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Ancient Computer Character Code Tables – and Why They’re Still Relevant

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There’s rhyme and reason to character codes, but it’s not poetry. It’s the evolution of ancient machine controls. Knowing how rudimentary character codes work gives you control over what an application visually represents to the user. There are good historical reasons … [Read more...]

On the Appreciation of Users

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Forty years ago, on 15 May 1974, a small group of Unix users met at Columbia University. They met to hear Ken Thompson, to exchange bugs and solutions concerning the Unix operating system and to share bugs and solutions concerning their DEC hardware. They needed each … [Read more...]

OpenDaylight: Open Source Programming to the Software-Defined Network

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As hypervisors changed data-center computing, so software-defined networking will change data-center networking. The open source OpenDaylight project is leading the way. If you follow networking vendors, you know they get along with one another about as well as a dog … [Read more...]

The History of Computer Language Translation

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We’re starting to take for granted the number of tools that translate from one human language to another – not least of which are the translations included in Web browsers – even when they do an imperfect job. The technical road to relative success in this realm has been a … [Read more...]

Embedding Jython in Java Applications

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Jython is an implementation of the Python programming language in Java, running on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), as opposed to the standard implementation of Python which is implemented in C (CPython). Python developers can use it to take advantage of the vast libraries … [Read more...]

Exploring Programming Languages’ Science and Folklore

Functional programming! Declarative! Object-oriented! Strong typing, static, dynamic! The programming community certainly has put a lot of energy into deciding techniques and methodologies by argument. But is there persuasive experimental evidence about what truly helps and … [Read more...]

Is Programming the New World Literacy? This Week’s Hour of Code

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Have you ever gotten to know an illiterate person? Have you spoken with them, listened to the challenges they face, and realized all the opportunity they are cut off from simply because they cannot read? It’s startling. Especially in a country like the U.S., being able to … [Read more...]

The Developer’s RegEx Survival Guide: 15 Rules for Making Sense of Regular Expressions

Regular expressions are a powerful, expressive and compact way to solve many programming problems involving text. Yet when I help people on StackOverflow, I see a lot of pain and anguish from people misusing regexes, or not knowing the common pitfalls. In this article, I … [Read more...]

C++11 Tutorial: Explaining the Ever-Elusive Lvalues and Rvalues

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Every C++ programmer is familiar with the terms lvalue and rvalue. It’s no surprise, since the C++ standard uses them “all over”, as do many textbooks. But what do they mean? Are they still relevant now that C++11 has five value categories? It's about time to clear up the … [Read more...]

Don’t Fear The Code: How Learning Basic Coding Can Boost Your Testing Career

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It’s vital to acknowledge from the outset that I am a reluctant programmer. I know how to program. I can piece together programs in a variety of languages, but it’s not something I consider myself accomplished at doing. As a software tester, this is a common refrain that … [Read more...]