Wednesday Jul 17, 2013

And The Winners Are.... the most popular articles on otn

Here is a list of the most popular articles, in terms of traffic, on otn/java in the last 12 months. It's, as usual, a rich mix of Java and Java-related technologies, types of articles and variety of authors.

Check out any that you might have missed and vote with your visit.


1.  “Getting Started with Java® SE Embedded on the Raspberry Pi" by Bill Courington and Gary Collins August 2012

2. “How to Get Started (FAST!) with JavaFX 2 and Scene Builder”  by Mark Heckler  November 2012

3. “Arun Gupta on Higher Productivity from Embracing HTML5 with Java EE 7”  by Janice J. Heiss  February 2013

4. “Java Experts on the State of Java” by Janice J. Heiss   January 2013

5. “Java EE 7 and JAX-RS 2.0” by Adam Bien  April 2013

6. “Coding on Crete: An Interview with Java Specialist Heinz Kabutz” by Janice J. Heiss     January 2013  http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/articles/java/heinzkabutz-1899134.html

7. “Why, Where, and How JavaFX Makes Sense”  by Björn Müller  March 2013

8. “The Advent of Kotlin: A Conversation with JetBrains' Andrey Breslav”  by Janice J. Heiss  April 2013

9. “The Enterprise Side of JavaFX”  by Adam Bien   June 2012

10. “JSR 356, Java API for WebSocket”  by Johan Vos  April 2013

And here are five runners up.

11. “Introducing Groovy”  by Jim Driscoll  July 2012

12. “The Enterprise Side of JavaFX: Part Two”  by Adam Bien  June 2012

13. “Expressing the UI for Enterprise Applications with JavaFX 2.0 FXML” by James L. Weaver  June 2012

14. “JavaOne 2012 Review: Make the Future Java” by Steve Meloan  October 2012

15. “Expressing the UI for Enterprise Applications with JavaFX 2.0 FXML - Part Two”  By James L. Weaver  September 2012

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.

Monday Apr 15, 2013

Kotlin: A Conversation with JetBrains' Andrey Breslav

A new article, up on otn/java, by yours truly, titled “The Advent of Kotlin: A Conversation with JetBrains' Andrey Breslav,” explores the new statically typed language, Kotlin, which was named  Language of the Month in the January 2012 issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal. Kotlin is a product of the highly lauded Czech software development company, JetBrains, maker of the Java IDE IntelliJ IDEA. Project Kotlin aspires to create for developers a general-purpose language that can serve as a useful tool that is safe, concise, flexible, and 100 percent Java-compatible. Both the compiler and the IntelliJ IDEA plug-in are open source under the Apache 2 license, with source code available through GitHub.

Breslav, the lead language designer for Kotlin, discusses Kotlin's features in the interview.  Here are some things he points out:

* “Extension functions and properties in Kotlin can be added to any class/type without altering the definition of the class. This enables us to beautify even existing Java libraries so that the good old JDK looks nice and shiny.
* Higher-order functions (passing code around as values) are a lot more convenient, because Kotlin supports proper function types (as opposed to Java 8's SAM conversions that make you create a new interface every time you need a new function signature to be passed around).
* Declaration-site variance, and variant collections in particular, make common data processing much more natural by eliminating the need for ubiquitous wildcards in generic types.”

Breslav says that Kotlin promotes null safety, through nullable types and “offers control over data modification through read-only collections and data classes and enables safer runtime checks through smart casts.”

He states that Java developers who are in search of a new language will enjoy Kotlin’s clean abstractions, concise syntax, and type safety. Breslav encourages developers to download the compiler and/or a plug-in for IntelliJ IDEA, and start writing their own applications. Any feedback about what developers like and dislike, what they find difficult to understand, and how they are making use of Kotlin will be much appreciated.

Check out the article here.

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