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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

JavaScript book next?

While I'm writing the next revision of my Python book, I'm curious what people would like to see after, or instead of, this revision. What language would you like me to cover?

I'm figuring JavaScript will be a popular choice, as it ties in so well with the web-centric design philosophy, as well as most mobile apps. But other languages may be popular, depending on the field.

Therefore, I've put a poll on the side with the top 5, currently popular programming languages. Please let me know what you would like me to write about next. The poll will be open until the middle of October, which should be plenty of time to cast your vote. If you choose "Other" as your vote, please post in the comments what language you would like me to write about.

There are two caveats to this, however. First, if there aren't a sufficient number of votes cast, then I won't bother covering a different language. Which leads to the second caveat: I will have to learn the language to write about it. Thus, without the incentive to learn a new language (I'm not a programmer by trade), I won't bother learning it well enough to write a new book series.

I don't know how many votes will be sufficient to make me learn a new language, but I figure it will have to be several thousand. This site gets approximately 2,000 visitors per month, so if everyone casts a vote, that would be nice (of course, if everyone made a donation when they voted, that would definitely be an incentive to learn the language and get the book to market quickly).


Louis Bruno said...

I have enjoyed your Python book, but a trying to find someway to use Python to solve a simple excercise: start with a list of 100 (people), if there are two left, remove the nearest to a subsequent list, and then assume the position of the second person. Once the first list is finished, I want to do the same again on each subsequent list until there is only one (person) left.

I cannot find the (command?) to verify the existence of the two remaining positions which would determine if the end of list has been reached. Any good approaches / sources?

If the next book could be progressive exercises (such as the one above) that demonstrate each of the covered functions/etc I believe you would finally have presented a book that did not end up more complicated than the language (I feel the simplicity of Python makes it far harder than it should be to get started, being able to know what you want to do and find the necessary commands etc. to be able to start experimenting.

Cody Jackson said...


Thank you for the feedback. I'm actually going to incorporate practice lessons in the next revision that I'm currently working on, so we are both thinking the same thing.

To answer you question, without knowing all the details, it sounds like a list.pop() method might work for you. pop() removes the latest entry from a list, allowing you to work on it (in your case, move it to another list); the rest of the list is still available. Then, you can pop the next item and so on.

Regarding verification, just do a test for the length of the list. If the list is greater than a length of 2, you haven't reached the end of the list.

Try those two ideas out and see if they work.