This month’s most useful tools for developers – July 2018

Elliott King
on 31 July 2018

Some are about new thinking or new techniques, some are about old or legacy technology and some are just useful resources for different languages or platforms. Some are just lolz. The brief is simple — if we think they’re useful, you might too.

Getting started building Augmented Reality apps in Xamarin.

“One of the great benefits of working for Dootrix, is the ability to get time to work on new technology. A few months ago I was given the exciting task to build a capability demonstrator to show to new and current clients using Augmented Reality on iOS.”

Steve, our AR man in Manchester, has written an excellent technical ‘how to’ guide.

Is Machine Learning hard? Not always.

It’s easy to believe that machine learning is hard. An arcane craft known only to a select few academics. As it turns out, like all of the best frameworks we have for understanding our world, e.g. Newton’s Laws of Motion, Jobs to be Done, Supply & Demand — the best ideas and concepts in machine learning are simple.

AI. Not as hard as it looks.

Object Detection with 10 lines of code

Surely the capability of computer and software systems to locate objects in an image/scene and identify each object would require a huge amount of code. Surprisingly, not.

“A little JIT language named Vaiven”

Want to know what’s involved in writing a JIT compiler for a dynamic language?

What I Learned Making My Own JIT Language

Roll up, roll up, get your free Harvard Computer Science course videos here:

CS50 is Harvard University’s “introduction to the intellectual enterprises of computer science and the art of programming.” CS50x is the same class offered on edX and its largest class with over 1 million enrollments….

CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript

CS50’s Introduction to Game Development

CS50’s Mobile App Development with React Native


Interesting looking GraphQL based CMS

The New GraphCMS is Ready for Launch!

“We are building the world’s best headless CMS so you don’t have to!”

Fluent C++

“C++17 has brought a lot of features to the C++ language. Let’s dig into three of them that help make coding easier, more concise, intuitive and correct.”

3 Simple C++17 Features That Will Make Your Code Simpler

Augmented Reality becomes mainstream in manufacturing.

“… soon enough folks in the industry realized that the real value of AR/MR was in augmenting the real world with digital information, and not just projecting 3D models in physical space. In other words, providing additional context around the thing you were looking at. That’s when AR/MR “clicked” and more innovative and useful applications started to emerge, now attracting the attention of even the most skeptical and crusty manufacturers.”

Interesting read from the official Microsoft Azure blog.

Want to use the ‘Pokemon Go’ AR platform?

Niantic Labs, the developer behind Pokémon Go, will allow third-party developers to use the AR platform that drives those games.

“We will be selecting a handful of third-party developers to begin working with these tools later this year.”

It’s called the Real World Platform and developers interested in it can sign up through Niantic to get more information about the platform and how to get access to it.

Codename: Niantic Occlusion — Real World AR Occlusion featuring Pikachu and Eevee

Don’t Use The Placeholder Attribute

The placeholder attribute contains a surprising amount of issues that prevent it from delivering on what it promises. Let’s clarify why you need to stop using it.

Animation workflow as seen by a developer

“When the designers are done designing, they send their animations to us, the developers, to implement them and make them work in the browser. In this post, I’ll talk about the animation process from the point-of-view of a developer, and how we built a tool to make it easier on ourselves.”

GitLab is jumping clouds — from Azure to Google is migrating to Google Cloud Platform —here’s what this means for you now and in the future

Quantum Computing for dummies? No, just a complex subject explained with clarity and simplicity.

“Sometimes a project comes along that is impossibly ambitious and it works.”

Peachiepie makes WordPress available as a .NET Core NuGet package. Why? Because it’s awesome, apparently. According to Scott Hanselman in this post. The whole of WordPress compiled to .NET Core and a NuGet Package with PeachPie.

A Voice User Interface for StarCraft II

“If you look at the Alexa Skill store, you’ll find plenty of games. Most of them are however either simple trivia games or text-based adventure games from the 70s ported into voice interface. For some time we were wondering if it’s possible to build something beyond that.”

Here’s What We Learned

Introducing the Single Element Pattern

Preparing for a retro is important work

After 750+ retros, here’s a list of questions I always ask as I prepare.

The React(ions)

There’s been a lot of talk about React Native’s pros and cons over the last few weeks, and here’s a small collection of the best thinking and balanced analysis.

Udacity’s take on React Native

“We’ve received numerous questions regarding our usage or(sic) React Native and why we’ve stopped investing in it. In this post, I hope to answer the majority of the questions we’ve received…”

Airbnb’s take on React Native

React Native at Airbnb: The technical details

This is the second in a series of blog posts in which we outline our experience with React Native and what is next for mobile at Airbnb.

“While React Native may not be the best tool for their (Airbnb) app ecosystem, we still believe it’s the best option for us here at Headway. Let’s talk about what Airbnb’s experience was like and why the future of React Native is still very bright.”

The Future of React Native for App Development by Headway.

Now the fuss has died down…This is pretty cool

Generative World Cup Posters — an experiment with world cup statistics API and canvas to generate abstract patterns for each game.

“Why does it have to be so hard?”

A lot of this is obvious but we think it’s still worth remembering some of these points

Dealing with Hard Problems

Classic Reload

….was setup for preservation of 5,000+ old retro abandonware games and abandoned OS/interfaces that you can play DOS games online right in your web browser for education and research purposes.

Large archive of classic games.

Like this kind of stuff? Want to work with people who like this kind of stuff? Get in touch with us then.


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