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Issue 22.1 ('Sandstorm')
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Best of the Web

Great programming articles you may have missed

Issue: 22.1 (January/February 2024)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 6,052
Starting Page Number: 82
Article Number: 22109
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Here I share links to interesting programming-related articles from around the web. Note that these may not have anything to do with Xojo, and I don't necessarily advocate the opinions shared—I simply think they're worth reading for a broader perspective.

The Most Important Unsolved Problem in Computer Science

Jack Murtagh (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-most-important-unsolved-problem-in-computer-science/)

Excerpt: P versus NP concerns the apparent asymmetry between finding solutions to problems and verifying solutions to problems. For example, imagine you're planning a world tour to promote your new book. You pull up Priceline and start testing routes, but each one you try blows your total trip budget. Unfortunately, as the number of cities grows on your worldwide tour, the number of possible routes to check skyrockets exponentially, rapidly making it infeasible even for computers to exhaustively search through every case. But when you complain, your agent writes back with a solution sequence of flights. You can easily verify whether or not their route stays in budget by simply checking that it hits every city and summing the fares to compare against the budget limit. Notice the asymmetry here: finding a solution is hard, but verifying a solution is easy.

The P versus NP question asks whether this asymmetry is real or an illusion. If you can efficiently verify a solution to a problem, does that imply that you can also efficiently find a solution? Perhaps a clever shortcut can circumvent searching through zillions of potential routes.

10 Things Software Developers Should Learn about Learning

...End of Excerpt. Please purchase the magazine to read the full article.