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What is the JDK? Introduction to the Java Development Kit

The Java Development Kit (JDK) is one of three core technology packages used in Java programming, along with the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and the JRE (Java Runtime Environment). It’s important to differentiate between these three technologies, as well as understanding how they’re connected:

  • The JVM is the Java platform component that executes programs.
  • The JRE is the on-disk part of Java that creates the JVM.
  • The JDK allows developers to create Java programs that can be executed and run by the JVM and JRE.

Developers new to Java often confuse the Java Development Kit and the Java Runtime Environment. The distinction is that the JDK is a package of tools for developing Java-based software, whereas the JRE is a package of tools for running Java code.

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Android SDK cozies up to Kotlin

With the August 6 production debut of the Android 9 Pie mobile OS, Google has released an Android SDK with special capabilities for development with the Kotlin language.

The SDK has nullability annotations for frequently used APIs, preserving null-safety guarantees when Kotlin code is calling into annotated APIs in the SDK. To ensure that newly annotated APIs are compatible with existing code, an internal mechanism provided by the Kotlin compiler team marks APIs as recently annotated. These APIs result in warnings instead of errors from the Kotlin compiler. Developers need to use Kotlin 1.2.60 or later.

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Julia tutorial: Get started with the Julia language

As I discussed in “What is Julia?,” Julia is a free open source high-level, high-performance dynamic programming language for numerical computing that combines the development convenience of a dynamic language with the performance of a compiled statically typed language. It was designed to be good for scientific computing, machine learning, data mining, large-scale linear algebra, distributed computing, and parallel computing, and to have the ease of use of Python, R or even Matlab.

There are five major options for working with Julia: JuliaBox online; an installation of the Julia command line; an installation of JuliaPro; Visual Studio Code plus a plug-in and a Julia or JuliaPro installation; and Jupyter notebooks with IJulia. Let’s consider the pros and cons of each.

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When it comes to databases, why ‘I can’t quit you, baby’

If any company had a reason to dump Oracle, it’s Amazon. And yet, 14 years after Amazon lamented its “straining database infrastructure on Oracle” and started to “evaluate if we could develop a purpose-built database that would support our business needs for the long term,” the commerce and cloud provider won’t be free of Oracle until the first quarter of 2020, as reported by CNBC’s Jordan Novet.

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Get started with Rust, the language for safer code

Over the last couple of years, Rust has gone from a curiosity brewed up in the lab of a Mozilla employee to a strong contender for writing the next generation of native apps and bare-metal solutions. But those advances come from Rust providing its own tool chain and component management system—along with its own features and quirks.

This article walks through the basics of setting up a working environment in Rust, configuring an IDE, and making the most of the tool set Rust provides for app development.

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Guido van Rossum resigns: What’s next for Python

Python inventor Guido van Rossum shocked the Python world on July 12 when he stepped down as the language’s so-called BDFL (benevolent dictator for life). At the time, he cited acrimony over a recent Python enhancement proposal for a language expressions capability as motivating his exit.

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Git might replace Mercurial for Java’s source-code management

Developers participating in the evolution of standard Java may soon have a new source-code management system for the project, with the community set to investigate alternatives—including Git—to the current Mercurial repository scheme.

The effort, dubbed Project Skara, is intended to help contributors to OpenJDK, including seasoned committers and relative newcomers, be more productive. Under Skara, alternative source control management and code review management options would be explored, with Git an option.

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GKE tutorial: Get started with Google Kubernetes Engine

Kubernetes will save us all. If only we could work out how to install and maintain it. For the uninitiated, Kubernetes (also known as K8s to your local neighborhood hipster developer) is an open-source platform for running and orchestrating container-based applications and services. These are most often deployed in Docker containers, but other container runtimes—such as Containerd and Rkt—are supported.

Google has accumulated a great deal of knowledge about running containers in their operations over the past decade and a half. Kubernetes represents the third generation of container management systems at Google, after Borg and Omega, and has emerged as the principal container platform these past few years, pushing past other offerings such as Mesos and Docker’s Swarm. For the enterprise, Kubernetes offers something close to the Holy Grail: “What if OpenStack, but it actually works?”

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Go Cloud aims to cement Golang in the cloud

Google wants to make its Go language (Golang) a staple of cloud application development with its open source Go Cloud project, featuring a library and tools to build apps that can be ported across different clouds. Available in a very early beta version, Go Cloud is not yet suitable for production use.

Go offers cloud development benefits, including low latency and built-in concurrency. Go Cloud, meanwhile, provides APIs to write simpler, more-portable applications.

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