OK. I'm a little more caught up after the holiday. I'm pleased to announce that the Learning PHP series on developerWorks has gotten some updates (Part 1 was done earlier. 2 and 3 updates just got published.) If you want to dive in and start making use of this popular language this is a great way to do it. I'm actually going to roll up my digital sleeves and walk through the tutorials myself as a coder rather than as an editor. I need to tinker with PHP a lot more and this will get me going quickly.
There's lots going on with the changing of the year, however. Here are a few things of interest.
Linux: 2012 was a very good year
I came across this article from PC World, a publication that is not necessarily known for pushing Linux. There are a lot of interesting points in there. Linux is making money. People are getting stuff done with GNU/Linux. Gaming companies are starting to turn their eyes to the platform. For myself, 2012 was the year where had had less confusion than any other time in my life when I told people I ran Linux. Nearly everyone I spoke with about it had heard of Ubuntu and many said they were considering loading it up themselves if they hadn't already. I know that for many things Linux still makes up a small percentage bump on the user map, but it is going gangbusters in the background and it just isn't going away!
Of course, it isn't always pretty in Linux land. I don't know if it speaks to passion or just poor socialization, but a recent blog post in the Real World Linux community discusses the heated exchange with Linux Torvalds and one of the kernel maintainers when a patch broke something in userspace. I've heard a lot of discussion about whether or not professionals have exchanges like that. They may not where you have worked, but I've witnessed some pretty strongly worded conferences in my career. It's probably not something recommended in the people management handbook, but it does happen. Hopefully everyone will make nice and move on. Of course, ten years ago that exchange wouldn't have been any kind of news whatsoever.
One of the interesting side effects of tools like Twitter is that it gives you a view of the information pie that is hard to get any other way. So much information comes from so many people with tags identifying groups and trends. Twitter has provided a 2012 retrospective page showing what was hot in a variety of topics. My stuff hasn't bubbled up to the top so far, but it's interesting to see who has. It's also interesting—and sometimes aphaalling—to see what people have found important enough to share and discuss. This kind of data is going to become more robust as we go.
Of course, the new year is not all about looking back. It's also about looking forward. This slide show from InfoWorld has their picks for what is "highly anticipated". I'll admit that some of them don't especially grab me. (Let's see if you can figure out which ones!)
I'm intrigued to see the future direction of Android, though the way providers tend to implement it I won't be able to enjoy it with my existing device. I really wish I could handle Android like I do installing Linux on devices!
The pending evolution of wireless protocols is also intriguing. Wouldn't it be amusing if we eventually fix the high-speed everywhere questions with wireless rather than running cables?
The flexible displays are also pretty interesting and could show up in some surprising areas. Imagine touch interaction that doesn't need to be flat anymore.
I'm also curious to see what happens with the new innovations in energy usage that are evolving. I'm sure there will be more on that later.
Happy New Year, all. I hope you got some kind of a break and are ready to start making a difference with all that you do.