Mysteries of trapping errors in PowerShell

As everyone in IT knows, sometimes tasks that you think are quick and easy turn out to take longer.

Today I experiences a small example. I have a scheduled PowerShell script that copies a large file. I wanted to enhance the script so that I would receive an email stating whether the copy succeeded and

…continue reading Mysteries of trapping errors in PowerShell

Top languages on Github: JavaScript reigns, Ruby and Python next

I cloned a github repository today, and while browsing the site noticed the language stats:

Git was originally developed for the Linux kernel and is mainly for the open source community. I was interested to see JavaScript, the language of HTML 5, riding so high. PHP, C and C++ are lower than I would

…continue reading Top languages on Github: JavaScript reigns, Ruby and Python next

Microsoft backs ECMAScript, dismisses Google Dart

Microsoft has posted an article on Evolving ECMAScript on its IE Blog. ECMAScript is the official standard for what we call JavaScript. The company is proposing some minor additions “to address gaps in Math, String and Number functionality as well as Globalization.” It has also taken the opportunity to take a shot at Google, which

…continue reading Microsoft backs ECMAScript, dismisses Google Dart

What is the best programming language for a child progressing from Scratch?

Someone asked me what is the best programming language for a child to learn after starting (and having success) with Scratch.

Scratch is a visual programming language which actually runs on Smalltalk, though its users do not need to know this. Scratch 2.0 seems to be written in Adobe Flash so you can create

…continue reading What is the best programming language for a child progressing from Scratch?

C++ 11 is approved by ISO: a big day for native code development

Herb Sutter reports that C++ 0x, which will be called C++ 11, has been unanimously approved by the ISO C++ committee. The “11” in the name refers to the year of approval, 2011. The current standard is C++ 98, though amended as C++ 03, so it has taken 8 or 13 years to update it

…continue reading C++ 11 is approved by ISO: a big day for native code development

Book Review: The Book of Ruby by Huw Collingbourne

“The plain fact of the matter is that Ruby has a number of pitfalls just waiting for unwary programmers to fall into,” says author Huw Collingbourne in his introduction to this guide to the Ruby language. He should know; he is co-founder and Technology Directory of SapphireSteel Software, which makes Ruby in Steel, an add-in

…continue reading Book Review: The Book of Ruby by Huw Collingbourne

What’s the use of computing certifications?

Not much, says ThoughtWorks Chief Scientist Martin Fowler. He should know, in that his company employs plenty of people with skills for which certification schemes exist in the computer industry, but he says that that certification fails a basic test. There is no correlation with competence.

For a certification to be useful, it needs a

…continue reading What’s the use of computing certifications?

What you are saying about the Java crisis

A week or so ago I posted about the Java crisis and what it means for developers. The post attracted attention both here and later on The Guardian web site where it appeared as a technology blog. It was also picked up by Reddit prompting a discussion with over 500 posts.

So what are

…continue reading What you are saying about the Java crisis

Book Reviews: Programming F# and Beginning F#

I’ve been working with Microsoft’s new language F# recently and enjoying it. If it catches your interest, you might turn to a book in order to familiarise yourself with the basics. Here are two which I’ve looked at. They are both aimed at experienced developers who are new to F#.

Programming F# by Chris Smith

…continue reading Book Reviews: Programming F# and Beginning F#

Anders Hejlsberg on functional programming, programming futures

At TechDays in Belgium Micrososft’s C# designer and Technical Fellow Anders Hejlsberg spoke on trends in programming languages; you can watch the video here.

I recommend it highly, not so much because of any new or surprising content, but because in his low-key way Hejlsberg is a great communicator. The talk is mostly not about

…continue reading Anders Hejlsberg on functional programming, programming futures