Microsoft is offering a developer kit to help get started in quantum computing and using the company’s quantum-focused Q# programming language.
Microsoft has been bullish lately on quantum computing, with CEO Satya Nadella recently calling these computers the future. A quantum computer can solve complex problems in hours or days, compared to classical computers that would take billions of years, the company said. Microsoft sees quantum computing having major implications in areas such as health care, energy, and environmental systems.
IBM has released two sets of freely available code and other development assets: IBM Code Patterns and Bot Asset Exchange.The features in IBM Code Patterns
With IBM Code Patterns, IBM is providing more than 120 open source code patterns intended to streamline the coding process for applications using artificial intelligence, blockchain, microservices, analytics, data science, internet of things, devops, containers, the cloud, Java, Python, and virtual reality.
IBM Code Patterns includes curated packages of reusable code, GitHub repos, documentation, and resources that provide a view of underlying code, including architecture diagrams and process flows, so developers don’t have to weed through thousands of code bases and documentation to get work done.
The latest version of the open source container orchestration framework Kubernetes, Kubernetes 1.9, brings to the container-orchestration framework both full-blown and beta-test versions of significant new features:
- The general availability of the Workloads API.
- Beta support for Windows Server.
- An alpha version of a new container storage API.
Kubernetes 1.9 was released in December 2017.
The Glimmer UI component library features a virtual machine architecture similar to the JVM in Java and Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime. This virtual machine is built to run inside the browser for use in web UIs. Glimmer and Ember also feature the Handlebars open source library for templating. Because Glimmer is the rendering engine for Ember, improvements in Glimmer help Ember as well.
The venerable, close-to-the-metal C language has enjoyed a reversal of fortune in the Tiobe language popularity index, emerging as a candidate for the index’s top gainer this year after sustaining its record low just four months ago.
Although still in second place in this month’s index behind Java, C—with its 10.158 percent rating—has jumped nearly four percentage points since August, when it sustained an all-time low of 6.477 percent. (Java also had an all-time low that month of 12.961 percent.) C’s rating also has increased 1.43 points compared to December 2016. Tiobe, which offers software quality services, attributes C’s rise this year to its usefulness in programming of small software devices and the increase of low-level software in the automotive industry, where C also has a stronghold.
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.
With its open source Fn project, Oracle is looking to make a splash in serverless computing.
Fn is a container native serverless platform that can be run on-premises or in the cloud. It requires the use of Docker containers. Fn developers will be able to write functions in Java initially, with Go, Ruby, Python, PHP, and Node.js support planned for later. Applications can be built and run without users having to provision, scale, or manage servers, by using the cloud.[ A developer’s guide: Get started with serverless computing. Then learn how to use Microsoft’s Azure Functions and how to use AWS Lambda for serverless computing. | Build ’em now! 5 uses for serverless frameworks. ]
Fn, as its name implies, relies heavily on functions, which are small blocks of code that generally do one simple thing. In a function, developers focus just on just the task they want the function to perform.
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.