Paul Krill

About the Author Paul Krill


ECMAScript 2016 will add SIMD capabilities and async functions

Authors of ECMAScript 2016, the next upgrade to the standard underlying JavaScript, are readying async functions and SIMD capabilities for possible inclusion in the official specification.

Under a plan to have ECMAScript upgraded each year, the 2016 version would be available June 16 of next year, said Brian Terlson a Microsoft senior program manager  serving on ECMA Technical Committee 39, which is developing the specification. But Terlson, speaking at the QCon conference in San Francisco on Monday, cautioned that all feature plans are still tentative. The ECMAScript 2015 specification was approved in June, marking the most significant update to the standard in more than 15 years.

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Babel JavaScript compiler goes modular

Babel is a popular JavaScript compiler that has been installed nearly eight million times and claims dozens of high-profile customers, from Facebook to Netflix to Spotify to Yahoo. The new 6.0.0 release of Babel modularizes the compiler, giving developers the ability to call on just the functionality they need.

The open source compiler has been completely restructured to be as modular as possible, the Babel blog said. “The primary benefit [of modularization] is that people are able to reuse Babel internals for their own projects,” project contributor James Kyle, a JavaScript engineer at CloudFlare, said in an email. “Only need a parser? There’s a package for that. Just a code generator? There’s a package for that.”

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For Vue.js, components power interactive Web interfaces

Vue.js, a JavaScript library for building interactive Web interfaces, has reached a 1.0.0 release status.

Focused on the view layer, open source Vue.js leverages reactive data binding and composable view components. It can be integrated with other libraries and existing projects. Formerly a core developer on the Meteor JavaScript framework and now the key mover of Vue.js, Evan You has big ambitions for it, as outlined in an email: “I want it to be one of the top choices for building Web apps, because there shouldn’t and will not be one framework that rules it all.”

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Developers weigh JSON, security proposals for Java EE 8

Java EE (Enterprise Edition) 8 is not due until 2017, but given the multitude of proposals Oracle is considering for inclusion, the company will need all that time to sort out the revision. For now, HTTP/2, Model-View Controller, and security capabilities will likely make the cut.

Speaking at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco on Monday, Oracle’s Linda DeMichiel, Java EE spec lead, cited the list of proposals that must be addressed for Java EE 8. “This is definitely a work in progress.” The enterprise version of Java is geared to scalable, transactional applications and is featured in Java application servers such as WebLogic Server.

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Oracle lays out plans for the next Java generation

Oracle executives, with an assist from former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, took to the stage Sunday to champion the 20-year-old Java platform’s past, present, and future.

Some insiders have suggested Oracle is losing interest in Java. But Oracle used the annual JavaOne conference to detail plans for future Java releases of the enterprise and standard versions, as well promote Java for the cloud and Internet of things. 

The planned Java EE 8 edition, due in 2017, will focus on HTML5, cloud enablement, and ease of use, as well as use of the model-view-controller framework and improved  security. This week Oracle is upgrading its Java application server, WebLogic Server, to version 12.2.1 for better multitenancy support, consolidation of Java workloads, and continuous availability.

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Twitter CEO to developers: We messed up

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, speaking at the Twitter Flight conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, apologized for the company’s subpar relationship with developers and stressed the need for an open dialog.

Developers have led the way in innovating with Twitter, Dorsey said. “Developers took our service from day 1 and made Twitter [have] a much more global reach.” He cited applications that enable a plant that tweets when it wants water and a pothole that tweets to local officials when a vehicle runs over it.

“But somewhere along the line, our relationship with developers got a little complicated, a little bit confusing, a little bit unpredictable,” he said. “This culminated in what Anil Dash has named ‘The Matrix of Doom.’ And we want to come to you today [and] first and foremost apologize for our confusion. We want to reset our relationship, and we want to make sure that we are learning, that we are listening and we are rebooting. And that’s what today represents.”

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Zend paves new path to get PHP applications on the Web

Zend Technologies is offering a release candidate version of its Expressive PSR-7 microframework, for developing PHP middleware applications for the Web.

The release candidate enables development of applications with PSR-7 (PHP Standards Recommendation), a set of HTTP message interfaces that provide contracts for interacting with HTTP requests and responses, URIs, and uploaded files, Zend said. It allows for writing of small, single-purpose libraries for the likes of cookie-signing and content negotiation, said Matthew O’Phinney, project lead for Zend Framework, in an email.

PSR-7 is giving rise to middleware, which is code that sits between a request and a response, he said. Developers can write reusable, Web-facing code that can be dropped into frameworks that consume middleware. Slim Framework v3, Expressive, and Relay are three such frameworks that have arisen, said O’Phinney. Expressive supports dynamic routing, dependency injection, templating, and routing. A stable release is planned within the next few weeks.

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Word to API providers: Make it simple for developers

Want developers to use your APIs? Then these APIs should be easy to deal with, akin to Chipotle’s simplified restaurant menu.

So says Kevin Kohut from Accenture, who presented on how to attract developers to APIs at Apigee’s I Love APIs conference in Silicon Valley this week. Developers can gain access to data and services via APIs exposed by third parties. But API programs have to be done correctly, Kohut and other speakers emphasized.

Kohut offered a multitude of tips on attracting developers, emphasizing what developers do and do not care about. “Developers don’t care about your business model. They don’t care how you make money,” he stressed. They also do not care whether API services were written in Java, Node.js, Python, Ruby, PHP, or C#, according to Kohut.

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Node.js adds long-term enterprise support version

The community around Node.js, the popular server-side JavaScript platform, has released the first version of the technology covered under a new long-term support plan — a key benefit for enterprise deployments.

The Node.js Foundation, which now has jurisdiction over the open source platform, emphasizes support as the key feature in Version 4.2.0 of Node.js. “As an LTS release, support for v4.x will continue for a period of 30 months from today. This means that individuals and businesses building on Node.js will have a stable and supported platform on which to grow.”

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Facebook splits React library across Web and mobile

Following an upgrade this week, the main React JavaScript UI library will be split in two, with the goal of sharing components between the Web version of React and the companion React Native framework.

With the React .014 upgrade, Facebook software engineer Ben Alpert said packages such as react-native (for building native apps with React), react-art (for vector graphics), and react-canvas (for rendering to <canvas>) make it clear “the beauty and essence of React has nothing to do” with browsers or the DOM.

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AWS Mobile Hub streamlines app dev

Amazon Web Services is launching its Mobile Hub for accessing cloud services to build and monitor mobile apps.

With today’s debut at the Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Mobile Hub features a console integrating discovery, configuration, and access to AWS for bulding, testing, and monitoring mobile apps. It features AWS options, client SDKs, and client integration code, as well as capabilities for push notifications and analytics. Mobile Hub supports both Android and Apple iOS mobile platforms.

Mobile Hub, currently listed in beta, will help developers offload responsibilities for dealing with back-end cloud services. Rapid development is a key benefit, according to Amazon. “This is really going to help you speed up your mobile development so that you only have to focus on the functionaIity that you really want to deliver to your customers,” Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said. “It makes it easy for mobile developers to get really started by having the cloud as their back-end service.”

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