Language/library updates

PHP updates

PHP 5.4.0 RC5 and PHP 5.3.9 have been released, with bug fixes in both and a few minor enhancements in PHP 5.3.9.

Tools and products

NetBeans 7.1

NetBeans 7.1 is out, with support for Java FX 2.0, Git, and more.

Zend Server 5.6

Zend Server 5.6 has been released. Macs are now supported for development work (but not production), and the CE version has the full stack so you can try it out as well as easily upgrade.

WebMatrix 2 beta

Microsoft is offering a beta of WebMatrix 2, its all-inclusive Web development platform.

Iron Speed for mobile

Iron Speed announced a new version of its rapid .NET development system that can make applications optimized for mobile devices (PDF link).

Standing Cloud improves email capabilities

Standing Cloud has partnered with SendGrid to give its cloud platform better email sending capabilities for applications that send a high volume of email.

Editorial and commentary

U.S. tech innovation in danger

Here’s yet another report showing that the United States’ position as a tech leader is in peril.

New York City opens a high school for programmers

New York City opened a new high school specifically to teach kids to be software developers. This is an excellent idea, and it is open to all students who show an interest.

PHP vs. Ruby vs. Python

Here is an interesting infographic comparing PHP, Ruby, and Python. I think some of the analysis around the job situation is flawed, though, since the ratio of workers to openings is much more important than the sheer number of openings. I also suspect that the way Python is often used (as an adjunct to another job role, like researcher or mathematician) means that there are a lot of folks using Python without having jobs explicitly looking for Python developers.

Tips and tricks

Using the HTML5 canvas tag

MSDN Magazine has an in-depth article on the new canvas tag in HTML5.

Task.Start FAQ

Microsoft’s Stephen Toub has an FAQ about using Task.Start for writing multithreaded .NET applications.


January 23, 2012: Software Development Trends 2012: Embarcadero is hosting an online discussion on what to look for in 2012, on January 23.
January 27-28, 2012: PHPBenelux: The PHPBenelux 2012 conference in Antwerp will be held January 27 and 28.
February 2-3, 2012: GoingNative 2012: Microsoft is hosting an event around C++11 on February 2 and 3.
March 26-29, 2012: Agile ALM Connect: If you’re interested in Agile methodologies and techniques, the Agile ALM Connect event will be put on by the Eclipse Foundation March 26 – 29, 2012 in Reston, VA. The conference has announced its program and speakers.
May 3-4, 2012: webDU 2012 in Sydney: TechRepublic Australia Editor Chris Duckett writes: “The conference has also issued a call for papers, with potential speakers required to submit a relevant topic for a 50-minute session. The WebDU site says that just about anything to do with web and rich internet-application development and related topics will be considered. Submissions are due by January 8, 2012.” Go to the webDU site for more details about the event.
May 18-19, 2012: Italian phpDay: There will be a phpDay conference in Verona, Italy May 18 and 19, 2012.
June 7-9, 2012: PHP conference in Amsterdam: The Dutch PHP event will be held in English.


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