Thursday Jan 30, 2014

Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon in Brazil

SouJava is running a Raspberry Pi and Java hackathon at Campus Party, the week-long technology gathering of geeks, developers, gamers, scientists, and students in Brazil. Sponsored by Oracle Technology Network, the hackathon is designed for enthusiasts who want to create IoT projects with Raspberry Pi and Java. The objectives are for attendees to learn, practice, and innovative while creating an IoT project

Java evangelist Angela Caicedo opened the hackathon with an overview of IoT and Java development. Over two days, participants will build teams, brainstorm, attend training, get a kit from the organizers and hack on their own project. Onsite experts will be available to help participants. They are veteran Java developers of web, enterprise and embedded development. Among them are GlobalCode founder Vinicius Senger, senior developer Rubens Saraiva, SouJava leader Bruno Souza, Java Champion Yara Senger, product manager Bruno Borges and senior mobile developer Ricardo Ogliari 

Learn more about IoT:  
- IoT community page highlighting projects, discussions, hobbyists, and experts

Friday Mar 15, 2013

Why, Where, and How JavaFX Makes Sense

A new article by Björn Müller, now up on otn/java, titled “Why, Where, and How JavaFX Makes Sense” incisively explores the intricacies of when, where, and how JavaFX is a good technology fit.

Müller writes:
 “Our experience proves that implementing an employee desktop front end with native technology is a valid approach and that JavaFX is a good fit.

* JavaFX is available on the leading desktop operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X)
* Although it has gone through some painful changes, its evolution proves its vendor’s level of commitment.
* As the successor to Swing, it is being used by an increasing number of Java developers. Regardless of its future, it will benefit from a strong developer community.
* Compared to Swing, it provides a clear and clean architecture and features many enhancements: styling, event management, transitions, scene graph—to name a few.
* It provides the possibility of developing up-to-date user interfaces with animations, multitouch, and the like.
* It is based on a clear and clean language: Java.
* It provides all the professional Java tooling required to debug, analyze, profile, and log a client application.
* It enables a simple app-like installation on the client side, without any prerequisites.”

Müller provides a nuanced discussion of the kinds of architecture in which JavaFX should be embedded, its uses with JavaServer Faces, and reports on his own experiences using JavaFX.

Have a look at the article here.

Sunday Sep 30, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Kirk Pepperdine

Kirk Pepperdine is not only a JavaOne Rock Star but a Java Champion and a highly regarded expert in Java performance tuning who works as a consultant, educator, and author. He is the principal consultant at Kodewerk Ltd. He speaks frequently at conferences and co-authored the Ant Developer's Handbook. In the rapidly shifting world of information technology, Pepperdine, as much as anyone, keeps up with what's happening with Java performance tuning.

Pepperdine will participate in the following sessions:

  • CON5405 - Are Your Garbage Collection Logs Speaking to You?
  • BOF6540 - Java Champions and JUG Leaders Meet Oracle Executives (with Jeff Genender, Mattias Karlsson, Henrik Stahl, Georges Saab)
  • HOL6500 - Finding and Solving Java Deadlocks (with Heinz Kabutz, Ellen Kraffmiller Martijn Verburg, Jeff Genender, and Henri Tremblay)


I asked him what technological changes need to be taken into account in performance tuning. “The volume of data we're dealing with just seems to be getting bigger and bigger all the time,” observed Pepperdine. “A couple of years ago you'd never think of needing a heap that was 64g, but today there are deployments where the heap has grown to 256g and tomorrow there are plans for heaps that are even larger. Dealing with all that data simply requires more horse power and some very specialized techniques. In some cases, teams are trying to push hardware to the breaking point. Under those conditions, you need to be very clever just to get things to work -- let alone to get them to be fast. We are very quickly moving from a world where everything happens in a transaction to one where if you were to even consider using a transaction, you've lost."

When asked about the greatest misconceptions about performance tuning that he currently encounters, he said, “If you have a performance problem, you should start looking at code at the very least and for that extra step, whip out an execution profiler. I'm not going to say that I never use execution profilers or look at code. What I will say is that execution profilers are effective for a small subset of performance problems and code is literally the last thing you should look at.

And what is the most exciting thing happening in the world of Java today? “Interesting question because so many people would say that nothing exciting is happening in Java. Some might be disappointed that a few features have slipped in terms of scheduling. But I'd disagree with the first group and I'm not so concerned about the slippage because I still see a lot of exciting things happening. First, lambda will finally be with us and with lambda will come better ways.”

For JavaOne, he is proctoring for Heinz Kabutz's lab. “I'm actually looking forward to that more than I am to my own talk,” he remarked. “Heinz will be the third non-Sun/Oracle employee to present a lab and the first since Oracle began hosting JavaOne. He's got a great message. He's spent a ton of time making sure things are going to work, and we've got a great team of proctors to help out. After that, getting my talk done, the Java Champion's panel session and then kicking back and just meeting up and talking to some Java heads."

Finally, what should Java developers know that they currently do not know? “’Write Once, Run Everywhere’ is a great slogan and Java has come closer to that dream than any other technology stack that I've used. That said, different hardware bits work differently and as hard as we try, the JVM can't hide all the differences. Plus, if we are to get good performance we need to work with our hardware and not against it. All this implies that Java developers need to know more about the hardware they are deploying to.”

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Charles Nutter

JavaOne Rock Stars, conceived in 2005, are the top rated speakers from the JavaOne Conference. They are awarded by their peers who through conference surveys recognize them for their outstanding sessions and speaking ability. Over the years many of the world’s leading Java developers have been so recognized.

We spoke with distinguished Rock Star, Charles Nutter.

A JRuby Update from Charles Nutter

Charles Nutter of Red Hat is well known as a lead developer of JRuby, a Ruby implementation of Java that is tightly integrated with Java to allow for the embedding of the interpreter into any Java application with full two-way access between the Java and the Ruby code.

Nutter is giving the following sessions at this year’s JavaOne:

  • CON7257 – “JVM Bytecode for Dummies (and the Rest of Us Too)”
  • CON7284 – “Implementing Ruby: The Long, Hard Road”
  • CON7263 – “JVM JIT for Dummies”
  • BOF6682 – “I’ve Got 99 Languages, but Java Ain’t One”
  • CON6575 – “Polyglot for Dummies” (Both with Thomas Enebo)


I asked Nutter, to give us the latest on JRuby. “JRuby seems to have hit a tipping point this past year,” he explained, “moving from ‘just another Ruby implementation’ to ‘the best Ruby implementation for X,’ where X may be performance, scaling, big data, stability, reliability, security, and a number of other features important for today's applications. We're currently wrapping up JRuby 1.7, which improves support for Ruby 1.9 APIs, solves a number of user issues and concurrency challenges, and utilizes invokedynamic to outperform all other Ruby implementations by a wide margin. JRuby just gets better and better.”

When asked what he thought about the rapid growth of alternative languages for the JVM, he replied, “I'm very intrigued by efforts to bring a high-performance JavaScript runtime to the JVM. There's really no reason the JVM couldn't be the fastest platform for running JavaScript with the right implementation, and I'm excited to see that happen.”

And what is Nutter working on currently? “Aside from JRuby 1.7 wrap-up,” he explained, “I'm helping the Hotspot developers investigate invokedynamic performance issues and test-driving their new invokedynamic code in Java 8. I'm also starting to explore ways to improve the general state of dynamic languages on the JVM using JRuby as a guide, and to help the JVM become a better platform for all kinds of languages.”

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.


Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Adam Bien

Among the most celebrated developers in recent years, especially in the domain of Java EE and JavaFX, is consultant Adam Bien, who, in addition to being a JavaOne Rock Star for Java EE sessions given in 2009 and 2011, is a Java Champion, the winner of Oracle Magazine’s 2011 Top Java Developer of the Year Award, and recently won a 2012 JAX Innovation Award as a top Java Ambassador.

Bien will be presenting the following sessions:

  • TUT3907 - Java EE 6/7: The Lean Parts
  • CON3906 - Stress-Testing Java EE 6 Applications Without Stress
  • CON3908 - Building Serious JavaFX 2 Applications
  • CON3896 - Interactive Onstage Java EE Overengineering

I spoke with Bien to get his take on Java today. He expressed excitement that the smallest companies and startups are showing increasing interest in Java EE. “This is a very good sign,” said Bien. “Only a few years ago J2EE was mostly used by larger companies -- now it becomes interesting even for one-person shows. Enterprise Java events are also extremely popular. On the Java SE side, I'm really excited about Project Nashorn.”

Nashorn is an upcoming JavaScript engine, developed fully in Java by Oracle, and based on the Da Vinci Machine (JSR 292) which is expected to be available for Java 8.  

Bien expressed concern about a common misconception regarding Java's mediocre productivity. “The problem is not Java,” explained Bien, “but rather systems built with ancient patterns and approaches. Sometimes it really is ‘Cargo Cult Programming.’ Java SE/EE can be incredibly productive and lean without the unnecessary and hard-to-maintain bloat. The real problems are ‘Ivory Towers’ and not Java’s lack of productivity.”

Bien remarked that if there is one thing he wanted Java developers to understand it is that, "Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Or at least of some evil. Modern JVMs and application servers are hard to optimize upfront. It is far easier to write simple code and measure the results continuously. Identify the hotspots first, then optimize.”

He advised Java EE developers to, “Rethink everything you know about Enterprise Java. Before you implement anything, ask the question: ‘Why?’ If there is no clear answer -- just don't do it. Most well known best practices are outdated. Focus your efforts on the domain problem and not the technology.”

Looking ahead, Bien said, “I would like to see open source application servers running directly on a hypervisor. Packaging the whole runtime in a single file would significantly simplify the deployment and operations.”

Check out a recent Java Magazine interview with Bien about his Java EE 6 stress monitoring tool here.

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.



Monday Jul 16, 2012

Introducing Groovy

Oracle developer Jim Driscoll has a new article up on otn/java, titled “Introducing Groovy,” that shows readers how to master the basics of Groovy, a general-purpose scripting language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) – and, as Driscoll emphasizes -- one that can largely be viewed as a superset of Java.

He presents a “Hello World” program that can be understood as either a Java or Groovy program and will compile and run in either environment. Driscoll takes readers through the intricate connections and disconnects between Java and Groovy. For example, Groovy is public by default and “Groovy deals with String objects using double quotation marks with strings” which “allows for variable substitution”. And, “there are also strings with single quotation marks.”

Driscoll illustrates his points with copious code that illustrates how Java developers can tweak their own knowledge of Java to take advantage of Groovy’s strengths, so that, by the end of the article, the (Java-informed) reader more or less understands Groovy.

Check out the article here.

Sunday Nov 27, 2011

Too Few Women in IT!

Last year, only 1% of attendees at Devoxx were women . This year, Devoxx addressed the issue in a panel entitled "Why We Should Target Women." On the panel were Kim Ross, Régina ten Bruggencate, Trisha Gee, Antonio Goncalves and Claude Falguiére. The moderator was Martijn Verburg.

The discussion focused on how to attract women to programming and how to get current women programmers to be more active in the community. The panelists agreed that the IT field should not just attract more women but also men of different ethnic backgrounds. The lack of women in programming is in part a cultural issue that differs from region to region. In developed countries, very few women work as programmers whereas in Brazil and India a lot of women pursue careers in IT.  Women in developed countries perceive the field as isolating and very few young women graduate in computer science.  This perception of isolation was based in reality decades ago, but that is no longer the case today.

Main ideas discussed by the panel:

  • Parents should encourage their daughters to play with Lego and learn programming.
  • More organizations should target girls in high schools and young women in university to expose them to programming.  The JDuchess organization is planning on being more involved with young girl events and mentoring.
  • Women tend to be more self-critical about their skills and are intimidated by high skill requirements in job advertisements.
  • Companies should change job advertisements to get more women to interviews.
  • Panelists don't recommend affirmative action because women feel favored and lose credibility. They want to be judged for their skills.
  • Panelists recommend acting the same way when dealing with either female or male co-workers and managers.
  • Women need mentors (men or women) to learn to become speakers at conferences and to promote themselves better.
  • Men should be sensitive to the fact that women are alone at work to respond to men teasing. The balance of power at work is different from a social setting.
  • Men also experience discrimination on the job. It is more difficult for men to take time off when their children are sick, for example.
  • Equal valuing of parental obligations could result in equal pay for women.
See also:

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