August Week 4
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 29 August 2020

Get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer! Our weekly digest summarizes the articles, book reviews and news written each day by programmers, for programmers. This week we have a tutorial on how to use the Linux file descriptor in C and an exploration of the merge sort, which is arguably growing in importance with the rise of big data, parallel methods and online processing.

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August 20 - 26, 2020 

Featured Articles

Applying C - File Descriptors
Harry Fairhead
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There is the C way of working with files and there is the Linux way - sometimes you just need to use the Linux file descriptor. This extract is from my  book on using C in an IoT context.

Magic of Merging
Mike James
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The merge sort is an under-appreciated algorithm - yet it is neat, clever and it still has its uses. With the rise of big data, parallel methods and online processing, you can even argue that it is growing in importance. Let's take a look at how it works and when you should use it. 



News and Comment

Epic Keeps Developer Licence - For Now
26 Aug | Mike James
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The dispute between Epic and Apple is going to run and run and part of the problem is minimizing the damage while the dispute remains unresolved. A judge has issued a temporary restraining order against Apple to protect Unreal Engine and its users and Epic is directing mobile-using Fortnite afficianados who want to participate in the new Season to do so on Android.

Working At Home: Does It Impact Developer Productivity?
26 Aug | Sue Gee
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The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that developers who normally work in an office environment had to switch to working from home. What can be learned from the "natural experiment" forced on us by unanticipated events? What are seen as the benefits and challenges of working from home and how do they impact productivity?

Istio 1.7 Expands Capabilities for the Hybrid Cloud
25 Aug | Alex Armstrong
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New feature improvements in Istio 1.7, which include control plane upgrades and virtual machine integration, make Istio easier to operate and expands its capabilities for hybrid cloud environments. First, for those not familiar with it, what is Istio and how can it help you?

Emacs 27.1 Adds Native JSON Parsing
25 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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Emacs has been updated with native support for JSON parsing, built-in support for arbitrary-size integers, and text shaping with HarfBuzz.

Mozilla Layoffs - The Fallout
24 Aug | Sue Gee
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Two weeks ago Mozilla announced 250 layoffs as part of a new strategy to ensure its financial stability. Gradually news is filtering out about the effects of the layouts on key projects.

Apache Druid Adds Ranger Integration
24 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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Apache Druid has been updated with better performance, easier and more flexible data ingestion, and Apache Ranger authorization integration.

Now We Can All Build A SpotMicro
23 Aug | Harry Fairhead
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Spot, Boston Dynamics' dog robot, ok quadruped, is impressive, but expensive. It seems the maker community can't wait for the price to fall. Now we can all build our own SpotMicro.

TypeScript 4 Released
21 Aug | Ian Elliot
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TypeScript 4.0 has been released with improvements to the build and editing processes, along with support for variadic tuple types. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that adds optional static types which can be checked by the TypeScript compiler to catch common errors in your programs.

Visual Studio Code Improves Workbench
21 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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Visual Studio Code has been updated with improvements to accessibility and to the Workbench tool. Debugging and source code control have also been improved.

Take Advantage of Udacity's 50% Discount
20 Aug | Sue Gee
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For a limited period Udacity is offering a 50% discount when you enroll in a Nanodegree - and this represents a big saving. Looking around for a new courses to cover, we lighted on Robotics Software Engineer.

Epic Games Takes On Apple - Unintended Consequences
20 Aug | Lucy Black
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UPDATE: Epic Games has lodged a court order against Apple's removal of Fortnite from the App Store. But this won't necessarily be successful any time soon. Seeing a market opportunity, iPhones with Fortnite pre-loaded are being put on sale for big bucks.

Oracle Announces JSON Database Service
20 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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Oracle has launched a JSON Database service at its Oracle Developer Live event. Oracle Autonomous JSON Database is described as a cloud service that’s built for developers who are looking for an easy to use, cost-effective JSON database.



Books of the Week

Added to Book Watch    

Full Review  

 A "Self-Teaching Guide", reviewed by Alex Armstrong who awarded it a rating of 1 out of 5, concluding:

This could be the sort of book a manager might read to find out about cybersecurity. If this is the case I really fear for any teams they manage and I really don't think they would have any idea how to lock down a system after reading it.

If you are a programmer, don't bother reading this book. If you see your manager reading it, be prepared for trouble.  



If you want to delve into I Programmer's coverage of the news over the years, you can access I Programmer Weekly back to January 2012. 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 05 September 2020 )