February Week 2
Saturday, 17 February 2024

If you've not visited I Programmer 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 our Book Review of the Week.

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February 9 - 15, 2024

Featured Articles

The Trick Of The Mind - Advanced Loops
12 Feb | Mike James
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Loops are a fundamental part of programming and they go deep. This is an extract from my book Trick of the Mind which explores what it is to be a programmer.

Using Py Dotenv
09 Feb | Alex Armstrong
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As its name suggests, Python Dotenv is an open-source software library that allows software developers to specify the environment in which their code runs.  We have five tips that can help you make more effective use of it.


Programming News and Views

Apple - Master Of Malicious Compliance
14 Feb | Mike James
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Apple is under pressure to open up its closed eco system, but it still has the power to resist. It is difficult to force a horse to drink and it is turning out very difficult to make Apple comply with the spirit of the law. But why should we expect any different?

Mitchell Baker Relinquishes CEO Role Before Mozilaa Announces Layoffs
14 Feb | Sue Gee
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In an announcement last week Mitchell Baker publicised her decision to step down from the role of CEO of Mozilla Corporation in order devote herself to overseeing Mozilla's broader vision. Now comes news of layoffs of around 5 percent of its workforce as Mozilla refocuses on Firefox and AI.

Microsoft's Visual Studio With Git And GitHub Tutorials
13 Feb | Nikos Vaggalis
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Microsoft has released a short series of video tutorials on using Git and Github from within Visual Studio. Given that Git is nowadays the defacto version control tool with most code hosted on GitHub, learning about them in combination does make sense.

GitHub Explains Fundamentals Program
13 Feb | Kay Ewbank
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GitHub has been explaining the work of its Engineering Fundamentals Program and how this is being used to ensure GitHub's 100 million users across the world have "uninterrupted access to GitHub's products and services on a platform that is always available, secure, and accessible."

Google Rebrands Bard With Subscription
12 Feb | Kay Ewbank
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Google Bard will from now on be known as Gemini, and Google is launching a paid subscription tier that will be based on yet another new AI model from Google. The move to a paid subscription follows the news that Microsoft is introducing a paid-for Pro version for Copilot.

Visual Studio Code Adds Hey Code Voice Command
12 Feb | Mike James
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The January update to Visual Studio Code has been released, with the headline improvement of a "Hey Code" voice command that starts a voice session with Copilot Chat.

Success For Vesuvius Challenge
11 Feb | Sue Gee
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The Vesuvius Challenge has ended with $700,000 awarded to a trio of students who successfully deciphered text on a physically impenetrable 2,000-year-old papyrus scroll that had been buried under mud and ash during the volcanic eruption that engulfed Herculaneum in 79 AD.

February Week 1
10 Feb | Editor
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This weekly digest 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 latest Book Review and additions to Book Watch.This week's featured articles are on how every JavaScript object can be regarded as an anonymous singleton and how XDR represents a significant evolution in cybersecurity.

Love Learning With Udacity
09 Feb | Sue Gee
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To celebrate Valentine's Day, Udacity has a one-week promotion for new subscribers with 40% of the first month's payment. This seems like a good incentive for trying it out. Here we look at four courses that you could realistically finish within 4 weeks that enable you to experience the Udacity Difference for yourself.

Sinusoidal Tetris
09 Feb | Mike James
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This is just for fun and education, but it suggests that there might be other games waiting to be thought up along the same lines.


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

Driving Value With Sprint Goals

Author: Maarten Dalmijn
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 256
Audience: Scrum developers
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

Over the years I've read a lot of books about agile development and Scrum, and most concentrate on the methodology rather than what you're trying to achieve. This book is a refreshing change because it concentrates on the end result and how to use Scrum to achieve it.

Book Watch

Programming Ruby 3.3 5th Ed (Pragmatic Programmer)

This Pickaxe Book, named for the tool on the cover, is the definitive reference on Ruby. Noel Rappin and Dave Thomas provide a description of the most important standard library modules, built-in classes, and modules. This updated edition is a comprehensive reference on the language itself, with a tutorial on the most important features of Ruby - including pattern matching and Ractors - and describes the language through Ruby 3.3 including all the new and changed syntax and semantics including pattern matching and Ractors.


Web Coding & Development All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Ed (For Dummies)

This collection of smaller books is aimed at would-be developers who need guidance on the languages and steps used to build websites and applications. Paul McFedries covers the basics of web development, structuring a page, and building and processing web forms. Going beyond this, the books cover how to build a website or create an app. This edition expands JavaScript and CSS coverage while providing new content on server-side coding and the development stack.


Build Your Own Programming Language 2nd Ed (Packt)

Written by Clinton L Jeffery, the creator of the Unicon programming language, this book will show you how to implement domain-specific programming languages to reduce the time and cost of creating applications for new or specialized areas of computing. Jeffrey starts with implementing the frontend of a compiler for your language, including a lexical analyzer and parser, including the handling of parse errors.




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Last Updated ( Saturday, 17 February 2024 )