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Inside Dev (Dec 5th, 2019)

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1. Over 160 software developers signed an open letter calling on GitHub to cancel its $200,000 contract with ICE on Wednesday. Signers include Ruby on Rails founder David Heinemeier Hansson, the language GitHub used to initially build its platform, the Co-Chair of the W3C Technical Architecture Group, Daniel Appelquist, and more. Since September, GitHub workers have been urging the company to cancel its contract with the ICE over the Trump administration immigration policies it enforces. Seven have resigned in protest, including its now ex-developer advocate Don Goodman-Wilson, who stepped down on Monday. While the letter did not explicitly threaten GitHub with a boycott, Heinemeier Hansson says it's an option, although he hopes it doesn't get to that point. However, elsewhere others are already encouraging people to shun the platform; Mozilla software engineer Marcos Càceres, who also co-chairs the World Wide Web Consortium, encourages paying users to suspend their GitHub subscriptions until the company cancels its ICE contract. - LOS ANGELES TIMES

What with the ongoing Google, .org sale, and GitHub protests this year, 2019 feels like the year of developer activism! Are developers becoming more vocal, or have they always been like this but it's just gone underreported? And are all these protests a good thing for the evolution of the industry as a whole, or a distraction? Hit reply and let me know your thoughts, or tweet me here, where I asked my Twitter followers a similar question. With your permission, I may feature your response in a future issue.

2. Both the optional chaining operator and the nullish-coalescing operator will be a part of ES2020, TypeScript program manager Daniel Rosenwasser, and the co-author of both proposals, revealed on Twitter. The news comes after TC39 advanced both proposals to stage 4. With the optional chaining operator, JavaScript developers will now be able to check if an object exists before trying to access its properties. Meanwhile, with the nullish-coalescing operator will function “as an equality check against nullary values.” It would return a fallback value if a variable or statement is found to be undefined or null. - @DROSSENWASSER / TWITTER

3. Throwback Thursday: On this day in 1995, JavaScript was born. Inspired by Java, Scheme and Self, Brendan Eich made the language in a mere ten days while working at Netscape, a company that no longer exists. At the time, however, if you told people what the language would become, nobody would believe you: JavaScript, then called Mocha, barely captured much serious interest. It wasn't actually until the 2000s, when Douglas Crockford invented the JSON data format with JavaScript syntax, that developers started to take the scripting language seriously. After that, things started to swing upwards for the language. Now, two decades later, JavaScript is the most popular web programming language on the planet.

4. Python's security team removed two malicious libraries from the Python Package Index (PyPI) after they stole SSH and GPG keys from developers. The libraries, "python3-dateutil" and "jeIlyfish", attempted to imitate the "dateutil" and "jellyfish" libraries respectively. The latter had been up and running since Dec. 11, 2018, before German software developer Lukas Martini discovered the fraudulent libraries on Sunday, Dec. 1, and reported them. Python urges those developers who may have used these libraries to change the SSH and GPG keys they've used over the past year immediately. - ZDNET

5. The latest version of Facebook's Create React App, which allows developers to set up a modern web app with one command, is now available. Create React App v3.3.0 comes with new features like support for the new optional chaining and nullish coalescing operators, as well as custom templates and a number of bug fixes. For more details about new changes, click here. - CREATE-REACT-APP / GITHUB

6. Mozilla staff research engineer Peter Huene writes about his experience using Wasmtime with .NET. In the piece, he confirms this format will let developers programmatically load and execute WebAssembly code directly from their .NET programs. he then guides readers with instructions on how to do so. - MOZILLA HACKS

7. A former Oracle product managed filed a lawsuit against the company on Tuesday accusing the tech giant of firing him for refusing to lie to customers. In the lawsuit, Tayo Daramola says the company kicked him out on Oct. 13., 2017, after he refused to deceive customers about the functionality of Oracle's software. Oracle denies the claims. - THE REGISTER

8. Around 43 percent of 300 enterprises surveyed by security firm Synack said that they used third-party vendors for compliance and security testing in the last two years, but 27 percent said they were dissatisfied with the vendors' performance. Some of the tasks these vendors performed included identifying vulnerabilities, code releases, and meeting regular testing requirements. Two in five organizations are only spending eight hours or less per test, "which can only provide a cursory evaluation of the security posture of the target and will no doubt leave security vulnerabilities undiscovered," according to the Synack report summarizing the survey results. -- SYNACK

This story first appeared in Inside Security.

9. This piece shows developers how to generate a Java program with 90 percent less code. It does so by guiding readers through building a practice application in Java that queries a database, gets a specific user by ID, and prints the number of letters in that user's name to the console. The piece first guides developers through doing so the conventional way, and then through the more "efficient" approach, to help readers compare the two. - UNITILY

10. A new poll reveals 71 percent of respondents worldwide support the regulation of big tech giants like Google and Facebook. The poll, conducted by YouGov, surveyed 10,000 people in nine countries. The majority expressed concerns about how these companies are using their data and are worried their privacy is being violated. "The poll results are stark and consistent—a clear majority of people are worried about the power Big Tech has over their lives," said Amnesty Tech director Tanya O'Carroll. - COMMON DREAMS

Written and curated by Inside Dev and Inside Deals Editor Sheena Vasani, a freelance journalist based in California. Proficient in Javascript and Ruby. Got my start at Dev Bootcamp and Thinkful. You can follow me on Twitter here.

Edited by Bobby Cherry, a senior editor at Inside.com who also curates Inside Pittsburgh.

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