May Week 1

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 the latest news from the I Programmer Library. This week sees the publication of Programmer’s Python: Everything Is Data by Mike James and we have the first extract from it.

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April 28 – May 4, 2022

Featured Articles

Programmer’s Python Data – Bignum
Mike James
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The idea of ​​unlimited precision arithmetic is amazing and Python has it as standard. What is bignum and how does it work explained in this extract from my brand new book, Programmer’s Python: Everything is Data.


A Programmers Guide To Interrupts
Harry Fairhead
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The trick the computer uses in order to be so productive is to divide its attention between a number of tasks – and for this it uses interrupts. But what exactly is an interrupt and how should programmers think about this essentially hardware idea?

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Programming News and Views


Neural Networks Take On Traveling Salesman
04 May | Mike James
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The Traveling Saleman problem can be solved better by a neural network approach than by traditional methods – is this important?



Edge Overtakes Safari To Be Second Browser
04 May | Janet Swift
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In April Edge, Microsoft’s Chromium-based browser gained a global browser market share of 10.07%, surpassing 10% for the first time since its introduction. In doing so it overtook Safari as the second most popular browser on desktop machines.



Kotlin Async Ktor 2.0 Released
03 May | Mike James
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Ktor is a free open-source Kotlin framework for building asynchronous servers and clients in connected systems. As a major new version, Ktor 2.0 adds both new features and breaking changes.


Racket Improves Load Speeds
03 May | Kay Ewbank
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Racket has been updated with improvements including a flag to improve load speeds and extensions to the use of Racket ‘Chez Scheme’ (CS).


Feel Your Way Through VR Spider’s Webs
02 May | Lucy Black
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The mouth comes a close second to the fingertips in terms of tactile sensitivity. This led researchers from the Future Interfaces Group of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University to fit a VR headset with ultrasonic transducers to see whether delivering sensations to the lips, teeth and tongue could enhance user experience.


Google Adds New Chrome Extension Badges
02 May | Kay Ewbank
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Google has added two new extension badges to help users find extensions on the Chrome Web Store. They are Featured and Established Publisher badges and can be awarded to any extensions built in accordance with the Chrome Web Store Developer Program Policies.


Evolution Of The Strandbeest
01 May | Sue Gee
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Described by their creator Theo Jansen as “artificial life” strandbeesten, literally “beach animals” are built from flexible plastic tube and adhesive tape, but resemble walking animals – albeit ones with many legs. Seen in action it is hard to believe there is no “mind” or “intelligence”, artificial or otherwise, and certainly no electronics involved.


MDN Plus Now Available In More Countries
29 Apr | Sue Gee
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A little over a month since its launch in the US and Canada, MDN Plus is now also available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.


Amazon Releases AWS Amplify Studio
29 Apr | Kay Ewbank
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A visual interface aimed at simplifying front- and back-end development for web and mobile applications has been released by Amazon AWS. Amplify Studio was released as a preview during AWS re: Invent 2021, and is now generally available.


Take Microsoft’s Java For Beginners
28 Apr | Nikos Vaggalis
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A free course on the basics of Java is provided by Microsoft, written by in-house employees. It comprises twenty-one YouTube videos and a Github repo where the associated exercises reside.



Gitpod And JetBrains Launch Remote Development Partnership
28 Apr | Kay Ewbank
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Gitpod and JetBrains have announced a partnership aimed at improving developers’ facilities for remote development. The move adds the ability to use the automated, cloud-based developer environments provisioned by Gitpod to desktop IDEs.


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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 with:

I don’t agree with all of the simple sentiments expressed in this book, but then who says I have to. I enjoyed reading it, even if I did occasionally have to cope with embarrassed looks as I started to talk out loud, voicing my urgent objections. But never mind – I enjoyed reading this book and if you are at the right stage of C ++ programming so will you. It isn’t going to make your C ++ particularly pretty, let alone beautiful, but at least you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Added to Book Watch

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

From the I Programmer Library

Published this week:

  • Programmer’s Python: Everything is Data by Mike James

pythondata360

This is the second of our Something Completely Different titles that look at what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages. These books aren’t for the complete beginner and some familiarity with both object-oriented programming and Python is assumed. The first in the series, Programmer’s Python: Everything is an Object, about to be available in its second edition, reveals how Python has a unique and unifying approach with regards to class and objects. Following the same philosophy the language also treats data 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.

Recently published:

    Trick180

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.

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