January Week 2
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 15 January 2022

Get up to speed on stuff that affects you as a developer with our weekly digest. It summarizes the week's news together with links to the week's book review and our additions to Book Watch. This week's features are a detailed look at GraalVM from Nikos Vaggalis and an exploration of PHP inner functions and anonymous functions by Mike James.

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January 6 - 12, 2022

Featured Articles     

GraalVM Under The Covers
Nikos Vaggalis
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At a very high level, GraalVM is a runtime that can compile bytecode into native self-contained executables as well as run programs in languages other than Java. This detailed look at it attempts to put a highly technical and difficult subject into perspective.

PHP Inner Functions And Closure
Mike James
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PHP inner functions and anonymous functions are a little strange to say the least. However, just because something is strange doesn't mean that it isn't useful. We take a close look at the way PHP functions work and how you might be writing one even if you don't know you are...


Programming News and Views  

Brain In A Dish Learns To Play Pong
12 Jan | Mike James
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... and it learns faster than an artificial neural network. It is arguable that none of the approaches we take to general AI will ever lead to general AI. The reason is that we understand them too well. We might need some of the wet stuff to make it all work.

Apple's Hundred Billion Dollar Share
12 Jan | Lucy Black
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Apple has divulged that developers have generated more than $260 billion in revenue since the App Store launched in 2008 with 2021 setting a new yearly record for developer earnings of about $60 billion. This is good, but it's also bad.

Brave Browser Surpasses 50 Million Users
11 Jan | Sue Gee
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After 5 years in which it has doubled its user base year on year, Brave, the ad-blocking browser pioneered by Mozilla co-founder and JavaScript inventor Brendan Eich, now claims over 50 million users. Can it carry on its exponential increase?

Visual Studio 2022 Improves Git Support And Code Cleanup
11 Jan | Kay Ewbank
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The latest preview of Visual Studio has been released with improvements to the support for Git along with better code cleanup. The preview is of the full desktop IDE, as opposed to Microsoft's similarly-named Visual Studio Code.

Flutter Introduces Mix
10 Jan | Ian Elliot
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The Flutter team have released a new tool. Mix is described as providing a way to build Flutter design systems expressively and effortlessly.

.NET MAUI Adds Fluid UI Control Styling
10 Jan | Kay Ewbank
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The latest preview of.NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) is now available with .NET 6 and the new Visual Studio 2022 17.1 Preview 2. Among the improvements to the new release are the first batch of Fluent UI control styling, multi-window implementations, control features, and another set of iOS type alignment.

Heartbeat Dress Reveals Intimate Emotions
09 Jan | Lucy Black
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Anouk Wipprecht's latest 3D-printed dress, designed in collaboration with crystal-maker Swarovski, monitors the wearer's heartbeat and displays its vital rhythms in a central pendant, which can also be worn around the neck.

Coursera Plus For A Year's Worth Of Study
07 Jan | Sue Gee
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If your New Year's resolutions include gaining new skills or obtaining credentials to further your career, having a $100 discount on an annual Coursera Plus subscription sounds like a really good deal. It gives you unlimited access to the majority of Coursera's content - that's over 7,000 courses from world-class universities and companies.

GitLab Adds Seamless Geo Experience
07 Jan | Kay Ewbank
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GitLab has been updated with improvements including a simplified Geo configuration, along with an activity list for GitLab's Agent that logs real-time events such as connection and token status, and various SAST improvements including SAST execution policies and support for .NET 6.

React 18 Adds Concurrent Renderer
06 Jan | Ian Elliot
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Facebook made a number of announcements at the recent React Conference 2021, with more news on React 18 including the first release candidate, and an update to the Create React App. 

Amazon Introduces AWS Q&A Service
06 Jan | Kay Ewbank
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Amazon has announced a new question and answer (Q&A) service, AWS re:Post. The service is part of the AWS Free Tier, and Amazon says it will be driven by the community of AWS customers, partners, and employees.

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 

Mike James concludes his review:

Overall, this is quite a good book, but it isn't for dummies. It is too hands-on and it covers far too much ground. If you have a grasp of Python and are not afraid of math then you might find it suits your needs.

Added to Book Watch

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

From the I Programmer Library

Recently published:


Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way that the rest of the world doesn't. In this book Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill involves and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike looks at how we convert a dynamic process into a static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you're a programmer, his intent is to give you a clearer understanding of what you do so you value it even more.  

  • Deep C#: Dive Into Modern C# by Mike James

    In Deep C#, I Programmer's Mike James, who has programmed in C# since its launch in 2000, provides a “deep dive” into various topics that are important or central to the language at a level that will suit the majority of C# programmers. Not everything will be new to any given reader, but by exploring the motivation behind key concepts, which is so often ignored in the documentation, the intention is to be thought-provoking and to give developers confidence to exploit C#’s wide range of features.

    Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 January 2022 )