Thursday Dec 19, 2013

Java Rocks More Than Ever

In a series of blogs full of technical detail and cross-platform comparison, senior developer Geert Bevin from ZeroTurnaround gives 10 reasons why Java is a great technology. He built software for musical instruments using C++, with Juce Library and CPython, and realized that he missed a lot from the Java ecosystem.

He has written the first six blogs, which include Java Compiler, the core API, Open Source, the Java Memory Model, HighPerformance VM and Bytecode. In his first blog about Java Compiler, he gives examples and recommendations on how to use the JVM's just-in-time, the compiler code versus the architecture, runtime rather than static or dynamic linking. 

Upcoming topics include: 
Intelligent IDEs
Profiling Tools
Backwards Compatibility
Maturity With Innovation

Friday Sep 06, 2013

Java Champion/Rock Star Adam Bien at JavaOne 2013

Java Champions are developers who have made important contributions to the Java community; JavaOne Rock Stars are developers who have given highly rated sessions at JavaOne. Adam Bien is both – and one of the most distinguished Java developers in the community. He is an Expert Group member for the Java EE 6/7, EJB 3.X, JAX-RS and JPA 2.X JSRs and is an architect and developer for Java SE and Java EE projects. He has edited several books about JavaFX, J2EE, and Java EE, and is the author of Real World Java EE Patterns—Rethinking Best Practices, and Real World Java EE Night Hacks.

Bien is a Top Java Ambassador 2012, and JavaOne 2009, 2011, 2012 Rock Star. If all this were not enough, he was, in 2010, named Oracle Magazine’s Java Developer of the Year.

His 2013 sessions include:

CON2196: “Lean and Opinionated Java EE 7 Applications”
CON2229: “Architecting Enterprise JavaFX 8 Applications”
CON2230:  “Unit Tests Don’t Break: Stress-Testing Java EE Applications”
CON2231: “Demystifying Java EE”
UGF10369: “Cool NetBeans Tips and Tricks for Java EE 7 Development”

Q: Tell us about your JavaOne sessions.

Bien: In “Cool NetBeans Tips and Tricks for Java EE 7 Development,” I will introduce my favorite NetBeans features. I think I may surprise some attendees with NetBean's productivity and effectiveness.

In “Architecting Enterprise JavaFX 8 Applications,” I would like to introduce a Model View Presenter Architecture with Dependency Injection based on a "framework," only containing two classes. I would also like to highlight the interaction with SceneBuilder, the JavaFX WYSIWYG editor, without being too heavily dependent on it.

In the session "Demystifying Java EE," I will discuss some recurring misconceptions about the concepts and inner workings of Java EE. There is no magic in Java EE – Java EE 7 is very effective, if you follow some rules.

In “Lean and Opinionated Java EE 7 Applications,” I will introduce opinionated approaches and best practices for the design and implementation of Java EE 7 applications. I'm probably going to shock some architects, but the developers should like this session.

In “Unit Tests Don’t Break: Stress-Testing Java EE Applications,” I plan to stress test a Java EE 7 application and monitor the results in real time. Stress testing is incredibly important and sometimes not even a part of the development cycle.

Q: In addition to your sessions, what do you have planned for JavaOne?

Bien: JavaOne is one of the few conferences where I attend other sessions -- from dawn to dusk. In recent years there was not always time to pick lunch. At NetBeans/GlassFish days before JavaOne I will probably meet some Java friends, while at the actual JavaOne I’ve never managed to do that. The technical content is too good and there is not enough time between the sessions.

Q: Tell us about what’s happening with Enterprise JavaFX 8 apps.

Bien: In the recent edition of airhacks.com I started with HTML 5, but most of the attendees waited for Java FX 8 news. There are a lot of Swing applications out there. Migration from Swing to JavaFX is one of the FAQs. Also JavaFX is "just" Java. You can develop now from the User Interface to the back end using the same language, tools, and environments. You can use the same debugger, profiler or memory analyzer for all of your application tiers and layers. JavaFX suits perfectly enterprise application needs.

Q: What have you been working on lately?

Bien: I’ve helped my customers implement Java EE 7 and JavaFX applications. Also, I ported lightfish.adam-bien.com to Java EE 7 and GlassFish v4 and was even able to simplify the code. I also ported Apache FTP Mina to JavaEE7: http://e2ftp.adam-bien.com

Q: What are your expectations for Java EE 7? For Java SE 8?

Bien: I was already very happy with Java EE 6, so Java EE 7 can only exceed my expectations. I'm using daily builds of JavaFX coming with JDK 1.8 for my "leisure" activities. Here I would expect more stability and even better performance. 

Q: How do you assess the state of Java today?

Bien: Java is more interesting for building apps, than ever. And the interest is huge. This year there is an increased tendency to sell out workshops, sessions and conferences. Java 8 together with Java EE 7 and JavaFX 8 will make it even more interesting.

Java has only one problem: its age. We tend to forget how performant, scalable, ubiquitous, and "cutting edge" the Java ecosystem actually is.

Q: What should Java developers understand about unit testing?

Bien: Don't overdo it. Statistics do not matter. Test complex stuff first -- and there is no difference between writing tests for Java SE and Java EE applications

Q: Tell us about ways NetBeans can be used for Java EE 7 development?

A: With NetBeans I'm still able to surprise seasoned developers with productivity without any magic. As a contractor/freelancer I really don't like to spend any time with IDE maintenance and setup. With NetBeans I'm able to set up my full Java EE environment in about a minute on Linux, Windows or Mac. Without any plugins, configurations or restarts. For that reason, I'm using NetBeans daily builds without any friction. What I like the most: NetBeans supports me with integrated code completion, JavaDoc, hints and occasional helpers on demand (like, e.g., creation of beans.xml or persistence.xml) without excessive code generation or opaque wizards. You can achieve 80% with two shortcuts: ctrl + space and alt + enter.

Adam Bien’s Blog

Thursday Jan 24, 2013

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.

Wednesday Nov 09, 2011

Working with the XML Parser API — JSR 172

Vikram Goyal’s article, “Working with the XML Parser API — JSR 172,” now up on otn/java, covers the basics of the XML Parsing API via a concrete example that uses SAX (Simple API for XML), a parsing method which is now preferred to the alternative method, and DOM (Document Object Model), which has a heavy memory footprint that led the XML Parser API to disallow its use in XML processing. “The XML Parser API,” explains Goyal, “defines the use of the SAX parser for parsing XML documents in resource-constrained devices.”

 

He explains through a working example what the SAX parser is, how it is defined by the API, and how best to use it.

 

From the article:

 

“In a nutshell, for the parsing of a custom XML document, you need to create a handler that extends the DefaultHandler class provided by the API. This custom handler is responsible for listening to the events from the parser and creating the model based on those events (and the supplied data). Your handler is responsible for validating the document and its data.”

 

Read the article.

 

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