May Week 1

This weekly digest is an extended version of the newsletter emailed to subscribers every Wednesday. In addition to listing the news of the week, it is also the latest news from the I Programmer library. This week sees the release of Programmer’s Python: Everything is Data by Mike James and we have the first clip of 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 it works explained in this excerpt 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 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-based idea?


Programming News and Views

Neural networks take on the traveling salesman
May 04 | mike james
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The traveling salesman problem can be solved better with a neural network approach than with traditional methods – does it matter?

Edge overtakes Safari to become the second browser
May 04 | 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 computers.

Kotlin Async Ktor 2.0 released
May 03 | mike james
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Ktor is a free open-source Kotlin framework for creating asynchronous servers and clients in connected systems. As a major new release, Ktor 2.0 adds both new features and breaking changes.

Racket Improves Loading Speeds
May 03 | Kay Ewbank
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Racket has been updated with improvements including a flag to improve loading speeds and extensions for using Racket ‘Chez Scheme’ (CS).

Feel your way through VR cobwebs
May 02 | Lucy Black
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The mouth is second only to the fingertips in terms of tactile sensitivity. This led researchers from the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Human-Computer Interaction to equip a VR headset with ultrasonic transducers to see if transmitting sensations to the lips, teeth, and the language could improve the user experience.

Google adds new Chrome extension badges
May 02 | Kay Ewbank
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Google has added two new extension badges to help users find extensions on the Chrome Web Store. These are featured and established publisher badges and can be awarded to all extensions built under the policies of the Chrome Web Store Developer Program.

Evolution of the Strandbeest
May 01 | Sue Gee
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Described by their creator Theo Jansen as strands of “artificial life”, literally the “beach animals” are constructed from flexible plastic tubing and tape, but look like walking animals – although they have many legs. Seen in action, it’s hard to believe there’s no “mind” or “intelligence”, artificial or otherwise, and certainly no electronics involved.

MDN Plus now available in more countries
April 29 | Sue Gee
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Just over a month after its launch in the US and Canada, MDN Plus is now also available in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.

Amazon launches AWS Amplify Studio
April 29 | Kay Ewbank
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A visual interface to simplify front-end and back-end development for web and mobile applications has been released by Amazon AWS. Amplify Studio was previewed at AWS re:Invent 2021 and is now generally available.

Take Microsoft’s Java for Beginners
April 28 | Nikos Vaggalis
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A free Java Basics course is provided by Microsoft, written by internal employees. It includes twenty-one YouTube videos and a Github repository where the associated exercises reside.

Gitpod and JetBrains launch remote development partnership
April 28 | Kay Ewbank
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Gitpod and JetBrains announced a partnership to improve developer facilities for remote development. This move adds the ability to use the cloud-based automated development environments provided by Gitpod to desktop IDEs.


Books of the week

If you want to buy or learn more about any of the titles listed below on Amazon, click on book covers at the top of the right sidebar. If you shop on Amazon after that, we may earn pennies through the Amazon Associates program, which is a small revenue stream that allows us to continue publishing.

Full Review

Mike James concludes his review with:

I don’t agree with all the simple sentiments expressed in this book, but then who says I have to. I enjoyed reading it, although I sometimes had to face embarrassed looks as I began to speak aloud, voicing my urgent objections. But never mind – I enjoyed reading this book and if you are at the right stage of C++ programming you will be too. It won’t make your C++ particularly pretty, let alone pretty, but at least you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Added to Watch Book

More recently published books can be found in Archives of book watches.

From the I Programmer library

Posted this week:

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


This is the second of our something completely different titles that examine what makes Python special and sets it apart from other programming languages. These books are not intended for complete beginners and some familiarity with 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 when it comes to classes and objects. Following the same philosophy, the language also processes data in a distinctly Pythonic way. What we have in Python are very usable and very extensible data objects. From integers with unlimited precision, called bignums, to choosing a list to act as the array, to having the dictionary available as a built-in data type, Python behaves differently from other languages ​​and this book is what you need to help you get the most out of these special features. There are also comprehensive chapters on Boolean logic, dates and times, regular expressions, and bit manipulation.

Recently published:


Programmers think differently from non-programmers, they see and solve problems in a way the rest of the world doesn’t. In this book, Mike James takes programming concepts and explains what the skill entails and how a programmer goes about it. In each case, Mike examines how we convert a dynamic process into static text that can be understood by other programmers and put into action by a computer. If you’re a programmer, its intention is to give you a better understanding of what you’re doing so that you enjoy it even more.

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