Microsoft fine-tunes WebAssembly for Edge browser

WebAssembly, the portable binary format for improving web application performance, is being tweaked by Microsoft for its Edge browser.With the browser featured in the recent Windows 10 Creators Update, the Chakra JavaScript engine defers parsing Web…

WebAssembly, the portable binary format for improving web application performance, is being tweaked by Microsoft for its Edge browser.

With the browser featured in the recent Windows 10 Creators Update, the Chakra JavaScript engine defers parsing WebAssembly functions until called; other engines parse functions at start time.

"We've observed startup time as a major headache for large web apps and have rarely seen runtime performance being the issue from our experiences with existing WebAssembly and asm.js workloads," said Limin Zhu, program manager for the Chakra team at Microsoft, this week. "As a result, a WebAssembly app often loads noticeably faster in Microsoft Edge."

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Lambdascript adds functional programming to Python

Lambdascript, a pure functional language built atop Python 3, provides a bridge between Python and functional programming, in yet another nod to a software development paradigm that has been attracting plenty of attention lately.

The Haskell-influenced language uses several Python features and benefits from modules written in Python, according to the project’s GitHub page. “Once a public version [is] released, it should be able to compile very well-written modules to be used in pure Python programs — or even in other Lambdascript programs,” the documentation states. The language is presently in an alpha release stage.

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Lambdascript, a pure functional language built atop Python 3, provides a bridge between Python and functional programming, in yet another nod to a software development paradigm that has been attracting plenty of attention lately.

The Haskell-influenced language uses several Python features and benefits from modules written in Python, according to the project's GitHub page. "Once a public version [is] released, it should be able to compile very well-written modules to be used in pure Python programs -- or even in other Lambdascript programs," the documentation states. The language is presently in an alpha release stage.

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PHP 7 user migrations are well underway

PHP users are slowly but surely migrating over to PHP 7, the upgrade to the server-side web development language that came out a year ago. But issues like incompatibility and IT user policy restrictions are stalling their progress.

A recent survey of nearly 1,300 PHP users taken by PHP tools producer Zend found that nearly 20 percent had already made the move, 21 percent were in progress, 15 percent planned to move in the next six months, and 17 percent planned to move in less than one year.

But 14 percent were putting off the migration for more than a year, and another 14 percent were not planning to move at all. Barriers to migration include incompatibility with custom code (nearly 31 percent), lack of support for third-party frameworks and libraries (17), lack of available extensions (11), IT policy restrictions (11), and customer requirements (10).

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PHP users are slowly but surely migrating over to PHP 7, the upgrade to the server-side web development language that came out a year ago. But issues like incompatibility and IT user policy restrictions are stalling their progress.

A recent survey of nearly 1,300 PHP users taken by PHP tools producer Zend found that nearly 20 percent had already made the move, 21 percent were in progress, 15 percent planned to move in the next six months, and 17 percent planned to move in less than one year.

But 14 percent were putting off the migration for more than a year, and another 14 percent were not planning to move at all. Barriers to migration include incompatibility with custom code (nearly 31 percent), lack of support for third-party frameworks and libraries (17), lack of available extensions (11), IT policy restrictions (11), and customer requirements (10).

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New shell packs power of Python and Bash

Xonsh, now in development, provides a shell that combines the Python language with features of Bash Unix and the fish and zsh shells.

Pronounced “conch,” the tool works with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and it offers a shell language and command prompt. It compiles to a Python AST (Abstract Syntax Tree), features a superset of Python 3.4, and relies on the Python standard library and the PLY parsing tool.

“The first thing you’ll notice about Xonsh is that it’s really meant to be used as a general-purpose shell,” lead developer Anthony Scopatz, associate professor in the nuclear engineering program at the University of South Carolina, said at this week’s PyCon 2016 conference in Portland, Oregon. “But on the other hand, it really is Python, so you can do things like add two numbers together.”

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Xonsh, now in development, provides a shell that combines the Python language with features of Bash Unix and the fish and zsh shells.

Pronounced “conch,” the tool works with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and it offers a shell language and command prompt. It compiles to a Python AST (Abstract Syntax Tree), features a superset of Python 3.4, and relies on the Python standard library and the PLY parsing tool.

“The first thing you’ll notice about Xonsh is that it’s really meant to be used as a general-purpose shell,” lead developer Anthony Scopatz, associate professor in the nuclear engineering program at the University of South Carolina, said at this week’s PyCon 2016 conference in Portland, Oregon. “But on the other hand, it really is Python, so you can do things like add two numbers together.”

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