Web development is an industry that's in a state of constant flux with technologies and jargon changing and mutating in an endless cycle. Not to mention the sheer deluge of information one has to process everyday.
In this series, published monthly, we'll seek to rectify this by bringing you all the important news, announcements, releases and interesting discussions within the web development industry in a concise package. Join me after the jump!
News and Releases
All of the important news in a single place: releases, announcements, companies bickering, security issues and all related hoopla.
The World Loses a Few Luminaries
October, overall, was quite a sad month for techies everywhere. In case, you missed it, here are a few of the fine people we lost over the month.
Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie was an American computer scientist who "helped shape the digital era". He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the UNIX operating system. Everything digital probably runs on was created using the language this splendid mind created.
John McCarthy was the inventor of the LISP programming language, an American computer scientist and cognitive scientist who received the Turing Award in 1971 for his major contributions to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He was responsible for the coining of the term "Artificial Intelligence".
Last, but not least, Steve Jobs passed away earlier this month. For those that have been living under a rock, Jobs was the co-founder of Apple and one of the creative minds behind a lot of the popular gadgets we use today. If you're even the tiniest bit interested about him, I highly recommend picking up his biography -- it's an excellent read.
A moment in honor of these great men, if you will.
Google Introduces the Dart Programming Language
Google, in their quest to make development easier, released a new programming language targeted at web developers. Called Dart, this language should feel familiar to most Java/C# programmers. I'm sure you have lots more questions so feel free to hit the link below for the official announcement post.
Heroku Adopts for Python and Django
Heroku, one of the most well known platform-as-a-service providers, recently announced that they're adding Python to their list of supported languages. The list now includes Ruby, Java, PHP, Scala and Clojure along with Python. Hit the link below to glean more on how to use Python on Heroku.
Mozilla Shows off Aurora 9
Sinatra 1.3 Released
Quite probably the most fun framework ever just got updated to version 1.3. This version ships with a lot of nice new features about which you can read about in the link below.
Apache Releases Version 1.7 of Subversion
Amongst all the talk about Git, it's easy to forget that there are plenty of similarly abled version control solutions out there. One such fine alternative is Subversion and Apache just released a bit update to the software with plenty of bug fixes, performance improvements and new features.
Google Releases the Google JS Test
Google Unleashes ScriptCover
New Kids on the Block
As web developers, the sheer amount of resources we can tap into increases exponentially with time. Here is just a quick look at some recently created resources that deserve your attention -- everything from new books to scripts and frameworks.
No dependencies, just over 1kb gzipped, and customizable!
The easiest way to deliver multiple files to your users is in a zip file. Instead of wasting server resources and bandwidth you can get the client to do it for you.
A pure logic component for scrolling/zooming. It is independent of any specific kind of rendering or event system.
Raptor is a unique framework that's Ruby powered, Rack compatible, controller-free amongst lot others. If you're a Ruby-ist, I strongly recommend taking a look at the framework.
While not really a new utility, Dmitry just pushed out a new version of his much acclaimed Raphael vector library. Make sure to check it out!
Donatello is a pure-CSS drawing library for the browser. The API is inspired in part by Raphael.js. All graphical elements are rendered using HTML DOM and CSS. The idea came together from various code snippets I had lying around for drawing circles and lines in other projects. I decided to make an attempt at a drawing API using these ideas after using Raphael.js in my Node Knockout team project.
Best of the Internet
Often, you're not really looking for a tutorial as much as you're looking for a rant, an opinion or the musings of a tired developer or just something cool with absolutely zero real world use. This sections contains links to precisely those -- interesting and cool stuff from the developer community.
Ryan Dahl on Software
An excellent, little rant-ish post on Unix, software development and abstraction. An excellent read indeed!
'Algorithm' is Not a Four Letter Word
Jamis Buck from 37Signals talk about algorithms and why they should be a part of your programming training regimen.
Node.js is Cancer
Ted Dziuba explains why he thinks Node.JS is a disaster waiting to happen. Contains a few expletives so be warned.
repl.it is an online environment for interactively exploring programming languages. The name comes from the read-eval-print loop, the interactive toplevel used by languages like Lisp and Python. An excellent tool if you merely want to mess around with a language.
Node.js Cures Cancer
As it often happens in our field, an incendiary article often results in numerous counter articles. In this example, Brian Beck counters Ted's post about Node.JS.
Cool little script that generates noise using the canvas element.
Well, that's about all the major changes that happened in our industry lately. Since this is the first time we're doing something along these lines, everything is still up in the air — future editions will be shaped by your feedback.
Do you want us to cover more standard news? A focus on upcoming scripts maybe? Or just more interesting posts and discussions from the community? Let us know in the comments and thank you so much for reading!