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This week's feature

Coding/Decoding

From Africa to Europe, the Code Weeks have come along to spice up the first two weeks of October. The event is an opportunity for initiates to share their wisdom and for all types of computer-curious to learn to code. Proof upon proof that coding is not the exclusive province of geeks.

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With increasing numbers of people becoming familiar with this universal language, Orange Pop has decided to go back to the sources of code in order to decipher it better. This week’s number goes out to all those interested in (re) discovering the “fun” side of code.

Python and Ruby, not to mention SPL: get yourself a cuppa Java, and read on! 😉 We’ve hacked our way into programming trivia, with entertaining stories about the most popular computer languages and odd anecdotes about how code and its creators work. This issue will help you pierce the secrets of code while it entertains you.

Talk is cheap. Show me the code!

Linus Torvalds – Finnish-American software engineer, developer of the Linux kernel.

Africa Code Week: have fun cracking the code!

Stories - October 07, 2015

The event Africa Code Week takes place from October 1st to October 10th across the continent. Its mission is to “empower future generations with the coding tools and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century workforce and become key actors of Africa’s economic development.” There will be opportunities to learn in 34 workshops in Tunisia, 17 in Morocco, 5 in Kenya… Overall, Africans from 17 countries will be able to learn about coding thanks to more than 200 activities.

Kids can also get on a bus in South Africa and Rwanda to get one-hour lessons to “crack the code”! Be ‘warned’ though: “Coding may cause too much fun”. It’s your turn to code now!

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A language lexicon: Guide for the Perlplexed

Back to the future - October 07, 2015

1987: Originally supposed to be called “Pearl,” the computer language Perl had to drop its “A” because a competitor had beat Larry Wall, the language’s inventor, to the copyright on the name. Wall simply shrugged, laughed, and suggested the acerbic backronym “Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister.”

1989: When he was just beginning to work on a project for a new computer language, Dutchman Guido Van Rossum chose the word “Python” as a temporary name for it, yielding to a facetious mood and a passion for Monty Python humor. The label, although hastily chosen, has stuck.

1993: Japanese programmer and open-source evangelist Yukihiro Matsumoto, hesitating between “Coral” et “Rubyfor his new software, finally chose the latter as an homage to the birthstone of July, when one of his colleagues was born (he himself was born in April).

1995: The name of the programming language Java was chosen in a brainstorming session at Sun Microsystems. One of the engineers, a big consumer of caffeine, suggested the catchy “Java,” which has now gone down in history.

2026: A new programming language is christened “Pepperoni,” in reference to the coding community’s passion for order-in pizzas.

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Java’s logo even features a steaming cup of Joe. © Java

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Will you be the next superhero of coding?

Stories - October 09, 2015

During the month of October and on the occasion of the Code Week, Orange organizes programming workshops for young people from Europe and Africa. The goal is to give them an entertaining insight into the digital world. They will be able to design games, small animations and mini-programs by assembling bricks in order to make characters move.

When these workshops come to an end, hundreds of young people will receive a #SuperCoders diploma and share their work via videoconferencing. With #SuperCoders, the code is the super-power! Register here and get to know programming with Scratch. Time to hit your keyboards, heroes!

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The most widely “spoken” programming languages

The infographic - October 07, 2015

Since 2008, the most common software languages on GitHub.com (popular platform for developers) are: (ranking) 1. JavaScript – 2. Java – 3. Ruby – 4. PHP – 5. Python – 6. CSS

infographic-17-coding

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Coding 101: 3 questions for coding professional Sébastien Soyez

The 3 questions - October 07, 2015

Even though code is becoming more popular with every passing day, for many individuals it is still a language as mysterious as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. That’s why we called on a professional coder to explain some of the basics of his arcane craft.

Orange Pop: If you had to explain code to someone who was totally clueless, how would you go about it?

Sébastien Soyez: It’s pretty simple. You have to think of a developer as someone who is basically lazy. Instead of getting up to fetch himself a can of soda, he would rather spend hours in front of his screen, searching for a computer program or software solution that will bring the soda to him, not vice-versa. In other words, the idea is to work towards finding methods that will later enable programmers to develop software while expending as little energy as possible on the endeavor.

O Pop: Is code culture developing quickly, outside programming circles?

SS: It’s hard to evaluate, but clearly in the past five years there has been a major acceleration. Overall, whoever works with the Web learns HTML concepts, and high schools now offer classes in programming (France’s National Education Board began sponsoring them in 2012). Actually, the fact that the Web is now omnipresent in more and more trades and industries has brought this about. But code culture is still largely generational. I am thinking of a woman friend who earned a degree as a reference librarian. She was hired to manage a website simply because she was 25 years old.

O Pop: Do coding styles differ significantly from country to country?

SS: In the past, they may have, but style is increasingly universal. Because the Internet is the major learning resource for programming science, styles are planetary. Differences in coding approaches therefore depend more on individual preferences than national ones. The main difference between countries is the way people work (but that is true of every profession, not just IT). Skill sets also vary, because certain countries lack the infrastructure that would enable every single household to have a PC and an Internet connection, which is the case in Europe and the US. As for the rest, with the shareware movement and the concept of making source code available to everyone, the idea of nationality is less and less relevant to the Internet.

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“Code culture is still largely generational.” © express.co.uk

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This fun app puts code in fashion

Stories - October 08, 2015

64 Stitches is an application using simple lines of code to generate a textile pattern. Here’s how it works. The code uses “*” as a black block and “_” as a white space. You can also create a loop with the “until” function and have a geometric pattern.

Fancy creating a checked pattern? Then you can use the code “checker”. And if you prefer basic stripes, you can replace the number 32 by 64. Now you can make your own geeky T-shirts and dresses!

64Stitches link

Screenshot by 64 Stitches

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Is code an art?

The killer question - October 07, 2015

Are programmers the hypercontemporary artists of our ultra-computerized societies? For the neophyte, it is difficult to see these lines of illegible symbols, arranged in uncanny patterns, as a form of artistic expression. Nevertheless, from one programmer to the next, styles vary. The codes they compose are sometimes neat and precise; others specialize in more emphatic flourishes. For example, in his book Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty, developer Vikram Chandra explains, “Coders—like poets—manipulate linguistic structures and tropes,” and also “search for expressivity and clarity.” Others have likened programming to painting, citing the infinitely creative dimension of code. Instead of colors, its medium is lines of characters; its canvases are websites. One similarity is certain: like all great artists, programmers are tracing the contours of a magnum opus that goes well beyond its usual structure to influence society as a whole. So, get ready: tomorrow’s art history class may require computer courses as a prerequisite! 😉

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If a coder is an artist, is her keyboard her palette? © thisiswhyimbroke.com

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When coding becomes a game

Stories - October 12, 2015

CodinGame’s founders believe that “everyone should be able to discover the pleasure of coding. We are programmers at heart, and we know that code is a powerful tool to innovate and create. It’s a matter of passion, but above all, it’s fun.” Their platform allows users to code while having fun. CodinGame’s goal is to help developers – with or without experience – to learn and improve their coding skills.

The website also offers a job store where you can apply only if you have the required level after playing (and coding) on CodinGame. One of the latest competitions was called #BackToTheCode in reference to the cult saga. The next challenge will be Code VS Zombies. Get ready to take part in it on November 29!

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Top 5 believe-it-or-not code stories

Gimme 5 - October 07, 2015

1. Made by code monkeys: Ook! is an esoteric programming language designed to be understood by orangutans. All the instructions are in their tongue. Example: “Ook. Ook? Ook. Ook. Ook.”

2. Crunching code figures: Although it is hard to determine what the Internet really represents in terms of code, we can nevertheless assert that Google alone equals 2 billion lines of codes and that there are over 700 different computer languages in the world.

3. Shakespeare in code: In 2001, programmers Karl Hasselström and Jon Åslund created a unique language, SPL (Shakespeare Programming Language). It makes it possible to write source code in the form of a play. 2B or not 2B: that is the binary question.

4. Coding is a sport: Programming races are scheduled regularly to reward the world’s fastest coders. The current champion of leaping such mathematical hurdles is the Russian Petr Mitrichev.

5. Terminator code: The programming language “ArnoldC” is an imperative he-man programming language based entirely on quotations from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

stories-coding-programming-top5

“Ook! Ook! Ook? Ook!” © drucode.com

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An Hour of Code to make history

Stories - October 13, 2015

The Hour of Code is the largest global education event, reaching tens of millions of students in more of 180 countries. It’s a one-hour introduction to computer science, and its goal is to show how simple programming can be. The Hour Of Code is held by Code.org, an organization dedicated to the expansion of computer science in schools.

Anyone can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages, and this year, teachers are invited to take part in the initiative in December in order to gather 200 million future coders!

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Ada Lovelace, the woman who pioneered computer programming

Who's who - October 07, 2015

More than ever, code is the world’s 21st-century language. Nevertheless, its roots go back to an era when computers were merely a gleam in the mathematician’s eye. Indeed, it was back in 1843 that English math brain Ada Lovelace (born in 1815) published the world’s first computer program, by creating an algorithm that could be read and carried out by a machine. Today, Lovelace is recognized as the first coder in history. As such, she has become a latter-day cult figure for the entire world coding community. What is more, Ada was the only legitimate daughter of the famed Romantic poet George, Lord Byron (all his other children were born out of wedlock). She described her approach as “poetical science” and termed herself an Analyst (& Metaphysician). According to her acolytes in our time, she simply took up her father’s work where he left off, inventing the poetry of the future.

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In 2012, Google honored coding’s great-great-grandmother with a tailor-made doodle. © Google

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Music geeks

Music - October 07, 2015

Before the word “geek” was applied to the class of guys who live on take-out pizza and Soylent, it meant someone with intense and outlying interests. The eccentric videos made by OK GO have made the group the darling of the nerds. Caribou composes his tracks using mathematical algorithms (he wrote a dissertation on Overconvergent Modular Cymbals). Childish Gambino, one of the stars of the sitcom Community, sings Freaks and Geeks. As for Pharrell Williams, he went ahead and called his band N*E*R*D. Geeks rock!

  1. Hot Chip – Huarache Lights
  2. Weezer – Island in the Sun
  3. CARIBOU – Our Love
  4. Beck – E-Pro
  5. OK Go – Here It Goes Again
  6. Grandaddy – The Crystal Lake
  7. N.E.R.D. – Hot-n-Fun ft. Nelly Furtado
  8. Peter, Bjorn & John – Young Folks
  9. I’m from Barcelona – We’re from Barcelona
  10. Childish Gambino – Freaks and Geeks

And if you have a Deezer account, listen to the playlist on our account here !

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