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Amateur web developers can now look to Mavo

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 19:01

Mavo, a tool to turn static HTML into reactive web applications without programming code or a server back end, has just moved to the beta stage. It could be boon for non-programmers looking to get their feet wet in web development.

Built at MIT by a team led by computer scientist Lea Verou, the open source Mavo is an HTML-based language that extends HTML syntax to describe web applications that can manage data, with data stored in the cloud, locally, or not at all. Plugins can be used to modify Mavo's behavior.

Mavo is similar to Angular 1.x, the since-superseded version of Google’s JavaScript framework. Both have an HTML-based syntax and support expressions. But Angular was never designed with the goal of writing entirely in HTML; it "treats HTML as a shortcut for data binding to views, but everything else is expected to be written in JavaScript,” according to the Mavo team.

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Microsoft brings scalable Git to Visual Studio in improved GVFS

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 14:10

Microsoft has been mapping out plans to improve its Git Virtual File System (GVFS), including linking it to the Visual Studio IDE and getting it supported in third-party Git clients.

GVFS is an attempt to scale the Git software version control system to extremely large projects and teams, virtualizing the .git folder and working directory. In GVFS, only portions of a repo and files are downloaded, providing developers just the portions they need at the time. The software features a server-based back end and a virtualization layer for the client, virtualizing the file system.

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Kubernetes foundation takes on container networking

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 06:00

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), which seeks to drive large-scale cloud computing with an emphasis on containers and microservices, has just added the Container Network Interface (CNI) project to its fold.

The project joins others hosted by the nonprofit foundation, including the Kuberrnetes container orchestration platform and CoreDNS DNS server. CNI had been a GitHub open source project. It features a specification and libraries to write plugins for configuring networking interfaces in Linux containers.

[ To the cloud! Real-world container migrations. | Dig into the the red-hot open source framework in InfoWorld’s beginner’s guide to Docker. ]

The foundation’s adoption of CNI is meant to increase its focus on network connectivity of containers and the removal of allocated sources when the container is deleted. “The idea [is] that CNI is a standard way of being able to use different networking technologies,” said Dan Kohn, the foundation’s executive director.

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Microsoft's P language is aimed at where cloud, AI, and IoT meet

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 06:00

Microsoft is positioning its P language as a solution for asynchrony in a world where this capability is becoming increasingly vital for the cloud, artificial intelligence, and embedded systems.

Geared to asynchronous event-driven programming, the open source P unifies modeling and programming into a single activity. “Today’s software uses cloud resources, is often embedded in devices in the physical world and employs artificial intelligence techniques,” said Shaz Qadeer, a principal researcher at Microsoft. Such applications feature asynchrony, leading to issues with race conditions and “heisenbugs” (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle), which are timing-related bugs that often disappear during an investigation of it. P was was built to address the challenges.

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GitHub sets up a developer tools store, releases GraphQL API

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 14:30

GitHub today unveiled its GitHub Marketplace, a store for developers to purchase development tools. The goal is to help developers find integrations and quickly use them.

For example, GitHub Marketplace supports more than a dozen integrators via a single account and payment method, so developers can worry less about managing accounts. Development apps range from continuous integration to project management and code review, including Travis CI, Appveyor, Waffle, ZenHub, Sentry, and Codacy.

[ 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. ]

GitHub also rolled out two other tools intended to ease software development: GraphQL API, for data access, and GItHub Apps, for process control.

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Google’s Firebase taps serverless Cloud Functions

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 06:00

Firebase, Google Cloud’s back end and SDK for mobile and web application development, is being enhanced with serverless compute capabilities. Google Cloud Functions for Firebase, now available in a beta release, allows developers to run back-end JavaScript code that responds to events triggered by Firebase features and HTTPS requests.

Developers upload their code to Google's cloud, and the functions are run in a managed Node.js environment. There is no need for users to manage or scale their own servers. “[Cloud Functions] enables true server-less development,” Google's Ben Galbraith said. Like AWS Lambda and Microsoft's Azure Functions, Cloud Functions allows users to deploy and run code without provisioning servers. Developers code to cloud APIs, and the cloud takes care of managing and scaling the functions.

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Oracle has a plan to make Java 9 migration easier

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 12:00

It will be easier to migrate code to the planned Java 9 release, due in late July, if the committee that managed Java approves a proposal just made by Oracle to better accommodate modularity, the key new feature in Java 9. Oracle made the proposal after getting strong opposition to its modularization plans from the Java community

In a proposal floated Thursday, Mark Reinhold, Oracle’s chief Java architect, said strong encapsulation of JDK-internal APIs has caused worries that code that works on JDK 8 will not work on JDK 9 and that no advance warning of this was given in JDK 8. “To help the entire ecosystem migrate to the modular Java platform at a more relaxed pace, I hereby propose to allow illegal reflective access from code on the class path by default in JDK 9, and to disallow it in a future release,” he said.

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Google’s Polymer zeroes in on ES6 compatibility, interoperability

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 16:02

Polymer, Google’s open source JavaScript library for building reusable HTML elements, has graduated to version 2.0, a major revision that improves the data system, interoperability with other web libraries and frameworks, and support for ECMAScript 6 standards. ECMAScript is the official specification underlying JavaScript and implemented in web browsers.

Arriving nearly two years after Polymer 1.0, the 2.0 release complies with HTML custom elements v1, for creating new HTML tags, and shadow DOM v1, for self-contained web components. Developers can now draw on Polymer APIs associated with both specifications. Polymer 2.0 uses standard ECMAScript 6 classes and custom elements v1 methods rather than a Polymer factory method, according to release notes. Developers can mix Polymer features with standard JavaScript, although the factory method is still supported via a compatibility layer. 

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Here's how Google is preparing Android for the AI-laden future

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:00

The future of Android will be a lot smarter, thanks to new programming tools that Google unveiled on Wednesday. The company announced TensorFlow Lite, a version of its machine learning framework that’s designed to run on smartphones and other mobile devices, during the keynote address at its Google I/O developer conference.

“TensorFlow Lite will leverage a new neural network API to tap into silicon-specific accelerators, and over time we expect to see [digital signal processing chips] specifically designed for neural network inference and training,” said Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of engineering for Android. “We think these new capabilities will help power a next generation of on-device speech processing, visual search, augmented reality, and more.”

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Google endorses Kotlin for Android development

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 06:00

Google’s Java-centric Android mobile development platform is adding the Kotlin language as an officially supported development language, and will include it in the Android Studio 3.0 IDE. Its developers had previously promoted Kotlin for Android development.

The revelation was made Wednesday by Google Program Manager Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson at the Google IO developer conference. This is the first time a new programming language has been added to Android. “It makes developers so much more productive. It is fully Android runtime-compatible, it is fully interoperable with existing code, it has fabulous IDE support,“ she said.

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Google's new TPUs are here to accelerate AI training

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 13:14

Google has made another leap forward in the realm of machine learning hardware. The tech giant has begun deploying the second version of its Tensor Processing Unit, a specialized chip meant to accelerate machine learning applications, company CEO Sundar Pichai announced on Wednesday.

The new Cloud TPU sports several improvements over its predecessor. Most notably, it supports training machine learning algorithms in addition to processing the results from existing models. Each chip can provide 180 teraflops of processing for those tasks. Google is also able to network the chips together in sets of what are called TPU Pods that allow even greater computational gains.

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Atom editor now has native GitHub integration

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:35

GitHub’s Atom, the Node.js- and HTML5-powered code editor, has traditionally integrated with Git repositories—including GitHub itself—only by way of third-party components.

All that changed this week with the unveiling of a new core package for Atom, called appropriately enough GitHub for Atom, along with new release and beta editions of Atom itself.

[ Also on InfoWorld: 19 open source GitHub projects for security pros. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld’s Security Report newsletter. ] GitHub users, dock here

The new edition of Atom, version 1.17, introduces a new UI component called “docks,” which is a way to provide side- or bottom-dockable tool panels in the editor. IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse have had dock-like components for some time, but now Atom is adding such a component as a core element.

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Oracle's Java chief debunks ‘misconceptions’ about Java 9

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:00

Looking to stave off criticism of the now-jeopardized Java 9 release, Oracle’s top Java official defended the platform against what he termed falsehoods around its accommodations for Apache Maven, third-party frameworks, and existing code.

“There seem to be many misconceptions out in the world about what Java 9 is, what the Jigsaw module system is, how it’s going to impact people,” said Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle, at the Devoxx UK conference in London last week. Today in an online post, he addressed what he sees as the three biggest misconceptions around Java 9.

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Visual Studio may gain AI smarts around available code

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 06:00

Microsoft is eying artificial intelligence capabilities to give its Visual Studio IDE a greater grasp of the available code for a project.

Currently in an experimental phase, Visual Studio's use of AI may enable code analysis, tapping sources ranging from the developer’s code repo to project code to perhaps even GitHub repos under a developer’s jurisdiction. Microsoft is pondering just how many code sources should be considered.

[ Review: Visual Studio 2017 is the best ever. | First look: Visual Studio for Mac. ]

The company has no timetable for when AI might appear in the Visual Studio IDE.

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HPE shows off The Machine prototype without memristors

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 10:08

In 2004, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise's Kirk Bresniker set out to make radical changes to computer architecture with The Machine and drew out the first concept design on a whiteboard.

At the time Bresniker, now chief architect at HP Labs, wanted to build a system that could drive computing into the future. The goal was to build a computer that used cutting-edge technologies like memristors and photonics.

[ Docker, Amazon, TensorFlow, Windows 10, and more: See InfoWorld's 2017 Technology of the Year Award winners. | Cut to the key news in technology trends and IT breakthroughs with the InfoWorld Daily newsletter, our summary of the top tech happenings. ]

It's been an arduous journey, but HPE on Tuesday finally showed a prototype of The Machine at a lab in Fort Collins, Colorado.

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Digital signature service DocuSign hacked and email addresses stolen

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 07:46

Digital signature service DocuSign said Monday that an unnamed third-party had got access to email addresses of its users after hacking into its systems.

The hackers gained temporary access to a peripheral sub-system for communicating service-related announcements to users through email, the company said. It confirmed after what it described as a complete forensic analysis that only email addresses were accessed, and not other details such as names, physical addresses, passwords, social security numbers, credit card data, or other information.

[ 18 surprising tips for security pros. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security Report newsletter. ]

“No content or any customer documents sent through DocuSign’s eSignature system was accessed; and DocuSign’s core eSignature service, envelopes, and customer documents and data remain secure,” DocuSign said in a post.

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Cybercrooks fight over DDoS attack resources

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 07:33

As more groups get into the denial-of-service attack business they're starting to get in each other's way, according to a report released this morning.

That translates into a smaller average attack size, said Martin McKeay, senior security advocate at Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai Technologies.

[ 18 surprising tips for security pros. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security Report newsletter. ]

There are only so many devices around that have the kind of vulnerabilities that make them potential targets for a botnet. "And other people can come in and take over the device, and take those resources to feed their own botnet," he said. "I'm seeing that over and over."

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What developers can expect at Google I/O 2017

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 06:00

At today’s Google I/O conference, developers will get insights into Google’s Android StudioFirebase tools, and Android Instant Apps. Developers and users alike will learn more about the forthcoming Android O operating system, changes to the Google Play Store, and likely the Google-Mozilla progressive web apps concept.

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Western Digital dispute with Toshiba heads for arbitration

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 17:13

Western Digital is seeking arbitration, demanding that its consent has to be taken before Toshiba can go ahead with plans to sell a stake in its memory business to raise funds.

The storage technology company acquired SanDisk last year and has been rumored to be a bidder for a stake in the Toshiba memory business, which has reportedly attracted a large number of other bidders including Apple and Foxconn Technology. SanDisk has been a long-term partner of Toshiba, with the two companies collaborating in the fabrication of nonvolatile memories, but is not seen as a front-runner in the auction.

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Microsoft blames US stockpiled vulnerability for WannaCry ransomware attack

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 07:56

Microsoft on Sunday said a software vulnerability stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency has affected customers around the world, and described the spread of the WannaCrypt ransomware on Friday in many countries as yet another example of the problems caused by the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments.

Referring to the attack as a “wake-up call,” Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith wrote in a blog post that governments have "to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits."

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