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The weekly digest for developers   
ISSUE 2 - February 15, 2012

Welcome. I'm still finding my feet and you'll see new sections and tweaks come and go over the next few issues. Thanks for your support.

This issue includes some of the 'backlog' collected prior to launch so future issues will be shorter. I enjoyed everything in today's issue though, so felt compelled to share :-) - Peter.

headlines

The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: February 2012 — A visual correlation of Stack Overflow vs GitHub presence for about fifty programming languages. Some interesting analysis.
TLDR on the Browser World's '-webkit' Vendor Prefix Drama — A link round-up for this week's browser/webdev drama about non-WebKit browsers considering supporting '-webkit' prefixed CSS properties. // Chris Coyier
IBM Seeks Patent On Judging Programmers By Commits — Want to be judged on an automated scan of your GitHub commits? IBM has a patent in for technology that judges programmers using various heuristics. Creepy. // Slashdot
PHP 5.4 vs PHP 5.3 Benchmarks — The soon to be released PHP 5.4 (currently up to release candidate 7) handily beats PHP 5.3 in both performance and memory usage benchmarks. // PHP.net

reading

Unix as IDE — A series of posts on 'Unix as IDE', the idea that tools available to developers on the terminal cover the major features in cutting-edge desktop IDEs with some ease. A ton of useful stuff here. // Tom Ryder
MapReduce Patterns, Algorithms, and Use Cases — An overview of basic Map-Reduce based patterns and algorithms from simple summing to searches and unique item counting. // Highly Scalable
Adventures in using Gradient Boosted Trees for Image Compression — A beautiful investigation, though with little conclusion for now.
The Faster-than-Fast Fourier Transform — MIT researchers have found a way to increase the speed of one of the key algorithms in the information sciences by borrowing a signal-processing strategy used on 4G cellular networks. // MIT News
Why Aren't Computer Programming Languages Designed Better? — An experiment showing that Perl is no more intuitive to use than a fake language with a completely random syntax called 'Randomo'. Why? // Co.DESIGN
How the Boehm Garbage Collector Works — A great overview of a special garbage collector, as used by a wide variety of C and C++ programs, as well as the D language and the GNU Java compiler. // Jez Ng
How To Build a Naive Bayes Classifier — Want to do spam detection, classification, language detection or similar? Bayes classification may be for you. This post walks through how it works before producing an implementation. // Alexandru Nedelcu
Betrayed by a bitfield — An unpredictable bitfield, a GCC 'bug' and the Linux kernel team's displeasure results in some interesting reading. // Jonathan Corbet

releases

JetBrains open sources Kotlin — JetBrains has open sourced Kotlin, a statically typed programming language that can be compiled to both JVM bytecode and JavaScript.
Twisted 12.0.0 — Event driven networking engine, very popular in the Python world.
Spree 1.0.0 — Rails based e-commerce system
PyPy 1.8 — Fast Python interpreter with an integrated tracing JIT compiler.
Opa 0.9.0 (S4) — security-oriented web development language (with strong, static typing)

watching

Advanced Data Structures: MIT course — In-progress advanced data structures course with video lectures and notes shared online as it goes. Fun! // Prof. Erik Demaine
Everything You Know (about Parallel Programming) Is Wrong! — David Ungar of IBM's Renaissance project argues that as we learned to embrace languages without static type checking, we will need to embrace a style of programming without any synchronization at all to scale our code in the future. Whoa.
Heroku and Java Webinar — A 50 minute demonstration of building, deploying and scaling a Java web app around Heroku's cloud hosting service. // YouTube
NSScreencast: Bite-sized Screencasts for iOS Development — Two episodes so far covering Objective C basics and diagnosing memory leaks.
The JSON Saga — The 'true story' of how JSON was discovered and how it became a standard for describing data. // Douglas Crockford

useful

Hacker Shelf — Community-curated collection of free (mostly programming related) books.
Mixu's Node book — A free, online Node.js introduction book. Mostly finished. // Mikito Takada
Minicourse on Technical Writing (PDF) — Based on a course given at Stanford in 1987. Some excellent stuff in here despite its age. // Donald Knuth, et al.

upcoming developer events

O'Reilly Strata — Santa Clara, CA; Feb 28-Mar 1 // big data
QCon London — London, Mar 5-9 (early bird ends this week) // software dev
O'Reilly Where — San Francisco, Apr 2-4 // geolocation
Scandinavian Developer Conference — Goteberg, Sweden; Apr 16-19 (early bird ends this week) // software dev
Bacon — London, Apr 20-21 // progressive dev
RailsConf — Austin, Texas; Apr 23-25 // ruby on rails
EuroClojure — London, May 24-25 (CFP is open) // clojure
WebRebels — Oslo, Norway; May 24-25 // progressive web dev
Strange Loop — St Louis; Sep 23-25 (no CFP or registation yet) // software dev

lighter bites

Implementing continuations in C++ with fork — A walk through building a simple continuation mechanism in C++.
Finding with Git — Some handy tips to find things in Git repositories. // Anders Janmyr
A single-block collision attack on MD5 — (implementation and paper) // Marc Stevens

quote of the week

"No matter how slow you are writing clean code, you will always be slower if you make a mess." // Uncle Bob Martin