Is Java still the preferred language for beginners? Jarne Deerlink, a computer science student from Ghent University in Belgium, shares his enthusiasm for programming, Java, the new features of Java 8 and more
The seventh annual JVM Language Summit took place during three days earlier this week. "It is a small room gathering of JVM and language implementers" explains JVM Architect John Rose. The number of attendees is intentionally limited so they can discuss topics with presenters and each other. The talks and discussions were about " the use of the JVM to implement new languages, and language constructs. What the pain-points are and how to evolve the JVM to fix the pain-points." Watch John's interview and learn about Valhalla and Panama, two new Oracle projects related to the JVM.
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
At the gamification session of the International Oracle User Group Community (IOUC), leaders discussed how to drive membership. Typically, they give away licenses, books and goodies to encourage attendance at monthly meetings. Others have used gamification to get their communities to brainstorm on mascot names, or post pictures and comments on social media. Hackathons also require the use of similar techniques to keep attendees motivated to create applications over several days. SouJava leader Bruno Souza successfully ran hackathons that combined brainstorming, team building, training, hacking sessions and prizes to keep participants engaged.
“Turn life into a game, drive engagement of audiences, make the experience more enjoyable and get users to come back ” are the key advantages of gamification according to user group leader Jim Bethancourt.
The forum platform Stack Overflow is a great example of running a thriving community of developers with its point systems. Contributors get rewarded with points for their useful entries and visitors easily find the most relevant and best-rated entries.
The ArabOUG has implemented a point system to keep its community active. The group gives out points to the members, who contribute applications, articles, and translations. It partnered with training organizations and other services to give its members free training and services in exchange for points. As a result, members don’t have to pay for services using online payments, which governments in many countries in North Africa and the Middle East don’t allow.
In an interview, ArabOUG leader Mohamed Chargui explains in more detail his experience using gamification.
Software Architect Daniel De Luca discusses Devoxx 4 Kids, a program to introduce children to software programming. "We want to teach children to be creative with computers and build games in an easy way instead of just using technology" explained Daniel De Luca. "The NAO robot is another computer with multiple sensors on their feet and hands, a sonar, and more." The events are currently planned in over 10 countries. The training resources are freely available on Devoxx4Kids. Daniel with other event organizers presented the Devoxx 4 Kids best practices session with tips and tricks to organize such events.
Today was the first day of the IoT Hack Fest at Devoxx, the Java developer conference in Belgium. The IoT Hack Fest started with the Raspberry Pi & Leap Motion hands-on lab. Vinicius Senger introduced the Java Embedded, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Java Champion and ZeroTurnaround Geert Bevin presented the Leap Motion, a controller sensing your hands and fingers to play games by controlling the mouse for example. "Programmers are cooler than musicians because they can create an entire universe using all senses" explained Geert
Participants started building applications in teams using Raspberry Pi, sensors and relays. One team tested the performance of Tomcat, Java EE and Java Embedded Suite on the Raspberry Pi. Another used built an text animation using a LCD screen. Some teams are using the Leap Motion to close and open programs on the desktop and others are using it as a game control.
In a festive room teeming with over 200 people, including many celebrated Java luminaries, along
with excellent food and drink, the 9th annual JCP Program Awards were
handed out atop the majestic Hilton Hotel on Monday night. As the JCP
states, “The Java Community Process (JCP) program celebrates
success. Members of the community nominate worthy participants, Spec
Java Specification Requests (JSRs) in order to cheer on the hard work
creativity that produces ground-breaking results for the community and
in the Java Standard Edition (SE), Java Enterprise Edition (EE), or Java
Edition (ME) platforms.”
The JCP added a new awards category this year for
Adopt-a-JSR program participants, bringing the total to four: JCP
Member/Participant of the Year, Outstanding Spec Lead, Most Significant JSR,
and Outstanding Adopt-a-JSR Participant.
The room was full of good cheer, playful humor, a music band of Java developers, and enthusiastic
appreciation of much that has been accomplished on behalf of Java technology in
the previous year.
The nominees and winners in their respective categories
JCP Member/Participant of the Year
--Azul Systems, Gil
--London Java Community (LJC), Ben Evans,
Martijn Verburg, Richard Warburton, Graham Allan
The winner was Azul System’s Gil Tene. The JCP said, “Gil
has worked diligently to provide clear advice on matters of Software Patents,
IP and licensing that seeks to benefit both non-profits/individuals etc as well
as organizations with vested commercial interests in Java. It's not easy
delving into the depths of the legal aspects and the potential impacts of
changes to the JCP, but with help from folks like Gil we're hopeful for a solid
and fair outcome.”
Tene characterized his approach to the JCP as follows: “I
represent Azul Systems on the JCP EC, but I try to apply an approach of ‘do the
right thing first’ in my choices and positions. Coming from a small company that
depends on Java and its ecosystem for its livelihood, I see my role as
representing the interests of an entire sector of non-big-company commercial
folks and of individual and professional developers out there, and providing
some offset and balance to the normal mix of such boards.”
Outstanding Spec Lead
--Chris Vignola, IBM
The winner, Oracle’s Brian Goetz, was recognized, “For
tirelessly working away at an incredibly complex JSR - JSR 335, Lambda
Expressions for the Java Programming Language. From a community point of view,
we've appreciated his willingness to listen and consider ideas from other
technologists as well as spending time with groups of developers to understand
the impact of Lambdas on Java.”
Goetz offered a statement in response to the award for his
leadership in creating Lambda Expressions for the Java Language, which also won
for most significant JSR. He said that lambdas, “represent a coordinated
co-evolution of the Java SE platform, including the VM, language, and core
libraries to provide developers with a powerful upgrade -- quite likely the
largest ever -- to the Java SE programming model.We started this JSR in early 2010, but the
topic of closures-in-Java had already been in play in the community for many
years prior, and, of course, there was a broad diversity of opinions as to what
direction, how far, and how fast to evolve the Java programming model.In the end, the most significant dimension of
the challenge turned out to be: how do we integrate these new features in the
language and libraries without them feeling grafted on after-the-fact.I think developers will find programming with
this ‘new and improved Java’ to be a very pleasant experience -- I know I
Most Significant JSR
--JSR 335, Lambda
Expressions for the Java Programming Language
JavaServer Faces (JSF) 2.2
--JSR 352, Batch
Applications for the Java Platform
--JSR 354, Money and Currency API
--JSR 355, JCP Executive Committee Merge
The winner, as previously mentioned, was JSR 335, Lambda Expressions for the
Java Programming Language, which the JCP praised as follows:
“This brings Java kicking and screaming into the modern
programming language age and is seen as a catalyst for the second age of Java.
It's underlying discoveries and improvements with regards to Type Inference has
also resulted in a stronger JVM for all.”
Spec lead Brian Goetz, in picking up the award, remarked,
“This is something we’ve been working on for three-and-a-half-years and it’s
nice to be looking at it through the rear-view mirror.”
Outstanding Adopt-a-JSR Participant
--BeJUG, Johan Vos
Frota, Hildeberto Mendonça
Rajmahendra (Raj) Hegde
--Morocco JUG and
EGJUG, Mohamed Taman, Faissal Boutaounte
The winner was Morocco JUG and EGJUG, Mohamed Taman, and
Faissal Boutaounte, who were praised, “For adopting JSR 339, JAX-RS 2.0
specification, along with many other JSRs. One JIRA issue filed by Morocco JUG on
JSR 339 was classified as a ‘release-stopper’. A quick JIRA search using the ‘adoptajsr’
tag shows that most of the JIRA issues have been created by MoroccoJUG members.
Several presentations and source code have been organized by these groups.
Mohamed presented sessions about the upcoming technologies to widen the range
of users in the future, especially Java EE 7 JSRs and spreading of community
progress and contributions that make us encouraged to participate. Mohamed sent
a clear message that Africa is here and is
full of talented people who are willing to take it to the next level. Mohamed
was responsible for translating an Arabic Adopt-s-JSR web page to allow more
Arabs to participate.”
Taman said that, “Currently, I hold two positions, one as a
Business Solutions Systems Architect and design supervisor and Java Team
leader, at a big financial services company in Egypt, which affects all the
country by building solutions affecting Egyptians every day, by providing more
facilities for businesses and enhancing the economy… I am passionate about
Java. I really love it and have fun coding, and love seeing it grow, day by
day, as if it were my kid.”
The Annual Java Community Process Program Awards at JavaOne is an event and party not to be missed!
Julien Ponge, who, in addition to being a Java developer and a professor, also writes technical articles for both otn/java and Java Magazine, has created Golo, a simple, dynamic, weakly-typed open source language that favors the explicit over the implicit. Developers can pick it up in a manner of hours, not days. Responses to its recent release at Devoxx have been favorable.
Built from day 1 with invokedynamic, and currently in beta, Golo takes advantage of the latest advances of the JVM. It is also a showcase on how to build a language runtime with invokedynamic.
Julien is an Associate Professor (Maître de Conférences) in Computer Science and Engineering at INSA-Lyon in France, plus an R&D Computer Scientist at the CITI / INRIA laboratory. Learn more about him here.
The London Java user group is organizing the first Test Fest on March 23rd in London with the collaboration of Oracle and IBM. "Contributors to OpenJDK need to be confident that their changes are sound and do not cause problems elsewhere." explains event host Martijn Verburg. Many test cases are already available but each application has different characteristics, environment and other attributes. The goal is to provide a larger and more comprehensive series of tests for Open JDK.
If you cannot attend this event, the organizers and some of the guest presenters from Oracle and IBM - among them Oracle engineer Stuart Marks - will be at Devoxx UK starting Monday evening until Thursday (from March 25th until the 27th). Stuart Marks will present a Bird-of-a-Feather (BoF) session about "the testing of OpenJDK" on Tuesday, March 26th at 8:00pm and Martijn Verburg will talk about OpenJDK Hack Session Tuesday evening at 8:00pm and 9:00pm. Don't forget to register for Devoxx UK!