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The team behind Google’s Go language has just released a beta of Go 1.10, the next version of the popular open source language.[ Also on InfoWorld: Tap the power of Google’s Go language. | The best Go language IDEs and editors. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] The new features in Google Go 1.10 beta
The upgrade offers compiler tool chain and performance improvements but no substantive language changes.
The Version 15.6 beta update to Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2017 IDE, is now avaiable. And Visual Studio Version 15.5 is now availanle in its production version, no longer in beta.[ Review: Visual Studio 2017 is the best ever. | Cut to the key news and issues in cutting-edge enterprise technology with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. ] Visual Studio 2017 15.6 beta’s features
Microsoft on December 7 released a beta of Visual Studio 2017 15.6. Its features include:
Unikernels promise fast boots, tiny memory footprints, and high performance, but they must be developed from scratch for each application. NEC is working to remove this barrier to unikernel adoption with a configurable unikernel code base called Unikraft.
Developed under the auspices of the Linux Foundation’s Xen Project, Unikraft will address unikernel development issues by providing libraries of operating system components that users can pick and choose from, using a menu to build a working image. Among the goals is to support multiple target platforms including Xen, KVM, and bare metal without having to do additional work to accommodate them.
Serverless computing is coming to the Pivotal Cloud Foundry cloud computing platform, in the form of Pivotal Function Services. There’s no firm release date, but Pivotal says it’s aiming for early 2018.
With serverless computing, events happen only in response to events in an on-demand manner; Amazon Web Services’ AWS Lambda is perhaps the best-known service in this genre. Other companies also have jumped on this growing bandwagon: Google, for example, offers its Cloud Functions platform and Microsoft has Azure Functions.
Groovy, the veteran language for the Java Virtual Machine, has several enhancements on its roadmap, such as to support Java 9 modularity and Java 8 lambda capabilities. Although closely linked to Java, Groovy offers additional capabilities such as the ability to write compile-time transformations and macros.[ The new Java versions are here! Learn everything you need to know about what’s new in Java SE 9 and what’s new in Java EE 8. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]
The Apache Software Foundation plans the following Groovy upgrades in the next year:
PHP 7.2, the latest version of the popular server-side web development language, has numerous features and fixes.
The November 30, 2017, release is the second feature update to the PHP 7 series. PHP 7.0 debuted in December 2015 to much fanfare, with the upgrade offering double the performance of previous PHP iterations.[ Get your websites up to speed with HTML5 today using the techniques in InfoWorld’s HTML5 Deep Dive PDF how-to report. | Learn where HTML5 is headed next. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] New security features in PHP 7.2
The PHP 7.2 release offers multiple security improvements:
Although still not officially supported, this feature was added via a pull request to enable WebAssembly as a back end by default. Through a nightly build this week, the wasm32-unknown-unknown target became natively available in Rust. (Nightly builds are unsupported test offshoots of the formal Rust language code, but their capabilities often get merged into the official build later.)
The AWS Amplify library supports multiple category scenarios, including:
The Eclipse Foundation, the new keeper of enterprise Java, has moved forward with nine project proposals for Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J), which the organization describes as the first step toward the migration of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) to the open source tools organization.
The proposals, published for community review, cover aspects of Java ranging from JSON and REST to messaging. They emerge in response to Oracle’s decision in August to turn over enterprise Java to an open source tools foundation, which resulted in Eclipse taking over the project. This followed a tumultuous year for enterprise Java, with Oracle deciding on a plan to upgrade Java EE after being criticized for neglect, only to shed stewardship of Java EE this year.
The templates are part of NativeScript Sidekick, a GUI client companion to the NativeScript command-line interface. Sidekick was introduced on Tuesday. Along with the templates, Sidekick contains plugins, cloud builds, and debugging support. Progress Software, the developer of NativeScript, offers Sidekick as a free download.
Microsoft is looking to help developers move code from the Windows-oriented .Net Framework to cross-platform .Net Core via extended API access. But whether developers should actually make the move depends on their affinity for Windows.
Microsoft has made available a beta of Windows Compatibility Pack, adding access to APIs previously available just to .Net Framework. As a result, .Net Core developers gain access to an additional 20,000 APIs. You can get Windows Compatibility Kit via a NuGet package.
Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime, the virtual machine that anchors the .Net Framework, is due for a makeover, with the company announcing plans to make the CLR more efficient and scalable.
Key to this modernization will be improvements to the intermediate language underlying the CLR, called IL, which has not been upgraded in ten years, said Mads Torgersen, lead designer for C# at Microsoft. The company wants to improve the IL and make the CLR a richer target for programming languages.[ Microsoft .Net Core 2.0: Everything you need to know. | Why .Net Core is finally ready for prime time. | .Net Framework or .Net Core? Learn when to use which. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ]
The goal of the CLR is to run .Net programs efficiently. Currently the biggest problem with .Net is the inherent limits of scalability of the runtime itself, said Ben Watson, Microsoft principal software engineer. The CLR is being pushed beyond its original intention and design. Watson explained that when multiple gigabytes of code are being loaded, algorithms built into the CLR start breaking down.
Microsoft has brought several third-party popular platforms to its Azure cloud aimed at developers and data analysts.[ What is Apache Spark? The big data analytics platform explained. | Which NoSQL database should you use? MongoDB and Couchbase Server go nose to nose. • NoSQL standouts: The best key-value databases. • NoSQL standouts: The best document databases. | What is devops? Discover how to transform software development. ]
The new Azure capabilities include:
Microsoft has released a beta version of its Visual Studio Tools for AI, an extension to the company’s signature Visual Studio 2017 IDE that lets developers and data scientists embed deep learning models into applications. Visual Studio Tools for AI supports deep learning frameworks such as Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit and Google’s TensorFlow.
It can be hard to pin down a definition of edge computing. Some companies look at it in terms of networks, others in terms of datacenters. For Microsoft, it’s a distributed cloud that encompasses every computer, no matter how small and how limited.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella uses the term “intelligent edge,” in which container-based machine learning models are deployed where needed along with your own code and Azure features like stream analytics and serverless Azure Functions.
TensorFlow, Google’s contribution to the world of machine learning and data science, is a general framework for quickly developing neural networks. Despite being relatively new, TensorFlow has already found wide adoption as a common platform for such work, thanks to its powerful abstractions and ease of use.[ Go deep into machine learning at InfoWorld: 11 must-have machine learning tools. • 13 frameworks for mastering machine learning • Machine learning pipelines demystified • Review: 6 machine learning clouds • Which Spark machine learning API should you use? ] TensorFlow 1.4 API additions TensorFlow Keras API
The biggest changes in TensorFlow 1.4 involve two key additions to the core TensorFlow API. The tf.keras API allows users to employ the Keras API, a neural network library that predates TensorFlow but is quickly being displaced by it. The tf.keras API allows software using Keras to be transitioned to TensorFlow, either by using the Keras interface permanently, or as a prelude to the software being reworked to use TensorFlow natively.
Mono, Microsoft’s open source, cross-platform runtime for .Net-based development, has regained its .Net interpreter, about a decade after it was removed to keep Mono’s development effort manageable.
Mono’s developers are now turning their attention to using the interpreter in mixed-mode code execution, which combines interpreted code and statically compiled code.[ Microsoft .Net Core 2.0: Everything you need to know. | Why .Net Core is finally ready for prime time. | .Net Framework or .Net Core? Learn when to use which. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] What mixed-mode exdcution will bring to Mono
When mixed-mode execution becomes available, developers will benefit from having core libraries optimized with the LLVM compiler platform but still have flexibility of running some dynamic code, said Miguel de Icaza, a longtime leader of the Mono project.
With scripting languages, most errors show up in runtime. And this is a problem, Tiobe says. Developers can write unit tests to compensate for this but it still is “quite dangerous” because these errors can happen while the application is in production. Statically typed languages, meanwhile, have responded to the threat of scripting languages by reducing type verbosity.
Microsoft’s open source development tool is an important piece of the developer’s toolkit. Built using GitHub’s cross-platform Electron framework, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured development editor that supports a wide selection of languages and platforms, from the familiar C and C# to modern environments and languages like Go and Node.js, with parity between Windows, MacOS, and Linux releases.
Microsoft regularly updates Visual Studio Code. Keep track of the updates’ key features in this changelog.[ Get started with Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s lightweight editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. • Discover Microsoft’s feature roadmap for Visual Studio Code. | Keep up with hot topics in programming with InfoWorld’s App Dev Report newsletter. ] Where to download Visual Studio Code
To download the editor for Windows, MacOS, and Linux, go to Microsoft’s Visual Code Studio website.