While you were away

#AboutLastWeek: Old-timers, newcomers and those in between

Gabriela Motroc
Ripped paper with word weekly report image via Shutterstock

Each Monday we take a step back and analyze what has happened in the previous week. Last week we witnessed the birth of AngularDart, the release of IntelliJ IDEA 2016.2.1 and the reassurance that Java maintains its dominant position over other JVM languages. We learned why blockchain may outgrow Bitcoin and we discovered that microservices may not become a default architecture.

Angular 2 codebase splits in two

The Angular 2 codebase has been split in two: it now has a Dart version and a TypeScript/JavaScript version, as well as an AngularDart team. The different “language flavors” of Angular 2 used to be written as TypeScript source, only to be automatically compiled to JavaScript and Dart.That is not the case anymore: the Angular 2 codebase will now have a TypeScript/JavaScript version and a Dart version, along with an AngularDart team.

What does it mean for Dart developers?

Filip Hracek, Program Manager in the Dart team, announced that the move is “amazing news” for Dart developers because the Angular Dart source code will be more Dart-y, faster, cleaner and it will use Dart features which previously didn’t work with TypeScript flavor.

For TypeScript and JavaScript developers, performance gains and cleaner JavaScript APIs are in the cards. Naomi Black, a team lead on Angular, revealed that the decision to split the Angular 2 codebase into two flavors will not lead to dramatic changes for developers, except that it will now be easier to contribute changes and the team will be able to fix issues faster. Although both the Dart version and the TypeScript/JavaScript version will share the same template syntax and, “where appropriate, the same API,” they will have the freedom to submit pull requests in the language they prefer. Plus, “changes can be made and reviewed without the added burdens of compilation and cross-compatibility to downstream languages,” Black added.

IntelliJ IDEA 2016.2.1 EAP is all about Kotlin

The first EAP build of IntelliJ IDEA 2016.2.1 includes not only bugfixes, but also an updated Kotlin support to1.0.3. According to the official announcement, one of the best things about the IntelliJ IDEA 2016.2.1 EAP build is that it’s now possible to automatically convert Java code to Kotlin no matter where the code comes from — it works even if the code comes from a StackOverflow page. Until now, IntelliJ IDEA offered to automatically convert it to Kotlin only if the code was copied from inside the IDE.

Another improvement is in the code completion department for Kotlin; IntelliJ IDEA proposes non-imported members and adds an import statement automatically on selection. Smart Completion is available after by and in statements.

The Move Element Left/Right actions now work for Kotlin and the Kotlin Bytecode tool window now has aDecompile button. For more information read the Kotlin 1.0.3 announcement.

Java widens lead over other JVM languages

ZeroTurnaround has just released its Java Tools and Technologies Landscape Report 2016, which analyzes the data about the tools and technologies Java developers use. According to the survey, Java maintains its dominant position over other JVM languages, even though people tend to flirt with other languages in the JVM ecosystem. Groovy and Scala occupy the next two positions (Java 93 percent, Groovy three percent and Scala two percent), with Kotlin, JRuby, Clojure, Ceylon and others contributing to the remaining two percent.

Simon Maple, Head of Developer Advocacy at ZeroTurnaround revealed that “since Java 8 has been released over two years ago, the gap between Java and other languages on the JVM has reduced significantly due to a *lot* of hard work from the Oracle core Java team. There are many languages on the JVM that were in Java’s shadow but were peeking out due to the promise of functional programming, cleaner syntax and so on.”

Simon also discussed about microservices:

It’s hard to change architectures. There’s a lot involved in breaking down your working applications purely to base them on a different architecture. Yes, the benefits have been widely discussed, but there is a lot of additional work involved from a development point of view to make your microservices work together. I think the 66 percent will reduce over time, but I certainly don’t expect microservices to become a default architecture that everyone will adopt as the default.

“Blockchain will outgrow Bitcoin”

Stephen DeMeulenaere, the co-founder of Coin Academy, the first digital currency education platform, told JAXenter that even though “there will be a place for Bitcoin for many years to come, and it is by far the strongest blockchain, it is natural for new blockchain platforms to be created, like Ethereum, which have the potential to be orders of magnitude larger, faster, more efficient and handle many more types of data than Bitcoin was designed to handle.”

In the end, everyone with a stake in Bitcoin wants it to succeed, and that is this cryptocurrency’s strength. The consensus model is keeping the platform strong while discussions about how to improve it continue.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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