What's on My Desk?
I’ve been working from home exclusively for the last nine years, but it was only last year that I started to look into ways for expanding my computer set-up and go beyond the usual combination of having a laptop with your regular external screen. The global COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of having more calls with colleagues than ever (no physical meetings), and the constantly increasing need for recording talks for online conferences and meet-ups made me reevaluate things and steadily improve and fine tune my set-up, in particular in regards to better video and audio quality.
Executable JavaDoc Code Snippets
It has been just a few weeks since the release of Java 17, but the first changes scheduled for Java 18 begin to show up in early access builds. One feature in particular that excites me as a maintainer of different Java libraries is JEP 413 ("Code Snippets in Java API Documentation").
Resource Bundle Look-ups in Modular Java Applications
The ResourceBundle class is Java’s workhorse for managing and retrieving locale specific resources, such as error messages of internationalized applications. With the advent of the module system in Java 9, specifics around discovering and loading resource bundles have changed quite a bit, in particular when it comes to retrieving resource bundles across the boundaries of named modules.
In this blog post I’d like to discuss how resource bundles can be used in a multi-module application (i.e. a "modular monolith") for internationalizing error messages. The following requirements should be satisified:
Introducing JfrUnit 1.0.0.Alpha1
Unit testing, for performance
It’s with great pleasure that I’m announcing the first official release of JfrUnit today!
JfrUnit is an extension to JUnit which allows you to assert JDK Flight Recorder events in your unit tests. This capability opens up a number of interesting use cases in the field of testing JVM-based applications:
You can use JfrUnit to ensure your application produces the custom JFR events you expect it to emit
You can use JfrUnit to identify potential performance regressions of your application by means of tracking JFR events e.g. for garbage collection, memory allocation and network I/O
You can use JfrUnit together with JMC Agent for whitebox tests of your application, ensuring specific methods are invoked with the expected parameters and return values
Three Plus Some Lovely Kafka Trends
Over the course of the last few months, I’ve had the pleasure to serve on the Kafka Summit program committee and review several hundred session abstracts for the three Summits happening this year (Europe, APAC, Americas). That’s not only a big honour, but also a unique opportunity to learn what excites people currently in the Kafka eco-system (and yes, it’s a fair amount of work, too ;).
While voting on the proposals, and also generally aspiring to stay informed of what’s going on in the Kafka community at large, I noticed a few repeating themes and topics which I thought would be interesting to share (without touching on any specific talks of course). At first I meant to put this out via a Twitter thread, but then it became a bit too long for that, so I decided to write this quick blog post instead. Here it goes!
Exploring ZooKeeper-less Kafka
Sometimes, less is more. One case where that’s certainly true is dependencies. And so it shouldn’t come at a surprise that the Apache Kafka community is eagerly awaiting the removal of the dependency to the ZooKeeper service, which currently is used for storing Kafka metadata (e.g. about topics and partitions) as well as for the purposes of leader election in the cluster.
The Kafka improvement proposal KIP-500 ("Replace ZooKeeper with a Self-Managed Metadata Quorum") promises to make life better for users in many regards:
Better getting started and operational experience by requiring to run only one system, Kafka, instead of two
Removing potential for discrepancies of metadata state between ZooKeeper and the Kafka controller
Simplifying configuration, for instance when it comes to security
Better scalability, e.g. in terms of number of partitions; faster execution of operations like topic creation
The Anatomy of ct.sym — How javac Ensures Backwards Compatibility
One of the ultimate strengths of Java is its strong notion of backwards compatibility: Java applications and libraries built many years ago oftentimes run without problems on current JVMs, and the compiler of current JDKs can produce byte code, that is executable with earlier Java versions.
For instance, JDK 16 supports byte code levels going back as far as to Java 1.7; But: hic sunt dracones. The emitted byte code level is just one part of the story. It’s equally important to consider which APIs of the JDK are used by the compiled code, and whether they are available in the targeted Java runtime version. As an example, let’s consider this simple "Hello World" program:
FizzBuzz – SIMD Style!
Java 16 is around the corner, so there’s no better time than now for learning more about the features which the new version will bring. After exploring the support for Unix domain sockets a while ago, I’ve lately been really curious about the incubating Vector API, as defined by JEP 338, developed under the umbrella of Project Panama, which aims at "interconnecting JVM and native code".
Vectors?!? Of course this is not about renewing the ancient Java collection types like java.util.Vector (<insert some pun about this here>), but rather about an API which lets Java developers take advantage of the vector calculation capabilities you can find in most CPUs these days. Now I’m by no means an expert on low-level programming leveraging specific CPU instructions, but exactly that’s why I hope to make the case with this post that the new Vector API makes these capabilities approachable to a wide audience of Java programmers.
Talking to Postgres Through Java 16 Unix-Domain Socket Channels
Update Feb 5: This post is discussed on Hacker News
Reading a blog post about what’s coming up in JDK 16 recently, I learned that one of the new features is support for Unix domain sockets (JEP 380). Before Java 16, you’d have to resort to 3rd party libraries like jnr-unixsocket in order to use them. If you haven’t heard about Unix domain sockets before, they are "data communications [endpoints] for exchanging data between processes executing on the same host operating system". Don’t be put off by the name btw.; Unix domain sockets are also supported by macOS and even Windows since version 10.
jlink's Missing Link: API Signature Validation
Discussions around Java’s jlink tool typically center around savings in terms of (disk) space. Instead of shipping an entire JDK, a custom runtime image created with jlink contains only those JDK modules which an application actually requires, resulting in smaller distributables and container images.
But the contribution of jlink — as a part of the Java module system at large — to the development of Java application’s is bigger than that: with the notion of link time it defines an optional complement to the well known phases compile time and application run-time:
Link time is an opportunity to do whole-world optimizations that are otherwise difficult at compile time or costly at run-time. An example would be to optimize a computation when all its inputs become constant (i.e., not unknown). A follow-up optimization would be to remove code that is no longer reachable.