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Just a few notes from the recent unified.diff meetup.

Still Not Understanding Clojure
Clojure’s one of those obscure programming languages I’ve heard about but never actually come across prior to the meetup. As I understand it, Clojure’s better suited for applications that need recursion rather than loops, and stuff that’s oriented to handling data structures. Java was introduced long before the web became heavily reliant on applications that interact with databases, so Clojure could be considered a solution to that.

Software Test Engineering
I’ve been hearing about the ‘ilities’ of software several times this week: portability, scalability, usability, etc. etc. Sean Robbin’s idea is that testability should be the most important of these, and the ability to design software for this a core skill for developers. We can’t know whether software meets the goals until it’s tested.

An Adventure with Pirates
No, this wasn’t about digital piracy. It was actually a look into the painstaking process of making an animated movie about pirates, and Ian Wooten’s part in the project as a software developer.
Watching the presentation, I couldn’t help noticing the remarkable similarities between programming and making the film. Wooten’s role was to develop a library of parts which the characters were constructed from, and different parts would be selected from this library according to whatever scene was being filmed. This is analogous to programming, where we essentially call objects from libraries to perform whatever functions.

Other Stuff
For those who missed the first unified.diff meetup, the videos have been posted on the site.

The decision to have the unified.diff meetup every first Wednesday of the month initially caused problems for the South Wales Linux Group. This has been sorted, and the SWLUG meetings are now rescheduled to every second Tuesday of the month.

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