Conference Reports

[Editors Note: Thanks to John for reporting in from JuliaCon 2018.]

Julia Con 2018 took place at London University College and the Microsoft Reactor space in Hoxton last week. The conference saw the release of the 1.0 version of the language.

My main impression is that Julia is being used in production for a wide range of uses. What follows is a small selection of keynotes and talks which impressed me. All of the conference talks are available in this YouTube playlist .

The Julia language reached the important milestone of a 1.0 release on Wednesday (August 8th). During a party in the rather swish Institute for Engineering and Technology overlooking the Thames in London, the founders of the Julia language performed a live push of the 1.0 version to Gitbub.

The significance is that the Julia language has often been criticized for changing the language in ways which break old code at minor version number changes. The recent 0.7 version was intended as a preview of 1.0, i.e. there would be no breaking changes between 0.7 and 1.0. Version 0.7 lasted around a month, and there was a lot of traffic on the Julia discussion board on how packages are being slowly updated to 0.7 compatibility. Now with version 1.0 we can look forward to a stable language - so if you have not looked at Julia yet this is the ideal time to try it.

[Note: check out the official Julia 1.0 Blog post]

The first day of JuliaCon 2018 consisted of a series of in-depth tutorials. The conference proper launches tomorrow. The venue is at the Roberts Building in UCL. As London is still baking in a heatwave I am rather glad that the lecture theatres are well air conditioned! AV facilities are rather good also. More highlights follow.

The Johnny Cash song A Boy Named Sue tells the story of a father who knows he will not be around to bring up his son, so names him Sue to make him tough.

There is no such story regarding the naming of the Julia language. It is not an acronym, neither is it named after a famous scientist or engineer. It is just called Julia because it sounds good. But it is sure able to stand up for itself when sand gets kicked in its face.

This is my first rather short blog from the Julia Conference 2018 at University College, London. You can follow the conference on this live stream.

Sadly the Man in Black is no longer with us to sing about Sue. Or Julia.

JuliaCon 2018 is due to take place next week at London's University College. I intend to post some blog entries here to give a flavor of the developments with the Julia language. But first – why Julia?

Like many HPC types, I have a fascination with tools. Finding exactly the right tool for the job is a joy, and I simply cannot pass a tool store without at least a cursory look around. I was recently in London's upmarket Marylebone district. Here you can find David Penton and Son a traditional hardware store which has been there for 167 years. The sort of place where a gentleman in a brown shop coat stands behind a counter and has a detailed knowledge of every object in the store. As an aside, those interested in Natural Language Processing should view the Two Ronnies famous sketch. Paxton's is a similar shop, but with much nicer staff!

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