Monday Oct 17, 2011

Java Community Keynote: Enabling Collaboration, Enabling Innovation

IBM, Java, and the Cloud

The morning JavaOne 2011 Community Keynote began with IBM, presented by Jason McGee, IBM Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect, Cloud Computing. McGee focused on Java and Cloud computing-the challenges in the language and the JVM for running in the Cloud, how to make your applications elastic and scale well in the Cloud, and the latest innovations (driven by IBM and others) for deploying applications to the Cloud.

McGee explored several recent IBM offerings for the Cloud-including WebSphere eXtreme Scale, a Java based, in-memory data grid product for elastic scalability in Cloud environments; and IBM Workload Deployer, a Cloud deployment and management system for existing virtualized hardware. McGee ended by reiterating IBM's commitment to the Java community, noting their membership in OpenJDK as of 2010.

Community: Best Practices, Innovation, and Learning Resources

Sharat Chander, Principle Product Director, JavaOne Program Committee Chairperson, Oracle began his portion of the keynote by offering a moment of silence in respect for the passing of Apple's Steve Jobs, noting his passion and innovation in the world of technology. The Apple logo briefly appeared on the large screen.

Chander emphasized that Java isn't just about technology, it's also about community. Within this context, he first recognized Mike DeNicola, John Rose, and Patrick Curran, for their outstanding participation and leadership within the JCP this past year. And as part of ever-broadening the Java community, Chander next paid tribute to the Java Dutchess program-with over 400 groups around the world, globally connecting women in Java technology.

From there, Donald Smith, Director of Product Management, Java Platform Group, Oracle invited onstage a panel of representatives from the global Java community: Martijn Verburg, London Java Community; John Duimovich, OpenJDK; Deepak Bhole, OpenJDK; Stephen Chin, SvJugFx; and Bruno Souza, SouJava. The group noted that this was the first JavaOne conference with a community-themed keynote. In true connected community fashion, the group invited those watching the presentation to informally vote (via text message) on Java technologies and initiatives of current and future interest.

The panel members all urged active participation in Java User Groups, from both a technical and professional advancement perspective. Such community involvement not only drives open standards, they declared, but also drives innovation among vendors. The OpenJDK representatives then explored the challenges and promises of the initiative, agreeing that participants should have high expectations for openness, and to push on that. They strongly urged developers to download OpenJDK, and to use it.

Community: Moving Java Forward

Smith explored with the panel how the Java community can best take part in moving Java forward. The consensus was that the process ideally involves vision, innovation, and execution, and that the community can participate at all of these levels-getting involved via JUGs, as well as testing and submitting bug reports, and thereby helping Oracle and other Java vendors build the best and most innovative technologies. One technique being explored at some JUGs, to better facilitate participation, is to both stream them live and offer audio archives via Parleys.com. Within the context of making community content as available as possible, Oracle announced their agreement with Parleys.com to host many of the JavaOne sessions on the learning site-including video, demos, and synchronized audio/slides.

Duke's Choice Award Winners

What JavaOne would be complete without acknowledging the Duke's Choice Award Winners (this year with community input in the selection and review process). Featured onstage were representatives of Rockwell Automation, for their Java Embedded factory floor automation solutions; Sodbeans Project, for their NetBeans-based accessibility suite to aid blind software developers; and JHome, a Glassfish/Java EE-based home automation system for the control of almost any device in the home, including lamps, gates, coffee machines, and more.
Java Posse Comes to Town

To the tune of Spaghetti Western soundtrack music, representatives of the fabled Java Posse next took the stage (to Sharat Chander's mock amazement). The Java Posse site has long been known for its podcasts offering news, discussions, interviews, and "general mayhem" surrounding the world of Java. The Java Posse members emphasized what they see as the three elements of Java-the language, the platform, and (most importantly), the Java community. "We have a development community that other development platforms dream of having," they said. They promised in-depth appearances from many of the Duke's Choice Award winners. And in parting the stage, they deputized Chander as an official honorary member of the Java Posse, presenting him with a 10-gallon hat.

In closing, JavaOne participants were urged to get involved and make their voices heard-to participate in the JavaOne Community Steering Committee, to participate in the JavaOne Program Committee, to submit speaker papers, to participate in the OpenJDK project, and to join a local JUG. Chander parted by noting that JavaOne 2012 would feature a community member as one of the keynote speakers.



Learn More:

WebSphere eXtreme Scale
IBM Workload Deployer
Java Dutchess
2011 Duke's Choice Award Winners
Parleys.com
The Java Posse

OpenJDK Development Best Practices

At JavaOne 2011, Oracle Principal Member of Technical Staff, Kelly O’Hair, had a session on “OpenJDK Development Best Practices” that offered a lot of useful practical advice. He discussed current OpenJDK development procedures such as building, testing, code review, and creating a changeset, and integrating that changeset into a team repository.  In addition he covered "OpenJDK Developers' Guide" topics and looked at the challenges of integrating a change.

So what are the best practices when working on the JDK?
● When in doubt, ask
● When something does not work, report it
● Always be careful, rushing in changes is dangerous
● Do no harm, have a backup or backout plan
● Stay calm, nervous people make mistakes
● Be prepared for anything, because it will happen

When editing sources:
● No TABS
● Never edit the legal notices
● Respect the existing formatting
● Small surgical changes are best, easiest to review
● Well written comments are critical
● Do not assume anything about the compilers

Testcases are critical and not optional:
● Create a new one or modify an existing testcase
● Must be solid and work on all supported systems
● Must not be a resource hog (open 20,000 files)
● Must work in a shared VM mode (like a JUnit test)
● Assume someone else might be running the same test at the same time, and that someone might be you
● Continuous Build & Test
● Test gates or baseline testing
● But before you even get started making changes you must be able to completely build it and test it on your own system, this is a fundamental
● Linux builds are the easiest, so let's see what needs to happen

He suggested best practices short cuts for building:
● Always use local disk space
● Use /tmp if it has the space
● Try export HOTSPOT_BUILD_JOBS=4
● Try export ALT_PARALLEL_COMPILE_JOBS=4
● Use export NO_DOCS=true to avoid running javadoc
● Use ALT_JDK_IMPORT_PATH=${HOME}/jdk1.8.0

Kelly offered detailed principles related to testing, testing prep, editing, code review, changeset creation, why a push fails, and the team repository model.

His core ideas:
● Pick your environment, Linux is easiest
● Pick a stable state of repos, promoted build, oldest best
● Learn to build and test it, over and over, know what to expect, create a jdk to use as your import
● Editing working set files, read the Mercurial book
● Problemlist, changeset creation

Tuesday Aug 09, 2011

A Bug's Life: Java 7 Updates

by Dalibor Topic,  Java F/OSS Ambassador, Oracle Java Platform Group

The JDK 7 Updates Project in OpenJDK is now up and running. We've spent some time in the past couple of weeks discussing processes, finalized them, and started accepting changes destined for JDK 7 Update releases.

Changes going into a JDK 7 Update are typically bug fixes, coming to JDK 7 Updates through JDK 8. Bugs get reported through several channels - for example through Oracle's QA engineers running tests on early access builds, an OpenJDK developer working on some piece of code, or through the web bug report form.

When a Java developer or end user reports a bug through the web bug report form, a process kicks off. All bugs coming in through the web bug report form start with the initial priority 4, i.e. 'Low'. Priorities can go from 5, i.e. 'Very Low' all the way up to 1, i.e. 'Very High'. When you're starting to hack on OpenJDK, it can be easier to do so by picking out a couple of P4, or P5 bugs from the bug database in order to learn how the processes work with some success before you go on to tackle harder tasks.

There is a WebBugs team at Oracle that reviews the incoming bug reports, in order to weed out duplicates, or misfiled issues, and if necessary request additional information from the submitter. Not all bugs are created equal, so the low priority automatically assigned by the system to the incoming bugs sometimes needs to be adjusted, as well.

When adjusting the priority of a bug, we look at three aspects: Impact, Likelihood & Workaround. Impact is determined by taking a look at how severe an issue is: A VM crash would have a high impact, for example. On the other hand, the likelihood of the crash occurring could be very low. And finally, the existence of a workaround, in particular an easily applicable one, would also impact the priority of the bug. A high impact bug that strikes often and has no workaround would accordingly get a higher priority then a 'benign' bug that occurs rarely and has an easily applicable workaround.

The priority is not set in stone - as OpenJDK developers start investigating an issue in order to produce a fix for JDK 8, new information regarding impact, likelihood or workaround can emerge, resulting in an update of the bug's priority. For example, if a bug turns out to have a much higher likelihood to occur then initially thought, that could be a good reason to raise its priority. On the other hand, if e.g. an easily applicable workaround is found, that could be a good reason to lower it.

Another important dimension of a bug, along with its priority, is its state. For bugs in process of being addressed, there are three important states to be familiar with: 'Fix In Progress', 'Fix Available', and 'Fix Delivered'. The first one (obviously) means that a fix is in progress. 'Fix Available' means that a fix has been delivered into an OpenJDK Mercurial forest. Typically, the bug's evaluation in the bug database is updated to include a URL to the commit in OpenJDK, as well - look for the line starting with "http://hg.openjdk.java.net" if you want to see the source code for a specific bug fix. The fix then progresses through a sequence of integrations into the respective Project's master. For JDK 7 Updates that sequence is fairly short, since we only have one integration forest (jdk7u-dev) in OpenJDK. Finally, once a fix appears in a build, its state is set to 'Fix Delivered'.

With these two bits of information, you can follow along your (and other people's) issues progress in JDK 8 and JDK 7 Updates. For some code, like HotSpot fixes, the path can be a bit longer, since the HotSpot team uses the HotSpot Express model to develop stable versions of HotSpot into multiple JDK releases, so the fix first needs to make it into a HotSpot build, before it can get into JDK 7 Updates through a bulk change. As fixes progress through integration stages, our testing machinery is hammering on them to make sure they work well, work well together, and hold up under pressure.

So, thanks for testing JDK 7, and letting us know about the bugs that bug you. With JDK 7 Updates now up and running, you can help us weed regressions out by testing early access builds, and of course by following along on the jdk7u-dev mailing list as fixes are proposed, reviewed and approved for JDK 7 Updates, and reporting issues you find to our bug tracker.

On a side note, we're working on updating our bug tracking infrastructure used in OpenJDK, which should further increase the transparency of both JDK 8 and JDK 7 Update development in the future.

(originally published on Dalibor Topic's blog.)

Thursday Jun 09, 2011

Moving to OpenJDK as the Official Java SE 7 Reference Implementation

Some interesting news from Henrik Stahl: Oracle will provide a Java SE 7 Reference Implementation based entirely on OpenJDK and make it available under GPLv2 (with Classpath exception) for open-source implementors (and BCL for commercial implementors).

Henrik also says that the existing TCK license for OpenJDK will be updated to cover Java SE 7.

Read the post in its entirety here.

Thursday May 19, 2011

JVM Language Summit Set for July 18-20

The 2011 JVM Language Summit -- an open technical collaboration among language designers, compiler writers, tool builders, runtime engineers, and VM architects -- is set for July 18-20 on Oracle's Santa Clara campus.

The agenda includes:

  • Three days of technical presentations and conversations about programming languages and the JVM
  • Prepared talks by numerous visiting language experts, OpenJDK engineers, and other Java luminaries
  • Many opportunities to visit and network with your peers
  • Da Vinci Machine Project memorabilia. (Useful for proving, to your grandchildren, that you were there.)
  • Dinner at a local restaurant, such as last year’s Faultline Brewing Company
  • A chance to help shape the future of programming languages on the JVM

For a taste, view the technical session video that we captured last year. Sessions will be recorded and published this year, as well.

For more information and to register, visit openjdk.java.net/projects/mlvm/jvmlangsummit. We hope to see you there!


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