May Week 4
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 29 May 2021

Get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer. Our weekly digest lists the week's news, new titles added to our Book Watch Archive and our weekly book review. We start with Featured Articles, this week a look at mistakes to avoid as a novice programmer and, at a more expert level, consider the utility of comments. 

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  May 20 - 26, 2021 

Featured Articles     

Seven Mistakes Every Newbie Programmer Makes
Tom Bezlar
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Getting started with a new chapter in life is accompanied by failures and mistakes. And something as technical as programming can be frustrating for newbies, not because it's as tough as grinding stones but because newbies are prone to making mistakes and repeating them.      

Programming Is Hard - A Comment To The Future Me
Mike James
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Comments - the simplest of all programming statements and yet at the same time the most difficult of all. Why is it we all find it so hard to write useful comments? Comments are hard.


Programming News and Views 


Microsoft Unveils Power Apps Powered By GPT-3
26 May | Sue Gee
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During yesterday's keynote at Microsoft Build, Satya Nadella revealed that Microsoft is harnessing the power of OpenAI's GPT-3 technology to generate code from natural language input. Is this a breakthrough that will change our relationship to code?

Computer Coding Could Count As Foreign Language - Should It?
26 May | Mike James
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We have heard this sort of thing before. Now it's Michigan that is planning a bill to allow computer languages to count as foreign languages for the purpose of high school graduation. Is this another big misunderstanding? The answer is yes and no.

Improve your Spring Boot Error Handling 
25 May | Nikos Vaggalis
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... with the Error Handling Spring Boot Starter library. We look at a  project that improves on the default Spring boot error handling for REST APIs.

Master Python
25 May | Sue Gee
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If you want to learn Python you have plenty of options. Joining a MOOC, an online course where you work at you own pace, is a great choice but the cost could quickly mount up. This is where Coursera Plus, Coursera's subscription that provides access to around 90% of its courses, seems like a really good idea.

Google Launches DevLibrary
24 May | Sue Gee
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At last week’s I/O Google unveiled DevLibrary, to add to its already wide range of resources for developers. The difference this time is that it's a platform intended to show off projects and tutorials that might otherwise go undiscovered.

Deno 1.10 Adds Web Storage API Support
24 May | Kay Ewbank
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Version 1.10 of Deno, the JavaScript and TypeScript runtime from the creator of Node.js, has been released, with improvements including support for the Web Storage API and shared WASM memory.

The Floor Moves!
23 May | Harry Fairhead
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I have long thought that the real goal of VR is the full "holodeck" experience but this is tough. Now we have a floor that can change to make WYSIWYS - What You See Is What You Step - real.

Google And Samsung Join Forces With Wear
21 May | Lucy Black
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Perhaps the most exciting news from Google I/O is that Google and Samsung are collaborating on a unified platform that combines features from Samsung's Tizen Operating System with Google's Wear OS to create a smartwatch that can compete with Apple's.

Pyston 2.2 Goes Open Source Again
21 May | Kay Ewbank
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Pyston v2.2, the latest version of the high-performance Python implementation originally developed by cloud storage provider Dropbox, has been taken back to an open source model.

Android Jetpack Confusion As V1 Approaches
20 May | Mike James
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Android development seems to be in the hands of a leaderless team - or at least a team that has no idea where it is going. Google I/O is always time to announce new things, but as far as Android programmers are concerned all we get is more, and more and more. With Version 1 of Jetpack scheduled for July, what is the current state?

Instagram Cinder Python Accelerator Open Sourced
20 May | Kay Ewbank
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Facebook has open sourced Cinder, Instagram's internal production version of CPython 3.8. Cinder has been developed to improve Python performance, and is now available as a Facebook incubator project.


Books of the Week

If you want to purchase, or to know more about, any of the titles listed below from Amazon, click on the book jackets at the top of the right sidebar. If you do make Amazon purchases after this, we may earn a few cents through the Amazon Associates program which is a small source of revenue that enables us to continue posting.

Full Review 

  • Graph Databases in Action (Manning)


    Reviewer: Kay Ewbank Rating: 4.5 out of 5 
    Verdict: A good introduction to creating applications for graph databases. For a programmer used to working with standard SQL databases, working with graphs represents a radical change in the way you think and the way you work, and this book explains the concepts that you need to grasp. You might well have to use a different query language in your real-life graph app, but by the end of the book you should understand more clearly what graph databases are all about.

Added to Book Watch  

More recently published books can be found in Book Watch Archive.

From the I Programmer Library

Newly published books from I/O Press:   

Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 May 2021 )