Mobile devices have become an indispensable part of our everyday lives, mastering our on-line transactions and influencing our communication with others. However, most smartphone users experience application crashes once in a while. A crash manifests when, for example, you are using your favorite application and it suddenly stops working properly or closes. Sometimes, this can be really troublesome, especially when you try to send an important message or proceed with a financial transaction. There are many reasons that can lead mobile applications to crashes—and the causes are not always tractable. This blog entry discusses the causes of application crashes in mobile devices, based on the examination of a corpus of crash reports from Android applications .
API is the initials of “Application Programming Interface”. APIs are bundles of interfaces that developers must implement to build their applications. Common APIs are the Java, Python, and Ruby APIs, as well as the Android, iOS APIs and many other third-party libraries (e.g. jQuery and Google maps). Except for their source code, APIs come with their documentation. Then, client developers, from different programming levels, read this documentation to build distinct applications that use the same APIs. This means that an API should be unambiguous and useful in order to prevent developers from writing applications susceptible to crashes.
Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) is software released under a license that allows developers to: 1) access the software’s source code, 2) use the software for free, and 3) develop derived works based on software’s previous releases. FLOSS’s success can be attributed to the motivations of the individuals that are members of the open source community. However, FLOSS’s recent boom is also associated with the adoption of many business models, which rely on FLOSS, by modern companies. The aim of this post is to summarize the reasons that make individuals and companies to participate in the open source community and highlight the impact of FLOSS projects on computer science. To name some of the most popular FLOSS projects, consider: the Eclipse IDE, the Firefox browser, the Apache server, the Linux kernel, the Java, C/C++, Python programming languages, the MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL databases, the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, the Git version control system, the R-Project for statistical computing, the TeX system for publishing, etc.
Laziness, impatience and hubris are the three great virtues that each programmer should have, at least according to Larry Wall . My experience so far showed me that he was right. All programmers have these characteristics, if they do not, usually they are not real programmers. Since they are expressing these values with the usage of several programming languages, they tend to compare them. Usually this comparison ends up with a phenomenon called flame wars. The programmers are participating in endless quarrels, exchanging arguments regarding language features, their standard (or not) libraries, etc. Continue reading
Many years ago (I will not reveal my age), I began working on my PhD thesis concerning the area of Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs). Research was booming at the time and many research articles stated in their introduction that DSLs are very useful and increase productivity, by reducing lines of code etc. All these claims seemed logical to me, but I always considered them something like urban legends. We all know that they are correct, but cannot easily prove it. Keeping that on the back of my mind, I searched for a way to bring the “legend” down to measurable facts that will provide solid motivation for the importance DSLs in every day programming. I decided to do a simple experiment that measures DSL usage in open source programs. Continue reading