Thursday Jan 24, 2013

OpenJDK, Adopt-A-JSR and Adopt OpenJDK Projects!

In two interviews, Martijn Verburg, leaders of the London Java user group and Cecilia Borg, Project Manager at Oracle explain the OpenJDK and two community projects Adopt-a-JSR and Adopt OpenJDK.  

"The Java Platform is huge and, to a lot of people, it is too big" explained Cecilia. "OpenJDK is divided into 22 different groups and 40 different projects to make it easy to participate." She recommends starting small by "subscribing to one of the mailing lists at openjdk.java.net" and contributing small bug fixes, for example.  It is important that contributors learn as much as possible and pick a project that feels right for them.


"The idea of Adopt-a-JSR is to have ordinary Java developers get involved with the creation of standards" indicates Martijn.  "Adopt-a-JSR is about Java EE and ME standards."  "The work on the Java language and the JVM is done as part of OpenJDK and Adopt OpenJDK projects," Verburg continues. He outlines how to start on those projects. Contributors can be individuals but also JUG leaders, who organize coding events to work on Java standards. 

Coding on Crete with Java Specialist Heinz Kabutz

In a new article, now up on otn/java by yours truly, titled “Coding on Crete: An Interview with Java Specialist Heinz Kabutz,” noted Java commentator and consultant Dr. Heinz Kabutz shares insights about the Java platform and talks about his exotic life working as a developer on the island of Crete. Kabutz is well known as the author of the Java Specialists’ Newsletter which reaches some 70,000 developers worldwide.

In a previous 2007 interview, Kabutz lamented the large number of developers who do not engage in unit testing. He offered an update on this:

“The one place where unit testing is sorely lacking is with concurrent code. There are some tools that help find race conditions and deadlocks, but they typically find about a dozen faults per line of code. With such an amount of false positives, discovering a real problem is impossible.

Did you know that there is not a single—not even one—unit test for the Java Memory Model (JMM)? We have to just accept that it works on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) we are running on. The theory is that if we write our Java code according to the JMM, the code will run correctly on any certified JVM. Unfortunately, the certification does not test the JMM thoroughly. Apparently, there are some tests for the java.util.concurrent classes, and so they assume that if these work, then the JMM must also be correct for that JVM.”

When asked about the greatest performance issues he remarked:

“The biggest performance issue today is still that we often cannot pinpoint the bottlenecks. Customers usually approach us with problems that they have not been able to solve, no matter how many man-months they've thrown at them. The most recent issue I looked at boiled down to a simple race condition. If two threads insert an entry into a shared HashMap at the same time, and the key's hash code points to the same entry in the table, then the HashMap can be corrupted and you might get two entries pointing to each other. This means that whenever you try to call contains() on the map, you risk getting an infinite loop.”

Check out the article.

Nordic Nighthacking Tour

From Jan 25th to Feb 7th,  Java Evangelist Stephen Chin will be traveling across the Nordic countries and doing live video streaming of the journey. Along the way he will visit user groups, interview interesting folks, and hack on open source projects. The last stop will be at Jfokus 2013.

You can join Stephen for the journey by watching the live stream in 3 easy steps:


  1. Follow @steveonjava on Twitter to find out when the broadcast is live.

  2. Come to the NightHacking UStream Channel to watch the free live feed.

  3. Interact with Stephen Chin and folks he is hacking with via twitter using hashtag #nighthacking.

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