Weekly developer news – December 22nd 2017

So, welcome to the 13th edition of developer news, and the last one for the year.

Thanks to everyone who has participated and given feedback on this weekly post. I’ll be picking this up again in the new year, and will also have some announcements about my courses, and platform for software devs to engage and learn with each other.

More on that next year, but for now, here’s the top 4 for this week:

1 : Why JetBrains invented Kotlin

I’m a fan of new languages and like to look at what they bring to the table. Even if I don’t ever use a particular language, there’s always something to learn from the core language syntax, mentality, as well as the ecosystem around it.

This post is a nice analysis and thought piece on the motivations behind the creation and ongoing promotion of Kotlin.

2: Diagnosing TCP issues on Cloudflare

This second item from the Cloudflare blog is a deep dive into a technical TCP issue causing 522 HTTP errors. I wanted to include this item for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it’s an article that has been pretty popular on various networks this week, so thought it worthy of promoting further.

Secondly, and more importantly, As a developer working on networked applications, even just APIs, I think it’s important to understand the details of what happens at a socket level. This article demonstrates why that’s important, and details of how the issue was diagnosed.

There are so many developers I find that are missing a basic understanding of what goes on at this level, but pretty much every client I have worked with has had some issue that resulted in this level of network knowledge and analysis.

3 : Magic Leap (finally, sort of) announces product

For this third item, I wanted to highlight Magic Leap for announcing their first much anticipated product, which they are calling Magic Leap One. For those that somehow don’t know, it’s an AR product, so glasses, with processor, so no tethering to existing machine is required.

Details are on their home page and developers can sign up to be notified when SDKs are available.

For me, it’s a technology, and area of tech I currently follow, but don’t participate in (yet). It will be interesting to see what emerges when their SDKs are available. As a consumer I can envisage many applications, and as a developer, if they really do pull off their vision of creating new computing platforms, then it’s massively interesting to see this space develope.

4 : Chrome is not the standard

I wanted to finish off this week, by highlighting an article and also discussion on reddit, reminding us all that Chrome is very far from the ‘standard’ browser every consumer uses.

Most, probably 90% of web developers I work with do favour Chrome as their primary browser, though a small minority use Safari or Firefox.

I think it’s important to remember though, that other browsers are very active, with different people choosing them for different reasons. It’s so important to test in each of the main 3 browsers at least. I’ve seen so many sites and web apps, even from big name companies that fall into the trap of only testing in Chrome, and being broken in some way for other browsers, even when running the latest version of the other browsers.

I treat this as any other aspect of quality. Yes, it can, especially initially take a little more time, but you are rewarded in the medium term by having fewer issues to investigate and support.

So, that’s it for this week. Test in all browsers!

If you have any articles, announcements, tutorials, or anything else you think should be included next week, then just drop me an email.

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