Businesses

Coders In Wealthy and Developing Countries Lean on Different Programming Languages (vice.com) 92

Stack Overflow data scientist David Robinson published an interesting observation: There exists a small but meaningful divide between the programming technologies used in wealthy countries and those used in developing countries. From a report: To be sure, programmers everywhere tend to build things with the same tools, which makes sense because software is a global industry. The first is in data science, which tends to employ the programming languages Python and R. "Python is visited about twice as often in high-income countries as in the rest of the world, and R about three times as much," Robinson writes. "We might also notice that among the smaller tags, many of the greatest shifts are in scientific Python and R packages such as pandas, numpy, matplotlib and ggplot2. This suggests that part of the income gap in these two languages may be due to their role in science and academic research. It makes sense these would be more common in wealthier industrialized nations, where scientific research makes up a larger portion of the economy and programmers are more likely to have advanced degrees." C and C++ use is similarly skewed toward wealthy countries. This is likely for a similar reason. These are languages that are pushed in American universities. They also tend to be used in highly specialized/advanced programming fields like embedded software and firmware development where you're more likely to find engineers with advanced degrees.
Businesses

China Regulator To Review Apple Antitrust Complaint (bloomberg.com) 30

China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce is reviewing an antitrust complaint accusing Apple of abusing its dominant position in smartphone applications, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. From the report: The regulator is studying the information following a complaint filed on behalf of developers before deciding if a formal investigation is necessary, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter isn't public. The review is preliminary and Chinese antitrust agencies usually review such information before deciding whether a official probe is needed. Beijing-based law firm Daxiao, or Dare & Sure, said earlier this month it filed complaints on the developers' behalf to the SAIC and the National Development and Reform Commission. The lawyers accused Apple of removing apps without a proper explanation and taking an excessive 30 percent cut of in-app transactions, it said in an Aug. 8 statement. The law firm now represents close to 50 developers, producing games and a number of other apps, according to Lin Wei, managing partner of Dare & Sure.
Google

Google Unveils ARCore, Its Answer To Apple's ARKit (fastcompany.com) 40

Google has taken the wraps off its answer to Apple's ARKit -- a new augmented reality development platform called "ARCore." In a blog post, the company said it's releasing a "preview" software development kit for ARCore to Android developers today. From a report: Google released its Tango AR platform in 2014, but AR experiences built on that platform could run only on a few phones sporting advanced sensors and cameras. With ARCore, Google says, developers can create AR apps and games that run on virtually any Android smartphone -- existing and forthcoming. "We've been developing the fundamental technologies that power mobile AR over the last three years with Tango, and ARCore is built on that work," says Android Engineering VP Dave Burke in today's blog post. Developers who have already developed on the Tango platform, Burke says, can use that experience to help them create on the ARCore platform. ARCore games and apps will use an Android phone's camera to determine the position and movement of the phone itself within a real-world environment. The camera will determine the location of horizontal surfaces on which to place digital objects. The camera will also measure the ambient light in a given space, so that digital objects will appear to reflect light in convincing ways.
Java

OpenJDK May Tackle Java Security Gaps With A Secretive New Group (infoworld.com) 79

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: To shore up Java's security, a private group that operates outside the normal open source community process is under consideration. The proposed OpenJDK Vulnerability Group would provide a secure, private forum in which trusted members of the community receive reports on vulnerabilities in code bases and then review and fix them... The vulnerability group and Oracle's internal security teams would work together, and it may occasionally need to work with external security organizations.

Due to the sensitive nature of its work, membership in the group would be more selective, there would be a strict communication policy, and members or their employers would need to sign both a nondisclosure and a license agreement, said Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle. "These requirements do, strictly speaking, violate the OpenJDK bylaws," Reinhold said. "The governing board has discussed this, however, and I expect that the board will approve the creation of this group with these exceptional requirements." If the Java security group is approved, Andrew Gross, leader of Oracle's internal Java vulnerability team, would lead it.

AI

Could AI Transform Continuous Delivery Development? (thenextweb.com) 78

An anonymous reader quotes The Next Web: According to one study, high-performing IT units with faster software releases are twice as likely to achieve their goals in customer satisfaction, profitability, market share and productivity. Acknowledgement of this has fueled a headlong rush toward what software developers call "continuous delivery"... It's a process most technology departments aspire to but only a fraction have achieved. According to a recent survey by Evans Data, 65 percent of organizations are using continuous delivery on at least some projects, but only 28 percent are using it for all their software. Among non-SaaS companies, that proportion is just 18 percent...

So what comes next? The future of application development depends on using artificial intelligence within the continuous delivery model... We're at the precipice of a new world of AI-aided development that will kick software deployment speeds -- and therefore a company's ability to compete -- into high gear. "AI can improve the way we build current software," writes Diego Lo Giudice of Forrester Research in a recent report. "It will change the way we think about applications -- not programming step by step, but letting the system learn to do what it needs to do -- a new paradigm shift." The possibilities are limited only by our creativity and the investment organizations are willing to make.

The article was written by the head of R&D at Rainforest QA, which is already using AI to manage their crowdsourced quality assurance testing. But he ultimately predicts bigger roles for AI in continuous delivery development -- even choosing which modifications to use in A/B testing, and more systematic stress-testing.
Businesses

A New Non-Money Oriented Crowdsourcing Platform Based On Code Contributions (crowdsourcer.io) 84

An anonymous reader shares a new crowdfunding site built on open source principles to "remove the money element from project creation" so creators "don't have to take extreme actions such as quitting their jobs or compromising on their ideas because of investor demands. Because of the nature of crowdsourcer.io projects, project creators can remain as ambitious as funded projects and get all the contributors they need to make their idea a reality."

From the site: Crowdsourcer.io is an alternative crowd sourcing platform that allows developers and designers alike to create or join in on software related projects, build up their contribution and earn an income from the final product. Think of Crowdsourcer.io as something between open source software creation and Kickstarter start ups, a new crowd sourcing alternative, in its purest form"
The site's creator recently answered questions on Reddit, saying they'd spent years fine-tuning the idea, and writing that "It's really focussed on people who don't want to quit their job to form their own software company, and don't want to become embroiled in debt or other financing." A note at the bottom of the site adds that "Crowdsourcer.io is young. We want your ideas!"
Cloud

Employers Want More Open Source Workers, Says Linux Foundation Study (zdnet.com) 164

As in past years, "Open source is professionalizing, and employers are seeking staff with demonstrable skills," says the executive director of the Linux Foundation, describing the results of a new study with Dice.com. An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: According to the two groups' 2017 Open Source Jobs Survey and Report, "Not only do 89 percent of hiring managers report difficulty in finding qualified talent for open source roles, but 58 percent report needing to hire more open source professionals in the next six months than in the six months prior"... Seventy percent of employers, up from 66 percent in 2016, are hunting for workers with cloud experience. Web technologies placed second, with 67 percent of hiring managers hunting for workers with JavaScript and related skills. This is up five percent from last year's 62 percent. The demand for Linux talent remains strong. Sixty-five percent of hiring managers are looking for Linux experts. That's down slightly from 2016's 71 percent.
The three most common positions that they're looking to fill are developer, DevOps engineer, and systems administrator, according to the study, and "a growing number of companies (60 percent) are looking for full-time hires, compared with 53 percent last year.

"Nearly half (47 percent) of companies will pay for employees to become open-source certified."
Software

Software Is Eating the Auto Industry (strategyanalytics.com) 101

Roger Lanctot, writing for research firm Strategy Analytics: There are many more opportunities in cars today for things to go wrong as software takes over an ever-expanding array of functionality from the car stereo to enhanced safety systems and the vehicle powertrain. There are software bugs, updates, conflicts and, lately, cybersecurity vulnerabilities to worry about so it is perhaps no surprise that software is figuring in vehicle recalls. In the latest update of software-based recalls from CX3 Marketing, software-based recalls crept up higher again in 2016, surpassing 6M vehicles. It's a small portion of the overall total but it is growing -- especially as a proportion of the total. This expanding crisis in vehicle recalls is both good news and bad news for the automotive industry. The good news is that software recalls can often be corrected with over-the-air software updates. The bad news is that auto makers are in the very earliest stages of deploying software updating technology and, particularly in the U.S., they have yet to sort out conflicts with state-level dealer franchise laws that require warranty service work such as software updates be handled by dealers. The expanding role of software and the growing number of software-related recalls reflects an emerging battleground in the industry. The creation of software is expensive and labor intensive and also poses an ownership question. Starting approximately 10 years ago with BMW and Intel's mutual effort to bring Linux into cars on a larger scale via the GenIVI Alliance, auto makers have been seeking to segregated hardware from software in such a manner that hardware could conceivably be relegated to sourcing from contract manufacturers (like Flextronics) and software development costs could be reduced by sharing code. At the same time, car makers have sought to take ownership of the code written for their vehicles. Car enthusiasts have taken issue with the ownership question, asserting their right to modify vehicle software as they see fit. That particular struggle is yet to be resolved but has gained new life as more tinkerers experiment with home-grown self-driving car technology.
United States

As Coding Boot Camps Close, the Field Faces a Reality Check (nytimes.com) 179

An anonymous reader shares a report: In the last five years, dozens of schools have popped up offering an unusual promise: Even humanities graduates can learn how to code in a few months and join the high-paying digital economy. Students and their hopeful parents shelled out as much as $26,000 seeking to jump-start a career. But the coding boot-camp field now faces a sobering moment, as two large schools have announced plans to shut down this year -- despite backing by major for-profit education companies, Kaplan and the Apollo Education Group, the parent of the University of Phoenix. The closings are a sign that years of heady growth led to a boot-camp glut, and that the field could be in the early stages of a shakeout. [...] One of the casualties, Dev Bootcamp, was a pioneer. It started in San Francisco in 2012 and grew to six schools with more than 3,000 graduates. Only three years ago, Kaplan, the biggest supplier of test-preparation courses, bought Dev Bootcamp and pledged bold expansion. It is now closing at the end of the year. Also closing is The Iron Yard, a boot camp that was founded in Greenville, S.C., in 2013 and swiftly spread to 15 campuses, from Las Vegas to Washington, D.C. Its main financial backer is the Apollo Education Group. Since 2013, the number of boot camp schools in the United States has tripled to more than 90, and the number of graduates will reach nearly 23,000 in 2017, a tenfold jump from 2013, according to Course Report, which tracks the industry.
United States

Apple Is Pulling Apps By Iranian Developers From The App Store To Comply With US Sanctions (buzzfeed.com) 101

An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple is pulling apps created by Iranian developers that are specifically designed for people in Iran from its App Stores to comply with US sanctions, The New York Times reports. Apple does not sell its products in Iran and an Iranian version of the Apple App Store doesn't exist, but smuggled iPhones are popular among wealthy Iranians. Iranian developers have created thousands of apps for these users and offer them on App Stores in other countries including the US App Store. For the last few weeks, Apple has been removing Iranian food delivery and shopping apps, and on Thursday, it removed Snapp, an Uber-like ride hailing app that is popular in Iran.
Programming

Node.js Forked Again Over Complaints of Unresponsive Leadership (thenewstack.io) 338

New submitter Kant shares a report: The codebase for popular Node.js JavaScript runtime has been forked again -- the second time in less than three years -- with a growing number of contributors charging that the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) leadership is ignoring repeated violations of the project's code of conduct. The new project, called Ayo will be managed under an open governance model. The complaints centered around ongoing behavior of NodeSource Director of Engineering, and Node.js TSC member Rod Vagg. The TSC received multiple complaints from Node.js members about a Tweet from Vagg promoting a Men's Rights Activist-slanted article, one that cast doubt on the validity of project Code-of-Conducts. In that Tweet, Vagg commented "If you've never considered the potential downsides of codes of conduct, here's a good place to start." [...] On August 21, The TSC voted on whether or not to remove Vagg from its ranks. Of the 10 TSC members who voted, 60 percent voted against removing Rod from the TSC and 60 percent voted against asking Rod to voluntarily resign. That the TSC voted to keep Vagg on the committee inflamed others in the project. One committee member, Myles Borins, resigned in protest. The decision to keep Vagg "undermines our Conduct Guidelines, drives away potential contributors, and in my opinion undermines the Committee's ability to govern," he wrote in a blog post. In a post further explaining the need for the forked Ayo project, developer Rudolf Olah explained that "Driving away contributors can be fatal in the open source world where most developers are essentially using their free time and volunteering to contribute. It is already difficult enough to attract contributors to smaller projects and larger projects, such as Node.js, need to be careful to make all contributors feel welcome."
Programming

JavaScript Is Eating The World (dev.to) 349

An anonymous reader shares a report: In case you haven't heard the news, JavaScript and NodeJS are single handedly eating the world of software. NodeJS is an Open Source server-side JavaScript environment based on the V8 JS rendering engine found in Google Chrome. Once only thought of as a "hipster" framework, NodeJS is fastly becoming one of the most commonly used languages in building web applications and is beginning to find its way into the Enterprise. Netflix, Microsoft, PayPal, Uber, and IBM have adopted the popular "hipster" server-side JavaScript engine for use inside high traffic, high profile production projects. Java still powers the backend of Netflix, but all the stuff that the user sees comes from Node. In addition to Node, Netflix is also using ReactJS in their stack. PayPal too is moving away from Java and onto JavaScript and NodeJS for use in their web application platform. Uber has built its massive driver / rider matching system on Node.js Distributed Web Architecture. IBM has also embraced NodeJS as well. Even Microsoft has embraced NodeJS, offering direct integrations into their Azure Platform, releasing a wealth of tutorials targeted at Node and they have even announced plans to fork the project and build their own version of Node powered by their Edge Javascript engine instead of Chrome's V8.
Crime

Iowa Computer Programmer Gets 25 Years For Lottery Scam (desmoinesregister.com) 131

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Des Moines Register: Eddie Tipton, the Iowa brainpower behind a case of multi-state lottery fraud, will spend up to 25 years in prison for rigging "random" drawing jackpots. It's unknown how many years Tipton will actually spend in prison. He could be paroled within three or four years, his attorneys noted. Tipton, 54, was a longtime computer programmer in the Iowa offices of the Multi-State Lottery Association who installed software that allowed him to pick winning numbers in some of the nation's most popular lottery drawings. His scam began to unravel following unsuccessful attempts to anonymously collect a $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket that was purchased at a Des Moines convenience store in 2010. "I certainly regret," Tipton said. "It's difficult even saying that. With all the people I know behind me that I hurt and I regret it. I'm sorry."
Education

Ask Slashdot: How Can You Teach Programming To Schoolchildren? 353

Slashdot reader SPopulisQR writes: A new school year is approaching and I wanted to ask what are appropriate programming languages for children of various ages. Specifically, 1) what coding languages should be considered, and 2) are there are any self-guided coding websites that can be used by children to learn coding using guidance and help online? Let's say the ages are 8 and 12.
I know there's lots of opinions about CS education (and about whether or not laptops increase test scores). So leave your own best thoughts in the comments. How can you teach programming to schoolchildren?
Java

Red Hat Gives Ceylon To The Eclipse Foundation (eclipse.org) 97

An anonymous reader writes: Some media outlets called Ceylon an attempted "Java killer" when Gavin King first unveiled his secret two-year development project in 2011. In 2013 Red Hat finally released version 1.0 of the modern, modular statically-typed programming language for the Java and JavaScript virtual machines. After another four years, "Ceylon has a small but very active and enthusiastic community of developers and users, and indeed is the fruit of the hard work of a large number of contributors over the years," says a project proposal page at Eclipse.org seeking "to further grow our community... a key strategy to achieve that would be to move Ceylon from Red Hat to a vendor-neutral foundation."

That project has now been approved, and the "Eclipse Ceylon" project has been created. It includes the Ceylon distribution and its SDK, plus the Java2Ceylon converter and the Ceylon Herd project's server (and related services) for Ceylon module sharing. There's also three IDEs (and their code-formatting and functionality-sharing modules).

Back in 2011 InfoWorld predicted that instead of becoming a Java killer, "it is more likely Ceylon will join a growing list of new languages resting atop the JVM, while the Java language and platform will continue on as staples of enterprise computing."
Java

Oracle Now Wants To Give Java EE to an Open Source Foundation (infoworld.com) 106

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: Oracle wants to end its leadership in the development of enterprise Java and is looking for an open source foundation to take on the role. The company said Thursday that the upcoming Java EE (Enterprise Edition) 8 presents an opportunity to rethink how the platform is developed. Although development is done via open source with community participation, the current Oracle-led process is not seen as agile, flexible, or open enough. "We believe that moving Java EE technologies to an open source foundation may be the right next step, to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing and change the governance process," Oracle said in a statement...

Despite its desire to retreat from Java EE leadership, Oracle said it plans to continue participating in the evolution of Java EE technologies. "But we believe a more open process, that is not dependent on a single vendor as platform lead, will encourage greater participation and innovation, and will be in best interests of the community"... Oracle's goals for offloading Java EE would have Oracle not lead the project as it still effectively does with Java SE.

Red Hat's senior principal product manager called this "a very positive move," while Eclipse's executive director said that moving Java EE to a vendor-neutral open source foundation "would be great for both the platform and the community," adding "If asked to so, the Eclipse Foundation would be pleased to serve as the host organization."
Databases

Google and ProPublica Team Up To Build a National Hate Crime Database (techcrunch.com) 310

In partnership with ProPublica, Google News Lab is launching a new tool to track hate crimes across America. The "Documenting Hate News Index" is being powered by machine learning to track reported hate crimes across all 50 states, collecting data from February 2017 onward. TechCrunch reports: Data visualization studio Pitch Interactive helped craft the index, which collects Google News results and filters them through Google's natural language analysis to extract geographic and contextual information. Because they are not catalogued in any kind of formal national database, a fact that inspired the creation of the index to begin with, Google calls the project a "starting point" for the documentation and study of hate crimes. While the FBI is legally required to document hate crimes at the federal level, state and local authorities often fail to report their own incidents, making the data incomplete at best.

The initiative is a data-rich new arm of the Documenting Hate project which collects and verifies hate incidents reported by both individual contributors and by news organizations. The Hate News Index will keep an eye out for false positives (casual uses of the word "hate" for example), striking a responsible balance between machine learning and human curation on a very sensitive subject. Hate events will be mapped onto a calendar in the user interface, though users can also use a keyword search or browse through algorithmic suggestions. For anyone who'd like to take the data in a new direction, Google will open sourced its data set, making it available through GitHub.

IT

Developer Accidentally Deletes Three-Month of Work With Visual Studio Code (bingj.com) 765

New submitter joshtops writes: A developer accidentally three-month of his work. In a post, he described his experience, "I had just downloaded VScode as an alternative and I was just playing with the source control option, seeing how it wanted to stage -- five thousand files -- I clicked discard... AND IT DELETED ALL MY FILES, ALL OF THEM, PERMANENTLY! How the f*uk is this s*it possible, who the hell is the d******* who made the option to permanently delete all the files on a project by accident even possible? Cannot even find them in the Recycle Bin!!!! I didn't even thought that was possible on Windows!!! F*ck this f*cking editor and f*ck whoever implemented this option. I wish you the worst.'
Desktops (Apple)

In Defense of the Popular Framework Electron (dev.to) 138

Electron, a popular framework that allows developers to write code once and seamlessly deploy it across multiple platforms, has been a topic of conversation lately among developers and users alike. Many have criticised Electron-powered apps to be "too memory intensive." A developer, who admittedly uses a high-end computer, shares his perspective: I can speak for myself when I say Electron runs like a dream. On a typical day, I'll have about three Atom windows open, a multi-team Slack up and running, as well as actively using and debugging my own Electron-based app Standard Notes. [...] So, how does it feel to run this bloat train of death every day? Well, it feels like nothing. I don't notice it. My laptop doesn't get hot. I don't hear the fan. I experience no lags in any application. [...] But aside from how it makes end-users feel, there is an arguably more important perspective to be had: how it makes software companies feel. For context, the project I work in is an open-source cross-platform notes app that's available on most platforms, including web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. All the desktop applications are based off the main web codebase, and are bundled using Electron, while the iOS and Android app use their own native codebases respectively, one in Swift and the other in Kotlin. And as a new company without a lot of resources, this setup has just barely allowed us to enter the marketplace. Three codebases is two too many codebases to maintain. Every time we make a change, we have to make it in three different places, violating the most sacred tenet of computer science of keeping it DRY. As a one-person team deploying on all these platforms, even the most minor change will take at minimum three development days, one for each codebase. This includes debugging, fixing, testing, bundling, deploying, and distributing every single codebase. This is by no means an easy task.
AI

Amazon Will Pay Developers With the Most Engaging Alexa Skills (venturebeat.com) 41

Amazon today announced a new program to bring revenue to developers of Alexa skills based on how much engagement their voice app is able to generate among users of Alexa-enabled devices. From a report: Amazon appears to be the first of the major tech companies with AI assistants and third-party integrations -- like Google, Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft -- with a program to compensate developers based on engagement created by their voice app. Metrics used to measure engagement of an Alexa skill include minutes of usage, new customers, customer ratings, and return visitors, an Amazon spokesperson told VentureBeat. Developers of Alexa skills in the U.S., U.K., and Germany are eligible to join. Developers with a skill active in all three countries will receive separate payments based on engagement in each country.

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