Saturday, March 22, 2014

The New Speaking JavaScript

I bought this book despite having other general-purpose Javascript references because I've always really liked Dr. Rauschmeyer's precise writing style on his blog. This book does not disappoint. It's a clear, complete, and unambiguous reference to an sometimes misunderstood and often confusing language.

This is an authoritative guide to the language that doesn't complain or split hairs. There's a tremendous amount of information here presented by a subject matter expert who's adept at explaining sometimes difficult and nuanced concepts with remarkable clarity and terseness. He doesn't gloss over anything or make assumptions; he simply tells it like it is.

This isn't a difficult book to read, in fact it's refreshingly easy, but it's probably not going to be great for novices. It assumes a certain capability on the part of the reader. If you're starting from ground zero, I'd recommend something more conversational or introductory. But if you're looking for a brilliantly organized and researched in-depth reference, you won't be disappointed with Speaking Javascript.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How I combined simple #Python list comprehension and JSON parsing

There are lots of very interesting things to discover in Python - especially if you've been working with Java or any other programming language for some time. For example this simple piece of code demonstrates how you can quite easily convert a list of of Strings of integers separated by comma - into a list of integers. What I particularly like about this small code is that it uses what Python developers refer to list comprehension.
string1 = "020783, 503553, 555204"
mylist = [int(n) for n in string1.split(',')]
>>>>>> mylist
>>> [020783, 503553, 555204]
Now, that piece of code was all I needed to get the API application I was working on to generate a nested list of integers. As it turns out, Python makes things really easy.
def parse_points(self, json_response):
        try:
            result = json.loads(json_response)
            if result.has_key('points'):
                the_points = result['points']['code']
                mylist = [int(n) for n in the_points.split(',')]
                return mylist 
            else:
                return result
        except ValueError, e:
            raise PlottingError('JSON Parsing Error: ' + e)
.... Further down the code, that returned value is eventually used to as an array of list:
     "waypoints":[020783,
                  503553,
                  555204]
This would not make much sense to a lot of people out there - that is deliberate because I don't want to show the code in full. Protecting the real code is vital here. However, the aim for this small code is to demonstrate how to parse a list of integers in string separated by comma. With time I will post a full blog with a complete working code on how this works.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Python 3 Object Oriented Programming - The Review

Prior to reading Python 3 Object Oriented Programming I was already familiar with advanced OOP concepts and Python 2 in particular; as well as with Java and other languages. So, I expected the book to enforce my thinking and help me to understand new features provided by Python 3 as compared to version 2. I think the book managed to do this in an excellent manner.

I think the approach used by the book is well suited for a wide range of readers. It explains enough theory and provides useful examples that help to understand how to apply OOP in practice. People new to Python and/or OOP have a lot to gain from reading Python 3 Object Oriented Programming. More experienced users of the language may find the book ideal as reference material.

It's important to note that the book focuses on OOP particularly in the context of Python. Don't expect any history lessons or theory on various OOP approaches (prototypes vs. classes, ie.) beyond the one (class based approach) used in Python. Despite this the book provides excellent value. I do recommend checking out several other languages (Java, Lua, JavaScript, Smalltalk) and paradigms (AOP, traits) for further inspiration.

You can get a copy here >>
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