Out with the old in with the new(er)

With 2016 drawing to a close and 2017 already in full swing for me, I thought this was a good opportunity to reflect on how 2016 went and what 2017 has in store for me from a technological point of view.

2016

If asked how 2016 was from a professional perspective I’d probably try to sum it up as follows “Technology continued to roll out at an ever increasing pace, not only was new technology appearing faster than ever before, existing technology stacks started iterate and churn under our feet!”

Nearing the end of 2016 was where I finally admitted defeat and realized that I can’t keep up with everything and I while I sure am greedy and to know everything about everything, it was getting to the point that I was becoming a ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’ dare I say a full stack developer! I’d actually like to think I’m master of some, but certainly it was a big effort to stay on top of everything.

What did I get up to?

Azure : I got certified in Azure this was without doubt my most prized professional achievement of 2016, I’ve been using Azure for years and I feel quite confident in acclaiming it to be the best public could in the world today.
I’ve also started work on a state of the art data distribution network using Server-less architecture. I finally got down and dirty with Swagger/API Apps/LogicApps/AzureFunctions.
I got a lot better at networking, Load balancing resiliency, Azure/AWS causes a, devops inner persona to ooze its way to the top.
I listened with baited breath to the Azure Weekly Azure Podcast to see what was new (and always scratched my head when Cale got excited about BlockChains, perhaps next year I’ll look back and kick my self for not being an early adopter, it does seem to be an area that’s heating up).

AWS: I got certified as an AWS Solutions Architect, it was great to get a better understanding of AWS and indeed for a few offerings they I’d choose them over Azure. Got heavily involved in AWS CloudFormation and helped regain some control on AWS madness.

Google Cloud: I spent a few weeks playing with it just to see how it’s coming along, at least now I’m somewhat informed but I’d only consider myself as a beginner (I’d consider GoogleCloud a beginner also , unless they put in a massive investment into the portal and services, they simply can’t compete with Azure and AWS.

Docker: I can create images, start stop then understand volumes, I didn’t get as far as any of the clustering techniques such as swarm but I see huge value in Docker!

AngularJS: Architected and delivered a cutting edge data visualization system based on Angular 1.x, typescript,sccs,gulp. 
Introduced AngularJS in to multiple smaller projects.

Typescript: This is a fantastic language, and now especially with all the bells and whistles in v2.1 (not least async/await for es5 targets). If you are writing any Javascript you need to learn this no one will ever convince me that a dynamically typed language is better than a statically typed language for starters, but with all the new Standards based features now baked in, it’s certainly taking the industry by storm, I can’t see how Babel will continue to fight for its place in the world alongside it.

Ionic2: I wrote another mobile app, I’ve done this in many languages to date, I started out with iPhones and xamarin c#, moved to objectiveC and java, and finally settled back on the Typescript/Angular2 based Ionic2 framework. It’s a pleasure to deal with, and with my other investments in the underlying stack it has become a natural fit.

Java8: Finally spend some time getting up to speed on the new jdk and it’s offerings. While not strictly Java8, I’m including Sprint Bootstrap, Wildfly10 Application server, CDI, JaxRS etc in this section.

Camel: Gained a basic understanding and working knowledge of the Camel EAI framework.

ActiveMQ: I debated about putting this one on here, all queues fulfil the same core requirements to pass messages right? But I did approach ActiveMQ from three different sides camel/c#/java, so that was interesting.

.NET 2017 I’m now informed about what’s coming down the line. Some interesting thing like C#7 (which I will admit I had to read twice before I saw the value in the language changes), better support for the web stacks (although I’d admit with a tear in my eye that I’ve moved to Jetbrains software and am unlikely to come back to VStudio unless it’s an ASP based backend).

Client Products: Not only the development stacks have been changing, products in use by my clients have been moving at a rapid pace also and given they pay the bills I dedicate a fair amount of time to understanding them in depth.

Resource Consumption:
DNR -Listened to nearly every episode of DotNetRocks.
Hanselminutes - Funnily enough I found DotNetRocks as I used to subscribe the Hanselminutes; I say used to, as I’ve finally given up on Hanselminutes it appears to have moved in a different direction in the last year or so, don’t get me wrong, Scott is a great guy one of the best technical speakers in MS if you ask me, I even follow the weekly ASP.net stand-ups which he’s in, it only the podcast that I gave up on in December.

Other recommended podcasts:
Angular In Action
Javascript Jabber
RunAs Radio
Azure Podcast

2017

As you can image it takes a lot of time to get proficient in any of the above stacks I’ve mentioned . I’ve been trying to stay on top of them all and I’ve now reached the point or realization that need to let some go (think of Kate Winslet prying Leonardo DiCaprio’s icy fingers off that board she was on, it’ll be oh so sad). I’m going to narrow down the field, I’ll still keep in touch with them and if I encounter anything I don’t understand then I’ll make it my business to understand it, I simply won’t actively go pursuing them all. I’ve been burnt before with that approach, I learn Sliverlight after all, it wasn’t all bad as I wrote a windows phone app and many WPF apps around the same time, so the experience transferred nicely, it’s just that I’m not writing much WPF these days so I’ll put effort back in that direction only if and when needed.

Q: So the question remains: Where am I going to put my extended effort this year? 
A: Azure first approach. Azure will be the primary topic of my blogs whether the implementation is in C#/JavaScript/Typescript/Java I don’t really care. If the backend is .NET or Java, again I don’t really care but I do intend on blogging on practical usage cases for Azure services, I may even create a video or two!

Happy new year!

Enum on steroids – java

Hi was reviewing some java code this week and came across this wonderful way of establishing structured enums.

Code

//Declaration
private enum ServerType {
        DEV("
https://server1:8001", "customservicesuser", "xzy"),
        TEST("
http://server2:8001", "customservicesuser", "xzy"),
        PROD("
http://server3:8001", "customservicesuser", "xzy"),
        LOCALHOST("
http://localhost:8001", "customservicesuser", "xzy");

        private String serverUrl;
        private String username;
        private String password;

        ServerType(String serverUrl, String username, String password) {
            this.serverUrl = serverUrl;
            this.username = username;
            this.password = password;
        }
}

// Usage
        try {
            serverType = ServerType.valueOf(server);
        } catch (Exception e) {
            System.out.println("Unable to get the server info, options are: 
                DEV, TEST, PROD, LOCALHOST");
        }

Enjoy!

Garbage Collection in the JVM (1.6)

Hi guys,

I’ve found myself discussing garbage collecting in the JVM a few times this week and though I’d share this information with everyone that ever wondered how all this works.

Automatic Garbage Collection

Automatic garbage collection is the process of looking at heap memory, identifying which objects are in use and deleting the unused objects. An in-use object, means that some part of your program still maintains a pointer to that object. An unused object, or unreferenced object, is no longer referenced by any part of your program. So the memory used by an unreferenced object can be reclaimed.

In a programming language like C++, allocating and deallocating memory is a manual process. In other languages e.g. .net and Java, the process of deallocating memory is handled automatically by the garbage collector.

Basic Process

Marking

The first step in the process is called marking. This is the activity of marking what parts of memory have references and which have not.

Deletion

The second part is removing unreferenced objects, The deletion can be normal or can also include compacting.

Stop the world

When a gc happens all the threads in the application are stopped in what is referenced to as a “Stop the world” event.

JVM Generations

Having to mark and compact all objects in the JVM is inefficient, as more and more objects are allocated the list of objects grows and grows leading to a longer GC time. Empirical analysis of applications has shown that most objects are short lived.

Generations

The Hotspot JDK is broken into the following generations.

  • Young
  • Old
  • Permanent

image

 

 

 

Note not all JDK’s have the same structureimage

In this post I’m referring the the SUN JDK6 only. I’ve not really used the JDK7 that much except for personal projects, but even that is different with the G1 (Garbage First) and JDK8 will be a game changer again…

Sun Hotspot

The Young Generation is where all new objects are allocated and aged. When the young generation fills up, this causes a minor garbage collection. Minor collections can be optimized assuming a high object mortality rate. A young generation full of dead objects is collected very quickly. Some surviving objects are aged and eventually move to the old generation.

The Old Generation is used to store long surviving objects. Typically, a threshold is set for young generation object and when that age is met, the object gets moved to the old generation. Eventually the old generation needs to be collected. This event is called a major garbage collection.

The Permanent generation contains metadata required by the JVM to describe the classes and methods used in the application. The permanent generation is populated by the JVM at runtime based on classes in use by the application. In addition, Java SE library classes and methods may be stored here.

Classes may get collected (unloaded) if the JVM finds they are no longer needed and space may be needed for other classes. The permanent generation is included in a full garbage collection.

GC Process

In the simplest of terms:

  • New objects are allocated into the eden section of the heap. after the first GC if they are still referenced they are aged and moved to the S0.
  • On the next GC, any referenced objects in eden are moved into S1, also the objects in S0 if still referenced are aged and also moved to S1.
  • The process repeats alternating between S0 and S1 until the objects are aged enough to become eligible for the old age pension and are promoted into the tentured generation.

 

Show me the memory!

So enough talking, show me the money as Cuba Gooding once said ;-)

The simplest way to visualize the GC in operation is to open the %JAVA_HOME%\bin\jvisualvm

When you run it for the first time it will ask you to click OK to calibrate so do this.

You will need to go to Tools/Plugins/Available Plugins and choose VisualGC (i’ve it already installed hence you see in a different tab)

image 

You can then double click on the java application you wish to profile (I chose Weblogic Application Server) and you can see the GC minor collections in progress.

Shows the WLS server starting up and the Eden space starting to fill.image

Shows the Survivorimage 1 getting the first aged references

Simagehows the minor GC’s and the alternating between S0 and S1

Shows aged survivors getting their old age pensionimage

You can look at the monitor tab to get some more diagnostics,
Number of threads / Classes etc

image You can see what types of objects are holding memoryimage

NewRelic

Another tool I recommend when instrumenting applications is NewRelic.com not only will you get JVM stats, but you’ll get so, so, so, sooo much more, you just have to use it to believe it.

JAX-WS, Eclipse, JBoss

 

Ok another Java post, they are few and far between, but I’ve already polluted this blog with objective-c, javascript and other non .net languages so why not.

So I was lying in bed last night my wife was hogging the windows machine watching some film or other, so I’d a choice between reading 50 shades of grey or firing up my mac book air, no contest there…

 
I recently interviewed a guy that had moved from Apache Axis to JAX-WS, the way he described it sounded a lot like WCF (windows communication foundation) so I wanted to see for myself.

 

  • Install Jboss 7.1.1 for an application server
  • Install Eclipse juno IDE for Java
  • Install Mono Develop (not necessary but i had this already for iPhone dev so thought what the heck I’ll use it for the client)

So what is JAX-WS? The Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) is a Java programming language API for creating web services. It is part of the Java EE platform from Sun Microsystems. Like the other Java EE APIs, JAX-WS uses annotations. Here’s how I created a sample one.

Ensure JBoss can run

Start the standalone shell script and check you can see http://localhost:8080 page below in your browser

clip_image001

Choose JavaEE perspective in Eclipse

clip_image002

Create a new project in Eclipse  (dynamic web)

clip_image003

Add the following webservice class

Complete with annotations

clip_image004

Modify web.xml

Add the highlighted section

clip_image005

Configure the Local JBoss server in eclipse

Right click on the server you added and choose Add/Remove

clip_image006

Add your deployment

clip_image007

Add your current deployment
clip_image008

Start Application Server

Click on the Play button in the server tab toolbar, you should be automatically switched to the Console pane in Eclipse. Take note that your DynamicTest war file is deployed.

clip_image009

Review the JBoss Admin Console

Specifically the Webservice Endpoints, You should see your webservice deployed here.

clip_image010

You can also browse to the wsdl

clip_image011

Create your client

I used C# with the Mono Develop IDE to create a simple Console Application

clip_image012

Just add a Webservice the way you would in Visual Studio (I went for .net 2.0 WS because the WCF version didn’t create an app.config for me (visual studio you spoil me)).

Run

clip_image013

And that’s it your first JAX-WS! (and not a windows machine in sight.. I feel dirty but I like it :-) )

 

 

=== UPDATE ===

Ok after reading a lot of blogs and a few weeks later i've found a nicer way of doing it.

Instead of editing the xml you can choose to add a new webservice and select your webservice class (note screens below are not for the same project but are functionaly the same

 

 

 

Recent Tweets

Note: For Customization and Configuration, CheckOut Recent Tweets Documentation

Calendar

<<  November 2017  >>
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930123
45678910

View posts in large calendar

Month List