Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

JVM Activity

The wonderfully scalable and high-performing engine beneath Java, JavaFX and many many other languages continues to attract attention as it tries out a the new G1 garbage collector slated for JDK 7.

Looking even further into the future, The open source, all-Java highly modular Maxine VM is a hot bed of research ideas for future iterations of the HotSpot JVM. You can watch Bernard's in depth talk about it from the recent JVM Language Summit...

...about which JRuby lead Charlie was interviewed this week, in the context of making the JVM the best engine for other languages...

...perhaps explaining why some new languages like Ioke (more here, think Smalltalk+Lisp+Ruby) are designed with only the underpinning of a JVM in mind...

...and speaking of underpinning, the HotSpot team is testing a fix for one of the gnarliest bugs in the JVM ever, which if successful, should provide reliable parallel classloading.

Just another thing the JVM is doing to scale best on multiple cores.

Friday Oct 31, 2008

Java RIAs, Languages and JavaFX

That cooperation and competition are the drivers of evolutionary systems is one reason that Java in the RIA space is a fascinating place to be right now. Many have high hopes in the competition for JavaFX, which, aside from having its foundation in the Java Runtime, has new special purpose language, media and cross-device capabilities.

But its not the only RIA technology betting on the Java Runtime, as was interesting to note here.

Based on Swing and the popular Groovy language, Griffon is attracting a lot of interest. As is the Galileo RIA framework, the million records test-passing Pivot Toolkit, or look at the the game focussed PulpCore, and the ambitious Sage application rendering engine, described here.

Such diversity benefits greatly by making the Java Runtime it lives on more lightweight, and to support multiple languages Java really well: both by supporting them all explicitly in the applet model, and making them all run great on the JVM.

Making for a healthy space for more new ideas.

Update (Nov 4th): Take part in the Planetarium RIA Language Poll !

Wednesday Oct 29, 2008

Java SE 6u10: Some things you may not know

While we haven't added all the numbers up yet, the manual downloads for Java SE 6u10 are looking very nice: a little over 3 million in the first week. And of course, that number will jump up in a big way when it gets published through the  Java Update mechanism, which is how most ordinary users will get it. In an average month there are 40-50 million auto-update downloads, though it can be much higher.

And many people have been talking about the release, as you know.

But did you know that this release includes version 11 of the Hotspot VM which includes some performance improvements to the server compiler. No wonder people are using it to run Glassfish.  

And thanks to Ken's work on the new Java Plugin, you can make calls from Javascript in a web page to any of the applets in that web page, no matter what language the applet is written in ! E.g. JavaFX Script, JRuby, Jython, Scala applets in a web page are easily scriptable, thanks to the new LiveConnect interfaces in 6u10.

Monday Oct 06, 2008

Dizzying loyalty to the Java VM

Its clear from the dizzying number of articles and blogs on the topic that developers do not want to dump the JVM when they use a language other than Java to run their code. Some wireless carriers in the US can only envy such loyalty.

All to the good for the continuing efforts to make the JVM friendlier to other languages, as discussed at the recent JVM Language Summit, summarized here by JSR 292 lead John, and here by JavaLobby's Nitin.

Even to sample multilanguage activity over the last week: The JavaPosse met the Jython team in its most recent cast, a hands-on view of editing Groovy in NetBeans and an interview with the Griffon (Groovy+Swing) team, a free chapter of a book on object oriented techniques for JavaScript, how to do dependency injection in Scala and knowing when to fold in Scala, a pean to JRuby, and even a call for a language revolution.


Monday Sep 29, 2008

Java\^D Virtual Machine Language Summit

In a week where your humble Planetarium janitor was spending quality time off work with the family, the biggest event to catch up on was the JVM Language summit.

Some of the smartest language experts on this planet got together to talk about how to adapt the JVM for multiple languages. Here's some background on this topic.

All the talks are online, as are some reflections about the event, and discussed by the Java Posse. Fundamental to this work is the DaVinci Machine project led by John Rose, so his talk was of special interest, in the wake of Internional Invokedynamic Day.

Friday Sep 12, 2008

Many quick tongues

Some quick (sic) updates on multiple languages on the JVM for you.

An illuminating story from Charlie on how and why to make use of the new invokedynamic bytecode for JDK 7 for the JRuby project, in prototype form, as one of our contributions to the community of developers working on making multiple languages run best on the JVM.

Of course, the JVM is not the only runtime trying to speed up dynamic languages. For example, with the recent release of Google's Chrome browser, its interesting to see optimisations from the 1980s for the Self language pop up in the V8 JavaScript engine it uses.

But as we tune the JavaFX SDK for release before the end of the year, Chris has been getting some surprising results on the execution speed of JavaFX Script compared with ActionScript.

And, finally, a shameless plug for the JVM Dynamic Languages summit in less than two weeks. I hear there are still a couple of spots :)

A blog all about Java in all its flavors on all client platforms from smartcards to desktops and everything inbetween.


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