Clippy Lives: In Scala

Akhil Vijayan explains Scala Clippy:

Now you may be wondering how these errors are identified and we get advice related to it.

Simple, these are provided by the Scala community. If you visit their official website Scala Clippy where you can find a tab “Contribute”. Under that, we can post our own errors. These errors are parsed first, and when successful we can add our advice which will be reviewed and if accepted it will be added to their database which will, in turn, be beneficial to others.

Take a close look at the screenshots; I missed it at first, but there’s helpful advice above the error message.

Bashing Windows

Steve Jones shows how to install Bash on Windows 10:

With SQL Server coming on Linux, some people will want to learn a bit of Linux. Or perhaps they need to get re-acquainted with the OS, which is my situation. I grew up on DOS, but moved to Unix in university. I’ve dabbled in Linux over the years, but with no real use for it over Windows, I abandoned it a decade ago.

Now, I’m trying to re-learn some things as I play with SQL Server on Linux.

Recently I saw a quick video from Scott Hanselman on the Bash subsystem in Windows. I actually first saw this live at the Build 2016 announcement, but when it was added in Beta to Windows 10, I didn’t add it. I’ve been meaning to, but hadn’t.

Until today.

Read on to see how to set this up on your Windows 10 machine.

Static Site Generation With Hugo

Steph Locke explains how to build a simple site using Hugo:

This site uses Hugo. Hugo is a “static site generator” which means you write a bunch of markdown and it generates html. This is great for building simple sites like company leafletware or blogs.

You can get Hugo across platforms and on Windows it’s just an executable you can put in your program files. You can then work with it like git in the command line.

Read on for a step-by-step process to get started.  Steph also links to blogdown, which is an interesting R-friendly extension.

Using Azure Cloud Shell

Jeffrey Verheul shows off a bit of Azure Cloud Shell:

Connecting to a database
Now that your Cloud Shell is ready to go, you can start using Bash. This means you can also use sqlcmd from within Bash.

You can connect to a database with sqlcmd, by using the following command:

sqlcmd -S servername.database.windows.net -U username -P password
Once the connection to your database has been made, you can run queries against it.

There’s no Powershell support yet, but Bash is currently supported and Powershell is in the works.

Golang And SQL Server

Mat Hayward-Hill gives us another language to think about:

Right now I spend most of my time in Management Studio writing TSQL. And I use PowerShell whenever I need to do something on more than one machine at a time. But now Microsoft is embracing open source should I be thinking the same and learn a new language which isn’t so Microsoft-centric.

After talking to some experts, I narrowed the choice down to two; Python and Go (also referred to as Golang). I picked Golang as it’s relatively new (open sourced in 2009 but for a language is leading-edge, whereas Python dates back to the late 1980s); nothing more complicated than that as this project is just for fun!

I’d see this as more of a “Cool, I can do this now” type of language rather than a “Hey, drop what you’re doing and learn this!” language.  That may change over the next few years.

Code Formatting

Bert Wagner has a few tips on code formatting to make it more readable:

The second example above consistently indents lines, adds new lines, and follows consistent coding patterns. This makes it easy to skim the code quickly.

Books have chapters, headings, and paragraphs defined by formatting that make it easy to find what is needed at a glance — formatting code makes it possible to find things easily too.

The examples Bert uses are all C#, but apply to most languages.  I think consistency is key, even more so than your ideal format.  This reduces friction between developers, at least outside of the “what should our coding standards be?” meetings…

OCR With Tesseract

Amuda Adelou shows how to use Tesseract’s Java API to perform character recognition in images:

Extracting text from an image means that you are considering the flowchart imagery that’s processed to extract the text components and then extracting the geometrical shapes components. The text components are extracted with geometrical components, as well. The internal relationship between the components is set up by tracing the flow lines that connect different components. The extracted components are output to metadata (in XML format), which is machine-readable. This metadata can be archived, stored in a knowledge base, or shared with others.

Click through for a demo app and code.

Minimizing Shared State

Vladimir Khorikov has an example of removing shared state and making application code more “honest” as a result:

Note how we’ve removed the private fields. Getting rid of the shared state automatically decoupled the three methods and made the workflow explicit. Without the shared state, the only way we can carry data around is by using the methods’ arguments and return values. And that is exactly what we did: all three members now explicitly state required inputs and possible outputs in their signatures.

This is the essence of functional programming. With honest method signatures, it’s extremely easy to reason about the code as we don’t need to keep in mind hidden relationships between its different parts. It’s also impossible to mess up with the invocation order. If we try, for example, to put the second line above the first one, the code simply wouldn’t compile:

This is one of many reasons why I’m fond of functional programming.

Case-Insensitive Power Query Sorts

Cedric Charlier points out a comaprisonCriteria on Table.Sort in Power Query:

Have you already tried to sort a table based on a text field? The result is usually a surprise for most people. M language has a specific implementation of the sort engine for text where upper case letters are always ordered before lower case letters. It means that Z is always before a. In the example (here under), Fishing Rod is sorted before Fishing net.

The classical trick to escape from this weird behavior is to create a new column containing the upper case version of the text that will be used to sort your table, then configure the sort operation on this newly created column. This is a two steps approach (Three steps, if you take into account the need to remove the new column). Nothing bad with this except that it obfuscates the code and I hate that.

Click through to learn a more elegant way of sorting.

Embedded Solr With Scala

Anurag Srivastava shows how to use Embedded Solr using an example written in Scala:

Embedded Solr has the same interface as Solr without requiring an HTTP connection. When we “embed” Solr into a Java an application, it provides the exact same API that you would use if you were connecting to a remote Solr instance. We can use embedded Solr for in-memory testing because when we implement test cases, it should not depend on any external resources.

Read on for the code sample.

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