Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Is Java Dying on the Oracle Vine ?

Greetings, Programs:

All of this started quite some time agon with an InfoWorld article by Pau Krill that asked if Oracle had lost interest in Java.  This would be understandable considering Oracle's past history with being exclusive and their predatory practices in the software industry. Some, Mark Proctor [MP] for example, feel that Java is the most used programming language available for new companies today.  A brief history of Java can be found on Wikipedia.  BTW, for those who ask if Java means, "Just Another Vague Acronym" - well, you are partially right. 

Anyway, I had a chance to chat (on-line, of course) with some of the leading Gurus (Gurim?) in the BRMS industry about Java:  Its past, present and future.  These are the guys who design the tools that we (the AI Geeks) use every day.  [see list at the end of the article]  This started with a group email that asked the question, "Is Oracle being a good steward for Java?"  Some [DB] tried to go over to Swift from Apple but had some questions about its future as well.  Supposedly the code is bullet-proof - which is important after Apple's recent debacle with XCodeGhost that has infected 400 or 1,000 or 4,000 (depending on which report you happen to believe.)  There is a long discussion on SlashDot where some tried to "justify" downloading XCode from servers in China rather than the official Apple site.  But, that is another story for another time.

Mark Proctor [MP] weighted in with a lot of upbeat chat.  He and Dr. Forgy [CLF] seemed to feel that Sun had let Java 7 ride for way too long.  Personally, I think that this was during the period when Oracle was in the "process" of buying out Sun and the Sun bosses just did not want to invest a lot of money into Java.  If the bottom line looks better then they get a bit more dollars per share.

However, most of those in the group agreed that Oracle had, since 2010, done some good things with Java.  Java 8, for example  came out quickly and included Lambdas to the product line.  Also, Java 9 is scheduled to be out in 2016.  One of the nice things about java 9 will be modularity that will help alleviate the "jar path hell" that is so prevalent in multin-vendor applications.

The proposed future of Java is all outlined here.  One that I really like is the Shenandoah project for garbage collection in extremely large applications.  [MP] Another good reason for staying with Java is Git, the most prolific SCC system on the internet right now.  [DB] Also of note is that Java Script is really easy to use and is probably the fastest growing language right now.  If we stop and consider just for a moment all of the companies that are totally focused on Java:  IBM, Oracle, Google, Amazon - just to name a few.

Some [MP][CLF] mentioned a desire/need for the C/C++/C# structs.  But there are some workarounds to structs by using byte buffers [MP].  Personally, I prefer a Java Class without any methods to having to come up with a whole new thing - but that's me.


Decision Camp 2016


The location for DC-2016 is now at Stony Brook University in New York and the link is https://sites.google.com/site/ruleml2016/home - meaning that we are co-located with RuleML this year.  Dr. Jacob Feldman is heading up this year's DC.  It should prove interesting and, good news, it is one day only.  OK, maybe two...  Decision Camp ONLY is $75.  You have a choice of rooms that range from about $60 on campus up to $150 in the local Holiday Inn.

I am planning (subject to approval by the board) to present a talk on Rule Optimization, Performance and Efficiency.  With a 45 minute limit, not much can be done but I will have a white paper available for those who want to dig deeper.  Decision camp itself is at https://sites.google.com/site/ruleml2016/decisioncamp and you can submit your abstract up until 4 April 2016.

See you there?


Monday, November 2, 2015

ALERT!! American Airlines SPAM EMail !!


There is a SPAM EMail going around that really looks like it came from AA - complete with locator number (which is not valid).  Your first indications that this is spam
  • the email says that you (well, mine did) are flying from Richmond, VA to Chicago, IL to Dallas - and I am NOT in Richmond at the time.   
  • the "ticket_AA77799543.doc" attachment - AA never sends one with that weird numbering sequence.  
  • you probably have not made that reservation.  
  • my reservation left at 8:00 this morning. 

Anyway, do NOT click on the attached document.  AA is aware of this but they have NOT sent out an email to any of their cherished customers telling them that this is SPAM. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What the Heck?


OK, enough is enough.  Recently, three Americans (aka, citizens of the USA) and a Brit ex-patriot living in Paris, responded when a terrorist attacked the passengers on a high-speed French train.  The terrorist, a 26-year-old Moroccan man, Ayoub El-Khazzani, who boarded the train in Brussels, was armed with an AK-47 automatic (yes, automatic, not semi-automatic) rifle and a (semi-automatic) 9mm pistol.  Two of those Americans, Spencer Stone (USAF) and Alek Skarlatos (USA - NG), are American military; buff and trained in some combat situations.  Alek had just returned from a tour in Afghanistan.  The fourth tag-along was a college student named Anthony Sadler - a fairly trim young man who was vacationing with his two military friends.  Chris Norman, a British citizen who lives in Paris, was the real hero.  The Frenchman who first jumped on the gunman is still recovering from his wounds and wishes to remain anonymous. But he took a bullet to the neck in the first few seconds of the attack.

Anthony appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (as well as several other TV shows and news reports) and is telling "his story" around the world.  Some in California are even taking up a collection to help him pay for his last year in college.  So, what is wrong with all of this?  Well, let's see; first, according to what I saw last night, Anthony was sleeping when the gunman first fired through a glass partition on the door of their partition.  When he groggily started to get to his feet, his two military buddies were already charging down the aisle toward the gunman.  Not wanting to be left out, Anthony went along behind his two military buddies.  On The Tonight Show, Anthony said that they "... pounded on the guy... " to put him down.  Brave words indeed.  Especially since Stone was the one who put the gunman in a choke hold and was wrestling him to the ground.

In the ensuing struggle with the gunman, Stone had his thumb almost sliced off when the gunman produced a box cutter from his pocket.  One of the two military guys, Alek, was a medic in Afghanistan and helped Chris, the Brit, who had been shot in the neck.  Alek kept the guy from bleeding to death until help could arrive.  

Here's the thing:  The two military guys have been, for the most part, ignored by press.  I wonder why?  They seem normal.  Maybe the press is just infatuated with the Chris Rock look-alike and the service guys just look too ordinary to be heroes.  But somewhere along the line, the press and the Hollywood elite will have to own up that the least heroic of the four was Mr. Sadler - yet, he seems to be getting all the press. 

This is like the Three Muskeeters.  Remember them?  (These descriptions came from Wikipedia.)
  • Porthos – Isaac de Portau: A dandy, fond of fashionable clothes.
  • Aramis – Henry d'Aramitz: A deeply religious younger Musketeer.
  • Athos – Armand de Sillègue d'Athos d'Autevielle: The last Musketeer to be introduced. He seems immune to romantic feeling. To an extent, he becomes a father figure to d'Artagnan.
Finally there was the tag-along, much like Anthony in our story.  D'Artagnan – Charles de Batz de Castelmore d'Artagnan: He is not one of the "Three Musketeers" in the sense that he does not become a Musketeer until nearly the end of the novel, being merely a guard attached to Monsieur des Essart's company for the majority of the book.  But he is the main focus of the story.  A mere lad who lacks the good sense to actually JOIN the Muskeeters and rise through the ranks like the three real heroes of the story. 

Go figure...