Erlang is not a new programming language; it’s scalable, highly concurrent, reliable, and executes quickly. Given all of these factors, everyone should be using it, right? So why aren’t they? In this talk, Garrett Smith asks why more new applications aren’t being written in Erlang, and explores the issues that Erlang faces when trying to break into the larger world of software development.
People often complain that dynamic languages such as Python execute slowly. Of course, Python (and similar languages) are generally unable to reach the execution speeds that we see and know in other languages. Why is this? What makes Python slow, and what can make it fast — or at least, faster? In this talk, Alex Gaynor provides descriptions and comparisons of Python code with other languages, and talks about strategies that we can and should consider in order to speed up our Python programs.
If English is your native language, then ASCII makes perfect sense. Everything you would ever want to write fits within those 127 characters, and then some. But the moment other languages come onto the scene, you need more characters than ASCII alone can provide. Unicode is standard that tries to provide a unique number, or “code point,” for every character, in every language ever created. How does Unicode work? What are the different encodings, and what are the trade-offs that they offer? In this talk, Harry H. Porter III introduces the ideas behind ASCII and Unicode, and how they work.
The computer industry is dominated by men. The question of how we can encourage more women to become software developers has been asked for many years — and in many cases, the blame has been placed at the feet of university CS programs, which don’t attract as many women as men. In this talk, Stephanie Hippo describes work done at Case Western Reserve University, aimed at building up the community of female CS students. Her story is instructive for anyone
Python is popular, and is rapidly growing in popularity — not what you might expect from a 25-year-old language. What is it that makes Python so special? Why are so many people, in so many places adopting Python? In this talk, Raymond Hettinger describes the features of the Python language, ecosystem, and community that combine to make it such a compelling choice for universities, companies, and individuals.
There are plenty of people in the computer industry who didn’t major in computer science. But a very large number of them did, and thus CS education — at the high-school and university levels — has an important role to play in the computer industry. As things currently stand, those classes (and thus careers) don’t appeal to nearly as many people as they could. In particular, women and minorities are severely underrepresented. In this talk, Ashley Gavin describes the problem, and then the ways in which she has taught CS classes with a project-based curriculum, with a greater degree of success than traditional curricula.
PostgreSQL is a highly extensible database; it allows you to create new types, as well as functions to work with those types. PostGIS is an add-on for PostgreSQL that turns it into a spatial database — one that can keep track of where things are located, and perform queries based on locations. In this talk, Paul Ramsey describes the main features of PostGIS, and when (and how) you would want to take advantage of them.