Windows Divide That Never Should Have Been
20 May | Mike James
BUILD is underway and it's not so much developers, developers developers as it used to be, but it is still of interest. Perhaps the most important announcement is project Reunion, an initiative that could repair the long-term damage to the Windows development environment and community.
Pluralsight Insights Into Upskilling
20 May | Sue Gee
A survey from Pluralsight into workplace skill development has revealed key disparities between the upskilling needs of employees and the approaches taken by employers.
Flutter 1.17 Released
19 May | Alex Armstrong
Flutter 1.17 includes Metal support for faster iOS performance, new Material components, new Network tracking tooling and is full of fixes - with an unprecedented 6,339 issues closed since the previous stable release.
Swift Adds Windows Support
19 May | Kay Ewbank
Swift 5.3 is nearing completion, and has been updated with the extension of official platform support to include Windows, along with additional Linux distributions.
Mozilla Has Money and Mentoring for Startups
18 May | Lucy Black
Mozilla is calling for applications for three summer programs in its Mozilla Builders Incubator. It has $75,000 each for very early stage startups and $16,000 in funding for projects in its MVP Labs. The third opportunity, its Open Lab, is invite-only among the applicants to the other two and will award ten prizes of $10,000 to the teams that build the most impressive products.
GitHub Desktop 2.5 Adds Tags
18 May | Kay Ewbank
There's a new release of GitHub Desktop with support for tags, meaning developers can create, push, and view tags directly from GitHub Desktop. GitHub Desktop gives developers a way to work with workflows in a desktop environment.
SIGGRAPH 2020 - The Trailer
17 May | David Conrad
This year's SIGGRAPH is going to be very different for obvious reasons, but 2020 is still going to be a year with lots of new graphics ideas. The technical papers preview trailer is just out and it's unmissable.
May Week 2
16 May | Editor
If you've not visited the I Programmer webzine (web-based magazine) before, this Weekly Digest gives you a taster. It has links to the latest feature articles and to our wide ranging news with its mix of analysis and comment. It also lists the week's addition to Book Watch Archive and rounds out with the verdict from our Book Review of the Week.
Open Source ActiveState Platform EAP For Python Projects
15 May | Alex Armstrong
Open source Python projects are invited to join the early access program for the ActiveState Platform. The early access program is a prelude to offering free access to the Platform for all qualified open source projects.
CockroachDB 20.1 Improves App Development
15 May | Kay Ewbank
There's a new release of CockroachDB with improvements for developing apps, along with performance and security enhancements. CockroachDB is a distributed SQL database that is cloud native and offers horizontal scalability with no single points of failure.
Cynthia Dwork Awarded 2020 Knuth Prize
14 May | Sue Gee
The recipient of this year's Knuth Prize is Cynthia Dwork, a computer scientist widely known for the introduction and development of differential privacy, and for her work on non-malleability, lattice-based encryption, concurrent composition, and proofs of work.
Linux Foundation Hosts Project OWL
14 May | Kay Ewbank
The Linux Foundation has announced that it will host Project OWL’s IoT device firmware effort and is inviting developers worldwide to build mesh network nodes for global emergency communications networks.
Using Asyncio in Python
Tuesday 19 May
Author: Caleb Hattingh
The Story Of Java - A Language Of The 90s
Java is 25 years old on May 23, 2020 and now is as good a time as any to learn about how this most popular language came about.
The Programmer's Guide to Chaos
You might well think that “chaos” isn’t something that really should be mentioned in the same breath as “computer”, but you’d be wrong. Here's an overview of a fascinating and disturbing topic and one that every programmer should know something about.
Applying C - Fixed Point Arithmetic
If you are working on an IoT project you cannot avoid calculations. Fixed point arithmetic is still occasionally useful, but it hardly figures in most accounts of how to do calculations. This extract is from my book on using C in an IoT context.
WPF .NET Core - Creating Objects With XAML
If you've never encountered WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) you are missing a versatile tool. This article is part of a series devoted to it. XAML can be confusing - especially if you think it is a markup language like HTML. It isn't. XAML is a general purpose object instantiation language. To find out what this means read on.
Follow Book Watch on Twitter
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.
How to Grow a Robot: Developing Human-Friendly, Social AI ( MIT Press)
Monday 25 May
In this book, author Mark Lee puts forward the idea that currently most robots aren't very friendly. They vacuum the rug, mow the lawn, dispose of bombs, but they aren't good conversationalists. So how can robots can be more human-like, friendly, and engaging. Lee describes his own experiments with the iCub humanoid robot and its development from newborn helplessness to ability levels equal to a nine-month-old, explaining how the iCub learns from its own experiences.
The Big Activity Book for Digital Detox (TarcherPerigee)
Friday 22 May
This book takes a humorous look at the benefits of disconnecting from the internet and reconnecting with the world around you. Part journal, part coloring book, part advice on how to take a break, in the book authors Jordan Reid and Erin Williams offer an outlet for anyone who wants to laugh through the ridiculousness of the digital age. The authors say that when you're longing for freedom from your devices, dig out a pen and turn to the pages of this timely, entertaining book and don't post a picture anywhere #retro
High Performance Python 2nd Ed (O'Reilly)
Wednesday 20 May
Subtitled "Practical Performant Programming for Humans", and updated for Python 3, this book by Micha Gorelick and Ian Ozsvald is a newly expanded edition showing how to locate performance bottlenecks and speed up code in high-data-volume programs. By exploring the fundamental theory behind design choices, High Performance Python aims to help developers gain a deeper understanding of Python’s implementation. The book contains concrete solutions to many issues, along with war stories from companies that use high-performance Python for social media analytics, and descriptions of machine learning being used in production.
Cloud Debugging and Profiling in Microsoft Azure (Apress)
Monday 18 May
This book is a collection of best practices and tips for assessing the health of an Azure solution. Authors Jeffrey Chilberto, Sjoukje Zaal, Gaurav Aroraa and Ed Price provide detailed techniques and instructions to quickly diagnose aspects of your Azure cloud solutions. The book explains the major types of blades (FaaS, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), how different views can be created for different scenarios, and the Favorites section, Cost Management & Billing blade, support, and Cloud Shell.<ASIN:1484254368>
Guide to Competitive Programming, 2nd Ed (Springer)
Friday 15 May
Subtitled "Learning and Improving Algorithms Through Contests", this book looks at how competitive programming is a proven method of implementing and testing algorithms, as well as developing computational thinking and improving programming and debugging skills. Author Dr. Antti Laaksonen introduces dynamic programming and other fundamental algorithm design techniques, and investigates a wide selection of graph algorithms, as well as covering more advanced topics, such as maximum flows, Nim theory, and suffix structures. This new edition features new material on advanced topics, such as calculating Fourier transforms, finding minimum cost flows in graphs, and using automata in string problems.
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