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Up Front

The Magic Elixir

by Michael Swaine

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This month we begin a series on one of the most exciting new languages to come along in years: Elixir.

Elixir is a modern, functional programming language designed for high availability and concurrency. It has Ruby-like syntax married to the power and reliability of the Erlang VM. If you wanted to get into functional programming but were put off by the academic feel, now’s the time to jump in.

Oh, and the series is written by our own Pragmatic Programmer, Dave Thomas, Agile Manifesto signatory and lead author of the famous Pickaxe book.

Dave also wrote Agile Web Development with Rails with David Heinemeier Hansson, and brought Sam Ruby on board for the third edition of this important book. Sam found that Rails was changing too rapidly for the conventional book authoring process to keep up, so he invented a new, agile process. It turned out that his book-updating methods proved useful for the updating of Rails itself. In this issue Sam explains how this symbiotic publishing and software development system works.

Paul Callaghan has been delivering some deep articles recently on Haskell and dependent types. This month he has something a little different: a dive into the workings of the Unification algorithm. It’s been around since the invention of logic proramming and Prolog back in the 1960s, but Unification can be useful in many settings where matching is important.

Stephen Rylander explains why you need much more than just jQuery in your web app development toolbox to be successful today. What you need is a JavaScript MVC framework, and Stephen shows how to get the most out of one such framework, Knockout.

There was a time when IBM ruled the world of computer technology and when you went to work for IBM, you were done thinking about job interviews forever. It was marriage for life. That world no longer exists. Today, your carreer is your job, and you need to manage it well over time. Johanna Rothman and Andy Lester share their insights on how to do that.

Also: John Shade follows the phishing phenomenon to its logical conclusion, and we have another puzzle and all the other regular features. We hope you enjoy it.