500 free programming books? GitHub’s got ’em | ITworld

The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1:  Fu...
The Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms (Photo credit: mrbill)

Are you in need of some programming reference materials? Maybe you need a book to help you brush up on your C++ or Java or to start learning Ruby but are a little short of cash? Well, then there’s a new GitHub repository for you!

Victor Felder has taken an old StackOverflow thread listing free, online programming books, cleaned out some dead links and added some new ones and put it all on GitHub. He’s hoping this will make it easier to crowdsource the list and, based on the initial activity, it seems to be working.

via 500 free programming books? GitHub’s got ’em | ITworld.

‘CodeSpells’ wizard game teaches you how to program in Java (Wired UK) #yam

English: Reserved words of the Java programmin...
English: Reserved words of the Java programming language Dansk: Nøgleord i programmeringssproget Java. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A team of computer scientists has developed a videogame called CodeSpells that teaches people how to code in Java.

The game was tested on a group of 10- to 12-year-old girls who had never done any programming before. After an hour of gameplay, the girls had mastered some of the basic components of Java. The team that developed the game — from UC San Diego — plans to release the game for free and make it available to educational institutions and code clubs.

Computer scientist William Griswold, who headed up the project, said he developed the game because there is a lack of qualified instructors to teaching computer science below college level in a way that is accessible. Griswold and his graduate students decided to design a videogame that “completely immerses programming into the gameplay”. The aim was to keep children engaged while they are learning programming, which can be frustrating.

via ‘CodeSpells’ wizard game teaches you how to program in Java (Wired UK).

doingText

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Image via Wikipedia

doingText is a fairly pain-free way to manage on-line discussions. Features (from the front page) include:

  • Collaborators don’t need an account – simply share the URL
  • Easier to use with clutter free interface
  • Fine grained control: track and comment on every line
  • Runs on mobile devices
  • No Flash or Java required
  • Stay up to date on changes through news feed/RSS
  • We are making it better every week
  • You pay for it – We treat you like a paying customer
  • made with love.

Can’t comment on the last one but everything else seems about right.

DoingText – effortless text collaboration

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Google Get Into Browsers

Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

Google live on the Internet and so it makes sense that they would want to influence the nuts and bolts of web browsing. To that end they have introduced their own browser, Chrome.

Some of the choices made in creating the browser such as multiple processes, secrecy mode and a brand new Java interpreter are interesting to say the least and are well explained in the accompanying comic. (It’s Google, of course it’s a comic!)

You can download the browser here (Windows only at the moment, Mac and Linux to follow). It’s certainly worth a look and, as the code has been open-sourced, it’s only a matter of time until at least some of the ideas appear elsewhere.

Browser wars in 2008. Who’d have thought?

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