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What is the JVM? Introducing the Java virtual machine

The Java virtual machine is a program whose purpose is to execute other programs. It’s a simple idea that also stands as one of our greatest examples of coding kung fu. The JVM upset the status quo for its time, and continues to support programming innovation today.

Use and definitions for the JVM

The JVM has two primary functions: to allow Java programs to run on any device or operating system (known as the “Write once, run anywhere” principle), and to manage and optimize program memory. When Java was released in 1995, all computer programs were written to a specific operating system, and program memory was managed by the software developer. So the JVM was a revelation.

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What is GraphQL? Better APIs by design

When most of us think of web APIs, we think of REST (Representational State Transfer). You send a request to a request-specific URL, and you receive the results as HTML, XML, JSON, plain text, PDF, JPEG… whatever format makes sense for the application. 

Facebook’s web API system, GraphQL, provides a new way to define APIs. Developers use a strongly typed query language to define both the requests and the responses, allowing an application to specify exactly what data it needs from an API. Thus GraphQL is meant to provide a more efficient, structured, and systematic alternative to REST.

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Java will no longer have ‘major’ releases

Remember when a new number meant a software release was a sighnificant, or major, one? For Java, that pattern is over. Java 9 was the last “major” release, Oracle says.

All versions after that—including the recently released Java 10 and the forthcoming Java 11—are what the industry typically calls “point releases,” because they were usually numbered x.1, x.2, and so on to indicate an intermediate, more “minor” release. (Oracle has called those point releases “feature releases.”)

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Python, Scala climb the ranks of language popularity

Python has scaled to the top of the monthly PyPL language popularity index, overtaking Java. Also on the rise, in the rival Tiobe index, is Scala, which has again cracked the index’s Top 20.

Python takes the top spot

This month’s PyPL index marks the first time Python has taken the top spot. The PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index, which assesses language popularity based on how often language tutorials are searched on in Google, had Python snagging a 22.8 percent share, ahead of Java’s 22.5 percent share. Python was in second place last month with a 22.2 percent share.

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Python developers profiled: What you use, what you do

A new survey of Python developers shows data analysis and web development have become the major use cases for Python, with machine learning making a strong showing.

Cosponsored by JetBrains, the maker of the PyCharm IDE, and by the Python Software Foundation, the survey amassed results from some 9,500 Python developers in 150 countries.

Python developers: What you use Python for

The results show that the use cases that’s long been associated with Python—scripting, automation, devops, and web scraping—are used by 32 percent to 35 percent of the developers surveyed. But a good 50 percent of them use Python as a data analysis tool—51 percent as their main job with the language, and 46 percent as a secondary task.

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Big data analytics with Neo4j and Java, Part 2

The first part of this article introduced Neo4j and its Cypher Query Language. If you’ve read Part 1, you’ve seen for yourself why Neo4j and other graph databases are especially popular for social graphing, or modeling relationships between users in a network. You also got Neo4j setup in your development environment, and you got an overview of the basic concepts of working with this data store–namely nodes and relationships.

We then used the Cypher Query Language to model a family in Neo4j, including personal attributes like age, gender, and the relationships between family members. We created some friends to broaden our social graph, then added key/value pairs to generate a list of movies that each user had seen. Finally, we queried our data, using graph analytics to search for a movie that one user had not seen but might enjoy.

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Dojo 2: What the JavaScript toolkit’s new version offers

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The 5 best programming languages for AI development

AI (artificial intelligence) opens up a world of possibilities for application developers. By taking advantage of machine learning or deep learning, you could produce far better user profiles, personalization, and recommendations, or incorporate smarter search, a voice interface, or intelligent assistance, or improve your app any number of other ways. You could even build applications that see, hear, and react.

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