Friday Sep 13, 2013

An Interview with Venkat Subramaniam before JavaOne

JavaOne Rock Star and Java Champion, Venkat Subramaniam, sees a lot to be excited about with regard to Java.[Read More]

Wednesday Jun 26, 2013

Diving into Scala with Cay Horstmann

A new interview with Java Champion Cay Horstmann, now up on otn/java, titled  "Diving into Scala: A Conversation with Java Champion Cay Horstmann," explores Horstmann's ideas about Scala as reflected in his much lauded new book,  Scala for the Impatient.  None other than Martin Odersky, the inventor of Scala, called it "a joy to read" and the "best introduction to Scala". Odersky was so enthused by the book that he asked Horstmann if the first section could be made available as a free download on the Typesafe Website, something Horstmann graciously assented to.

Horstmann acknowledges that some aspects of Scala are very complex, but he encourages developers to simply stay away from those parts of the language. He points to several ways Java developers can benefit from Scala:

"For example," he says, " you can write classes with less boilerplate, file and XML handling is more concise, and you can replace tedious loops over collections with more elegant constructs. Typically, programmers at this level report that they write about half the number of lines of code in Scala that they would in Java, and that's nothing to sneeze at. Another entry point can be if you want to use a Scala-based framework such as Akka or Play; you can use these with Java, but the Scala API is more enjoyable. "

Horstmann observes that developers can do fine with Scala without grasping the theory behind it. He argues that most of us learn best through examples and not through trying to comprehend abstract theories. He also believes that Scala is the most attractive choice for developers who want to move beyond Java and C++.  When asked about other choices, he comments:

"Clojure is pretty nice, but I found its Lisp syntax a bit off-putting, and it seems very focused on software transactional memory, which isn't all that useful to me. And it's not statically typed. I wanted to like Groovy, but it really bothers me that the semantics seems under-defined and in flux. And it's not statically typed. Yes, there is Groovy++, but that's in even sketchier shape.

There are a couple of contenders such as Kotlin and Ceylon, but so far they aren't real.

So, if you want to do work with a statically typed language on the JVM that exists today, Scala is simply the pragmatic choice. It's a good thing that it's such a nice choice."

Learn more about Scala by going to the interview here.

Friday Sep 21, 2012

Anticipating JavaOne 2012 – Number 17!

As I write this, JavaOne 2012 (September 30-October 4 in San Francisco, CA) is just over a week away -- the seventeenth JavaOne! I’ll resist the impulse to travel in memory back to the early days of JavaOne. But I will say that JavaOne is a little like your birthday or New Year’s in that it invites reflection, evaluation, and comparison. It’s a time when we take the temperature of Java and assess the world of information technology generally. At JavaOne, insight and information flow amongst Java developers like no other time of the year.

This year, the status of Java seems more secure in the eyes of most Java developers who agree that Oracle is doing an acceptable job of stewarding the platform, and while the story is still in progress, few doubt that Oracle is engaging strongly with the Java community and wants to see Java thrive.

From my perspective, the biggest news about Java is the growth of some 250 alternative languages for the JVM – from Groovy to Jython to JRuby to Scala to Clojure and on and on – offering both new opportunities and challenges. The JVM has proven itself to be unusually flexible, resulting in an embarrassment of riches in which, more and more, developers are challenged to find ways to optimally mix together several different languages on projects.   

To the matter at hand -- I can say with confidence that Oracle is working hard to make each JavaOne better than the last – more interesting, more stimulating, more networking, and more fun! A great deal of thought and attention is being devoted to the task. To free up time for the 475 technical sessions/Birds of feather/Hands-on-Labs slots, the Java Strategy, Partner, and Technical keynotes will be held on Sunday September 30, beginning at 4:00 p.m.  

Let’s not forget Java Embedded@JavaOne which is being held Wednesday, Oct. 3rd and Thursday, Oct. 4th at the Hotel Nikko. It will provide business decision makers, technical leaders, and ecosystem partners important information about Java Embedded technologies and new business opportunities.  

This year's JavaOne theme is “Make the Future Java”. So come to JavaOne and make your future better by:
--Choosing from 475 sessions given by the experts to improve your working knowledge and coding expertise
--Networking with fellow developers in both casual and formal settings
--Enjoying world-class entertainment
--Delighting in one of the world’s great cities (my home town)

Hope to see you there!

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.

Tuesday Jul 24, 2012

The JVM Language Summit - 2012

A new article, now up on otn/java, provides information about the upcoming 2012 JVM Language Summit, scheduled for July 30–August 1, 2012 on the Oracle campus in Santa Clara. The Summit brings together top language designers, compiler writers, tool builders, runtime engineers, and VM architects, from around the world for an open technical collaboration.

Summit organizer Brian Goetz of Oracle remarks: "We've been running the JVM Language Summit for the past five years. The attendees at the Summit are the people who are making languages on the JVM happen—there are typically architect-level representatives from many JVM language communities including JRuby, Jython, Scala, Groovy, and Clojure. This is a tremendous opportunity for the community to influence the future direction of the JVM and for us to learn more about how the JVM is being used, where it shines, and where it falls short."

The schedule is equally divided between traditional presentations, most of which are limited to 40 minutes, and informal workshops, which consist of small facilitated discussion groups among self-selected participants to enable deeper dives into the subject matter. There will also be impromptu lightning talks.

Learn more here.


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.

Friday Feb 17, 2012

Michael Hüttermann on Agile ALM

A new interview on otn/java with Java Champion and Agile ALM expert Michael Hüttermann titled “Agile ALM: A Conversation with Java Champion and ALM Expert Michael Hüttermann,” explores ways to streamline the software development process through strategies that include task-based development, continuous integration, practical Scrum implementation, and more.

In the interview, Hüttermann explains the purpose of Agile ALM:

“Agile ALM provides structure for Agile. It’s up to the people who implement Agile ALM to apply Agile values (such as respect and open communication), Agile strategies (such as continuous integration, continuous inspection, and continuous deployment), and Agile processes (such as Scrum). It’s very important to be open-minded regarding the tools you use and to be free to switch from one tool to another. This is part of the continuous improvement process in which developers reflect continuously about what the team is doing and how to improve.”

He goes on to explore the strengths of different tool chains:

“One appealing tool chain integrates JIRA, Hudson, Eclipse, Mylyn, and FishEye. This tool chain fosters task-based development spanning different project roles and project phases. Another interesting chain is to connect Java with Scala and Groovy in order to leverage specific features of different languages on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). This can be helpful, for example, for setting up an environment for specifying and developing software collaboratively. Scala, with the specs2 library, and Groovy, with the easyb library, are examples of writing acceptance tests or applying behavior-driven development on the JVM where programmers and testers share the same infrastructure and are, thus, forced to work together closely.”

Read the complete article here.

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