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Programming: Python 2.*, Functional Computation, and Plagiarism in CS

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  • 1.5 Year Warning: Python2 will be End of Lifed

    The end of upstream Python 2.7 support will be January 1, 2020 (2020-01-01) and the Fedora Project is working out what to do with it. As Fedora 29 would be released in 2019-11 and would get 1.5 years of support, the last release which would be considered supportable would be the upcoming release of Fedora 28. This is why the current Python maintainers are looking to orphan python2. They have made a list of the packages that would be affected by this and have started a discussion on the Fedora development lists, but people who only see notes of this from blogs or LWN posts may not have seen it yet.

  • Why is functional programming seen as the opposite of OOP rather than an addition to it?

    So: both OOP and functional computation can be completely compatible (and should be!). There is no reason to munge state in objects, and there is no reason to invent “monads” in FP. We just have to realize that “computers are simulators” and figure out what to simulate.

  • Why we still can’t stop plagiarism in undergraduate computer science

    The most important goal is to keep the course fair for students who do honest work. Instructors must assign grades that accurately reflect performance. A student who grapples with a problem — becoming a stronger programmer in the process — should never receive a lower grade than one who copies and pastes.


    University administrators should communicate their support. Instructors should know that, not only will they suffer no retaliation, but that the university encourages them to enforce university policies. This might require administrators to acknowledge the inconvenient truth of widespread plagiarism.

Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos

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A Filipino developer is hoping his handmade Ruby port will help bring coding skills to some of the Philippines's poorest communities.

Joel Bryan Juliano says he built Bato as a way for speakers of Tagalog – the most widely-spoken language in the nation – to be able to learn the basics of programming without also having to be fluent in English. Today's coding languages tend to be built around English grammar, which is a problem for people without a grasp on English.

A software engineer with Altus Digital Capital by day, Juliano told The Register he developed Bato as an educational tool for skilling up family members, and quickly saw how it could be used to show the basics of programming without language barriers.

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Programming/Development: JupyterLab, Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP), Rust, Python 3.7 in Fedora

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  • JupyterLab: ready for users

    In the recent article about Jupyter and its notebooks, we mentioned that a new interface, called JupyterLab, existed in what its developers described as an "early preview" stage. About two weeks after that article appeared, Project Jupyter made a significant announcement: JupyterLab is "ready for users". Users will find a more integrated environment for scientific computation that is also more easily extended. JupyterLab takes the Jupyter Notebook to a level of functionality that will propel it well into the next decade—and beyond.

    While JupyterLab is still in beta, it is stable and functional enough to be used in daily work, and steadily approaching a 1.0 release. From the point of view of developers working on extensions or other projects that use the JupyterLab API, however, the beta status serves as a caution that its developer interfaces are still in flux; they should plan for the possibility of breaking changes.

    JupyterLab arose in 2015 from the desire to incorporate the "classic" (as it is known now) Jupyter Notebook into something more like an integrated development environment running in the browser. In addition, the user was to have the ability to extend the environment by creating new components that could interact with each other and with the existing ones. The 2011 web technology that the Jupyter Notebook was built upon was not quite up to this task. Although existing JavaScript libraries, such as React, suggested a way forward, none of them had the power and flexibility, particularly in the area of interprocess communication, that was required. The JupyterLab team addressed this problem by developing a new JavaScript framework called PhosphorJS. JupyterLab and PhosphorJS are co-developed, with capabilities added to the JavaScript framework as they are needed for JupyterLab.


    The Jupyter Notebook has already won over many scientists and educators because of the ease with which it allows one to explore, experiment, and share. JupyterLab makes the Notebook part of a more complete, powerful, and extensible environment for pursuing computational science and disseminating the results, leaving little doubt that this free-software project will win over an even larger portion of the scientific community. I've tried to give some idea of the power and convenience of the JupyterLab interface, but to really appreciate this technology, you need to try it out yourself. Fortunately, this is easy to do, as it's simple to install and intuitive enough to get started without reading documentation—and it happens to be a great deal of fun.

  • Variable-length arrays and the max() mess

    Variable-length arrays (VLAs) have a non-constant size that is determined (and which can vary) at run time; they are supported by the ISO C99 standard. Use of VLAs in the kernel has long been discouraged but not prohibited, so there are naturally numerous VLA instances to be found. A recent push to remove VLAs from the kernel entirely has gained momentum, but it ran into an interesting snag on the way.

  • Discussing PEP 572

    As is often the case, the python-ideas mailing list hosted a discussion about a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) recently. In some sense, this particular PEP was created to try to gather together the pros and cons of a feature idea that regularly crops up: statement-local bindings for variable names. But the discussion of the PEP went in enough different directions that it led to calls for an entirely different type of medium in which to have those kinds of discussions.

  • This Week in Rust 226

    Always wanted to contribute to open-source projects but didn't know where to start? Every week we highlight some tasks from the Rust community for you to pick and get started!

  • Python 3.7 now available in Fedora

    On February 28th 2018, the second beta of Python 3.7 was released. This new version contains lots of fixes and, notably, several new features available for everyone to test. The pre-release of Python 3.7 is available not only in Fedora Rawhide but also all other Fedora versions. Read more about it below.

JDK 10 Released

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  • JDK 10: General Availability

    JDK 10, the first release produced under the six-month rapid-cadence release model [1][2], is now Generally Available. We've identified no P1 bugs since we promoted build 46 almost two weeks ago, so that is the official GA release, ready for production use.

  • Java JDK 10 Reaches General Availability With Experimental Java-Based JIT Compiler

    JDK 10 has reached general availability as the first Java release under Oracle's new six-month release model.

    Mark Reinhold of Oracle has announced the availability now of JDK 10 with its official GA release now that no more high priority bugs are present.

  • Java 10 Released With New Features: Download Here

    Ever since its inception, Java has continued to rule the hearts of programmers as one of the most loved and used programming languages around. In 2017, Oracle and Java community decided to move to a new six-month cycle.

    The recently released JDK 10 is the first Oracle release in the new cycle. So, in a way, this implementation of Java Standard Edition (SE) 10 is the beginning of a new era. It follows Java 9, which arrived just six months ago.

Atom 1.25

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  • Atom 1.25

    Atom 1.25 has been released on our stable channel and includes GitHub package improvements, improved syntax highlighting and code folding, Python and HTML language improvements and more.

  • GitHub's Atom Hackable Text Editor Gets Performance, Responsiveness Improvements

    GitHub released a new stable version of their open-source and cross-platform Atom hackable text editor with a bunch of enhancements, bug fixes, a new Electron version, as well as performance and responsiveness improvements.

    Atom 1.25 is now available for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms, and it is packed with improvements for the GitHub package to let you stage and view changes affecting file mode modifications, additions to symbolic links, as well as the ability for the Diff view to no longer reset its scrolling position.

Programming: Google Opens Maps APIs, Survey, Firefox Addons and GCC

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  • China's open source AI, a GitHub tool for licensing, and more news
  • Google Opens Maps APIs and World Becomes Dev Playground

    Google this week announced that it will open its Maps APIs to video game developers, which could result in far more realistic settings in augmented reality games. With access to real-time map updates and rich location data, developers will have many choices of settings for their games.

    The APIs will provide devs with what Google has described as a "living model of the world" to use as a foundation for game worlds. Developers will have access to more than 100 million 3D buildings, roads, landmarks and parks from more than 200 countries around the globe.

  • Developers dread Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2, SharePoint - survey

    Stack Overflow’s annual survey has revealed the tools and tech that developers love to hate: Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2 and SharePoint.

    According to the poll, which took in the views of more than 100,000 devs, Rust is the most loved programming language for the third year running. It is closely followed by Kotlin, which makes its debut in the survey.


    At the other end of the spectrum is Visual Basic 6, which has been voted most dreaded programming language. Visual Basic 6 is also linked to lower pay, with Stack Overflow saying that devs using it are “paid less even given years of experience”.

  • [Firefox] March Add(on)ness: Momentum (2) vs Grammarly (3)
  • Intel SGX Enclave Support Added To GCC

    The latest feature addition to the GCC compiler this week is support for Intel's new "ENCLV".

    ENCLV is a new intrinsic that is part of the Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX). The Enclave happens to be a trusted execution environment embedded into a process with isolated memory regions of Enclaves are protected areas of execution and the ENCLV instruction is needed to put application code into that special mode.

Programming: Developer Survey, Code That Unmasks, Retaining Newcomers

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  • Developers love trendy new languages but earn more with functional programming

    Developer Q&A site Stack Overflow performs an annual survey to find out more about the programmer community, and the latest set of results has just been published.

  • FYI: AI tools can unmask anonymous coders from their binary executables [Ed: Just a kind reminder that if you are e using Microsoft's tools compile source code, there will be surveillance and telemetry in your compiled code]

    Programmers can be potentially identified from the low-level machine-code instructions in their software executables by AI-powered tools.

    That's according to boffins from Princeton University, Shiftleft, Drexel University, Sophos, and Braunschweig University of Technology, who have described how stylometry can be applied to binary files.

    That's kinda bad news for people who wish to develop software, such as privacy-protecting apps, anonymously, as this technology can be used to potentially unmask them. It's also kinda good news for crimefighters trying to identify malware authors.

  • How to avoid humiliating newcomers: A guide for advanced developers

    Every year in New York City, a few thousand young men come to town, dress up like Santa Claus, and do a pub crawl. One year during this SantaCon event, I was walking on the sidewalk and minding my own business, when I saw an extraordinary scene. There was a man dressed up in a red hat and red jacket, and he was talking to a homeless man who was sitting in a wheelchair. The homeless man asked Santa Claus, "Can you spare some change?" Santa dug into his pocket and brought out a $5 bill. He hesitated, then gave it to the homeless man. The homeless man put the bill in his pocket.

    In an instant, something went wrong. Santa yelled at the homeless man, "I gave you $5. I wanted to give you one dollar, but five is the smallest I had, so you oughtta be grateful. This is your lucky day, man. You should at least say thank you!"


    I still get angry at people on the internet. It happened to me recently, when someone posted a comment on a video I published about Python co-routines. It had taken me months of research and preparation to create this video, and then a newcomer commented, "I want to master python what should I do."

Linux Beats Windows To Become The Most Popular Development Platform: Stack Overflow Survey 2018

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Every year, Stack Overflow conducts its developer survey and shares its results with the public for analysis. Expanding its reach, this year over 100,000 developers took part in the 30-minute survey and told how they learn new technologies, which tools they use to get their work done, and what they look for while hunting some job.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the different findings of the survey with you and telling you how it compares to the past years’ trends. Today, I’ll be telling you about the platforms that were most commonly used by the developers over the past year.

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LLVM Release Schedules and DragonFFI

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Which programming languages pay best, most popular? Developers' top choices

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Stack Overflow has released the results of its annual survey of 100,000 developers, revealing the most-popular, top-earning, and preferred programming languages.

The most-loved languages are Kotlin and Mozilla-developed Rust, according to Stack Overflow's 2018 developer survey.

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Also: Developers love trendy new languages, but earn more with functional programming

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