Tuesday Jun 02, 2009

Kicking the tires, free, on Garbage First

Just a note to clarify the terms of using the Garbage First collector in Java SE 6u14. Right now, because its still new-ish and not thoroughly battle tested, its turned off by default and intended for use to evaluate it. As you know, many people already have been doing so. Here's the command line option to turn it on:

   -XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions -XX:+UseG1GC

Once the team has ironed out all the kinks (and please, let them know if you find any !), it will be ready for primetime, and will be in JDK7, where it will be available for free, no strings, under the usual terms as part of the JDK.

The Janitor is told that an earlier version of the release notes implied that you had to have a support contract to use G1. Some certainly ran with that ball and even made a topical story out of it !

Our bad. So we made the notes clearer, because you don't need to do anything special to try it out. Unless you want your kinks fixed before everyone else gets the fixes either in the next update or in JDK 7. In which case, there is nice little program waiting just for you :)

JavaOne, Day One, News

Halfway through the first day of JavaOne 2009, so much has already happened !

There'll be more about JavaFX and Java ME tomorrow, but here's the announcements about Java SE and JavaFX so far.

The Java Store
What's the thing that will allow Java and JavaFX developers to get their apps out to a massive audience ? You knew it was coming ! The Java Store doing a restricted preview of its late summer grand opening, which means you need to sign up to try it out. The front end is a JavaFX application, the backend, which also includes the Java Warehouse, where developers will submit applications that show up in the store, is a Java EE application running on Glassfish. The first iteration is for desktop applications, with mobile apps coming later.

JavaFX 1.2
Surprise ! There's a new mobile emulator, there's a long list of new cross device GUI components, layouts, support for RSS and ATOM feeds, the startup on the desktop is about 40% quicker. Try out the new samples. And there's preview versions of JavaFX on Solaris, Linux.

JavaFX on TV, as seen on an LG TV set-top box ! A new JavaFX Authoring tool ! Totally new super fast graphics stack for JavaFX. All three by the end of this year.

Java SE
Java SE 6u14 is out with the new 64bit browser plugin, and an evaluation version of the new G1 collector. The preview of JDK 7 is released (based on Milestone 3), and a first sighting of Project Jigsaw, showing the JDK partitioned into a set of small modules: jdk-base, jdk-awt, jdk-swing, jdk-tool etc that can be loaded (quickly!) with minimal dependencies.

Deja vu moment
Rewriting StarOffice in JavaFX ?

Tuesday May 26, 2009

Trending towards JavaOne

The Janitor isn't one to fall prey to the latest trends, but there's one trend that this week will follow: there won't be much news this week about Java SE, Java ME, JavaFX or JavaCard before the start of JavaOne next week.

But if you go by what people are searching for, its easy to see the cyclical nature of the interest in the JavaOne show, where many of the companies involved in Java save up their technology announcements. And you can clearly see the growing interest in JavaFX since May 2007 when it was announced, in JDK 7 since the release of Java SE 6 in December 2006, continued interest in Java TV (stay tuned), and in Java updates. Even Project Vector is showing an interesting recent spike.

And in a trend few would have predicted for JavaOne in 2001, Microsoft will be giving a keynote (about interoperability with .NET).

Wednesday May 20, 2009

JDK watch: Looking good for M3 and JavaOne

You'll see in the latest JDK 7 build that the new G1 collector is getting a good bashing, with a number of important bugs fixed.

The preview implementation of JSR 292 is in, and the rumors that reached the all hearing Planetarium ears turned out to be true: Charlie's trying it out in JRuby, and so's Frank with Jython.

So together with compressed object pointers, NIO 2 (which Alan has been blogging about at length - from the new filesystem API, to monitoring direct buffers), an important tweak to the classloader, SDP API and Solaris implementation, and SCTP support, which Chris blogs about today at length, things are in great shape for Milestone 3, which will be released at JavaOne.

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Countdown to JavaOne 2009

Inside the walls of the Planetarium you can gauge people's stress levels quite easily: Are they counting off the days until JavaOne begins, or the number of days until it ends ?

Of course all the sessions are online now, and you should be signing up because some of them are already full. And of course, students get a free pass. And of course who will the special guests will be, in this, the year of the app store ?

Alex Miller posted a nice list of JDK 7 / Java SE 7 talks, and Terrence posted a comprehensive preview of mobility related activities. There's a bunch of JavaFX stuff going on (so much more to say this year), like Jim's panel session, and many, many others.

Hope to see you there !

Monday May 18, 2009

More JSR 292: Angels and Demons

One of the exciting things going on today in the technlogy industry is the proliferation of new computing languages. Another is that the JVM is evolving to run most of them really, really well. Most exciting is how the ideas between the languages are being begged, borrowed and stolen, to the ultimate benefit of developers writing all kinds of applications. The Planetarium has long been a subscriber of the Darwinian notion that diversity spurs innovation.

So it was interesting to see that Sun's own John Rose was at the Lang.NET symposium up in Redmond last month, talking about JSR 292, which you can watch here\*, and giving an interview, which you can watch here\*, about the new work to turbo-charge multiple languages for JDK 7.

And, no doubt, participating in the sharing and borrowing of good ideas with the other attendees.

Frank Wierbicki, Dr Jython, was there too, talking about Jython on the JVM. And there was a crazy rumor that Charlie hacked up an experimental version of the JRuby compiler over the weekend to use JSR 292's invokedynamic bytecode, coming to the JDK 7 builds real soon. Maybe there will be more from Charlie at JavaOne.

\* You'll be asked to install Silverlight to see these vids. Just sayin.

Wednesday May 06, 2009

JDK 7 Watch: UI week

It seems the Janitor is not the only one on JDK 7 watch these days.

Last week's JDK 7 build was a GUI flavored one, with a couple of the most visible features added to Java SE 6u10 making it into the JDK 7 codebase. Alex blogged about the addition of Nimbus Look and Feel (did you know which L&F most people like best ?), and translucent and shaped windows are now in. There's also a rumor that JXLayer is nearly ready - this is the handy utility that helps you add effects to composite Swing GUIs, like this, or this.

And you knew that NIO2 is already in the JDK 7 builds, but you might not have known that there are a bunch of samples for it too.

Tuesday Apr 21, 2009

JDK 7 watch: Milestone 3

Even as The Planetarium was hearing all about its new landlord, it was good to see JDK 7 showing steady progress towards its milestones. The next one, M3, is going to be the JDK7 Preview release for JavaOne. With the inclusion of SDP, and early sightings of SCTP, and ongoing work forward-porting Java SE 6u10 features into the JDK7 codebase, the next big thing to look out for this milestone will be the integration of JSR 292.

In related news, there's a new combined JDK/JavaFX SDK download bundle for those of you who like it all in one. You might want to keep tabs on this blog, which is fairly consistently blogging code showing how to use the new features going into JDK 7, like how to use Paths instead of Files with NIO2, and a nice deployment toolkit 101 for those of you deploying applets of some flavor. And Dr Dobbs pulse appeared to race about the seductive qualities of the new concurrency work for jdk7, with hopes that it will help prolong the success of Java in the technology jungle.

Tuesday Apr 14, 2009

Multiple JVM Languages at JavaOne 2009

It's a good thing that the work to turbo-charge the JVM for multiple languages will make it into the JDK 7 builds in time for JavaOne, because as Roberto blogs, there's another scripting showdown planned. Last year they duked it out over a Twitter client (JRuby took the prize), what should it be this year ?

There are also great sessions planned each of the contestants in the Script Bowl 2009: representing Clojure, Jython, Groovy, JRuby, Scala.

And, to better understand how these all run, and can run better on the JVM, in a dual play on 'rebirth' and a period in european history starting in 15th century Italy, where scholars were noted for their pursuit of multiple skills, as typified by Lenonardo DaVinci, John and Brian are lining up an interesting talk on the Renaissance JVM.

(Check out the JavaOne session catalog yourself here)

Monday Apr 13, 2009

JDK 7-watch: NIO2

One of the features on the plate for JDK7, and incidentally, one of the features that has already made it into the weekly builds is the new NIO2 API.

NIO2 speclead Alan Bateman blogged late last week in some detail about features like the new filesystem api, and how the bread and butter of this new API is the Path class and the DirectoryStream interface for operations on file directories, like for performing a file search efficiently. And at last there is a way to get notifications when something in the filesystem changes.

Tuesday Mar 31, 2009

JDK and JRE Watch

Latest in a regular series from Java SE-land is a roundup of goodies from the last week.

You probably saw that Java SE 6 Update 13 shipped last week. Despite some wild headlines, this was bugfix release with some important security issues addressed. And a notable fix of this bug in the draggable applets feature, a sign that this feature is getting more of a workout.

Next Java SE 6 Update is 14, in early access, which most notably includes the Garbage First collector to play with.

This more predictable garbage collector is one of the features of the upcoming JDK 7, of which Martin did a nice overview, including the modularity work of Jigsaw (see API doc here).

As is the multi-language support: John posted a patched Java compiler and Netbeans for people to try out dynamic types, method handles, and invokedynamic features of the DaVinci Machine Project which are due to be put into JDK 7 builds for JavaOne.

Project Coin closed its slot today. Joe has been posting regular updates on the proposals for small changes to the Java language for this project. It's a much quicker way to get up to speed than the lively mailing list.

In other language news, there's an update to the Checker framework, which is a great way to try out the current state of the Annotations on Java types JSR 308.

Alex posted an update on the bugs fixed in the Swing App Framework, and is looking for input from Swing developers. SAF is due to go into JDK 7 late August.

And, did you want to come to JavaOne for free ?

Monday Mar 30, 2009

Planet Cast Two: James Gosling on Java and JavaFX

Tune in to the second in the Planet Cast podcast series with a conversation (~35 mins) with James Gosling all about what get's him excited, starting with an impromptu poety reading, but mostly all about what's going on in with Java and JavaFX.

From Garbage First, through modularity in Java, multiple languages, Swing and JavaFX, this is a must listen episode from the man who started it all.

Listen or download here. (Friendlier means coming soon).

Wednesday Mar 25, 2009

JDK 7: What to expect and when

Today, Mark posts a major update to the plan for JDK 7 reiterating the feature list first announced in December, and providing a milestone by milestone plan for when to expect each of the new features to make it into the builds for you to try out.

We're currently at milestone M2, which includes the new G1 garbage collector (with some new bug fixes) and JSR 203 aka New IO APIs 2.

There should be a nice package to play wth in M3 in time for JavaOne, which will add JSR 292, with the Java language changes in Project Coin and Swing App Framework coming by fall this year.

There are some features in the feature list that have not yet been scheduled into the plan (like the modularity work in Project Jigsaw) but stay tuned, because they will get pegged to a milestone soon.

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

Finding Files in Java

No sooner than the latest iteration of the upcoming FileSystem API makes it into the latest JDK7 build than someone is trying it out. Today, Sharon illustrates the use of the API to walk a file tree to look for files (including following any symbolic links) that match a given search criterion.

And if the file you need isn't on your laptop, maybe its on your Java ME phone. Just last week, Vikram did a detailed walk-through of how to use the Java ME Bluetooth APIs (standard API in the current MSA Java ME platform), to hookup to your laptop and push over the file to where you need it.

Monday Mar 23, 2009

Planet Cast One: JSR 292, DaVinci Machines and Multiple-languages

Tune in to the first Planet Cast with John Rose from Sun's Hotspot JVM group for an in depth conversation (about 40 mins) with the Janitor all about dynamic languages on the JVM, JSR 292, and the work to make them easier to bring onto the JVM and run faster there than anywhere else. And what's John's favorite language other than Java ?

Tune in here.

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