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Published: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:51:33 -0800

Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:51:33 -0800

 



What’s new in Apache’s NetBeans IDE for Java 9

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

The Apache Software Foundation has released a beta of its NetBeans Version 9.0 IDE, with support for the Java Module System introduced with Java 9 last year. Modules comprised the premier capability in JDK 9, which was released in September 2017.


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MongoDB will support multidocument ACID transactions

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 11:30:00 -0800

MongoDB will add multidocument ACID transactions support to its NoSQL database of the same name. Multidocument ACID transactions support has been the most-requested feature sought for MongoDB, said Seong Park, MongoDB’s vice president of strategy and product marketing.

Multidocument support is planned for MongoDB 4.0, which is due this summer and reached beta stage this week. ACID transactions already have been supported at the document level in the database; now they can be done across documents as well as across collections within MongoDB. Collections in MongoDB are analogous to a table in a relational database.

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Udash framework brings Scala to web development

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:10:00 -0800

Scala, the functional and object-oriented language that started out on the Java Virtual Machine, is being used along with JavaScript in a new version of the Udash web framework.

The open source Udash, from device management provider AVSystem, compiles code to JavaScript and can work with JavaScript libraries such as Bootstrap and jQuery. Udash itself is based on Scala, the JavaScript variant of the Scala language. Developers working with Udash can use any IDE supporting Scala.

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Grand stack aims to simplify data-intensive app development

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:55:00 -0800

Graph database builder Neo4j has built a technology stack called Grand intended for full-stack web and mobile applications that involve complex manipulation of data.

The Grand stack combines a set of technologies geared toward scalable applications and the use of JavaScript. The stack has integrations between GraphQL and Neo4j to make it easier for developers to use the two together. GraphQL defines a strict schema that is used as a blueprint for an API. Integration with Neo4j allows that schema to drive the database model and translate GraphQL queries to Cypher.

The Grand stack also enables more complex graph traversal. Developers do not have to implement resolver functions for the GraphQL server because they are provided by using the stack, based on the schema. Resolver functions define how to fetch data in a GraphQL server implementation, either from a database or an API.

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For developers, the focus is deep learning, multiplatform, and coding skills

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 12:50:00 -0800


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Vote now for enterprise Java’s new name

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

The Eclipse Foundation is running an online contest to rename enterprise Java, with participants able to choose from two names: Enterprise Profile and Jakarta EE.

You can vote via a Google Forms page. A Google account is required to participate. Voting closes on February 23, 2018.

The chosen name also will be used for compatible, independent implementations. Enterprise Java has long been called Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) but is being renamed as part of Eclipse taking over the project. The renaming is necessary because Java EE remains a registered trademark of Oracle.

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Stack Overflow adds developer IQ scores to profiles

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:25:00 -0800

Through a partnership with IT trainer Pluralsight, developers can add skills-assessment scores to their Stack Overflow profiles.

By taking an online test on specific technology topics across 63 categories—such as the Angular framework, Java, and Python—developers can post their Pluralsight IQ, a score indicating their proficiency in particular skills sought by employers, on their Stack OverFlow Developer Story. Developers take a test with about 20 to 25 questions and receive a time-stamped score of from 0 to 300.

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Android developers get programming extensions for Kotlin

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 13:35:00 -0800

Having endorsed Kotlin as a language for Android development last year, Google is now previewing beta extensions to improve the Kotlin development experience.

Called Android KTX, the extensions are designed to make writing Kotlin code more concise and idiomatic. An API layer is provided to work on top of Android’s framework and support library. KTX marks the first time Google has released a library specifically for Kotlin developers. KTX, however, is not intended to add new features to Android APIs.

Features in Android KTX

Android’s platform developers say KTX simplifies code in many cases. For example:

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Oracle extends Java JDK 8 updates to 2019

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Oracle has extended public updates for Java Development Kit (JDK) 8 until at least January 2019. These had been slated to end in September 2018.

With this extension, there will be additional quarterly updates in October 2018 and January 2019 for Version 8 of the JDK, which is based on Java Standard Edition 8. They will be free for use on general-purpose computers.

Oracle also noted other support deadlines for Java:

  • It reiterated that applets, which have relied on a now-fading browser plug-in model, will continue to be supported in Java SE 8 until at least March 2019, depending on continued support in browsers.
  • Oracle will extend commercial support Java Web Start on Java SE 8 for commercial use, or when used with Oracle products that have a Web Start dependency, through at least March 2025. Support had been slated to end in March 2019.

Released in March 2014, JDK 8 has been succeeded by the September 2017 release of JDK 9. But JDK 8 will get updates for a longer time than either JDK 9 or JDK 10. Oracle is only slated to offer public updates for JDK 9 until March 2018, with Oracle advising users to then move to JDK 10, which ships that month. JDK 10, for its part, is only slated to have public updates until September 2018, when JDK 11, also identified as 18.9 LTS (Long Term Support), is released. LTS releases are due every three years. The length of time for public updates to JDK 11 is still to be determined.

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What’s new in Google’s Go language

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 11:32:00 -0800

The team behind Google’s Go language, aka Golang, has released the release candidate of Go 1.10, the next version of the popular open source language

The new features in Google Go 1.10 beta

The upgrade offers compiler tool chain and performance improvements but no substantive language changes.

Expected to be available in a production version in February 2018, Go 1.10 now provides these key features in its release candidate:

  • Improved performance of code generated by the compiler, spread across supported architectures.
  • Programs should run a bit faster due to speedups in garbage collection, better code generation, and core library optimizations.
  • Dwarf debug information in binaries has been improved, with constant values now recorded. Also, line-number information is more accurate.
  • The linux/ppc64le port now needs external linking with any programs using the cgo command.
  • The go build command detects out-of-date packages based on the content of source files, specified build flags, and metadata in stored packages. Modification times are no longer relevant.
  • The go install command now only installs packages and commands listed on the command line. To force installation of dependencies, developers should use the go install –i flag
  • An update to the grammar for method expressions relaxes the syntax so any type expression is allowed as a receiver, thus matching how compilers already operated.
  • Test results are now cached via go test.
  • The Unicode package has been upgraded from Unicode 9.0 to version 10.0, adding 8,518 characters, including a bitcoin currency symbol and 56 emojis.

Where to download the Go 1.10 beta

You can download the release candidate of Go 1.10 from the Go project site.

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Eclipse’s enterprise Java roadmap: more services coming

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 12:19:00 -0800

The Eclipse Foundation is preparing the next round of technologies to be added to enterprise Java, which it now runs. (Last year, the foundation was charged with developing Java EE (Enterprise Edition), in the wake of Oracle’s abdication of its stewardship of the project.)

Eclipse expects about 35 to 40 new projects as part of its open source enterprise Java implementation.

The foundation expects Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) project to ship a Java EE 8-compliant project as soon as possible, with a release of the GlassFish application server and related projects. GlassFish has served as a reference implementation of enterprise Java. Java EE 8 has been set as the baseline for Eclipse’s development of new enterprise Java standards.

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What’s new in ECMAScript 2018

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 12:10:00 -0800

ECMAScript, the standard specification underlying JavaScript, is on track for a new release, likely in June.

So far, two proposals have been finalized for inclusion in the ECMAScript 2018 specification. Both are considered as fairly foundational work and not major features, said Zibi Braniecki, a senior software engineer at Mozilla who participates in the development of ECMAScript.

The two proposals include:

  • Lifting of the template literal restriction, to enable the embedding of languages, including domain-specific languages (DSLs). Currently, restrictions on escape clauses make this a problem. The revision cleans up the behavior of literals, letting them be used for DSLs so programmers can create their own minilanguages if neeeded.
  • Adding the s (dotAll) flag for regular expressions, providing consistent behavior for these expressions. The feature is intended to address limitations in which the dot (.) in regular expressions does not match line-terminator characters, said author Axel Rauschmeyer, who has focused on JavaScript. The s flag changes that. This flag will operate on an opt-in basis, so existing regular expressions patterns will not be affected.

There are four other features under strong consideration, which would make it easier to program with JavaScript, Braniecki said. These include:

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C completes comeback in programming popularity

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

The once-declining C language has completed a comeback in the monthly Tiobe Index of language popularity, winning the 2017 Programming Language of the Year designation from Tiobe as the biggest gainer in share.

Although the language only grew 1.69 percentage points in its rating year over year in the January index, that was enough beat out runners-up Python (1.21 percent gain) and Erlang (0.98 percent gain). Just five months ago, C was at its lowest-ever rating, at 6.477 percent; this month, its rating is 11.07 percent, once again putting it in second place behind Java (14.215 percent)—although Java dropped 3.05 percent compared to January 2017. C’s revival is possibly being fueled by its popularity in manufacturing and industry, including the automotive market, Tiobe believes.

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What’s new in Ruby 2.5

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Ruby, one of the more venerable dynamic languages, has just gained in performance with the new 2.5 release.

Arriving on Christmas Day 2017, Ruby 2.5.0 is the first stable release in the 2.5 series.

New performance features in Ruby 2.5

It boosts performance by 5 to 10 percent by removing trace instructions from bytecode that has been found to be overhead. A dynamic instrumentation technique is used instead. Also, block passing by a block parameter has been made three times faster than it was in Ruby 2.4, through use of the Lazy Proc allocation technique.

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Java JDK 10: What new features to expect in the next Java

Mon, 18 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Developers who may be just getting used to Java 9, released in September 2017, will have only a few months left before the next generation of Java is out. In mid-December, the planned Java Development Kit 10 upgrade moved to a rampdown phase. In the initial rampdown phase, only P1 through P3 bugs can be fixed.

When JDK 10 will be released

JDK 10, an implementation of Java Standard Edition 10, is due for production release on March 20, 2018. Key improvements proposed include a local type inference and a “clean” interface for garbage collection.

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What’s next for the Groovy language: The 2018 roadmap

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 03:00:00 -0800

Groovy, the veteran language for the Java virtual machine, has several enhancements on its roadmap, such as to support Java 9 modularity and Java 8 lambda capabilities. Although closely linked to Java, Groovy offers additional capabilities such as the ability to write compile-time transformations and macros.

The Apache Software Foundation plans the following Groovy upgrades in the next year:

  • Versions 2.5, due in early 2018 for Java 7 and later.
  • Version 2.6 and 3.0, both set to arrive in about a year, and both currently available in alpha releases. Version 2.6 is aimed at Java 7 users, and Version 3.0 at Java 8 and 9 users; their capabitiies will be similar.

Planned Groovy 3.0 features

When Groovy 3.0 is released, you can expect the following additions and enhancements:

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EE4J: Eclipse’s replacement for Java EE unveiled

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:13:00 -0800

The Eclipse Foundation, the new keeper of enterprise Java, has moved forward with nine project proposals for Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J), which the organization describes as the first step toward the migration of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) to the open source tools organization.

The proposals, published for community review, cover aspects of Java ranging from JSON and REST to messaging. They emerge in response to Oracle’s decision in August to turn over enterprise Java to an open source tools foundation, which resulted in Eclipse taking over the project. This followed a tumultuous year for enterprise Java, with Oracle deciding on a plan to upgrade Java EE after being criticized for neglect, only to shed stewardship of Java EE this year.  

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What’s new in TensorFlow machine learning

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 03:00:00 -0800

TensorFlow, Google’s contribution to the world of machine learning and data science, is a general framework for quickly developing neural networks. Despite being relatively new, TensorFlow has already found wide adoption as a common platform for such work, thanks to its powerful abstractions and ease of use.

TensorFlow 1.4 API additions

TensorFlow Keras API

The biggest changes in TensorFlow 1.4 involve two key additions to the core TensorFlow API. The tf.keras API allows users to employ the Keras API, a neural network library that predates TensorFlow but is quickly being displaced by it. The tf.keras API allows software using Keras to be transitioned to TensorFlow, either by using the Keras interface permanently, or as a prelude to the software being reworked to use TensorFlow natively.

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Beta JetBrains IDE moves Kotlin apps out of the JVM

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:40:00 -0800

JetBrains has made available the Kotlin/Native technology, which creates native binaries for Kotlin code so they can run without a Java virtual machine. A beta version of the CLion IDE allows Kotlin programs to be compiled directly to an executable machine-code format.

Kotlin is a statically typed Java language alternative that began on the JVM. But many platforms can’t run JVMs, restricting the use of Kotlin to JVM-friendly platforms like Android. The Kotlin/Native preview’s supported target platforms include MacOS, iOS, Ubuntu Linux, and Raspberry Pi.

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ZGC large-heap Java garbage collector may go open source

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:21:00 -0700

An Oracle-developed, low-latency Java garbage collector geared to large heaps could move to the open source community, if a proposal to do so gets community approval. Votes are due by November 8.

Called the Z Garbage Collector (ZGC), the project is designed to support multiterabyte heaps, have pause times not exceeding 10 milliseconds, and offer no more than a 15 percent application reduction throughput compared to the G1 garbage collector.

But ZGC’s developers don’t see these goals as “hard requirements” for every workload, according to a proposal floated on an OpenJDK mailing list by Per Liden, a member of the HotSpot virtual machine team at Oracle. Liden’s proposal calls for creation of a ZGC project that he would lead, with the HotSpot group as sponsor. 

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Stack Overflow reveals the most-disliked programming languages

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 09:21:00 -0700

When it comes to which languages developers like and dislike, Stack Overflow has some insight. Based on the languages developers tagged as those they would not like to work with in their Stack Overflow Jobs profiles, the company has found that Perl, Delphi, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and PHP are the most disliked programming languages, while R, Kotlin, TypeScript, and Rust are the least disliked.

Stack Overflow, which provides an online community for developers, studied the popularity of languages based on the Developer Story submissions on the Stack Overflow Jobs portion of the site. The data was released on Tuesday.

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Apache PredictionIO: Easier machine learning with Spark

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:30:00 -0700

The Apache Foundation has added a new machine learning project to its roster, Apache PredictionIO, an open-sourced version of a project originally devised by a subsidiary of Salesforce.

What PredictionIO does for machine learning and Spark

Apache PredictionIO is built atop Spark and Hadoop, and serves Spark-powered predictions from data using customizable templates for common tasks. Apps send data to PredictionIO’s event server to train a model, then query the engine for predictions based on the model.

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What’s new in Google’s Android Studio 3.0

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:19:00 -0700

Google’s Android Studio 3.0 IDE adds support for the Kotlin language as a mechanism for building Android applications, as well as better Java 8 support and enhancements to its build system and debugging.

Where to download Android Studio 3.0

You can download Android Studio 3.0 from the Android Studio website. It is available now.

Android Studio 3.0 supports Kotlin for development

Kotlin interoperates with existing Android languages and runtimes. Developers can add Kotlin to a project using the conversion tool found in the Android Studio IDE via the menu sequence Code > Convert Java File to Kotlin File. Developers can also create a Kotlin-enabled using the New Project Wizard.

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Kotlin could overtake Java on Android next year

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:39:00 -0700

Kotlin is on its way to overtaking Java on that mobile platform, claims mobile database maker Realm.

Realm performed an anonymized assessment of 100,000 developers using its database and which languages they were using, determined by developers’ selection of SDKs. Realm found that 20 percent of apps built with Java before Google’s May endorsement of Kotlin are now being built in Kotlin.

Based on that data, Realm predicts Kotlin will overtake Java on Android by December 2018. Kotlin may even change how Java is used on the server, the company said: “In short, Android developers without Kotlin skills are at risk of being seen as dinosaurs very soon.”

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Java microservices profile gets fault-tolerance capabilities

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 15:45:00 -0700

The Eclipse Foundation’s MicroProfile project to add microservices to enterprise Java has released MicroProfile 1.2, which adds capabilities for fault tolerance and security.

New features in MicroProfile 1.2

A fault-tolerance API in MicroProfile 1.2 provides a way for applications to deal with the unavailability of a microservice, said IBM Distinguished Engineer Ian Robinson, who has worked on MicroProfile. When old-style monolithic applications fail, they bring down the entire application. But applications composed of microservices continue to operate if a specific microservcie fails, leading to “more interesting failure scenarios,” he said. To deal with service failures, applications need a way of handling the unavailability of a service, such as to resort to a fallback service if a primary service is unavailable. Such fallbacks are what MicroProfile 1.2 allows.

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Under Eclipse, changes to Java EE begin

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 06:30:00 -0700

As part of the change in ownership of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation, how Java EE works and is managed are starting to change.

For one, Oracle is making the Java EE technology compatibility kits (TCK), which ascertain if an implementation is compliant with Java, available via open source. Eclipse Executive Director Milinkovich called this “a very fundamental change to the dynamics of this ecosystem.”

Under the open-sourcing of the TCKs, users themselves can test for compliance instead of relying on what Milinkovich termed the previous “pay-to-play model” to confirm compliance—with Oracle using the TCKs as a way to exercise control over the Java EE ecosystem, he said. This open-sourcing of the TCKs should hopefully bring other providers to Java EE table, building implementations, Milinkovich added.

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What's new in Kotlin 1.2? Code reuse, for starters

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Version 1.2 of the statically typed Kotlin language, will offer an experimental feature enabling reuse of code across platforms, as well as compatibility with the Java 9 module system. The beta of Kotlin 1.2 is now available for download.

Kotlin’s experimental multiplatform projects capability lets developers reuse code between supported target platforms: JVM and JavaScript initially, and later native. Code to be shared between platforms is placed in a common module; platform-dependent parts are put in platform-specific modules. During compilation, code is produced for both the common and platform-specific parts.

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Java debugging comes to Visual Studio Code

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 03:00:00 -0700

Microsoft has released a Java debugger for its free open source editor, Visual Studio Code. The newly minted extension is intended to work as a companion to the Language Support for Java extension provided by Red Hat.  

Whereas Red Hat’s Language Support for Java extension provides IntelliSense capabilities and Java project support, it does not include debugging capabilities. Microsoft’s Java Debug Extension works with previous Red Hat’s extension to provide them. Still in a preview mode, the Java Debug Extension offers capabilities including launch/attach, breakpoints, control flow, data inspection, and a debug console. The Microsoft and Red Hat extensions are available separately or in the Java Extension Pack, which bundles both together in a single install. Microsoft’s plans call for enabling a modern workflow for Java, with more features and extensions planned going forward.

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Google App Engine adds support for Java 8

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:55:00 -0700

Google has made the Java 8 runtime generally available on App Engine, the Google Cloud Platform’s development platform service. Google said the upgrade removes performance limitations Java developers have had to deal with when using the Java 7 runtime. Java 7 remains a supported option. 

“Unfortunately, using Java 7 on App Engine standard environment also required compromises, including limited Java classes, unusual thread execution, and slower performance because of sandboxing overhead,” said Amir Rouzrokh, Google product manager.

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Unwanted by Oracle, Java EE gets adopted by Eclipse

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 03:00:00 -0700

The Eclipse Foundation is set to become the new steward of enterprise Java, taking over from Oracle, which no longer wants to manage Java EE.

As part of the adoption, Java EE will likely get a new name, something Oracle recommended in its proposal to have a foundation adopt Java EE.

A month ago, Oracle said it would end its stewardship role of Java EE and turn it over to an open source foundation. Following consultations with Java partners such as IBM and Red Hat and after meeting with several foundations, Oracle has settled on an organization that has had a long history in Java development: the Eclipse Foundation. Eclipse created its popular Eclipse IDE and managed multiple other Java technologies.

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