The 12 News Days of Xmas 08 - August
Written by Editor   
Monday, 31 December 2018

August - the silly season in full swing, but we do have SIGGRAPH to keep us entertained.

This was the year that Python made the news in all sorts of ways. If you needed more proof that Python was the language of the year, you only had to look at the IEEE rankings. An interesting question - why is Python taking over those parts that JavaScript doesn't satisfy?

ieiprog2018Python Tops Language Ranking Again   Friday 03 August

The IEEE Spectrum ranking of the top programming languages has been published and, unsurprisingly, Python is at the top of the list for the second year in a row. The big surprise is that Assembly has entered the Top 10 in the default ranking, that is tuned to the interests of a typical IEEE member.

More to the point does it really matter what language we use? You will meet all sorts of advocates for every language on the planet and they all claim that using there particular language makes life easy and rewarding but - all mainstream languages are Turing complete and you can achieve the same results in all of them. Does it really make a difference which language you choose? Now we have some limited evidence that Kotlin is better for you than Java.

kotlinAndroidCan a Language Make You a Better Programmer? Kotlin & Android   Wednesday 08 August

When Google introduced Kotlin as a fully supported language for Android development, a lot of programmers raised a cheer. The question is why? Can a language make a difference?

And if languages can make you a better programmer then Julia, the language for number crunching scientists reached version 1.0 and hit the main stream. Later in the year it, or rather its creators would win a big prize.

julialogo1Julia 1.0 Released  
Friday 10 August

Julia 1.0 has been released after almost a decade of work. Julia has been designed to be open source, fast, dynamic, usable for general programming and more specialist areas such as statistics.

In the middle of the month we hit SIGGRAPH and could enjoy all the cool videos of things we never believed could be simulated or computed in real time.

wolf2018SIGGRAPH 2018 Is Underway  
Monday 13 August

Yes, it's that time of year again - SIGGRAPH the most important graphics conference and show on the planet opened for full business today and, as always, there are more videos to look at than time to view. Here are some of the most interesting.

Seemingly returning to the silly season - chaff bugs?! While we work hard at getting the bugs out of our programs perhaps we should replace them with some made up bugs that fool the hacker into thinking they have found an exploitable flaw - and so waste their time.  Why not? Computer security is more about psychology than technology.

chaff2Chaff Bugs Make Your Code More Secure  
Wednesday 15 August

The idea that bugs could be a good thing is not a natural one to most programmers - or it shoudn't be. Bugs not only crash your program, they are ways for bad people to get into your code. Perhaps more bugs could be used to hide the really dangerous bugs?

Another one that could be considered sill is computing with trains. When you realize how common place the ability to computer is it is a revaluation.  You can never look at the world in the same way. It is not that we are living in a simulation we are living in and alongside computers.

duplotrainComputing With Trains - Turing's Trains
Saturday 18 August

It is amazing what is Turing complete. It seems that all you need is something to implement a universal gate and you're home and dry. But trains? Duplo trains in this case, have some powerful, almost hidden, computational abilities. Are they Turing complete? Of course they are.

A repeating theme this year is the way people wanted to see revolt against the app stores every where. There is a revolt but it seems to be a fairly small, if determined one. This is not the people rising up against a uniformly perceived evil just a few well informed and motivated agents trying to raise the profile of the issue.

Image result for app storeApple & Google Face Backlash Over App Store "Tax"?   Thursday 23 August

A new report, and a Bloomberg commentary on it, claims that there is a revolt against the app stores building. Given the current state of the market this seems reasonable, but is it true? There are some interesting statistics to suggest that Apple and Google really need to hope it isn't.

Returning to silly, but fun, why not use AI to improve your dance steps. Well, not exaclty your dance steps but you can still look good making the moves in a video you never made.


Put on Your Dancing Shoes With AI  
Saturday 25 August

Using a deep learning based algorithm, researchers have produced videos in which untrained amateurs appear to have mastered the dance moves of pop stars, perform martial arts kicks and spin and twirl gracefully like ballerinas.

Quietly at the end of August version 7 of Babel rolled out. It is interesting how quickly a project can go from "vital" to "optional" and then presumably "redundant". Open source projects are particularly sad when the fire goes out. Babel is still used by many but with Web Assembly on the horizon our attention has shifted else where.

babelBabel 7 Released With Improved TypeScript Support   Tuesday 28 August

Babel was once the lifesaver for many JavaScript projects. It took "future" JavaScript and compiled it to "current" JavaScript. But now the future has arrived, almost, and the question is do we need a compile step to slow things down?

Open source seems to be developing a problem that came to everyone's attention at the end of August. The problem is the way that online services make money, and big money, by taking open source code and making it available for use. At one level this is good because the code is out there but they charge a premium and make a profit and it is rare for any of this to be returned to the community. The commons clause is an attempt to put this injustice right but some are saying that it destroys the whole idea of open source.

thecommonsclausesqThe Commons Clause - For Good or Bad  
Wednesday 29 August

The current debate about the Commons Clause, and other attempts to place restrictions on open source licences, is dividing opinion. But before taking sides first we need to understand what the Commons Clause does and why it is necessary.

Related Articles

August Week 1

August Week 2

August Week 3

August 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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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 11 September 2019 )