Finding a path to enlightenment in Programming Language Theory can be a tough one, particularly for programming pracitioners who didn’t learn it at school. This resource is here to help. Please feel free to ping me or send pull requests if you have ideas for improvement.
Version 8.0 of the Unicode Standard is now available. It includes 41 new emoji characters (including five modifiers for diversity), 5,771 new ideographs for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, the new Georgian lari currency symbol, and 86 lowercase Cherokee syllables. It also adds letters to existing scripts to support Arwi (the Tamil language written in the Arabic script), the Ik language in Uganda, Kulango in the Côte d’Ivoire, and other languages of Africa. In total, this version adds 7,716 new characters and six new scripts.
Today I’m excited to announce the general availability of Spark 1.4! Spark 1.4 introduces SparkR, an R API targeted towards data scientists. It also evolves Spark’s DataFrame API with a large number of new features. Spark’s ML pipelines API first introduced in Spark 1.3 graduates from an alpha component. Finally, Spark Streaming and Core add visualization and monitoring to aid in production debugging. We’ll be publishing in-depth posts covering Spark’s new features over the coming weeks. Here I’ll briefly outline some of the major themes and features in this release.
Distributed systems are not strictly an engineering problem. It’s far too easy to assume a “backend” development concern, but the reality is there are implications at every point in the stack. Often the trade-offs we make lower in the stack in order to buy responsiveness bubble up to the top—so much, in fact, that it rarely doesn’t impact the application in some way. Distributed systems affect the user. We need to shift the focus from system properties and guarantees to business rules and application behavior. We need to understand the limitations and trade-offs at each level in the stack and why they exist. We need to assume failure and plan for recovery. We need to start thinking of distributed systems as a UX problem.
In the past, the Spark UI has been instrumental in helping users debug their applications. In the latest Spark 1.4 release, we are happy to announce that the data visualization wave has found its way to the Spark UI. The new visualization additions in this release includes three main components:
Timeline view of Spark eventsExecution DAGVisualization of Spark Streaming statistics
Artificial Neural Networks have spurred remarkable recent progress in image classification and speech recognition. But even though these are very useful tools based on well-known mathematical methods, we actually understand surprisingly little of why certain models work and others don’t. So let’s take a look at some simple techniques for peeking inside these networks.
An artificial intelligence system has for the first time reverse-engineered the regeneration mechanism of planaria—the small worms whose extraordinary power to regrow body parts has made them a research model in human regenerative medicine.
By David Smith I was on a panel back in 2009 where Bow Cowgill said, "The best thing about R is that it was written by statisticians. The worst thing about R is that it was written by statisticians." R is undeniably quirky — especially to computer scientists — and yet it has attracted a huge following for a domain-specific language, with more than two million users wordwide. So why has R become so successful, despite being outside the mainstream of programming languages? John Cook adeptly tackles that question in a 2013 lecture, "The R Language: The Good The Bad...
I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has completed the acquisition of BlueStripe Software, a leading provider of application management technology. BlueStripe’s solution helps map, monitor and troubleshoot distributed applications across heterogeneous operating systems and multiple datacenter and cloud environments. BlueStripe is commonly used today by customers to extend the value of Microsoft System Center by adding application-aware infrastructure performance monitoring. More and more, busi
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