Category SoftDev

Software Engineering and Development

Go and Javascript.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Python is being replaced by Go. I don’t have a lot of information to back up this prediction except that most of the positive articles I read about Go are written by Python developers, and a lot of them say that they are now actively migrating their code base from Python to Go. I don’t see as much enthusiasm for Go from developers using statically typed languages, probably because of Go’s antiquated type system (which is still a big step up from Python, obviously).

A Colourable iOS 7 Map Pin (Photoshop)

For anyone developing iOS 7 maps-enabled apps, you probably know that the pin image has changed for this version of iOS. iOS has long limited the provided pin colours to Red, Green and Purple. Here is a layered Photoshop file…

Using OTE's 11888 to provide fast CLID data for FreePBX/Asterisk

For those using FreePBX (a configuration/administrative interface that manages Asterisk) there is a CallerID Lookup module, published by the FreePBX team. The module allows you to interface with data sources using several methods, one of them being http. Like many…

Visualising geospatial data using SVG, Python and Javascript/d3

Geography is an immensely important tool in the modern business environment. Doing business globally was the first wave of the globalised economy, and the widespread use of internet-based services and e-commerce only accelerated and solidified the notion. The next wave…

TextMate 2 is now available under GPL3!

Who would've thought a few years ago that this day would come! Given the success of TextMate 1.x and the unprecedented delay in releasing TextMate 2, I guess open sourcing it makes sense. But GPL3? Really?

Codify for iPad

I've been a fan of Lua since the early 2000s when a friend introduced it to me, even though I never got around to finding the time to properly learn and use it in production stuff. We have discussed about using Lua as a scripting language to allow for downloadable bundles that would extend AthensBook/ThessBook functionality (or fix bugs, or provide dynamically determined personalised features etc., but that never happened until now, due to licensing restrictions by Apple) for ages. Codify is an unbelievably cool app that leverages lua to provide a simple programming environment for the iPad. Combined with the general appeal of the device, the lack of third party, scripting programming environments for it, the ease of programming and use of Codify and the excitement of using such great hardware, I feel that Codify might be the Logo/Basic equivalent for this generation of children between the ages of 5-10, a great introductory platform for programming and an amazing tool for everyone else. And at $7.99 I think it's a steal. You might want to use a bluetooth keyboard for it though; typing code on the on-screen keyboard seems like a horrible horrible nuisance.

A PC Emulator in Javascript.

You read this right: this is a 'full-fledged' PC emulator written in pure Javascript. It can boot linux. Amazing stuff, let's hope we get 'readable' source code sometime soon.

Some thoughts on Ubuntu Unity

A lot has been said and written about Ubuntu Unity, the new ‘shell’ that’s replaced the ‘classic’ default GNOME desktop in Ubuntu 11.04. Despised by many that interpreted Canonical’s break from the ‘open-source’ norm of restricting modifications to upstream platforms…

Javaless Guardian

Guardian.co.uk is switching from Java to Scala. I'm surprised it took so long and that other Java shops are not following en masse --- it could be because of how different and esoteric Scala can be, especially to Java programmers. The linked infoQ article contains an interesting discussion with the Guardian folks. Programming enterprise web applications (or anything, for that matter) in Java is painful for anyone mature enough to have experienced the wealth and breadth of tools out there, given how primitive, verbose and unproductive it is, and how much it caters for the lowest common denominator of a programmer. That's not to say that Scala is the best choice for everyone, let alone those not starting from scratch, but given the Guardian's existing infrastructure and systems, I guess that it's the best choice they could've made.

My Ten Years With Mac OS X.

Ten years ago, on March 24th, 2001, Mac OS X came out. A first, publicly available, one point oh unpolished version of Apple’s ‘next’ (pun intended) operating system. An operating system that Apple had been trying, in one way or…