August Week 1
Written by Editor   
Saturday, 06 August 2022

This is an extended version of the newsletter emailed to subscribers every Wednesday. As well as listing the week's news items, it also includes the week's Book Review, additions to Book Watch and latest news from the I Programmer Library. Top of the list come the week's two feature articles, one on Kotlin Basics and the other with the intriguing title XOR - The Magic Swap.  

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July 28 - August 3, 2022 

Featured Articles  

The Programmers Guide To Kotlin - The Basics
Mike James
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Kotlin is a better Java and it is the main way to create apps for Android. What better time could there be to find out what it is and how to use it? 

XOR - The Magic Swap
Mike James & Harry Fairhead
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We all know that if you want to swap the contents of two variables you need a third temporary variable to do the job. It's like swapping the contents of two mugs using a third to hold the contents of the first while you pour the second into it. Using a third temporary mug seems inevitable, but you can swap the contents of two variables without a third with the magic XOR swap.


Programming News and Views   

Tinycade Puts Cardboard And AI Into Games
03 Aug | Lucy Black
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We tend to underestimate how much AI is changing the way we can tackle problems - even problems that seem to have nothing to do with intelligence of any kind. Tinycade converts scrap cardboard into game controllers and it's a new way of thinking.

How Is WebAssembly Doing?
03 Aug | Janet Swift
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The State of WebAssembley 2022 report comes from Colin Eberhardt, CTO of UK-based software consultancy Scott Logic. The survey, inaugurated in 2021, has polled hundreds of people to find out more about where and how people are using the technology and gage their thoughts for the future.

Training and Mentorship Promote Job Satisfaction
02 Aug | Sue Gee
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Results of the EDB Open Source Talent Survey 2022 indicate that employees value the opportunity to work with and be trained in cutting edge technologies. Security training is also highly prized.

Nvidia Releases Updated AI Framework
02 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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NVIDIA has announced the general availability of NVIDIA AI Enterprise 2.1. The improvements to the AI and data analytics software include new support for containers, and for public clouds.

Securing Your Software Supply Chain With This Free Course
01 Aug | Nikos Vaggalis
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A new course from the Linux Foundation on edX aims to educate the industry on how to digitally sign software artifacts. Targeted at both software developers and DevOps and security engineers, it focuses on using the Sigstore toolkit to secure the software supply chain. 

RapidAPI Studio Launched
01 Aug | Kay Ewbank
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RapidAPI has launched RapidAPI Studio, a tool for developers to build, use, manage and make money from developing APIs.

Introducing Wheelbot
31 Jul | Harry Fairhead
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The Wheelbot is a jumping reaction wheel unicycle that can jump onto its wheels from any initial position. It's fun to watch and has  a GitHub repo detailing how you can to build one using off-the-shelf-components and 3D printed parts.

Historic Protoype Of Apple I At Auction
29 Jul | Lucy Black
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A broken and battered prototype board has gone up for auction at a Boston-based online auction house. Despite its sad and sorry state this historic item, the Apple Computer A board which was hand soldered by Steve Wozniac and used by Steve Jobs to secure its first big order is expected to sell for a more than $500,000

Attempt To Breathe New Life Into Abandoned Science Software
29 Jul | Sue Gee
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Schmidt Futures, a science and technology-focused philanthropic organization founded by Google's former CEO Eric Schmidt has launched the Virtual Institute for Scientific Software (VISS) in order to make better use of open-source software originated in universities. 

In Praise Of SQLite
28 Jul | Nikos Vaggalis
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SQLite, the RDBMS that never ceases to amaze, has reached version 3.39.2. While this release contains just bug fixes, it builds on major changes that debuted in 3.39.0.

NetBeans 14 Extends JDK 17 Support
28 Jul | Kay Ewbank
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NetBeans 14 has been released by Apache, with improvements including more support for JDK 17 and better handling of problem reporting in Gradle.



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 helps us to continue posting.

Full Review 

From Ian's conclusion: 

This book is a collection of hints, tips and motivational phrases. It's a pleasant read about a collection of observations made by a practicing programmer.The language used is always inventive and sharp and this either makes it easier or harder to read depending on your personality.

Added to Book Watch 

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

From the I Programmer Library

Latest publications: 



This month sees the publication of the revised second edition of Programmer's Python: Everything Is An Object in which Mike James reveals how Python has a unique and unifying approach with regards to class and objects. This is the first of a set of titles at intermediate level for the programmer who wants to understand what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages, hence the strap line "Something Completely Different - which is, of course, a reference to the Monty Python TV and film brand that inspired Guido Van Rossum to name his new language. The subject is roughly speaking everything to do with the way Python implements objects. That is, in order of sophistication, metaclass; class; object; attribute; and all of the other facilities such as functions, methods and the many “magic methods” that Python uses to make it all work. 



This is the second of that Something Completely Different titles and explores the way that data is treated in a distinctly Pythonic way. What we have in Python are data objects that are very usable and very extensible. From the unlimited precision integers, referred to as bignums, through the choice of a list to play the role of the array, to the availability of the dictionary as a built-in data type, Python behaves differently to other languages and this book is what you need to help you make the most of these special features. There are also complete chapters on Boolean logic, dates and times, regular expressions and bit manipulation.

MIke James is now working on the third book in the series, Programmer's Python: Async which not only covers the latest asyncio in depth, but has all you need to know about the many approaches to async that Python provides - threads, processes,futures,tasks, schedulers. This is the book you need to understand all the options, trade-offs and gotchas. 

These books aren’t for the complete beginner and some familiarity with both object-oriented programming and Python is assumed, with the first chapter providing a quick recap. They also share an Appendix on using Visual Studio Code from Python.



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.  

Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 August 2022 )