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Light Table: A New Spin on the IDE 137

New submitter omar.sahal writes "Bret Victor demoed the idea of instant feedback on your code. ... Allowing the programmer to instantly see what his program is doing. Chris Granger has turned this novel idea into Light Table — a new IDE designed to make use of Victor's insights." The screenshots make this look like it could be genuinely useful — like a much fancier and more functional combination of features from SLIME and Speedbar. There's a Google group for those wanting to track development. There's no code yet, but source is promised: "I can guarantee you that Light Table will be built on top of the technologies that are freely available to us today. As such, I believe it only fair that the core of Light Table be open sourced once it is launched, while some of the plugins may remained closed source."

Oracle and Google To Finally Enter Courtroom 175

Fluffeh writes "After around 900 motions and filings, not to mention a timeline of two years, Google and Oracle are finally putting their case before a jury which will be selected on Monday. While Oracle originally sued for billions, the possible damages have come down to a more reasonable $30-something million (the details vary depending on if you ask Google or Oracle). However, the sides are still far apart. Oracle's proposal was a minimum, not a maximum, and Oracle has asked for a tripling of damages because of the 'willful and deliberate nature of Google's infringement.' For ongoing royalties from future sales, Google has proposed payment of just over one-half of one percent of revenue if patent infringement is proven, but Oracle wants more. Beyond financial damages, Oracle has asked for a permanent order preventing Google from continuing to infringe the patents and copyrights. The case is planned to start on Monday afternoon, after jury selection or Tuesday at the latest."

Documentation As a Bug-Finding Tool 188

New submitter Sekrimo writes "This article discusses an interesting advantage to writing documentation. While the author acknowledges that developers often write documentation so that others may better understand their code, he claims documenting can also be a useful way to find bugs before they ever become an issue. Taking the time to write this documentation helps to ensure that you've thought through every aspect of your program fully, and cleared up any issues that may arise."

The Ugly Underbelly of Coder Culture 715

snydeq writes "Today's developers are overwhelmingly young and male, and they're barring the door from a more diverse workforce, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. 'Software development isn't just failing to attract women. It's actively pushing them away. ... Put all the pieces together, and you're left with an impression of developers that's markedly different from the geeks and nerds they're made out to be in popular culture. On the contrary, developers harbor the same attitudes and engage in the same behaviors you see whenever a subculture is overwhelmingly dominated by young males. They've even coined a clever name for programmers who think and behave like fraternity pledges: brogrammers,' McAllister writes. 'Developers like to think of their culture as a meritocracy, where the very best developers naturally rise to the top. But as long as the industry tends to exclude more than half of the potential workforce, that's nothing but pure arrogance.'"

Raspberry Pi Arrives, With a School Debut In Leeds 148

hypnosec writes "It seems fitting that the first batch of Raspberry Pi computers landed in the UK in the hands of school children based in Leeds as what many consider as another wave of grass-root computing revolution, another BBC Micro 2.0, begins. The Raspberry Pi has been designed from scratch to get anyone interested in computer programming to do so without forking out much; the base unit can connect to a television like the Commodore C64 or the Sinclair ZX81. According to the BBC, the first batch has been presented [Friday] by Eben Upton, the school project coordinator, in an event held at the Leeds offices of Premier Farnell, one of the official PI distributors."

Oracle and Google Spar Over Whether Programming Languages Can Be Copyrighted 316

pcritter writes "With the Oracle v. Google trial date set for next Monday, the Judge has asked Google and Oracle to take a position on whether a programming language is copyrightable. This presumably relates to whether Google violated copyright by using a variant of the Java language and its APIs in the Android framework. Oracle, who thinks it can be, has used J.R.R. Tolkein's Elvish language as an examples (PDF) of a language that can be copyrighted. Google disagrees (PDF)."

Apple Updates Java To Include Flashback Removal 121

Fluffeh writes "In the third update to Java that Apple has released this week, the update now identifies and removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware that has infected over half a million Apple machines. 'This Java security update removes the most common variants of the Flashback malware,' Apple wrote in the support document for the update. 'This update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets.'"

Ask Slashdot: Best Book For 11-Year-Old Who Wants To Teach Himself To Program? 525

New submitter waferthinmint asks "What is the best book for my son to use to teach himself to program? He wants to study on his own but everything seems to assume an instructor or a working theoretical knowledge. He's a bright kid but the right guide can make all the difference. Also, what language should he start with? When I was in HS, it was Basic or Pascal. Now, I guess, C? He has access to an Ubuntu box and an older MacBook Pro. Help me Slashdot; you're our only hope."

Etsy Hacker Grants Support Female Programmers 211

samazon writes "Online retail shop Etsy announced a living-expenses grant program for women interested in attending the free Hacker School 3-month programming course. The program is hosted in various New York locations (NYU and Spotify have both hosted sessions) and not only is Etsy offering $5,000 grants to ten women who are accepted into the program, they're also hosting the summer course, and have offered enough space to double the class size to 40 students."

Artificial Neural Networks Demonstrate the Evolution of Human Intelligence 107

samazon writes "Ph.D. students at Trinity College in Dublin have constructed an artificial neural network model to demonstrate the Machiavellian intelligence theory — that human intelligence evolved based on the need for social teamwork and indexing a variety of social relationships and statuses. (Abstract) The experiment involved programming a base group of 50 simulated 'brains' which were required to participate one of two classical game theory dilemmas — the Prisoner's Dilemma or the Snowdrift game. Upon completion of either game, each 'brain' produced 'offspring' asexually, with 'brains' that made more advantageous choices during the games programmed to have a better chance to reproduce. A potential random mutation during each generation changed the 'brain's structure, number of neurons, or the strengths of the connections between those neurons,' simulating the evolution of the social brain. After 50,000 generations, the model showed that as cooperation increased, so did the intelligence of the programmed brains." The full paper is available.

US CompSci Enrollment Up For 4th Year Running 101

dcblogs writes "Interest in computer science continues to grow among undergrad students, who pushed enrollments up nearly 10% in the 2011-12 academic year, according to the Computing Research Association (CRA) of enrollment and graduation rates at Ph.D.-granting universities. This marks the fourth straight year of increases. Enrollments might have been even higher if not for enrollment caps at some schools that don't have enough faculty, equipment or classrooms to meet demand. Enrollments increased 10% last year as well, but overall enrollments remain below the peak reached during the bubble. Around 2002, each school had a department with an average enrollment of about 400 students; by 2006-07, that enrollment average had declined to about 200. Average enrollments per department are now nearing 300, according to the survey."

Demoscene: 64k Intros At Revision Demoparty 207

An anonymous reader writes "Last week-end at Revision demoparty, demosceners have pushed further the limits of what can be done in a single 64kb executable file. Using extensive procedural techniques and compression, Gaia Machina (video capture) and F — Felix's Workshop (video capture) are realtime animations, featuring high quality rendering, sound, 3D models, and textures."

Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance? 170

jfruh writes "Most gamers probably know that legendary game designer Tim Schafer turned to Kickstarter to help raise money a new adventure game; aiming for $400,000, he managed to raise more than $3 million. But you might not know that a host of other game projects are doing well on the crowdfunding site, with creators ranging from industry famous to unknown. By bypassing corporate funding and appealing directly to their audience, these developers are sparking a renaissance in quirky, personal games that probably wouldn't be backed by a big label looking for a sure-fire hit."

How To Share a Cake Over the Internet 123

mikejuk writes "The problem to be solved sounds trivial — cut up a cake so that each person thinks they get a fair share. This classical problem gets even more difficult if the 'players' can't all see what is going on at the same time — for example because they are negotiating via the internet. Now there is an asynchronous algorithm that is guaranteed to be fair and it all depends on using an encrypted auction. The new algorithm is simple and easy to use, and might be the solution to any number of difficult situations where people need to share things so that everyone comes away happy."