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Coding for Journalists 101

So a little while ago, I set out to write some tutorials that would guide the non-coding-but-computer-savvy journalist through enough programming fundamentals so that he/she could write a web scraper to collect data from public websites.
[more inside]
posted by postcommunism on Aug 29, 2014 - 1 comment

How does ('' == [] && this); make programmers feel?

Programming language subreddits and their choice of words presents an interactive chord graph showing how often particular languages are mentioned in other languages' communities. Another chart shows how proportional others' mentions are to the TIOBE Index. And some very elementary sentiment analysis suggests how often each language inspires pure theory, happiness and fun, or cursing. A tongue-in-cheek aside reveals that counting infrequently-mentioned languages yields another happiness/coolness chart that puts Elm at the top, just above other surprises.
posted by Monsieur Caution on Aug 23, 2014 - 28 comments

girls and technology!

WYNC's Manoush Zomorodi investigates the gender gap in tech and computer science, and finds a number of people working towards bridging that gap, from childhood to university: completely restructuring a required computer science course to make it more welcoming to female university students, celebrating women in computing history (and recognizing that computer science wasn't so male-dominated, and making children's books and toys (even dollhouses!) for kids to explore programming concepts on their own. She also noticed that the majority of female computer science students in the US had grown up overseas - possibly because computer science isn't a common subject in American high schools. This is slated to change: a new AP Computer Science subject is in the works, with efforts to get 10,000 highly-trained computer science teachers in 10,000 high schools across the US. If you want to join Mindy Kaling in supporting young girls entering computer science, tech, and coding, there's a lot [more inside]
posted by divabat on Aug 16, 2014 - 69 comments

do while !glory

Welcome to Al Zimmermann's Programming Contests. You've entered an arena where demented computer programmers compete for glory and for some cool prizes. The current challenge is just about to come to an end, but you can peruse the previous contests and prepare for the new one starting next month.
posted by Wolfdog on Aug 14, 2014 - 11 comments

You want to go and slay all the false statements in the world

This Letter to a Young Haskell Enthusiast is mostly not about Haskell, or about programming, but about being a good person in an online community.
posted by swift on Aug 1, 2014 - 40 comments

An excellent programming language for data analysis

"Julia is a high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for technical computing." The language is elegant (homoiconic, multiple-dispatch, consistent and extensible type system), but with easy-to-learn syntax. The standard library includes a wide array of fast and useful functions, and the number of useful packages is growing. [more inside]
posted by vogon_poet on Jul 20, 2014 - 34 comments

I Can Tell By The Pixels

Visualizing Algorithms shows you how computer algorithms can be represented visually, leading to better understanding of how the algorithms work:

"Have you ever implemented an algorithm based on formal description? It can be hard! Being able to see what your code is doing can boost productivity. Visualization does not supplant the need for tests, but tests are useful primarily for detecting failure and not explaining it. Visualization can also discover unexpected behavior in your implementation, even when the output looks correct."
posted by quiet earth on Jun 26, 2014 - 29 comments

It doesn't do anything different and yet you are changing it

How to approach refactoring by Venkat Subramaniam (YouTube lecture) [more inside]
posted by flabdablet on Jun 24, 2014 - 17 comments

Eigendemocracy: crowd-sourced deliberative democracy

Scott Aaronson on building a 'PageRank' for (eigen)morality and (eigen)trust - "Now, would those with axes to grind try to subvert such a system the instant it went online? Certainly. For example, I assume that millions of people would rate Conservapedia as a more trustworthy source than Wikipedia—and would rate other people who had done so as, themselves, trustworthy sources, while rating as untrustworthy anyone who called Conservapedia untrustworthy. So there would arise a parallel world of trust and consensus and 'expertise', mutually-reinforcing yet nearly disjoint from the world of the real. But here's the thing: anyone would be able to see, with the click of a mouse, the extent to which this parallel world had diverged from the real one." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 23, 2014 - 45 comments

The Count and his fucking LF

Coder's High. Metafilter's own David Auerbach, who says he's now a former programmer, describes a satori-like absorption that comes only from things like debugging.
posted by grobstein on Jun 18, 2014 - 73 comments

Supercomputer fools Kryton from Red Dwarf

A supercomputer has fooled judges a third of the time that it is a 13 year old Russian schoolboy named Eugene Goostman.
posted by 0bvious on Jun 8, 2014 - 65 comments

$(framework).stop();

Stop Writing JavaScript Frameworks! And stop using them too!
posted by blue_beetle on May 25, 2014 - 45 comments

Recreational Music Destruction

Sure, you like your mp3s well enough; you just wish they would steadily collapse into a wall of distortion and white noise. Good news: The Disintegrator is here to help. [via mefi projects]
posted by cortex on May 25, 2014 - 29 comments

Artist's Notebook: Ramsey Nasser

"Arabic programming languages with the honest goal of bringing coding to a non-Latin culture have been attempted in the past, but have failed without exception. What makes my piece قلب different is that its primary purpose was to illustrate how impossible coding in anything but English has become."
posted by invitapriore on May 5, 2014 - 46 comments

s/camel/_/

Right now someone who works for Facebook is getting tens of thousands of error messages and frantically trying to find the problem before the whole charade collapses. There's a team at a Google office that hasn't slept in three days. Somewhere there's a database programmer surrounded by empty Mountain Dew bottles whose husband thinks she's dead. And if these people stop, the world burns. Most people don't even know what sysadmins do, but trust me, if they all took a lunch break at the same time they wouldn't make it to the deli before you ran out of bullets protecting your canned goods from roving bands of mutants.
posted by xqwzts on Apr 30, 2014 - 90 comments

MetaFilter​FrontPage​BlogPost​TitleContent​String

Two of these Java class names from the Spring framework are made up. One of them is real. Can you guess the real one?
posted by schmod on Apr 18, 2014 - 60 comments

A SAT Attack on the Erdos Discrepancy Conjecture

Computers are providing solutions to math problems that we can't check - "A computer has solved the longstanding Erdős discrepancy problem! Trouble is, we have no idea what it's talking about — because the solution, which is as long as all of Wikipedia's pages combined, is far too voluminous for us puny humans to confirm." (via; previously ;)
posted by kliuless on Apr 12, 2014 - 24 comments

Execute

Untrusted, a game you can't win unless you change it.
posted by kafziel on Apr 8, 2014 - 65 comments

knowledge-based programming

Starting to Demo the Wolfram Language (via; previously ;) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 1, 2014 - 55 comments

Ageism in the tech industry?

Vivek Wadhwa's article about hiring in the tech industry makes some startling assertions.
posted by toastchee on Feb 25, 2014 - 113 comments

The Wisdom of Crowds

For the past three days, the world of streaming gaming has been riveted by an unlikely phenomenon: Twitch Plays Pokemon. Consisting of a live Twitch.TV chatroom hooked up to a classic Game Boy emulation of Pokémon Red, the program is set to recognize a limited number of commands and execute them in real time, allowing an audience of tens of thousands to collectively control the action as they watch. An astonishing amount of progress has been made, including the dramatic last-second defeat of a third gym leader (GIF) and the solution of a notoriously tricky puzzle on the very first attempt. But all for naught, it seems, as Team Twitch finds itself hilariously stranded on the ledges of Route 19 where, as one viewer explained, "they basically have to walk a small path for about ten spaces without anyone pushing down and jumping Red off the ledge," a grim democratic reality the dedicated subreddit /r/twitchplayspokemon has had all kinds of fun with over the last dozen ludicrous hours.
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 15, 2014 - 101 comments

How Do You Code?

How Do You Code? [via mefi projects]
posted by oceanjesse on Feb 11, 2014 - 81 comments

One HTML5 game per week

"As a developer and a gamer I always wanted to make games, but I never actually did it. To change that I threw myself a public challenge: build a new game every week in html5." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Feb 6, 2014 - 28 comments

The Hardest Computer Game of All Time

Many programmers' careers were launched by playing an innovative computer game called Robot Odyssey. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 25, 2014 - 35 comments

Even if Bloomberg Didn't, You Can!

Programmers will tell you that coding is one of the most approachable skills there is. If you want to learn, there's Code Academy, or perhaps LearnPython.org. There are major non-profits that want to help you learn, free books, and videos. Great! Finished with all of those? [more inside]
posted by sonic meat machine on Jan 25, 2014 - 102 comments

“We are able to see just a narrow angle, whatever we do."

It was not the first time that Adam Magyar has had to explain his work to mystified observers. Born in Hungary in 1972, Magyar began taking pictures in his late twenties, roaming the streets of Asian cities and capturing images of Indian street vendors, Hindu holy men, and Himalayan students. His work evolved rapidly from conventional documentary photography to surreal, radically experimental imagery that reflects his obsession with finding innovative new uses for digital technology. A self-taught engineer and software designer who assembled his first computer while in his teens, Magyar captures his images using some of the world’s most sophisticated photographic equipment, modified with software he writes himself. Additional code, also of his own design, removes nearly all distortion, or “noise,” from his data, producing images of remarkable clarity.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 9, 2014 - 18 comments

Programming stories

For your Sunday reading, a couple of stories of ye olden computing days: Why MacPaint's Original Canvas was 416 Pixels Wide and A Great Old Timey Game Programming Hack.
posted by curious nu on Jan 5, 2014 - 29 comments

Dark Incantations In Corrupt Languages

Produce the number 2014 without any numbers in your source codeWrite a program that always outputs “2012” - even if it's modified!Obfuscated Hello WorldPrint your code backwards - reverse quineShortest code to print a smiley faceWrite the shortest program that generates the most compiler warnings and errors [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 5, 2014 - 16 comments

It doesn't track IP addresses

Source Code in TV and Films reveals what the code for that GUI interface in Visual Basic is really for.
posted by griphus on Jan 4, 2014 - 89 comments

This way lies madness.

The problem with time.
posted by pjern on Dec 31, 2013 - 107 comments

Evidence-based software development

Greg Wilson talks about What We Actually Know About Software Development, and Why We Believe It's True (slides for one iteration of this talk) [more inside]
posted by Jpfed on Dec 18, 2013 - 51 comments

GitHub removes anti-feminist satire from code repo

In the wake of a questionable article about feminist programming languages, a group of trolls leapt on the idea to create a parodic implementation. GitHub promptly removed the code repository, as did BitBucket, but the latter restored it amid the controversy. More commentary from Slashdot and Twitter.
posted by vira on Dec 18, 2013 - 138 comments

Eternal moral vigilance is no laughing matter.

The PLT Games are a monthly programming language competition. At the beginning of every month, a new theme is picked and developers begin work on a language that they think best fits the theme. At the end of every month, developers submit their projects and entries are submitted during the next month. [more inside]
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy on Dec 10, 2013 - 5 comments

if P and Q are polynomials, let O1 be the order of blessed

King James Programming – "posts generated by a Markov chain trained on the King James Bible and Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs." SLTumbler
posted by tss on Dec 5, 2013 - 17 comments

ASCII fluid simulator

ASCII fluid simulator (source code)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 30, 2013 - 24 comments

Lee Reid wrote Musink with his feet

What could be more impressive than learning to program, and then writing a complete new music notation program? Doing it with your feet.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Nov 18, 2013 - 9 comments

And yes, the file extension is ".arr"

Pyret is a new programming language for teaching from Brown University that blends Python, Racket, and OCaml. [more inside]
posted by Jpfed on Nov 9, 2013 - 132 comments

It Could Be Worse

I signed up for an account on Healthcare.gov last week. It wasn’t the smoothest process, but I was able to create an account. Some parts are slow; sometimes you have to reload a page to make progress. But it’s starting to work. It will be fixed, because it has to be. And now that the launch and inevitable crash has finally happened, in a way the worst is over. Real-world traffic is providing programmers all the debugging data that they could ever want, and “all bugs are shallow with the president watching,” as Paul Ford writes in Bloomberg Businessweek, paraphrasing the open-source-software advocate Eric Raymond’s assertion that “with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” -- Rusty Foster in The New Yorker
posted by jim in austin on Oct 22, 2013 - 585 comments

Every customer has a name, but custRec is a database record

Introduction to Abject-Oriented Programming. (via /. embedded link) [more inside]
posted by JoeXIII007 on Oct 16, 2013 - 38 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Hello World Quiz

Guess the programming language by "Hello World" snippet.
posted by Artw on Sep 11, 2013 - 62 comments

Visual Basic? Seriously.

To my daughter's high school programming teacher: "I spent 16 years raising a daughter who had all the tools and encouragement she needed to explore computer programming as a career. In one short semester, you and her classmates undid all of my years of encouragement."
posted by Mezentian on Sep 10, 2013 - 303 comments

letter letter letter left paren argument argument right paren

Code By Voice Faster Than By Hand [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Aug 26, 2013 - 10 comments

"They didn't know what they were doing, so they tried everything"

"The Future of Programming" by Bret Victor, July 9, 1973.
posted by mrgrimm on Jul 31, 2013 - 28 comments

Cortex considers this list worthless without Rogue

Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum, as part of his larger interest in the problem of software preservation, asks the provocative question What are the 10 most influential software programs of all time?
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jul 30, 2013 - 93 comments

Our Contemplation of the Cosmos Stirs Us

Cosmos returns in the year 2014. "A Personal Journey" becomes "A Space-Time Odyssey". Presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson and produced by Seth MacFarlane, Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey will be aired on FOX and follow a similar format to the beloved Sagan classic, available here.
posted by 221bbs on Jul 22, 2013 - 58 comments

yo dawg

Quine Relay. A quine is a program that produces its own source code as output. This is what happens when you write a program that outputs the source of a program in another language, that outputs the source of a program in another language, and so on through fifty different languages until you get out the source of the program you started with.
posted by invitapriore on Jul 16, 2013 - 41 comments

Tech Tips

Gustav Jens Tech Tips. Start with the basics, then works your way through programming HTML, CSS, Java, LUA and Python . For anyone interested in learning programmings.
posted by zoo on Jul 9, 2013 - 40 comments

And they say Blizzard games don't have bugs

Why StarCraft crashed frequently during development, How we could have fixed the most common causes, The Starcraft Path-finding Hack The making of Warcraft - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 . Game development articles thanks to Patrick Wyatt (about) who led the development efforts on Starcraft, programmed extensively on Diablo and Diablo II and later left Blizzard to help run ArenaNet and release Guild Wars.
posted by meta87 on Jul 1, 2013 - 12 comments

Learn programming with grids!

'Lets Grid' is an online programming environment that is designed to get people into programming. I tried to strip away all of the complicated set-up that goes along with real-world programming and just give students the very basics they need to create cool things and share their creations with the world.
posted by Artw on Jun 19, 2013 - 10 comments

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