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You Tell Us: Putting a Penguin in Your Pocket

Will the upstart Linux operating system be a hit in U.S. and European cellphones?

2 min read

Over the past decade or so, Linux, the popular open-source operating system, has grown from a hobbyist’s plaything into a powerful presence in everything from mainframe computers to digital television recorders. Now a number of companies are trying to extend Linux’s reach into cellphones.

Linux in cellphones really began to gather steam two years ago when such companies as NTT DoCoMo and Panasonic released ”a series of really compelling [Linux-based] mobile phones for the Japanese market,” explains Ramone Llamas, a research analyst with IDC, a market intelligence firm in Framingham, Mass. Next came Chicago’s Motorola, whose Linux-based phones also did well in China and other Asia-Pacific counties. One reason for the success was the ease with which Linux supported touch-screen interfaces, which were better suited to the local writing system than were Western-style keypads.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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