Things to look at in 2011
January 23, 2011
Before I start on my 2011 list, it’s time for a quick review. My list for 2010 was:
- Clojure (http://clojure.org/)
- CouchDB (http://couchdb.apache.org/)
- Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) (http://www.nltk.org/)
- PyGame (http://www.pygame.org/news.html)
- Twisted (http://twistedmatrix.com/trac/)
- XMPP (http://xmpp.org/)
I spent the year going to the London Clojure Dojo and I must admit that I do like the language and will continue to learn it. I’ve not had much reason to use it outside of the dojo, but I’m sure something will come up this year.
CouchDB is very impressive and CouchApp makes it pretty easy to develop self-hosted apps in CouchDB. I have an idea for a CouchDB app which I want to work on.
On the PyGame front, I did a fair bit of development early in the year, turning a game idea into… well, a mess. I started off a little too ambitiously and the unfinished result needs a serious bit of refactoring in order to progress further. I’ve got a simpler idea in the same style that I want to work on this year, which should give me a better idea about how to rework and finish the original game.
I spectacularly failed to look at XMPP (other than read the O’Reilly book), Twisted or NLTK (again, other than read the book).
So, for this year:
- PHP (http://www.php.net/)
- Python 3 (http://www.python.org/)
- Celery / RabbitMQ (http://celeryproject.org/ / http://www.rabbitmq.com/)
- XMPP (http://xmpp.org/)
- jQuery (http://jquery.com/)
- Android SDK (http://www.android.com/)
So, PHP is my new language for the year. What gives? Well, the company I work for uses a lot of PHP code. Even though I’ve been recruited for helping migrate PHP and Perl on the back end to Python, the front end PHP code is not going away and it would be useful to be able to roll up my sleeves and help with the maintenance and development work. Unlike Erlang or Clojure, this is just a straight case of learning the syntax, and not really the same challenge of those languages.
Ah, Python 3. The company roadmap is to finish 2011 using Python 3 in production. This is, admittedly, a bit ambitious because not all the Python code we use will be Python 3 compatible (Django springs to mind). I’ve made the personal decision that the final release of Python 3.2 will signal the transition point for my home projects, at least taking into account library support.
I’ve already begun to look at Celery from a very basic point-of-view, but this is a technology we are going to be using more heavily at work this year. It’s actually one of the many things that attracted me to joining the company late last year – because I was never going to get a chance to use this commercially at my last place.
XMPP is still on the list and the London Python Dojo will be using it this year for the inter-dojo game challenge. Looking forward to it!
Finally, time to upgrade my ancient phone to one of these new-fangled “smart” phones. I had a company iPhone for a few months, but never really used it. It’s a nice enough piece of hardware and the UI is slick as you would expect… but it did nothing for me. The Android OS is open source and seems more in tune with what I might use for a phone OS. Although I would rather like an Objective-C SDK for it 😉 Actually, it looks like Clojure and Jython are unofficially supported, albeit rather slow.
As well as the new skills above, I’ll be continuing with Clojure, PyGame and CouchDB. I’ll also be getting some commercial Django experience, continuing to explore FluidDB (FluidInYourEar might finally get a public release this year!), the Flask web framework, and hopefully refresh my Erlang skills.
Here’s to 2011 – what technologies are you planning to look at this year?