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Computers

What Is The book ‘The Art of Computer Programming’ about ?

The Art of Computer Programming

The Art of Computer Programming was written by Donald Ervin Knuth and there are 7 volumes of the Art of Computer Programming. The first volume was published in 1968 with two chapters on Basic Concepts and Information Structures. The Art of Computer Programming highlights on how good a method is by analysing two programming algorithms using a mathematical approach. The genesis of the book began when Knuth was working on a chapter related to compilers, after going through several literature’s, he found that none of the literature’s were reliable in nature and did not do justice to the somewhat new field of computer science. He began his quantitative work on The Art of Computer Programming in 1963 and by the end of 1965 he had 12 chapters with almost 3000 pages. The first two chapters in Volume 1 provides basic mathematical preliminaries and basic Information structures. The book does not teach you how to code but is written for those who want an in-depth view on creating efficient algorithms and data structures.

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Computers

Contributions Of Dijkstra And Knuth Towards Structured Programming

Structured Programming

Both Dijkstra and Knuth contributed towards structured programming in several ways. To begin with, it was Dijkstra who emphasized the importance of Structured Programming. He wrote his first paper on Structured Programming in 1965 proposing the construction of programs in a structured way. Even though it did not create a turmoil in the computer field, later on, after a paper published by Bohm and Jacopini in 1966, which showed that three basic control structures could display any program abstracts and the use of GOTO statements can be excluded theoretically, Dijkstra came up and enforced his ideas into a letter and published in ACM. This created a lot of support for Dijkstra’s proposal by the computer programmers. However, it was in late 1971 after a successful demonstration of New York Times Online Retrieval System, Structured Programming proved to be more than just a proposal and soon found its way to be used for creating software’s for the United Stated Government. Implementation of Structured Programming helped in bringing down the cost of the software significantly at that time.

Similarly, Knuth, after learning about Structured Programming from practices done by Dijkstra in the early 1970s, some of the major works done by Knuth like TeX were using Structured Programming. Even though, Knuth used the methodology proposed by Dijkstra, he did not completely agree with the confinement of GO TO statements to be used just in lower level languages. This lead to the paper ‘Structured Programming with go to Statements’ by Knuth in 1974.

References:

  • Jensen, RW 1981, ‘Structured Programming’, https://www.computer.org/csdl/mags/co/1981/03/01667281.pdf.
  • KNUTH, DE 1974, ‘Structured Programming with go to Statements’, Computing Surveys, vol. 6, no. 4.
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Computers

Who is Dijkstra?

Edsger W Dijkstra

Edsger W. Dijkstra was born in Rotterdam and was a professor in Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands. After working as a research fellow in Burroughs Corporation in the ‘70s, he was holding the Schlumberger Centennial Chair in the University of Texas, which was established by the Board of Regents, till he retired in 2000. Dijkstra had a considerable number of contributions towards computer science. One of his first major contribution was the Shortest-Path Algorithm, which finds the shortest path between two places and another contribution is the Minimum Spanning Tree algorithm. He introduced the concept of stack in recursive programs. Dijkstra was one of the first ones to emphasized the importance of structured programming, he wrote the ‘notes on structured programming’, which is still in circulation, made a big impact on computer science.

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Computers

Who is Knuth?

Donald E Knuth

Donald Ervin Knuth was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Knuth completed his M.S in Mathematics from the Case Institute of Technology, Ohio. While doing his PhD in Mathematics at California institute of Technology, he started working on his book on compilers. By the end of 1965 he completed 12 chapters, which later was decided to be published in different volumes. In 1968, his first book was published the renowned Volume 1: The Art of Computer Programming, there are 7 volumes in total which were published in the years later. His famous creations Tex engine, Metafont font design and Computer modern set were all written using Structured Programming. He was presented with the Turing award in 1974 for his contribution to the computer field and is called the father of analysis of algorithm.

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Android

What are the Top 5 Android P Features

Top 5 Android P Features

New and Redesigned Interface

In Android P everything is ’round’ ⭕. The notifications, quick settings, toggles, the icons within the settings search bars, the transparent dock on the pixel launcher and so on. Some people may like it and other might not, but I personally liked it. However, you might feel like a theme added from Google Play Store.

Android P Notifications

Apart from rounding everything, Google continues its efforts to provide a basic dark and light theme based on the colour of the devices current wallpaper on its quick setting toggles, app drawer and even Google feed panel are affected.

Android P Black Notification

I would have loved to see a dark theme for the notification cards, settings and Google cards to create a pattern on consistency, may be with the next update.

Launcher

The next major change with the Android P is the launcher. The gradient background featured in Oreo has been replaced with a semi-transparent shelf which also stays put when you long press on the wallpaper. There is also a microphone icon on the search bar to launch voice assistant and the page/ scroll indicator is now tucked within the shaded dock.

Android P Microphone Added

If you are using android for work then you will have two separate apps in the app drawer, one for work and the other for personal apps. These are not so big of a change but I do appreciate the tiny details Google has added on the Android P.

Volume and Power Menu

One of the coolest changes in this update is the Volume controls. They are now moved towards the volume rockers at the sides, almost like the power menu at Android 8.1. There is also a second square located beneath the volume slider and tapping on it will cycle between the different ringer modes. If you tap on the arrows, a menu will slide out and quickly view your connected Bluetooth devices or connect or disconnect them.

Android P Feature Volume Bar

Now by default the volume buttons now control media volume and not the ringer volume as per the previous versions of Android. You can still configure individual volume levels in the sound settings by long pressing on the second square beneath the volume slider.

Android P Feature Power Menu

The power menu now has a third option named ‘screenshot’ which if you have not guessed takes screenshots. You can still take one by holding down the power and volume buttons at the same time, in case you did not knew already.

Android P Features Enter Lockdown

Lastly, there is a fourth button in the power menu that you can enable in the settings under lock-screen preferences called ‘Lockdown’. This mode is meant to temporarily disable fingerprint based access to enhance security. The only signing method that will be accepted then will be PIN or pattern recognition password methods. Once you unlock, everything will go back to normal.

Settings

Android P Settings

The icons in the settings menu are now colourful for visual differentiation between each block of text, but this is debatable. There were several other changes slipped-in, starting with developer options, there is a new setting called ‘feature flags’, which holds a set of experimental features, kind of like chromes hidden flag menu but less descriptive. Most of them were already enabled by default but there are a few that were not. The one labelled ‘settings_about_phone_v2’ gives you a different looking interface when you hop into the about phone menu and the one labelled ‘settings_bluetooth_while_driving’ automatically enabled Bluetooth while you’re driving. It is not clear what every single one does but if you are interested in knowing what most of them does you can read this article here.

Android P Features Developer Options

Under the Wi-Fi settings, now it is easier to meter a Wi-Fi network instead of having to find it within the ‘Data Saver’ settings. Do Not Disturb mode has been modified again and this time it is simpler. Toggling it in the quick settings now only performs the old default action for duration selection and pressing the volume down key no longer enables it. Within setting you still have similar configurations but real based difference are no longer possible.

Android P Feature Wi-Fi Metered

In the battery section, we no longer have the per app battery usage data but you can access them within the developer options under the Android 8.0 battery settings which is very inconvenient. Battery Saver can now be scheduled to automatically turn on from anywhere between 5 percent and 70 percent instead of 5 percent to 15 percent.

In the notification settings you can now easily track which of your app have recently sent notifications. Three new themes have appeared within the display section, narrow display cutout, tall display cutout and wide display cutout, which provides a snappy virtual notch at the top of your screen.

There is no longer a system UI tuner, you cannot change the strength of the touch vibration and turn of the vibration in general when you receive a phone call or notification within the accessibility settings. The Easter egg is extremely colourful and changes colour each time you open it.

Minute Features

There are a plenty of smaller features and modifications within this huge update, that you may find useful. We will try to cover as many as possible in this article.

  • Starting with the screenshots, now you can mark them up but that only works on the Pixel two.
  • There are some nice transition animations when you switch apps or switch an activity.
  • When you do not have auto-rotate enabled and you turn the device to landscape or portrait, a small button will show up in the navigation bar offering you to change the rotation.
  • Text selection also shows a more precise zoom lens.
  • The unlock pattern now fades out as you swipe.
  • The nightlight will now tells you when it will turn-on, if you have a schedule for it.
  • Display signs now show the battery percentage at the bottom.
  • Alarm tile shows you the upcoming alarms.
  • Adaptive brightness animates the quick settings slider as it changes.
  • Lastly, the USB menu is now a full fledged menu instead of a pop-up when you connect your device to your desktop.

These are the Top 5 features of Android P that we have compiled for you. Please be aware that this is only the first release and some of the features can be removed or changed in the future updates.

Extras

Android P system images for Pixel: Click Here
Rootless Pixel 2 Launcher: Click Here

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