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Ask Slashdot: What's the best rapid development language to learn today?

Anonymous Coward writes | about 6 months ago

2

An anonymous reader writes "Many years ago, I was a coder—but I went through my computer science major when they were being taught in Lisp and C. These days I work in other areas, but often need to code up quick data processing solutions or interstitial applications. Doing this in C now feels archaic and overly difficult and text-based. Most of the time I now end up doing things in either Unix shell scripting (bash and grep/sed/awk/bc/etc.) or PHP. But these are showing significant age as well.

I'm no longer the young hotshot that I once was—I don't think that I could pick up an entire language in a couple of hours with just a cursory reference work—yet I see lots of languages out there now that are much more popular and claim to offer various and sundry benefits.

I'm not looking to start a new career as a programmer—I already have a career—but I'd like to update my applied coding skills to take advantage of the best that software development now has to offer.

Ideally, I'd like to learn a language that has web relevance, mobile relevance, GUI desktop applications relevance, and also that can be integrated into command-line workflows for data processing—a language that is interpreted rather than compiled, or at least that enables rapid, quick-and-dirty development, since I'm not developing codebases for clients or for the general software marketplace, but rather as one-off tools to solve a wide variety of problems, from processing large CSV dumps from databases in various ways to creating mobile applications to support field workers in one-off projects (i.e. not long-term applications that will be used for operations indefinitely, but quick solutions to a particular one-time field data collection need).

I'm tired of doing these things in bash or as web apps using PHP and responsive CSS, because I know they can be done better using more current best-of-breed technologies. Unfortunately, I'm also severely strapped for time—I'm not officially a coder or anything near it; I just need to code to get my real stuff done and can't afford to spend much time researching/studying multiple alternatives. I need the time that I invest in this learning to count.

Others have recommended Python, Lua, Javascript+Node, and Ruby, but I thought I'd ask the Slashdot crowd: If you had to recommend just one language for rapid tool development (not for the development of software products as such—a language/platform to produce means, not ends) with the best balance of convenience, performance, and platform coverage (Windows, Mac, Unix, Web, Mobile, etc.) what would you recommend, and why?"

The Nightmare on Connected Home Street

theodp (442580) writes | about 6 months ago

0

theodp (442580) writes "With the battle for the connected home underway, Wired's Mat Honan offered his humorous and scary Friday the 13th take on what life in the connected home of the future might be like. "I wake up at four to some old-timey dubstep spewing from my pillows," Honan begins. "The lights are flashing. My alarm clock is blasting Skrillex or Deadmau5 or something, I don’t know. I never listened to dubstep, and in fact the entire genre is on my banned list. You see, my house has a virus again. Technically it’s malware. But there’s no patch yet, and pretty much everyone’s got it. Homes up and down the block are lit up, even at this early hour. Thankfully this one is fairly benign. It sets off the alarm with music I blacklisted decades ago on Pandora. It takes a picture of me as I get out of the shower every morning and uploads it to Facebook. No big deal." Having been the victim of an epic hacking, Honan can't be faulted for worrying."

Amazon AWS continues to use TrueCrypt despite project's demise

Anonymous Coward writes | about 6 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes ""Importing and exporting data from Amazon Simple Storage Service still requires TrueCrypt, two weeks after the encryption software was discontinued"

"Amazon.com did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking information on whether it plans to support other data encryption technologies for the AWS import/export feature aside from TrueCrypt in the future"

http://www.infoworld.com/d/clo...

http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWS...

http://aws.amazon.com/importex..."

Planes disappearing from radar in Europe !?

thygate (1590197) writes | about 6 months ago

0

thygate (1590197) writes "Early this month, on several occasions, several planes disappeared from radar for several seconds to 25 minutes. Incidents have been reported in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland and Germany. Authorities report that at no time were there any problems with the planes and radio communication was available at all times during these radar blackouts.
Eurocontrol and the EASA have started an investigation, there is a global concern about safety since the MH370 disappearance.
There are speculations about NATO military exercises involving radio equipment tests, but the alliance has refused to comment. The Hungarian ministry of defense refuses this explanation, stating the technology used is not powerful enough to cause these blackouts.
According to an Australian newspaper it could of even been hackers, but it is unclear if this is even possible."

Link to Original Source

Deforestation Depletes Fish Stocks

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes | about 6 months ago

0

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "Adding to the well-known fish-killing effects deforestation has in increasing turbidity and temperature in streams, a study published in Nature Communications, (abstract, PDF access), demonstrates deforestation causes a depletion of nutrients in associated lake aquatic ecosystems and, as a consequence, impacted fish stocks. Lead author Andrew Tanentzap is quoted as saying, 'We found fish that had almost 70% of their biomass made from carbon that came from trees and leaves instead of aquatic food chain sources.' This has troubling implications as, 'It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans ...' Additionally, this may have significance in regard to anadromous species, such as salmon, which help power ocean ecosystems. The BBC offers more approachable coverage."

Nominet destroying UK WHOIS privacy, wants ID

ktetch-pirate (1850548) writes | about 6 months ago

0

ktetch-pirate (1850548) writes "Earlier this week, Nominet launched the .uk domain to great fanfare, but hidden in that activity has been Nominet's new policy of exposing personal domain owners home addresses. Justification is based on a site being judged 'commercial', which can mean anything from a few google ads, an Amazon widget, to an email subscription box or linking to too many commercial sites, according to Nominet reps. In the meantime though, they want your driving license or passport to ensure 'accuracy' because they 'want to make things safe'."

Online shoppers across Europe now have new rights

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes | about 6 months ago

0

mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Previously, anyone who bought a product online was allowed seven business days during which they were able to change their mind and return the product for a full refund. This ‘cooling-off period’, during which a refund can be requested without being required to give a reason for the cancellation, has now been extended to fourteen calendar days from the date on which the goods are received. Online retailers and providers are now also banned from 'pre-ticking' optional extras on order forms, such as those adding insurance to the cost of a purchase. For the first time, laws have also been introduced to offer a cooling-off period for digital content, including music, films and books, as BBC News reports. Consumers may now cancel an order for digital content within fourteen days, but only if they have not downloaded it."

Netflix Continues to Shun Developers

esarjeant (100503) writes | about 6 months ago

0

esarjeant (100503) writes "I guess it shouldn't come as a total surprise, but Netflix has gone from not issuing new developer keys to announcing the entire program will be shut down. It's a real shame they are going to be taking this offline, it spurred quite a bit of innovation for the Netflix service. For major sites that have already gone live it sounds like Netflix will let them keep going, but if you're looking to build the next FeedFliks then you better look elsewhere."
Link to Original Source

OpenXcom 1.0 released

Anonymous Coward writes | about 6 months ago

0

An anonymous reader writes "OpenXcom 1.0 is finally released after:
5224 commits.
1843 days.
606 resolved issues since v0.9.
20 years of X-COM.

XCOM oldschool lovers enjoy!"

Link to Original Source

HFS+ Bit Rot

jackjeff (955699) writes | about 6 months ago

0

jackjeff (955699) writes "HFS+ lost a total of 28 files over the course of 6 years.

Most of the corrupted files are completely unreadable. The JPEGs typically decode partially, up to the point of failure. The raw .CR2 files usually turn out to be totally unreadable: either completely black or having a large color overlay on significant portions of the photo. Most of these shots are not so important, but a handful of them are. One of the CR2 files in particular, is a very good picture of my son when he was a baby. I printed and framed that photo, so I am glad that I did not lose the original."

Link to Original Source

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