The KIT ─ Knowledge & Information Technology
No. 201 - 2 Oct 2017
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In This Issue
Programming Languages
Skillsoft Course and Book
OMG New Orleans Meeting Summary
Seen Recently
Claude Baudoin

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Programming Languages
Wow... we found a topic that is making our readers send feedback! This is the fourth episode of our saga on the popularity of programming languages (see issues 198-200). This time, Jean-Claude Hujeux writes, referring to the two previous contributors:

The following analysis on Stack Overflow shows that indeed data science is fueling the rapid growth of Python. The measure is the "percentage of overall questions views," which favors new languages over mature ones (more things to inquire and learn about), but the trend is there. Yes, we end-up with "multiple languages to meet the different needs" (Dave Shipman), and yes it comes down to "how elegant and simple it can be to perform powerful tasks" (Peter Coles). A well-crafted SQL query can eliminate lengthy and inefficient PHP. Also, PHP is a no-go for scientific programming/data science: no interface with scientific libraries, which is a strength of Python. Still, today PHP stands out on the server front-end side, where it does the job."
Training and Education Resources
This month's featured course by ACM's partner Skillsoft is Defensive Programming in Java: Data Security and Access Control. "In this course, you will learn how to code defensively in order to handle and protect data, implement secure communications, and how to implement access control and authentication effectively."

Everything you wanted to know about blockchain but didn't dare to ask because you thought people would look out weirdly? Daniel Drescher's Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps is a book that "bridges the gap [...] between purely technical books about the blockchain and purely business-focused books [...] by explaining both the technical concepts that make up the blockchain and their role in business-relevant applications." The tone is sometimes a little too didactic, and the author tends to describe blockchain as addressing all types of distributed systems, which seems an exaggeration.

Access to partner libraries of books and courses is one of the main benefits of ACM membership, which starts at $99 a year with discounts for students and retirees. ACM members can for example read the above book for free using a Kindle-like interface on any Internet-enabled device.
Laissez les bons temps rouler
Last week was the Object Management Group Technical Meeting in New Orleans. Here are some highlights:
  • Claude Baudoin repeated his half-day tutorial on Data Residency first given in Brussels in June. "Have slides, will travel"... please let us know if you would like an on-site or remote presentation of this material.
  • We identified the need to address several issues in a consistent manner: "data tagging and labeling," based on a US Government request; data residency; "information provenance & pedigree," which is related to records management and has applications in many domains; and the existing Information Exchange Facility (IEF) standard initiative. We will try to bring these things together at the next meeting (San Francisco area on Dec. 4-8).
  • The ARTS Council, the retail technology standards division of the National Retail Federation (NRF) has now become the Retail Domain Task Force of the OMG, bringing the benefits of OMG's 28 years of experience in the development of software and systems standards to the retail industry. The Task Force works on standards to integrate point-of-sale systems, a data warehouse model, templates for RFPs, and more.
  • There was a full-day Cybersecurity Summit and a full-day Architecture-Driven Modernization Summit. Both are hot topics and the events are likely to be repeated at future meetings.
  • A planned workshop on "Industrial IoT Standards for Oil & Gas" was replaced by a shorter teleconference following some of the disruption caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Alan Johnston, chair of the MIMOSA standards group on asset lifecycle management, attended in person and made useful contacts with various OMG leaders. Energistics CTO Jay Hollingsworth attended by phone.
Seen Recently...
"Asking people with no electricity to register for FEMA aid by phone or Internet is not a well-considered plan."
-- Rachel Maddow, MSNBC commentator
"42% of enterprises plan to use digital technology to optimize the current business, not for transformation. 17% have no ambition for digital business at all."
-- Peter Sondergaard, Gartner Research Director, in
How Board Directors Can Remaster Leadership to Win in Digital Business