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EE4J: Eclipse’s replacement for Java EE unveiled

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:13

The Eclipse Foundation, the new keeper of enterprise Java, has moved forward with nine project proposals for Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J), which the organization describes as the first step toward the migration of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) to the open source tools organization.

The proposals, published for community review, cover aspects of Java ranging from JSON and REST to messaging. They emerge in response to Oracle’s decision in August to turn over enterprise Java to an open source tools foundation, which resulted in Eclipse taking over the project. This followed a tumultuous year for enterprise Java, with Oracle deciding on a plan to upgrade Java EE after being criticized for neglect, only to shed stewardship of Java EE this year.  

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What's new in NativeScript

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:17

NativeScript, a framework for native mobile application development leveraging JavaScript technologies, is being outfitted with starter templates to streamline the development process. The templates are among a series of enhancements being made to the platform.

The templates are part of NativeScript Sidekick, a GUI client companion to the NativeScript command-line interface. Sidekick was introduced on Tuesday. Along with the templates, Sidekick contains plugins, cloud builds, and debugging support. Progress Software, the developer of NativeScript, offers Sidekick as a free download.

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Now you can port code from .Net Framework to .Net Core

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 18:09

Microsoft is looking to help developers move code from the Windows-oriented .Net Framework to cross-platform .Net Core via extended API access. But whether developers should actually make the move depends on their affinity for Windows.

Microsoft has made available a beta of Windows Compatibility Pack, adding access to APIs previously available just to .Net Framework. As a result, .Net Core developers gain access to an additional 20,000 APIs. You can get Windows Compatibility Kit via a NuGet package.

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What’s next for Microsoft’s .Net CLR

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 17:49

Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime, the virtual machine that anchors the .Net Framework, is due for a makeover, with the company announcing plans to make the CLR more efficient and scalable.

Key to this modernization will be improvements to the intermediate language underlying the CLR, called IL, which has not been upgraded in ten years, said Mads Torgersen, lead designer for C# at Microsoft. The company wants to improve the IL and make the CLR a richer target for programming languages. 

[ Microsoft .Net Core 2.0: Everything you need to know. | Why .Net Core is finally ready for prime time. | .Net Framework or .Net Core? Learn when to use which. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]

The goal of the CLR is to run .Net programs efficiently. Currently the biggest problem with .Net is the inherent limits of scalability of the runtime itself, said Ben Watson, Microsoft principal software engineer. The CLR is being pushed beyond its original intention and design. Watson explained that when multiple gigabytes of code are being loaded, algorithms built into the CLR start breaking down. 

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Microsoft brings Apache Spark, Cassandra, MariaDB to its Azure cloud

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:15

Microsoft has brought several third-party popular platforms to its Azure cloud aimed at developers and data analysts.

[ What is Apache Spark? The big data analytics platform explained. | Which NoSQL database should you use? MongoDB and Couchbase Server go nose to nose. • NoSQL standouts: The best key-value databases. • NoSQL standouts: The best document databases. | What is devops? Discover how to transform software development. ]

The new Azure capabilities include:

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Microsoft debuts beta Visual Studio Tools for AI

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 14:00

Microsoft has released a beta version of its Visual Studio Tools for AI, an extension to the company’s signature Visual Studio 2017 IDE that lets developers and data scientists embed deep learning models into applications. Visual Studio Tools for AI supports deep learning frameworks such as Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit and Google’s TensorFlow.

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Azure IoT Edge brings smarts to devices at the cloud’s edge

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 10:00

It can be hard to pin down a definition of edge computing. Some companies look at it in terms of networks, others in terms of datacenters. For Microsoft, it’s a distributed cloud that encompasses every computer, no matter how small and how limited.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella uses the term “intelligent edge,” in which container-based machine learning models are deployed where needed along with your own code and Azure features like stream analytics and serverless Azure Functions.

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What’s new in TensorFlow machine learning

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 06:00

TensorFlow, Google’s contribution to the world of machine learning and data science, is a general framework for quickly developing neural networks. Despite being relatively new, TensorFlow has already found wide adoption as a common platform for such work, thanks to its powerful abstractions and ease of use.

[ Go deep into machine learning at InfoWorld: 11 must-have machine learning tools. • 13 frameworks for mastering machine learningMachine learning pipelines demystified • Review: 6 machine learning cloudsWhich Spark machine learning API should you use? ] TensorFlow 1.4 API additions TensorFlow Keras API

The biggest changes in TensorFlow 1.4 involve two key additions to the core TensorFlow API. The tf.keras API allows users to employ the Keras API, a neural network library that predates TensorFlow but is quickly being displaced by it. The tf.keras API allows software using Keras to be transitioned to TensorFlow, either by using the Keras interface permanently, or as a prelude to the software being reworked to use TensorFlow natively.

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Microsoft’s Mono .Net runtime brings back interpreter

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 17:59

Mono, Microsoft’s open source, cross-platform runtime for .Net-based development, has regained its .Net interpreter, about a decade after it was removed to keep Mono’s development effort manageable.

Mono’s developers are now turning their attention to using the interpreter in mixed-mode code execution, which combines interpreted code and statically compiled code.

[ Microsoft .Net Core 2.0: Everything you need to know. | Why .Net Core is finally ready for prime time. | .Net Framework or .Net Core? Learn when to use which. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] What mixed-mode exdcution will bring to Mono

When mixed-mode execution becomes available, developers will benefit from having core libraries optimized with the LLVM compiler platform but still have flexibility of running some dynamic code, said Miguel de Icaza, a longtime leader of the Mono project.

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Scripting languages slip in popularity

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 14:58

Prominent scripting languages, once viewed as the future of programming by offering ease of use, have slipped in the monthly Tiobe index of language popularity. Only Python and JavaScript still have some momentum.

Languages that have seen their fortunes decline include Perl, PHP, and Ruby. Software quality services company Tiobe’s suspected cause is a desire among developers for higher quality than is afforded in scripting languages: “Because quality demands are getting higher and higher, hardly anybody dares to write a critical and large software system in a scripting language nowadays.”

[ What is TypeScript? Industrial-strength JavaScript. • Keep up with TypeScript’s frequent updates with InfoWorld’s TypeScript version feature tracker. | What is Python? Everything you need to know. • Tutorial: How to get started with Python. • 6 essential libraries for every Python developer. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]

With scripting languages, most errors show up in runtime. And this is a problem, Tiobe says. Developers can write unit tests to compensate for this but it still is “quite dangerous” because these errors can happen while the application is in production. Statically typed languages, meanwhile, have responded to the threat of scripting languages by reducing type verbosity.

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What’s new in Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:30

Microsoft’s open source development tool is an important piece of the developer’s toolkit. Built using GitHub’s cross-platform Electron framework, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured development editor that supports a wide selection of languages and platforms, from the familiar C and C# to modern environments and languages like Go and Node.js, with parity between Windows, MacOS, and Linux releases.

Microsoft regularly updates Visual Studio Code. Keep track of the updates’ key features in this changelog.

[ Get started with Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s lightweight editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. • Discover Microsoft’s feature roadmap for Visual Studio Code. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] Where to download Visual Studio Code

To download the editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, go to Microsoft’s Visual Code Studio website

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What’s new in Prometheus monitoring for Docker and Kubernetes

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 06:00

Prometheus, the open source monitoring system for Docker-style containers running in cloud architectures, has formally released a 2.0 version with major architectural changes to improve its performance.

Among the changes that have landed since the release of version 1.6 earlier this year:

  • An entirely new storage format for the data accumulated by Prometheus.
  • A new way for Prometheus to handle “staleness,” i.e. problems resulting when data reported by Prometheus doesn’t match the actual state of the cluster.
  • A method for taking efficient snapshot backups of the entire database.
[ Compare container operating systems: Alpine Linux, CoreOS Container Linux, RancherOSRed Hat Project Atomic, and VMware Photon OS. | Learn how to get started with Kubernetes. | Keep up with the latest developments in cloud computing with InfoWorld’s Cloud Computing newsletter. ]

Most of the changes shouldn’t force experienced Prometheus users to retool their environments. The new features are meant to work under the hood, without significantly altering workflow, although there are a few breaking changes (documented here).

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Beta JetBrains IDE moves Kotlin apps out of the JVM

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 17:40

JetBrains has made available the Kotlin/Native technology, which creates native binaries for Kotlin code so they can run without a Java virtual machine. A beta version of the CLion IDE allows Kotlin programs to be compiled directly to an executable machine-code format.

Kotlin is a statically typed JavaScript language alternative that began on the JVM. But many platforms can’t run JVMs, restricting the use of Kotlin to JVM-friendly platforms like Android. The Kotlin/Native preview’s supported target platforms include MacOS, iOS, Ubuntu Linux, and Raspberry Pi.

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Visual Studio Code roadmap: The new features you can expect

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 06:00

Microsoft’s 2018 roadmap for its open source Visual Studio Code code editor includes better performance, reduced memory consumption, and more support for JavaScript and TypeScript.

The multilanguage Visual Studio Code, which Microsoft has been updating monthly, is designed as a streamlined editor for debugging, running tasks, and version control. More complex workflows require the use of full-featured IDEs. Visual Studio Code 1.0 debuted in April 2016 and supports Node.js, JavaScript, and TypeScript.

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What’s next for Visual Studio Code

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 06:00

Microsoft’s 2018 roadmap for its open source Visual Studio Code code editor includes better performance, reduced memory consumption, and more support for JavaScript and TypeScript.

The multilanguage Visual Studio Code, which Microsoft has been updating monthly, is designed as a streamlined editor for debugging, running tasks, and version control. More complex workflows require the use of full-featured IDEs. Visual Studio Code 1.0 debuted in April 2016 and supports Node.js, JavaScript, and TypeScript.

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Stack Overflow reveals the most-disliked programming languages

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 12:21

When it comes to which languages developers like and dislike, Stack Overflow has some insight. Based on the languages developers tagged as those they would not like to work with in their Stack Overflow Jobs profiles, the company has found that Perl, Delphi, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and PHP are the most disliked programming languages, while R, Kotlin, TypeScript, and Rust are the least disliked.

Stack Overflow, which provides an online community for developers, studied the popularity of languages based on the Developer Story submissions on the Stack Overflow Jobs portion of the site. The data was released on Tuesday.

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What’s new in Fedora Linux 27

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 06:00

Fedora 27, the latest version of the Red Hat-sponsored Linux project that serves both as a user distribution and as a proving ground for new ideas in Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is set to arrive this week or next.

The most important additions and changes in Fedora 27 include:

  • Greater modularization of the underlying system.
  • The latest versions of popular languages and system components.
  • Broader use of Flatpak software packaging for desktop apps.
  • Fedora alpha releases discontinued.
[ Compare container operating systems: The best Linux distros for Docker and containers. | Learn how to get started with Kubernetes. | Keep up with the latest in cloud computing with InfoWorld’s Cloud Computing newsletter. ] New Fedora features

Fedora 26 introduced the concept of modularity to Fedora. To paraphrase Fedora’s own description, the modularity project is an attempt to separate the life cycles of the applications in a distribution from both each other and the distribution itself. Users need to be able to upgrade to the most recent version of both an application stack, but also retain earlier versions of individual pieces of that stack for backward compatibility (such as Python 3.x versus Python 2.x).

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What’s new in Node.js 8 and Node.js 9

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 13:13

Node.js 8 is graduating to Long Term Support (LTS) release status, which is intended to signify a level of stability for use in enterprise deployments. Accompanying this new designation for Node.js 8 is the debut of Node.js 9, with asynchronous resource tracking, as the “current” release line.

Node.js 8 features

With an LTS release of the popular server-side JavaScript runtime, the focus is on security and stability. The LTS release is actively maintained for 18 months. First introduced by the Node.js Foundation in late-May, the Node.js 8.x line features:

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ZGC large-heap Java garbage collector may go open source

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 17:13

An Oracle-developed, low-latency Java garbage collector geared to large heaps could move to the open source community, if a proposal to do so gets community approval. Votes are due by November 8.

Called the Z Garbage Collector (ZGC), the project is designed to support multiterabyte heaps, have pause times not exceeding 10 milliseconds, and offer no more than a 15 percent application reduction throughput compared to the G1 garbage collector.

[ The new Java versions are here! Learn everything you need to know about what’s new in Java SE 9 and what’s new in Java EE 8. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]

But ZGC’s developers don’t see these goals as “hard requirements” for every workload, according to a proposal floated on an OpenJDK mailing list by Per Liden, a member of the HotSpot virtual machine team at Oracle. Liden’s proposal calls for creation of a ZGC project that he would lead, with the HotSpot group as sponsor. 

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What’s new in the Anaconda distribution for Python

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:04

Anaconda, the Python language distribution and work environment for scientific computing, data science, statistical analysis, and machine learning, is now available in a broadly revised 5.0 edition.

Version 5.0.1, released this week, addresses some minor bugs and adds useful features, such as updated R language support, that weren’t available in the original 5.0.0 release.

[ Tutorial: How to get started with Python. | Go deeper with the InfoWorld megaguide: The best Python frameworks and IDEs. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] Where to download Anaconda 5.0.1

The community edition of Anaconda Distribution is available for free download directly from Anaconda’s website. The for-pay enterprise edition, with professional support, requires contacting Anaconda’s (formerly Continuum Analytics) sales team.

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