From the developerWorks trenches: The best open technologies content in 2014

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on developerWorks lately, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve devoted a lot of space to IBM® Bluemix™. We are fully invested in the cloud, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve forsaken other areas of interest to our audience. From open frameworks like Famo.us and Polymer to new developments in Java™ 8, we’re still cooking up the technical goodies that keep you coming back.

As we celebrate 15 years (only 14 for me), let me take a moment to run down some of the technology content that you might have missed this year.

The technical landscape has never been more exciting or complex.

Create high-performance mobile UIs with Famo.us

Long-time contributor Sing Li continues to offer his expertise in the areas of mobile and web technologies. This year, he’s written tutorials on several popular new frameworks, with the most impressive being Famo.us: the open source UI-rendering framework that promises to eliminate some of the last bottlenecks that have prevented JavaScript and web technology from dominating the mobile development scene — slow UIs and a poor user experience.

Illustration of how Famo.us operates internally

Illustration of how Famo.us operates internally

In this tutorial, Sing introduces the fundamental concepts of Famo.us and explores its design. He then goes hands-on with several working examples, including a typical mobile app UI that you can use as an application template for developing with Famo.us.

Java 8 language changes

Another regular contributor to developerWorks, Dennis Sosnoski, gives some great insight into how Lambda expressions and changes to interface classes make Java 8 a new language. His exploration spurred quite a bit of behind-the-scenes commentary with Brian Goetz, Java Language Architect at Oracle, but it was amicable and resulted in a few modest changes to ensure the changes were framed properly.

Choosing your next JVM language

Earlier this year, perennial favorite Neal Ford wrapped up his series Java.next, which explores three next-generation JVM languages: Groovy, Scala, and Clojure, comparing and contrasting new capabilities and paradigms, to provide Java developers a glimpse into their own near future. In the final tutorial, Neal weighs the factors that go into choosing the language that’s right for your development efforts.

Diagram of language typing characteristics

Join the Web Components revolution with Polymer

Sing Li makes a second appearance in my selections for good reason: He writes about cool things, and he does it very well. Take for example this tutorial on Polymer, an open source, cross-platform framework that takes advantage of the emerging Web Components standard. He walks you through the library with terrific detail, showing you how to use and customize Polymer web components, and he wraps up by building a simple map app (source code provided, of course).

Interactive Map app with Polymer

Interactive Map app with Polymer

Java 8 concurrency basics

Another two-time winner is Dennis Sosnoski with his series, JVM concurrency. As he notes, concurrency can be difficult to implement correctly, and he’s making it his business to help you understand the newer approaches to concurrent programming implemented in Java and Scala. In this particular tutorial, he focuses on the features and classes in Java 8 that make it easier to construct concurrent programs.

OK, so I just published the first three installments of this new series, but I’m so happy to have Scott Davis writing for me again that I just had to mention it. This series has been long in development (Scott and I do this dance every few years), and I think it’s destined for greatness. Seriously, the first six installments will have you fully functional and the seventh will see you mixing up MEAN with Bluemix in an appstravaganza.

Screenshot of your local MEAN.JS home page

Screenshot of your local MEAN.JS home page

If you’ve stuck with me this far, you can see that developerWorks is still hard at work bringing you deep technical content on new and interesting technologies. I’m always up for ideas, pitches, proposals, and feedback, so please feel free to Follow me on Twitter and tell me what you think.

Source: From the developerWorks trenches: The best open technologies content in
2014

Post author

Dustin Gurley is an Designer, Developer, Artist, Instructor, Critical Theorist and Systems Engineer. He has an extensive background working professionally with 2D/2.5D/3D Motion Graphics, Compositing, Film, Video, Photography and client-side performance techniques as it pertains to web development. Dustin recently completed work on his Master of Fine Art degree in Motion Media Design (Motion Graphics) from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to beginning his graduate work, Dustin obtained a Bachelor of Art degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Broadcast and Emerging Media from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In addition to design and modeling, Dustin enjoys toying with his view camera, working with scratch film, authoring media related material and contributing to various industry conferences. When not in front of a computer, Dustin can be found with his wife, Regina Everett Gurley. The couple enjoys dividing their time between their home just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina and the beautiful North Carolina coast. Currently, Dustin serves as the Lead Instructor of Internet Technologies for Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina.