Posts tagged many

Many Organic Results Influenced by Locality

Does locality have an effect on SERP ranking? Not always, but when it does we should be mindful of the best choices to make to achieve the best ranking possible.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

How Many Languages Do Developers Need To Know?

At its Worldwide Developer Conference last week, Apple announced its new programming language Swift. It’s the latest in a rash of new languages developed by big tech companies, in some cases for specific use with their own platforms.

Apple has Swift for iOS developers; Facebook has Hack, a language for back-end development. Google, meanwhile, has its own entries—the would-be Javascript replacement Dart and a new general programming language called Go.

This rash of new languages raises a number of issues for developers. Perhaps the most significant is one my colleague Adriana Lee raised after Apple’s Swift announcement:

A Computer-Language Babel

There are already hundreds of programming languages in existence, and more are popping into existence all the time. Many are designed for use in a relatively narrow range of applications, and large numbers never catch on beyond small groups of coders.

Similarly, big tech companies have been developing new languages for about as long as there have been big tech companies. The seminal general-purpose language C originated at AT&T Bell Labs in the early 1970s. Java, now the primary language for development of Android apps, was born at Sun Microsystems in the 1990s.

What’s different these days is the extent to which companies embrace new languages to further their specific business objectives—a process that also has the effect of creating a dedicated base of developers who are effectively “locked in” to a company’s particular platform. That sort of dual strategy dates back at least to Sun’s introduction of Java, which the company promoted as a way to challenge Microsoft’s dominance on the PC desktop. (Things didn’t work out the way Sun planned, although Java eventually found a home in enterprise middleware systems before Google adopted it for Android.)

It’s also clearly Apple’s goal with Swift. Should it live up to the company’s early hype, Swift seems likely to simplify iOS app development by filing the rough edges off Objective-C, the current lingua franca of iOS and Mac OS X developers. But it will also require those same developers to learn the ins and outs of a new language that they’re unlikely to use anywhere else.

Why Companies Roll Their Own

Which cuts against the ingrained “don’t reinvent the wheel” philosophy that animates most developers. So why don’t more companies just adopt already existing languages to new uses?

One answer is simply that companies build their own languages because they can. Designing a new language can be complex, but it’s not particularly resource-intensive. What’s hard is building support for it, both in terms of providing software resources (shared code libraries, APIs, compilers, documentation and so forth) and winning the hearts and minds of developers. Companies are uniquely positioned to do both.

There’s also the fact that existing languages are often difficult to shoehorn into today’s complex code frameworks. Take, for instance, Facebook’s decision to create Hack, a superset of the scripting language PHP that’s commonly used in Web development.

Facebook’s main goal with Hack—a common one these days—was to improve code reliability, in this case by enforcing data-type checking before a program is executed. Such checks ensure that a program won’t, say, try to interpret an integer as a string of characters, an error that could yield unpredictable results if not caught. In Hack, those checks take place in advance so that programmers can identify such errors long before their code goes live.

According to Julien Verlaguet, a core developer on Facebook’s Hack team, the company first looked for an an existing language that might allow for more efficient programming. But much of Facebook was already built on PHP, and the company has built up a substantial software infrastructure to support PHP and its offshoots. While it’s possible to make PHP work with code written in a different language, it’s not easy—nor is it fast.

“Let’s say I try to rewrite our PHP codebase in Scala,” Verlaguet said. “It’s a well designed, beautiful language, but it’s not at all compatible with PHP. Everytime I need to call to PHP from the Scala part of the code base, I’ll lose performance speed. We would have liked to use an existing language but for us, it just wasn’t an option.”

Instead, Facebook invented Hack, which has enough in common with PHP that it can share the company’s existing infrastructure. The vast majority of the Facebook codebase has been migrated from PHP to Hack, said Verlaguet, but the company has open sourced the language in hopes that independent developers will find uses for it outside of Facebook. 

“You can still use PHP,” he said. “But we’re hoping you’ll want to use Hack.”

Who Holds The Power

Therein lies the balance of power between companies and developers. Companies can make their languages as specific as they like. But if developers don’t want to use them, nobody is going to—outside, that is, of anyone who might harbor hopes of one day working at the company that invented the language.

It’s not unusual for companies to make it easiest to develop in one language over another. For example, you would use Objective-C to develop iOS apps, but Java to develop Android apps. This has never been a major sticking point with developers because both Objective-C and Java are general purpose object-oriented languages. They’re useful for a number of purposes. 

Hack, Dart, Go, and Swift, however, so far have only proven useful for particular company-designated programming solutions, usually in tandem with that company’s programming environment of choice. Granted, it may be too soon to judge. Hack, for example, can be used in several back-end implementations; it’s just so new that Facebook doesn’t yet have any data that people want to use it that way.

It’s not that developers aren’t capable of learning multiple languages. Most already do. Think of them like the Romance languages—if you know Spanish, it’ll be easier to learn French and so on than if you didn’t already know one. Likewise, if you already know Java, it’ll be easier to learn Ruby or Perl. And if you know PHP, you basically already know Hack.

On the contrary, it’s more of a question of habit. If Java already solves your specific problems, you don’t have any incentive to learn Ruby. And if you are happy coding iOS apps in Objective-C, you’re not going to feel very tempted to pick up Swift.

To some developers, though, ecosystem-specific languages just make life harder for everybody. Freelance designer Jack Watson-Hamblin, for instance, told me that initiatives like Apple’s Swift risk overburdening programmers and fragmenting the developer community:

It’s important for programmers to know multiple languages, but forcing them to keep up with new languages all the time doesn’t make sense. If I’m making a simple cross-platform app, I don’t want to have to know four languages to do it. I only want to use the single-purpose language if I really need to.

Watson-Hamblin argues that when companies each build their own language for their own needs, it slows down overall progress both by dividing the attention of coders and by enforcing a monolithic perspective on development within that language. “When companies are in charge of a language vs. an open-source community, it’s like the difference between a corporation and a start-up,” he said. Communities are more flexible and adaptive by definition. 

Of course, Apple had a lot of very good reasons to start from scratch with Swift, just as Facebook did when it invented Hack. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to force change on developers—some of it doubtless unwelcome. 

“As new languages are invented, it gets more hegemonic,” said Verlaguet. “It can be frustrating to have to keep up. But on the other hand, you’re more likely to have a new language to fit your exact problem. Imagine the reverse—a world where programmers used the same language for everything. It’d be a language that could do everything poorly but nothing well.” 

Lead image by Flickr user Ruiwen Chua, CC 2.0

View full post on ReadWrite

Matt Cutts on How Google Ranks Pages That Don’t Get Many Links

How does Google determine that content is quality, when there aren’t many links pointing to it? Or how is it determined that the content is spammy or thin, when there are a lot of links pointing to it? Google’s Matt Cutts explains.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

How Many Women Has Apple Put On The WWDC Keynote Stage Since 2007?

In the seven years since Apple released the iPhone and changed what it meant to own a mobile device, it has trotted out one male executive after another at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference to showcase new software, apps, and operating systems. 

Conspicuously missing on stage during the excitement and announcements: Women and minorities.

Bay Area-based writer Joe Kukura recently scanned through 16 hours of WWDC keynote address video. His findings: 57 men have spoken during a WWDC keynote since 2007, but just one woman. In 2009, Stephanie Morgan and her male business partner made a very brief appearance to tout their iPhone app. The other developer speakers who took the stage in 2009 were all male, and all went on solo. [Update: Turns out, one another woman has appeared at a WWDC keynote: Jen Herman from Zynga. See update at the bottom for more info.]

After reviewing the keynotes myself, I noticed women or minorities have appeared a handful of times in photos while white male executives demonstrate the capabilities of the smartphone’s camera or editing software. They just weren’t on stage themselves. 

Siri, the iPhone equivalent of a personal secretary who Apple identifies as female, briefly made an appearance in 2012—though voice-command systems hardly count as representatives for gender diversity.

Apple: Recognize Your Audience

Women make up half the population, account for 60 percent of online purchases, and were a major factor in the iPhone’s success, preferring the small, slender phones to Android devices. And there are more black and Hispanic smartphone owners than white smartphone owners in the U.S. 

So why has Apple all but omitted them in WWDC keynotes? 

It’s indicative of a much broader diversity problem within the technology industry—especially in roles that are highly technical, where—to put it plainly—women and minorities are vastly outnumbered by white males. But let’s be clear: Even if there are relatively few women and minorities in the upper echelons of the tech industry, Apple clearly has both the resources and the cachet to attract them as employees and speakers.

Instead, it looks like no one at Apple has even thought about it. And by overwhelmingly favoring white men as speakers at its biggest event of the year, Apple basically tells people in the audience and those watching around the world: This is what a successful technologist looks like.

Those disparities are mirrored in the WWDC audience—obviously not in a directly causal fashion, but one that’s striking nonetheless:

Apple’s stage presence might not accurately represent the people using their products, but it’s a fair reflection of its leadership. 

In October of last year, Apple hired former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts for the role of senior vice president of retail and online stores, effectively bringing its female leadership count to two, including Andrea Jung who sits on the company’s board of directors. Apple’s company leadership resembles its stage presence—although the leadership does come off slightly better, given its 9-to-1 male-female ratio, compared to 57-to-1 prevailing at the WWDC keynote.

Taking Steps To Change

The race and gender disparity in technology is not going to change overnight. But there are steps companies can take to highlight diversity in their own organizations to begin to change the perception of the technological workforce. 

Google, for instance, recently released information on the gender and race imbalance at its own company—Google is 70% male, and in the U.S., 60% white. By acknowledging this disparity, Google is in a better position do something about it, and to encourage both startups and larger companies to do the same. 

There’s no bigger stage for Apple than its annual developers conference. People come from all over the world to see what the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has planned for the rest of the year. Apple should use this opportunity not only to show off the importance of its new tech that will change how people build products and services, but also show off the importance of an all-inclusive work environment. 

This year, Apple’s WWDC slogan was “Write the code, change the world.” The company needs to recognize the world is a very, very big place, in which different genders and races all use its products.

Maybe next year, Apple’s slogan could be: Write the code, change the ratio.

Update 5:28 PM: Here’s a photo from the WWDC women-in-tech get together, posted by Mashable writer Christina Warren. Three female engineering leads from Apple speak to the audience. Maybe they can get on stage next year! 

Screenshot image of Apple’s 2014 WWDC keynote by Stephanie Chan for ReadWrite

Update: It has come to our attention that another woman has appeared on the WWDC stage in 2010, Zynga’s Jen Herman. Apologies for the omission, Jen. (And thanks, Amanda Wixted, for letting us know!)

 

View full post on ReadWrite

How Many Women Has Apple Put On The WWDC Keynote Stage Since 2007? One

In the seven years since Apple released the iPhone and changed what it meant to own a mobile device, it has trotted out one male executive after another at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference to showcase new software, apps, and operating systems. 

Conspicuously missing on stage during the excitement and announcements: Women and minorities.

Bay Area-based writer Joe Kukura recently scanned through 16 hours of WWDC keynote address video. His findings: 57 men have spoken during a WWDC keynote since 2007, but just one woman. In 2009, Stephanie Morgan and her male business partner made a very brief appearance to tout their iPhone app. (The other developer speakers who took the stage in 2009 were all male, and all went on solo.) 

After reviewing the keynotes myself, I noticed women or minorities have appeared a handful of times in photos while white male executives demonstrate the capabilities of the smartphone’s camera or editing software. They just weren’t on stage themselves. 

Siri, the iPhone equivalent of a personal secretary who Apple identifies as female, briefly made an appearance in 2012—though voice-command systems hardly count as representatives for gender diversity.

Apple: Recognize Your Audience

Women make up half the population, account for 60 percent of online purchases, and were a major factor in the iPhone’s success, preferring the small, slender phones to Android devices. And there are more black and Hispanic smartphone owners than white smartphone owners in the U.S. 

So why has Apple all but omitted them in WWDC keynotes? 

It’s indicative of a much broader diversity problem within the technology industry—especially in roles that are highly technical, where—to put it plainly—women and minorities are vastly outnumbered by white males. But let’s be clear: Even if there are relatively few women and minorities in the upper echelons of the tech industry, Apple clearly has both the resources and the cachet to attract them as employees and speakers.

Instead, it looks like no one at Apple has even thought about it. And by overwhelmingly favoring white men as speakers at its biggest event of the year, Apple basically tells people in the audience and those watching around the world: This is what a successful technologist looks like.

Those disparities are mirrored in the WWDC audience—obviously not in a directly causal fashion, but one that’s striking nonetheless:

Apple’s stage presence might not accurately represent the people using their products, but it’s a fair reflection of its leadership. 

In October of last year, Apple hired former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts for the role of senior vice president of retail and online stores, effectively bringing its female leadership count to two, including Andrea Jung who sits on the company’s board of directors. Apple’s company leadership resembles its stage presence—although the leadership does come off slightly better, given its 9-to-1 male-female ratio, compared to 57-to-1 prevailing at the WWDC keynote.

Taking Steps To Change

The race and gender disparity in technology is not going to change overnight. But there are steps companies can take to highlight diversity in their own organizations to begin to change the perception of the technological workforce. 

Google, for instance, recently released information on the gender and race imbalance at its own company—Google is 70% male, and in the U.S., 60% white. By acknowledging this disparity, Google is in a better position do something about it, and to encourage both startups and larger companies to do the same. 

There’s no bigger stage for Apple than its annual developers conference. People come from all over the world to see what the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has planned for the rest of the year. Apple should use this opportunity not only to show off the importance of its new tech that will change how people build products and services, but also show off the importance of an all-inclusive work environment. 

This year, Apple’s WWDC slogan was “Write the code, change the world.” The company needs to recognize the world is a very, very big place, in which different genders and races all use its products.

Maybe next year, Apple’s slogan could be: Write the code, change the ratio.

Screenshot image of Apple’s 2014 WWDC keynote by Stephanie Chan for ReadWrite

View full post on ReadWrite

Matt Cutts Describes How Content Is Ranked Without Many Inbound Links by @mattsouthern

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about inbound links in his latest Webmaster Help video where a user writes in to ask: How does Google determine quality content if there aren’t a lot of links to a post? In general, in a situation like this Matt says you would have to consider the way search engines worked before they started using links as a ranking signal. In a case like this, content would be judged based on the text on the page. Matt gives a simplified situation of how that would work: The first word that’s […]

The post Matt Cutts Describes How Content Is Ranked Without Many Inbound Links by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

View full post on Search Engine Journal

Google Says New Parents Perform Twice As Many Searches As Non-Parents

According to a recent survey conducted by Google’s Think Insights, new and expecting parents perform 2.7 times the number of online searches as non-parents, with 56 percent of maternity-related searches completed on a mobile device. Google claims baby- and parent-related mobile searches are…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

Many Web-Only Retailers Fail to Offer Optimized Mobile Experiences [Study]

The Search Agency today released a new mobile scorecard report, which looked at the Top 100 Web-only retail sites to see how well they fared against key elements in a mobile user’s experience. The average score was about 2.8 out of 5.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Twitter Experimenting With New Feature To Show How Many People Viewed Your Tweets by @mattsouthern

Twitter is reportedly experimenting with a new feature (see this link for a screenshot) that would show users how many people viewed their individual tweets. The view count would be shown underneath each tweet, similar to how Facebook shows the amount of views underneath each Page post. Advertisers have long had access to these kinds of analytics […]

Author information

Matt Southern

Matt Southern is a marketing, communications and public relations professional. He provides strategic digital marketing services at an agency called Bureau in Ontario, Canada. He has a bachelors degree in communication and an unparalleled passion for helping businesses get their message out.

The post Twitter Experimenting With New Feature To Show How Many People Viewed Your Tweets by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

View full post on Search Engine Journal

How Many Ways Can You Optimize a Google Display Campaign? by @PPCJoeC

As a paid search marketer, I’ve spent the majority of my career managing search campaigns—focusing my time on keywords, ad copy, account structure, bids, match types, campaign settings, and landing pages. As display advertising has improved over the years (and search network CPC’s have risen dramatically in certain verticals), I now understand the need for […]

Author information

Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom, a digital marketing & analytics agency. He has worked at Fathom since January 2008 with a concentration in search engine marketing (SEM) and display advertising. Joe’s worked with a variety of clients across various industries including education, healthcare, e-commerce, and hospitality.

The post How Many Ways Can You Optimize a Google Display Campaign? by @PPCJoeC appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

View full post on Search Engine Journal

Go to Top
Copyright © 1992-2014, DC2NET All rights reserved