5 Popular Linux Distributions for Developers

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Linux, a freely distributable, cross-platform operating system based on Unix, was first launched in 1991, after a Finnish student Linus Torvalds felt the need for a new free operating system kernel. Although the earlier versions of Linux were not user-friendly, its open-source aspect allowed it to become robust and popular over the years. After more than 25 years of its launch, Linux Kernel has now reached a point where it’s enjoying popularity at its prime.

Linux Kernel attracted the attention of many programmers world over as it allowed them to design their own custom operating systems. This ensued the emergence of a wide range of operating systems based on Linux Kernel. The operating systems based on Linux Kernel are known as Linux Distributions, often abbreviated as “Distros”.

That the tech market is now flooded with various Linux Distributions, programmers often find it difficult to determine as to which Linux distro to go for. Having said that, I have compiled a list below comprising of 5 distros being used the most by developers across the globe.

Note: There is an abundance of distros out there, so don’t feel offended if I miss out on your favorite one.

Top 5 Linux Distributions for Developers

#1 Linux Mint 18.1

Linux Mint is a stable, robust, and elegant derivative of Ubuntu. Linux Mint particularly gained a lot of traction in developers’ community for providing out of the box software, like multimedia codecs. However, starting from Linux Mint 18.1, which is the latest release of Mint and is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Mint has stopped the practice of shipping codecs.

The three major reasons behind this move were: High cost, too much work for the Mint team to ship ISO images both with and without codecs, and the failure of shipping codecs to significantly improve the distribution.

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So, if you want to use Linux Mint 18.1, you need to install the relevant multimedia codecs yourself. To install multimedia codecs, you can either check out a box during installation, or click a button on the Welcome screen, or install them via Menu>Sound and Video>Install Multimedia Codecs.

Linux Mint offers familiarity and ease-of-use to the novice or Windows user. Linux Mint is also available with its own flagship desktop environment, called Cinnamon, which makes it suitable for modern PCs. With Cinnamon, Mint allows users to access a suite of distro specific tools and features that make it stand out. For lower spec PCs, Mint can be used with the MATE desktop environments. KDE and XFCE desktop environments also work with Mint.

#2 Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Ubuntu, a product of Canonical and built on Debian’s architecture and infrastructure, is one of the most popular and reliable Linux distros for developers. The kind of professionalism it delivers in the form of Long-term Support (LTS) for five years after the release date, availability for both desktop and server editions, etc., makes Ubuntu a stand out choice for developers. Its latest version is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and similar to previous versions, it’s also based on debian.

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Although Ubuntu’s default desktop environment is Unity, other flavors, including Gnome, KDE, LxQt, MATE and other community supported desktop environments, are also available. Ubuntu is a good choice for developers who have just started trying out their hands in web development. Ubuntu Make, a command line tool, is a special feature for developers to install with ease the entire development stack, tools, and various IDEs for Node.js, Dart, Rust, Swift, Go, Scala, Android, etc.. In short, Ubuntu users need to use one command to get the system ready to develop with.

And, not only established IDEs, like Eclipse, NetBeans, and MonoDevelop, are available via Canonical’s repositories, but lesser-known ones like Ninja, Anjuta, and Geany as well.

However, there have been controversies too with Ubuntu, like Amazon-based affiliate results within the Unity search results and creation of their own display server and init system. Nevertheless, Ubuntu still is a top choice for developers for providing a very capable and user friendly alternative to Microsoft Windows.

Click here to learn “7 Major Reasons Why You Should Upgrade To Ubuntu 16.04”

#3 Fedora 25

Fedora operating system is based on Linux kernel and GNU programs. It’s supported by Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). What makes Fedora an operating system worth using is its ability to integrate new package versions and technologies into the distribution. Two versions of Fedora were released in 2016: Fedora 24 and Fedora 25. Release types for Fedora are: Desktop, server and cloud. However, our area of concern in the blog is desktop.

Robust security is one of the top virtues of Fedora, thanks to default firewall and SELinux settings. Bleeding edge software availability, a solid GNOME desktop experience and a predictable release cycle are other advantages of using Fedora.

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GNOME 3 is the default desktop of Fedora, making the operating system free of complexity and easy to navigate. However, if you wish to use other desktop environment, you have several choices available, including KDE Plasma, XFCE, LXDE, Mate-Compiz, Cinnamon and the OLPC SOAS. Fedora also provides pedantic notes for each new release to help developers swiftly acquaint with the new version.

With Fedora, developers get to use the most recent versions of the bundled languages and runtimes for production. To cite an example, Ruby on Rails 5.0 and Go 1.7 can be used with Fedora 25. The latest Fedora also includes Mozilla’s Rust, multiple editions of Python and Docker. As far as development tools are concerned, Fedora’s software repositories give access to Eclipse, Vim, MonoDevelop, Code::Blocks and Geany. IDEs are also available for Arduino and MCU 8501 hardware boards.

However, the hassle with Fedora is the need to go for full upgrade at least once a year to continue getting support. Also, there are no long-term support releases. That apart, Fedora is a good choice for developers… Read More- 5 Popular Linux Distributions for Developers

10 Reasons that Make Node.js a Top Choice for Web Application Development

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It often happens that a game-changing technology enters the tech market with a boom, but passes into extinction later. However, that’s certainly not the case with Node.js, which is an open source, cross-platform built on Chrome’s JavaScript runtime. Node.js was developed by Ryan Dahl in 2009, and the platform has now become an exceptional choice for real-time web application development that boosts ROI by providing a highly interactive user experience.

The best advantage of using Node.js is that developers can write JavaScript on both the client side and the server side. It’s worth mentioning that enterprises like PayPal, Yahoo, eBay, Netflix, The Mail Online, and Walmart have taken their respective businesses to fruition using Node.js. Read further to gain insight into 10 major reasons why most businesses are jumping on the Node.js-powered web app bandwagon.

Click here to learn about top JavaScript Frameworks/Libraries

10 Reasons behind Skyrocketing Popularity of Node.js for Web App Development

Image Source: CronJ

#1 Expedites the Development Process

Node.js uses the V8 engine developed by Google which allows compilation of JavaScript into native machine code and fast execution. Since Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model, it’s very efficient and lightweight for in-memory usage and data dense real-time web applications that work on multiple devices.

With Node.js, you can execute common web application tasks very fast, like reading or writing to the database, reading and writing to network connections and reading or writing to the file system. Node.js is a blessing for developers who want to build quick, robust web applications that can effectively deal with parallel connections with increased throughput.

After LinkedIn opted for Node.js, it recorded a significant rise in its mobile traffic and also the reduction in the number of servers from 30 to 3. PayPal is another example that benefitted from Node.js. After using Node.js, PayPal saw a 35% downfall in their response time and doubled requests per second. You can run Node.js applications on multiple servers including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix.

#2 Excellent for Real-Time App Development

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You will agree that almost every company now looks for customer information in real time. For a simple reason, a reliable access to customer information as it’s being generated paves the way for significant boost in business sales by offering users what they are actually looking for, not something random that does not interest them. And over the past few years, having a real-time web app built using Node.js has emerged as the best way to notch that up.

With Node.js, all your worries related to low-level sockets and protocols go for a walk to the moon. Using Node.js, you can build a real-time web application as fast as making a simple blog in PHP. Node.js is a good fit for multi-user real-time web apps as in games and chat apps. The multi-user function is tackled by the event loop via websocket protocol which works on TCP. It also prevents the overhead of HTTP for web development.

#3 Data Streaming

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Although HTTP request and response are thought to be two isolated events, they are data streams in real. The beauty of Node.js is that it enables file processing while uploading. As a result, it saves a lot of time that goes waste in overall processing in the event of data coming in the form of streams. The same remains the case with real-time video or audio recording.

#4 Node.js is Omnipresent

JavaScript exists in both the browser and the server, thanks to Node.js for making it possible. If a company feel the need of changing the logic built for the browser to be shifted to the server, developers can do it with ease by using Node.js code migration. Though, there is not much difference in how the code written for either the browser or server runs.

#5 Allows to Use a Single Code Base for Web Applications

With Node.js, developers can automatically send and synchronize data between server and the client side as it allows developers to write JavaScript for both the server and client. Meteor, a web app framework created on top of Node.js, offers support to the same codebase for the client and the server. Any data change in the server is immediately visible on the client-side.

“Node.js is not a silver-bullet new platform that will dominate the web development world. Instead, it’s a platform that fills a particular need. Where Node really shines is in building fast, scalable network applications”, according to the web engineering company Toptal… Read full post here- 10 Reasons that Make Node.js a Top Choice for Web Application Development

8 Useful Tools/Frameworks for Java Testing

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A plethora of tools is available in the tech market for automated testing of Java/J2EE applications. However, for this blog, I have winnowed down the long list of Java testing tools to the most used and popular ones, based on the reviews of some Java developers I recently talked to. So, don’t feel offended if I miss out on your favorite Java testing tool, as there is no perfect tool in this world. The 8 Java testing tools/frameworks I am going to discuss in this blog are meant for unit testing or functional testing or for specific types of Java components such as view, logic and validation components.

8 Useful Tools/Frameworks for Java Testing

#1 JUnit

Without a doubt, JUnit is the most popular Java testing framework out there. The framework is open source and is widely used by Java developers for writing & executing unit test cases. JUnit has also been one of the major forces behind the adoption of test-driven development methodologies. JUnit comes as a packaged JAR (Java ARchive) library, and you can download junit.jar and hamcrest-core.jar files from GitHub before placing them in your test class path.

The Java testing framework is very simple to use, and provides annotations for test method identifications. Assertion is another exciting feature of JUnit which it uses to test the expected results. With JUnit, Java developers can quickly run unit tests and get instant results via red/green progress bar.

Although JUnit is a popular unit testing framework, it can also be used for integration and acceptance tests. So, you can easily integrate JUnit with standard IDEs, like eclipse and netbeans.

#2 JWalk

JWalk is a Java testing tool that relies on Lazy, Systematic Unit Testing. The tool performs bounded exhaustive testing of any compiled Java class, supplied by the programmer.

Although JUnit enables to frequently retest the modified code, the manually created test scripts often remain incomplete. But that’s not the case with JWalk, which operates directly on the compiled code for Java classes and uses a new lazy method for inducing the changing design of a class on the fly. Besides, fully automated checking gradually takes over manual inspection of the test report.

For systematic testing, JWalk performs exhaustive testing of the whole state-space of the object to ensure compliance with the specification. The tool is smart enough to infer the specification from hints supplied by the programmer during the testing process, and from smart assumptions made about the intended design of the code…..

Read More- 8 Useful Tools/Frameworks for Java Testing

10 Useful JavaScript Form Validation Libraries

For Internet users, form filling on many websites and mobile applications has become a common exercise to provide information, like email ID, name, product delivery address, etc, in order to use the services. After putting the required information, the form validates the information and allows you to use the services. However, form validation often frustrated many Internet users in the past as any wrong or incomplete information resulted in the page reload, forcing them to enter the whole correct information again.

But, problems don’t last forever in the technology world. That said, I am unveiling 10 useful JavaScript form validation libraries that show instant alert whenever an Internet user enters any wrong information, thereby saving the time of entering the whole information again. These JavaScript form validation libraries check the veracity of the information entered before sending it to the server. As a result, an invalid info dialog instantly appears in front of the info tab in which wrong information was entered, which saves the time and hassles of putting the whole correct information again.

10 Useful JavaScript Form Validation Libraries

#1. jQuery Validation Plugin

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jQuery Validation, an MIT licensed plugin and created by jQuery mega creator Jörn Zaefferer, is one of the most popular choices of JavaScript developers. The plugin is tested with jQuery 1.6.4, 1.7.2, 1.8.3, 1.9.0…Read full blog here- 10 Useful JavaScript Form Validation Libraries

Why #Developers Now Compare Vue.js to #JavaScript Giants #AngularJS and ReactJS?

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Vue.js, an MIT-licensed open source project, is a JavaScript library for building web interfaces. The library was first released in 2013, but not many developers took cognizance of it in web framework technology for the next two years. It was 2016 when Vue.js rose to fame and gained so much traction that it’s now seen as an alternative for even well established JavaScript libraries, such as Angular and React.

Since Angular belongs to search engine giant Google and React comes from social media behemoth Facebook, developers still trust and use those libraries more than Vue.js. However, Vue.js showed enough strength last year to make waves on the internet and emerge as a potential candidate to surpass the reach of Angular and React in many cases. This blog attempts to shed light on why there is a growing belief among developers that Vue.js is set to become the top JavaScript library, leaving behind Angular and React.

Check Out Vue.js Achievements in 2016

  • 1,531,217 NPM downloads

  • 26,000 Github Stars

  • 100,696,367 pageviews on Vuejs.org page

  • Vue.js version 2.0 launched in September 2016

  • Vue.js was 3rd most starred project in 2016 on GitHub

Why is Vue.js considered to be Better than Angular and React?

Vue.js is a lightweight and easy-to-learn library, with facilities like two way data binding and virtual DOM. Unlike Angular and React that often inundate developers with myriad things to develop an app, Vue.js is simple and only calls for things that you need to effectively develop an app. Besides, Vue.js is relatively new, therefore obviates the need of acquainting yourself with its history before starting using it…Read full blog here- Why Developers Now Compare Vue.js to JavaScript Giants Angular and React?

 

Python 3.6 adds New secrets Module for Robust Account and Password Security

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Python 3.6, the newest major release of the Python language, has added a new module, called secrets, to help generate cryptographically strong random numbers for managing secrets, like account authentication, tokens and related secrets. Python developers are highly likely to prefer secrets over the default pseudo-random number generator in the random module, since it’s not meant for cryptography or security, but modelling and simulation.

Let’s understand with an example how one can create their own cryptographically strong pseudo-random values and generate tokens using the secrets module.

How to create Cryptographically Strong Pseudo-Random Values using secrets

>>> import secrets
>>> import string
>>> characters = string.ascii_letters + string.digits
>>> secure_password = ”.join(secrets.choice(chNo Records.aracters) for i in range(10))
>>> secure_password
‘SRvM54ZAs1’

The first step is to import the secrets and the string modules. Then we create a string of uppercase letters and integers. Now, in order to choose characters randomly to generate a secure password, we need to use the secrets module’s choice() method. The reason it’s being called a secure password is because there’s been a use of mixed case, numbers and symbols in the password, which is highly advised to people to keep their passwords protected from hack attacks…Read full blog here- Python 3.6 adds New secrets Module for Robust Account and Password Security

Why to Use HTML5 and CSS3 for Your Business?

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HTML, an abbreviation of Hyper Text Markup Language, first came into existence in late 80s to help describe a document’s structure and to allow cross-linking of documents. HTML has evolved multiple times since then, and many developers worldwide use it to provide better, faster, more consistent user experiences for desktop and mobile visitors. HTML now enjoys the close association with two allies – CSS and JavaScript. CSS enhances the appearance of HTML by describing the way the document is supposed to look. JavaScript, on the other hand, makes HTML more interactive. However, in this blog we will focus on the benefits of using the latest versions of HTML standard and CSS for business purpose.

As more and more people now prefer smartphones or tablets over PCs to surf the internet, mobile friendly sites with good user experience have become the need of the hour. Paying heed to the current demands of rich media, cross device and mobile internet access requirements, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in October 2014 published HTML 5, the fifth and the latest version of the HTML standard.

A Brief Introduction to HTML5

One of the biggest differences between HTML5 and previous versions of the HTML standard is that it provides one common interface to load elements in multiple browsers. Since the older versions of HTML require proprietary plugins and APIs, a web page that was built and tested in one browser may not load correctly in another browser. But same is not the case with HTML5, which completely obviates the need of installing a Flash plugin by allowing the element to run by itself.

HTML5 was designed keeping in mind cross-platform mobile application development. Besides, new syntactic features in HTML5, like video, audio and canvas tags, were specifically introduced to support multimedia on mobile devices. Offline storage is also one of the virtues of HTML5…read full blog here- Why to Use HTML5 and CSS3 for Your Business?