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The weekly digest for developers   
ISSUE 4 - February 29, 2012

Thanks for the continued feedback, it's making Status Code better every week. I haven't had time to launch the new rotating sections I had planned but good things are brewing :-) Thanks for your support - Peter.

headlines

Microsoft Introduces the New Visual Studio 11 IDE: Gets Pummeled.. — Major UI changes in perhaps the most popular IDE ever are of interest to many outside of the Microsoft world, myself included, but it seems Microsoft is getting severe friction against these latest changes.
Circuits and Electronics: A New MIT Online Course — 6.002x (Circuits and Electronics) is an experimental adaptation of MIT's undergraduate analog design course. It's free and runs from March 5, 2012. Notably Gerald Sussman (of SICP fame) is on the course staff.

reading

The Crash Course to Lua — Lua is an intriguing language that seems to be picking up steam lately and this is a fun and slightly scattershot 'crash course' with, impressingly, an embedded interpreter. // LuaTut
Fast Enough VMs in Fast Enough Time — An fascinating look at the world of programming language VMs and how RPython shakes things up for language implementers by making JIT implementation a (relative) breeze. // Laurence Tratt
How Do I Cassandra? — High level presentation / slidedeck showing off Apache Cassandra (the scalable, high available data store), why it may or may not be for you, and how it works. // Rick Branson
Standalone Lexers with 'lex': Synopsis, Examples, and Pitfalls — Lexical analysis is the first phase of compilation where source code is transformed into a sequence of tokens. Matt Might digs into the idea. // Matt Might
Visualizing Process Execution — A look at using system tracing (such as with dtrace) to visualize the running of processes. // Brendan Gregg
The Shrinking Expanding World of CI — Dr Dobbs' editor in chief notes that while the principles of Continuous Integration are flourishing, the viable toolsets are dwindling. // Dr Dobbs Journal
WebSockets Versus REST? — An analysis of the idea of using WebSockets for always-on, low latency, full duplex communication between client side JavaScript and app servers, versus making multiple HTTP rests to a RESTful API. // InfoQ

watching

Cross Platform Game Development in C# — From AltDevConf, a free, gamedev-focused online conference that took place a few weeks ago, comes a presentation on C#'s presence and role in the game development scene on multiple platforms. // Miguel de Icaza et al.
Java.next — It's Erik's take on 'bringing sexy back to Java' and assertion that Java is still the best programming language for the JVM if simplified idioms are used along with proper tooling. // Erik Onnen
Scala vs Java — In total contrast to the prior video, Dan Rosen argues that Scala is a better choice than Java on the JVM. // Dan Rosen

useful

Graphemica — A handy searchable encyclopedia of Unicode characters and symbols. Search by character or description and get info on and renderings of each character, etc.
httpstatus.es — A database of HTTP status codes with their IETF and Wikipedia descriptions.
Visual Opcode Tables — Opcode tables for Android (Dalvik), Java (JVM), .NET (CLR), and x86/x86-64.

upcoming developer events

Note: Events come and go from this list due to the large number so check the list each week for things you may wish to attend or speak at :-)

CouchConf — London, Mar 22 // couchbase/nosql
Selenium Conf — London, Apr 16-18 // selenium + browser testing
DYNCON — Stockholm, Apr 21-22 // dynamic languages conference
NHS Hack Day — London, May 26-27 // hack day
NDC: Norwegian Developers Conference — Oslo, Norway; June 6-8 // general
Scottish Ruby Conference — Edinburgh, Scotland; Jun 29-30 (CFP only, tickets sold out!) // ruby and rails
Throne of JS — Toronto, Canada; Jul 20-22 // client side javascript frameworks
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing — Baltimore, Oct 3-6 (CFP open till Mar 16)

lighter bites

Start Developing iOS Apps Today — High level roadmap for starting to develop apps for the iPhone and iPad. Great starting point if you have no iOS experience. // Apple
CoffeeScript Cookbook — Community fuelled CoffeeScript code examples. A handy no-nonsense primer for anyone wanting to scope out the popular JavaScript alternative.
Flowstone 2 — A Ruby-oriented visual programming environment aimed at robotics and device monitoring/control. // DSP Robotics
TDD comes to Arduino // Nick Christensen
TextMate 2 FAQ — For fans of the popular OS X programmers' text editor. // MacroMates
Shen: A Portable Functional Programming Language — Claims to have one of the most powerful type systems within functional programming and runs under CLisp, SBCL (and new in.. JavaScript too).
C++11 multithreading tutorial — The C++11 Standard Library now includes a multithreading library. Get a feel for its basic usage here.
BufferBloat: What's Wrong With the Internet? — A discussion with Vint Cerf, Van Jacobson, Nick Weaver, and Jim Gettys. // CACM
HTML5: Edition for Web Authors — A subset of the HTML5 specification for Web developers to read rather than browser implementation experts. // W3C

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