Thursday Nov 12, 2015

Java ME 8 + Raspberry Pi + Sensors=IoT World

This is the fourth article about how to create an application with Raspberry Pi and Java ME 8.  Jose Cruz explains in detail how you can develop Java ME 8 classes that allow you to gather data and control these devices. It focuses on using a serial peripheral interface (SPI) bus to control an analog-to-digital converter (ADC), a ferroelectric RAM (FRAM), and an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. 

In Part 1 of his series on using Java ME 8 to control Internet of Things (IOT) devices--such as LEDs, relays, LCDs, sensors, motors, and switches--connected to a Raspberry Pi, Jose Cruz explains how to work with devices that use a simple general-purpose input/output (GPIO) interface. GPIO devices can be used as either a digital input or digital output, can be disabled or enabled, and can be used to drive interrupt lines. Part 1 explores how to connect and control a flame sensor, a movement sensor, and a motion sensor.

In Part 2, Cruz describes how to connect and control devices that use an inter-integrated circuit bus (I2C) interface. Then in Part 3, he demonstrated how to use universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART) interfaces to connect devices that read latitude, longitude, altitude, and time from a GPS receiver engine board and provide the information via spoken voice in English and Spanish.

Tuesday Nov 10, 2015

Devoxx Highlights

The biggest Java conference in Europe, Devoxx, is taking place in Belgium this week. It offers in-depth Java content on the Java and related technologies during the five days of conference. The conference is themed:  “20 years of Java, Just The Beginning”   

Oracle is a platinum sponsor again this year. If you are at Devoxx, come by the booth to chat about Java and grab a cup of coffee. Oracle speaking slots are as follows:

Opening Keynote
Wednesday, November 11 9:30 – 10: 30 Room 4, 5, 9
Mark Reinhold, Stephan Janssen, Lawrence Krauss

Java EE 7 in Action - University/Server Side Java
Monday, November 9 13:30 – 16:30 Room 9
Reza Rahman

Modular Development with JDK 9 - University/Java SE
Tuesday, November 10 13:30 – 16:30 Room 8
Mark Reinhold, Alan Bateman

Prepare for JDK 9!, - Conference/Java SE
Wednesday, November 11 14:00 – 15:00 Room 8
Mark Reinhold, Alan Bateman

Young Pups: New Collections APIs for Java 9 - Conference/Java SE
Wednesday, November 11 15:10 – 16:10 Room 8
Stuart Marks

Introduction to Modular Development - Conference/Java SE
Wednesday, November 11 16:40 – 17:40 Room 8
Mark Reinhold, Alan Bateman

Java EE Gathering - BOF (Bird of a Feather)/Server Side Java
Wednesday, November 11 20:00 – 21:00 BOF1
David Delabassee

Advanced Modular Development - Conference/Java SE
Thursday, November 12 9:30 – 10:30 Room 5
Mark Reinhold, Alan Bateman

Java SE 8 for Java EE Developers - Conference/Server Side Java
Thursday, November 12 9:30 – 10:30 Room 8
David Delabassee, José Paumard 

Project Jigsaw: Under the Hood - Conference/Java SE
Thursday, November 12 17:50 – 18:50 Room 5
Mark Reinhold, Alex Buckley, Alan Bateman 

The Conference Bum - Ignite Sessions/Startups 
Thursday, November 12 13:50 -13:55 BOF1
Stephen Chin 

Ask the JDK Architects - Conference/Java SE
Thursday, November 12 15:10 – 16:10 Room 5
Mark Reinhold, Alan Bateman, Alex Buckley, Robert Field, Stuart Marks

Java Community Insider Secrets! - BOF (Bird of a Feather)/Java SE
Thursday, November 12 20:00 -21:00 BOF1
Stephen Chin, Yolande Poirier and Lucy Carey 

Mosaic of JavaOne Pictures

Experience JavaOne 2015 through the eyes of the conference attendees! Thousands of pictures from this year’s attendees were submitted to create this animation. Find pictures of yourself or people you know.  


Wednesday Nov 04, 2015

Java ME Embedded 8 at JavaOne

By Guest Blogger Terrence Barr

Following up JavaOne with a few postings to recap the week’s Java ME news:

Recap #1 is from Intel’s JavaOne 2015 keynote:

Intel and Oracle announce collaboration to bring Java ME to intelligent edge devices built on Intel architecture.

For the full announcement, see the video replay of the Intel keynote starting at 10 min 30 secs.

recap #2 from the JavaOne 2015 Java ME keynote:

Java ME Embedded 8 endorsed by leading partners to enable intelligent edge devices:

For more details, see the video replay of the JavaOne Java ME keynote starting at 1hr:7min:50sec.

Tuesday Nov 03, 2015

JDK 8u65 & 8u66 Releases

JDK 8u65 and 8u66 are now available. Java SE 8u65 includes important security fixes. Oracle strongly recommends that all Java SE 8 users upgrade to this release. Java SE 8u66 is a patch-set update, including all of 8u65 plus additional features. You can download the latest JDK releases from Java SE Downloads page.

For information on new features and bug fixes included in these releases, see the following release notes:

This release also includes JDK 8u65 for ARM. See JDK for ARM Release Notes 8 Update 65 for information about this product.

Monday Nov 02, 2015

Gosling is admiral of a fleet of robotic marine drones

By Roger Smith

Father of Java is now Liquid Robotics' chief software architect

I learned James Gosling, the creator of the Java language, is now the admiral of a fleet of water-borne drones from Mike Duigou last Thursday at the Java Hub in the JavaOne Exhibit hall. Gosling is the chief software architect for Sunnyvale-based Liquid Robotics, a 8-year-old company that uses self-propelled 7-foot-long marine robotic drones that look like surfboards to collect and transmit oceanic data for a variety of uses. Duigou told me that he was brought aboard by Gosling as Senior Software Engineer when he joined the company in 2011.

Called Wave Gliders, the drone are powered by wave energy, with the constant up-and-down motion providing energy that pulls the robots through the ocean. Duigou gave me a hand-on tour of the USS Gosling, a test Wave Glider on display in the Hub. He explained the Wave Glider is made of two parts: the surfboard-sized float that stays on the surface; and the sub that has wings and hangs 3-9 meters below the float on an umbilical tether. Because of the separation, the float experiences more wave motion than the sub. This difference allows wave energy to be harvested to for propulsion.


Exploded view of Wave Glider marine drone (source: Liquid Rocket)

The Wave Glider is equipped with several computers for navigation and payload control, satellite communication systems, and ocean sensors that do things like measure weather, sea conditions, water quality and chemistry, animal life and water currents. Acoustic microphones and arrays on the Wave Glider have also been use to record passing ships and the vocalizations of whales and other mammals (an early use case of the company's technology).

The power needed to operate the sensors and computers is provided by solar panels, which are used to recharge lithium-ion batteries. Individual Wave Glider can be programmed for autonomous operation, or it can be steered by a remote pilot over the Internet. Continuous, near real time, communication is provided via satellite, cellular phone or radio links for piloting and data transmission.

All the Wave Glider computing power is Linux- and Java-based and includes a Hadoop cluster on the backend used to analyze the large data sets the devices collect, either individually or in groups. Duigou explained that the Wave Gliders can also be programmed to operate as a drone swarm. "For example, you can set up a fence around a marine protected area like Monterey Bay and give them all the goal of defending the border and reporting intruders. The robots can figure out who goes where."


A diver swims with a Wave Glider SV2 during operations in Hawaii (source: Liquid Rocket).

Find out more about Liquid Robotics here: http://liquidr.com/index.html

Thursday Oct 29, 2015

What’s Inside Oracle Cloud for You

By Roger Smith

Cloud Services for Developers

“Time is the greatest savings that you get from moving your development environment to the cloud,” said Oracle’s Bruno Borges, in his JavaOne presentation “Cloud Services for Developers: What’s Inside Oracle Cloud for You?” “If you have had to set up an on-premise Oracle database, or any other database, you know that it takes time to do that and you always ask yourself ‘Is these production-ready?’”

In his fast-paced, hands-on demo, Borges showed how developers can quickly get up to speed using Oracle’s pooled, shared, and elastically scalable software development platform, which gives organizations the ability to develop new applications in a quick and cost-effective way. He explained how developers can use their favorite IDE (Oracle JDeveloper, Eclipse, NetBeans) and build systems like Maven and Gradle to develop and deploy applications to the cloud.

Target different JDK Versions

Developers also have the option of choosing either Java SE 7 or 8 to leverage the particular language and JVM features their applications need. Since Oracle Java Cloud is an open platform, developers can also use any available open source or commercial Java library or framework in their applications.

Database Integration

Borges next walked through how to connect to Oracle Database Cloud Service to persist and manage application data as well as how to use Oracle Messaging Service to message between Java Cloud applications, on-premises applications, and Java EE and Node.js applications deployed in the Oracle Cloud. He then demonstrated how you can profile Java applications using Java SE Mission Control and Flight Recorder, in addition to the Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Cloud Service.

He also announced a new Docker Container Service that will soon be available from Oracle to help developers deploy applications into Docker containers.

In response to an audience question about Oracle Cloud scalability, Borges said that you can choose to run your application on your choice of compute size (i.e. the number of cores), and it will scale out dynamically on demand. He said they were also working on giving developers the capability to add scale programmatically using business logic, for example, in an e-commerce application that needs to scale up during the holiday season.

A New Way to Program in Java EE 8

By Roger Smith

Cloud Services for Developers

I sat in today on an engaging session with Java EE expert David Blevins, who is a newly crowned Java Champion for his work in Open Source and Java EE for more than 10 years. As a member of the EJB, CDI, JMS, Java EE Security JSRs, and Java EE 6, 7 and 8 Expert Groups, he’s worked hard to make Java EE as simple, testable and lightweight as Java SE.

The next Java EE 8 edition, due in 2017, will focus on HTML5, cloud enablement, use of the model-view-controller framework and improved security. Another important selling point will be ease of use, which was the theme of much of Blevins's talk.

According to Blevin, the first era of Java EE was XML-driven where we used "tons and tons of deployment descriptors." The second era of Java EE, brought about by Java 5, was annotation-driven and very declarative by nature. With the advent of Java 8 features such as lambdas and method references, "we'll have the opportunity to take a look at all the Java EE APIs again and rewrite them to fundamentally reduce the ceremony we have to deal with when we write applications," he said. "I have some predictions: Java EE will shift from declarative to the programmatic since annotations are very declarative approach. With lambdas and method references, the approach is more to do it all at runtime."

He walked through a code example that highlighted a security example where one EJB was annotated as a Manager and another as Employee. "With lambdas and method references, you'll be able create a Manager EJB and an Employee EJB, and to test and run your code under many different security identities."

The impact of these kinds of capabilities in the new Java EE release means that there will be a shift in emphasis in Java EE programming from the Component-side to the Caller-side and that logic will become more mobile, Blevin concluded.

He also said that Java Community Process is a now an open process, which it wasn't a few years ago, and developers can now have an open say in the Java EE specification in JSR 366.

"If you don't vote, don't complain."

Wednesday Oct 28, 2015

3D Printing with a Java Rockstar

By Roger Smith

Controlling a 3D Printer with Java and VRL-Studio

I chatted with Java Rockstar Michael Hoffer on Tuesday at the Java Hub in the Exhibit hall about VRL-Studio, an innovative visual programming environment he created in Java that combines visual and text-based programming. Currently doing his PhD at the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, Hoffer works at the Goethe-Center for Scientific Computing in Frankfurt. His research interests are in developing visual programming concepts in the field of modeling and simulation of highly complex physical processes including those modeled by medical scanning equipment.

VRL-Studio uses the Java Reflection API and Groovy to automatically generate interactive user interfaces, and has a powerful plug-in system that allows for easy integration of Java libraries, such as the 3-D modeling library JCSG. Hoffer demonstrated how he created a lightweight drone with four arms that are modeled on a complex structure found in the bones of birds. (see images below) "These drone parts can also be optimized to remove vibration. This structure cannot be created via milling, but it's a very easy task for a 3D printer."

It's also easy it is to turn a Raspberry PI board into a fully functional robot, Hoffer said, using 3D geometries created with the open source JCSG library and his VRL-Studio IDE. He then demonstrated his 'Pi on Wheels' bot, an affordable open source Do-It-Yourself robot, which he uses to teach Java-related technologies in the context of the Internet of Things.

Hoffer blogs about Java, JavaFX, and related technologies at http://mihosoft.eu/ Find out more at VRL-Studio here: http://vrl-studio.mihosoft.eu/


Lightweight drone with four arms modeled on a complex structure found in the bones of birds


Close up picture of drone arm printed by 3D printer.


'Pi on Wheels' bot, with 3D printed body and wheels

Tuesday Oct 27, 2015

Robots Look for Human Companions at JavaOne

By Roger Smith

Humaoid Robots Are Big in Japan

I spent part of this afternoon at the MakerZone, which is part of the Java Hub at this year's JavaOne Exhibit Hall, where I had a brief, enjoyable chat with Pepper, a 4-foot tall humanoid robot. Created by Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper is a social robot able to recognize and react to human emotions and carry on simple conversations in as many as 28 different languages. (I met and wrote about Nao, Pepper’s androgynous older sibling, in a recent JavaOne4kids workshop that showed how Nao could be taught to walk, talk, catch small objects and even dance). Besides being almost twice as tall as Nao, Pepper moves around on three omnidirectional wheels rather than feet like Nao. The Nao robot has been in development since 2006, while Pepper only has been around for a little over a year. Pepper’s added wheels give him greater range and almost 14 hours of battery life, which is three times the amount Nao has. The additional battery life was a requirement, said Nicholas Rigaud, Developer Community Leader for Aldebaran, since he was designed to greet and interact with customers in retail stores owned by Japanese mobile phone operator SoftBank Mobile, Aldebaran’s parent company.

Aldebaran has participated in three JavaOne conferences and keeps coming back each year because it's a great way to engage with a global community of software developers. "There is a great deal of entrepreneurial energy at these shows, which is what we're looking for," Rigaud said. "We want to get the word out about the programming resources and simulation tools we have to help developers create, fine tune and monetize their applications on the Aldebaran robotic platform." These resources include Choregraphe (the company's graphical drag and drop programming interface) that lets developers create applications with sample code containing dialog and behavior for the robots. The development environment includes a SDK simulator so that programmers can view their apps on a virtual 3D robot. Rigaud said there are currently 4,000 developers actively participating in the free developer program, of which roughly 25% are robot owners. 104 countries are represented, including 2,400 developers in Japan, 350 in the US and 300 in France. Find out more about Aldebaran's global developer program here: https://community.aldebaran.com/en/developerprogram

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