What’s new in Google’s Go language

The team behind Google’s Go language, aka Golang, has released the release candidate of Go 1.10, the next version of the popular open source language

The new features in Google Go 1.10 beta

The upgrade offers compiler tool chain and performance improvements but no substantive language changes.

Expected to be available in a production version in February 2018, Go 1.10 now provides these key features in its release candidate:

  • Improved performance of code generated by the compiler, spread across supported architectures.
  • Programs should run a bit faster due to speedups in garbage collection, better code generation, and core library optimizations.
  • Dwarf debug information in binaries has been improved, with constant values now recorded. Also, line-number information is more accurate.
  • The linux/ppc64le port now needs external linking with any programs using the cgo command.
  • The go build command detects out-of-date packages based on the content of source files, specified build flags, and metadata in stored packages. Modification times are no longer relevant.
  • The go install command now only installs packages and commands listed on the command line. To force installation of dependencies, developers should use the go install –i flag
  • An update to the grammar for method expressions relaxes the syntax so any type expression is allowed as a receiver, thus matching how compilers already operated.
  • Test results are now cached via go test.
  • The Unicode package has been upgraded from Unicode 9.0 to version 10.0, adding 8,518 characters, including a bitcoin currency symbol and 56 emojis.

Where to download the Go 1.10 beta

You can download the release candidate of Go 1.10 from the Go project site.

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Eclipse’s enterprise Java roadmap: more services coming

The Eclipse Foundation is preparing the next round of technologies to be added to enterprise Java, which it now runs. (Last year, the foundation was charged with developing Java EE (Enterprise Edition), in the wake of Oracle’s abdication of its stewardship of the project.)

Eclipse expects about 35 to 40 new projects as part of its open source enterprise Java implementation.

The foundation expects Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) project to ship a Java EE 8-compliant project as soon as possible, with a release of the GlassFish application server and related projects. GlassFish has served as a reference implementation of enterprise Java. Java EE 8 has been set as the baseline for Eclipse’s development of new enterprise Java standards.

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Serverless computing with AWS Lambda, Part 2: AWS Lambda with DynamoDB

The first half of this article presented an overview of serverless computing with AWS Lambda, including building, deploying, and testing AWS Lambda functions in an example Java application. In Part 2, you’ll learn how to integrate Lambda functions with an external database, in this case DynamoDB. We’ll then use the AWS SDK to invoke Lambda functions from our example Java application.

AWS Lambda and DynamoDB

DynamoDB is a NoSQL document store that is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS). DynamoDB defines data abstractions as tables, which accept common database operations such as insert, retrieve, query, update, and delete. As with many other NoSQL databases, DynamoDB’s schema isn’t fixed, so some items in the same table can have fields that others do not.

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20 years on, open source hasn’t changed the world as promised

Open source has officially been a thing for 20 years now. Did anyone notice?

No, really. For something as revolutionary as open source, you’d think it would have changed the way all software is developed, sold, and distributed. Unfortunately for those party planners looking to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of open source, it hasn’t—changed software, that is. For most developers, most of the time, software remains stubbornly proprietary.

What has changed in 20 years is the narrative about software. We’re now comfortable with the idea that software can, and maybe should, be open source without the world ending. The actual opening of that source, however, is something to tackle in the next 20 years.

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Serverless computing with AWS Lambda, Part 1

Serverless computing may be the hottest thing in cloud computing today, but what, exactly, is it? This two-part tutorial starts with an overview of serverless computing–from what it is, to why it’s considered disruptive to traditional cloud computing, and how you might use it in Java-based programming.

Following the overview, you’ll get a hands-on introduction to AWS Lambda, which is considered by many the premiere Java-based solution for serverless computing today. In Part 1, you’ll use AWS Lambda to build, deploy, and test your first Lambda function in Java. In Part 2, you’ll integrate your Lambda function with DynamoDB, then use the AWS SDK to invoke Lambda functions in a Java application.

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What’s new in ECMAScript 2018

ECMAScript, the standard specification underlying JavaScript, is on track for a new release, likely in June.

So far, two proposals have been finalized for inclusion in the ECMAScript 2018 specification. Both are considered as fairly foundational work and not major features, said Zibi Braniecki, a senior software engineer at Mozilla who participates in the development of ECMAScript.

The two proposals include:

  • Lifting of the template literal restriction, to enable the embedding of languages, including domain-specific languages (DSLs). Currently, restrictions on escape clauses make this a problem. The revision cleans up the behavior of literals, letting them be used for DSLs so programmers can create their own minilanguages if neeeded.
  • Adding the s (dotAll) flag for regular expressions, providing consistent behavior for these expressions. The feature is intended to address limitations in which the dot (.) in regular expressions does not match line-terminator characters, said author Axel Rauschmeyer, who has focused on JavaScript. The s flag changes that. This flag will operate on an opt-in basis, so existing regular expressions patterns will not be affected.

There are four other features under strong consideration, which would make it easier to program with JavaScript, Braniecki said. These include:

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C completes comeback in programming popularity

The once-declining C language has completed a comeback in the monthly Tiobe Index of language popularity, winning the 2017 Programming Language of the Year designation from Tiobe as the biggest gainer in share.

Although the language only grew 1.69 percentage points in its rating year over year in the January index, that was enough beat out runners-up Python (1.21 percent gain) and Erlang (0.98 percent gain). Just five months ago, C was at its lowest-ever rating, at 6.477 percent; this month, its rating is 11.07 percent, once again putting it in second place behind Java (14.215 percent)—although Java dropped 3.05 percent compared to January 2017. C’s revival is possibly being fueled by its popularity in manufacturing and industry, including the automotive market, Tiobe believes.

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What’s new in Ruby 2.5

Ruby, one of the more venerable dynamic languages, has just gained in performance with the new 2.5 release.

Arriving on Christmas Day 2017, Ruby 2.5.0 is the first stable release in the 2.5 series.

New performance features in Ruby 2.5

It boosts performance by 5 to 10 percent by removing trace instructions from bytecode that has been found to be overhead. A dynamic instrumentation technique is used instead. Also, block passing by a block parameter has been made three times faster than it was in Ruby 2.4, through use of the Lazy Proc allocation technique.

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