The 12 News Days of Xmas 02 - February
Written by Editor   
Friday, 21 December 2018

Ah February. It is the last month of winter and the hope of the coming spring prevails. But because it has only 28 days - mostly - there isn't much time to pack in the news. So what did happen?

Love it or hate it, you have to admit that JavaScript has moved on from being the strange and limited scripting language it once was. Perhaps we should change its name to reflect its new status - oh but I was too late:

JSlogoECMAScript 2018 Is Feature Complete   Monday 05 February

What's new in JavaScript/ES2018? Not much, but keep your eye on what is happening or it might just come as a surprise.


Sounds a bit boring. ES2018 isn't revolution and it hardly qualifies as evolution - but this is what you want in a supposedly mature langauge. It could do with an ECMAScript logo that looked good, however.

The month also saw the celebration of 20 years of open source. Did you even know that there was a time when there was no open source? Well there was - it had to be invented you know! Open source saved us from shareware, adware and expensiveware, but most of all it insulated us from obsoleteware:

Open Source Celebrates 20 Years   Friday 02 February

The 20th anniversary of Open Source Software is being celebrated on February 3rd at FOSDEM, taking place in Brussels, Belgium. A new website has been launched by the Open Source Initiative in connection with this milestone anniversary.

Sad to say at the end of 2018 there are signs that all is not well in the world of open source. People just don't like big cloud companies making large sums of money off their free open source programs and not paying some of it back. Could 20 years see the end of open source as we know it - watch this space.

The big conferences are also announced in February and this year we were worried that Microsoft and Google had clashed - their conference dates, that is. Could this have been on purpose? Surely not?

Microsoft Build Clashes With Google I/O   Saturday 10 February

The respective Microsoft and Google Developer conferences are the year's highlights for many - and many of us have allegiances to both. This year the dates of the two events coincide. Was it deliberate and if so who will it benefit?

As it turned out no one seemed to mind. Perhaps they are two separate worlds.

Microsoft also mystified many when it announced Blazor. Surely this is Silverlight all over again? Sadly, it seems not. Take .NET  and run it in the browser using Web Assembly.

Blazor .NET In The Browser   Monday 12 Februaryblaxor2

Microsoft has yet another way to create web apps, as if we or it needed one. Blazor could be called .NET in the browser and this might make you think of Silverlight, but things aren't quite as simple.

The Blazor saga continued later in the year. Will it be a huge success? The jury is still out but most probably not.

Alexa has been in the news most of the year and it would be a shame to miss it out just because none of its news was high key enough. The announcement that Amazon would be making AI chips seems sensible enough. The strain of providing so much cloud computing for free must be telling:

Amazon Creating AI Chips For Alexa   Sunday 18 February

To maintain the advantage established with Alexa, Amazon appears to be moving towards developing its own artificial intelligence chips to be used in Echo devices and other hardware.

At the end of the year there was still no ??further news and Alexa devices were selling like hot cakes.

Febuary was the month when Progressive Web Apps made the news as a possible NBT:

PWAbuilderProgressive Web Apps Do Seem To Be The Next Big Thing   Wednesday 21 February

We know that we work in a field where fashion swings back and forth. The next big thing is what we all want to use, and it looks as if Progressive Web Apps are it.

You can't say that they haven't become important, but web devs still tend to rave about React and other frameworks rather than Progressive Web Apps.

Towards the end of the month, Python's creator was honoured by the Computer History Museum. Little did we expect that later in the year the news would be that he would step down from his life long dictator status and cause a big stir in the Python community:

Python Creator Is Computer History Museum 2018 Fellow   Monday 26 February

Guido van Rossum is one of the three honorees who become Fellows of the Computer History Museum this year. His award is for the creation and evolution of the Python programming language and for leadership of its community

And finally we need to talk about Dart:

flutterdartGoogle's Dart Reborn As Cross Platform App Language   Wednesday 28 February

If you, like many, thought Dart was dead as a JavaScript replacement, you might have to think again. The beta of Dart 2 is a surprise, but an even bigger surprise is Flutter - a Dart-based framework for building iOS and Android apps.

At the time this looked like a desperate attempt to refloat a dying (dead?) language project. As the months moved on, it became clear that Flutter might be causing more of, well you don't expect me to pass up the opportunity of saying it - a flutter.


Related Articles

February Week 1

February Week 2

February Week 3

February Week 4

The 12 News Days of Xmas

01 January

02 February

03 March

04 April

05 May

06 June

07 July

08 August

09 September

10 October

11 November

12 December

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