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  • Maven for Noobs (Beginners)

    I'm going in the next article (or two, if I feel I go way overboard in length) to explain you Maven as a build tool. At the end you won't be an expert, but you'll have a solid grasp on what it does to build projects, how to investigate what it does, and why it is so popular. So grab you favorite beverage (better be coffee), we're jumping straight in:

    Introduction

    Maven does three things, really well, which are sort of inter connected:

    1. Project Management

    The name of the project, who works on it, what SCM are configured for it, licenses, etc.

    2. Artifact Repository (Artifact = fancy name for binaries)

    Downloading of the various dependencies. Even Maven itself has a lot of its functionality as plugins that will be downloaded.

    3. Build System

    A bunch of steps to execute to get from a bunch of sources a binary output.

    Maven has for a single project only one configuration file, and it must be called pom.xml. POM itself stands for Project Object Model. This is an unfortunate name, it literally just means that all the data for a project is there, touching all the 3 points mentioned (project management, artifact repository dependencies, and the build system).

    In this article we will focus only on the 3rd point of the article, namely the build system.

  • sun.misc.Unsafe It's Being Removed. And That's a Good Thing.

    An interesting article is making waves on dzone and twitter:

    http://blog.dripstat.com/removal-of-sun-misc-unsafe-a-disaster-in-the-making/

    TL;DR: the sun.misc.* package it's going to be removed, a bunch of libraries are using it, apocalypse will ensue, just because Oracle removes packages for "no reason".(I kid you not, the dripstat author actually states that).

    No it's not a new thing. No it's not the apocalypse now either. Let's break it down on why:

    1. It's not at all a "no reason" change

    It's because Java has become so full of security exploits, it's not even funny at this moment. It's scary to see how in January a patch fixed 19 security holes, with 13 of them being show stoppers. Oracle themselves explains it at length even.

    It's not because:

    "This engineer hates the Unsafe class for no real reason at all.."

    That's a silly statement, to say the least. (To be honest, I get my blood boiling a bit just reading that sentence, because it's insulting to the engineer)

    It is because people are loosing trust in the platform. Why would you go with a platform ridden with bugs like that? What's the point in using whatever framework that is allegedly super secure, if the JVM itself it's the weakest link. That is what makes Java now loose billions.

    That's the reason why Apple dropped Java altogether, because its security was in the gutter.

    2. It's a private package of the JVM

    If you're bold enough to use it, you should be bold enough to write your own thing. Why should Oracle be bound by some form of moral requirement to document some whatever cryptic legacy code, that people reverse engineered in the first place? What. The. Hell.

    Probably this tweet captures the essence of the whole thing: 

    It's not even such a big deal. I swear!

    Do you know what else introduced breaking API changes for public APIs? The endorsed folder. It's what stuff like WebLogic uses to overwrite already published public APIs. I'm going to reiterate this: There is already the endorsed folder, that allows overwriting public APIs from the JVM, and people are using it. This is a great thing actually, especially if the API was not finalized. Why getting stuck with an API for the next two years?

    Public APIs! And you see that the universe imploded? Billions of dollars were lost? Calm down people, jeeeez.

    3. There will still be YEARS of Java 8 support

    Oracle doesn't just throw away JVMs, and then just plugs support out. If the program you're using, and its creepy library that needs the sun.misc.Unsafe are that important, go buy support. I mean, for crying out loud, you can still get Java 6 support that people were using to connect to dinosaurs. And the Java life cycle support it's for 11 (eleven!!) years.

    So finally, please all, can you just chill out?

    It's all for the better I promise.

    PS: I am not affiliated with Oracle in any shape or form, beside I'm developing and using Java, and I'm a certified JEE5 Enterprise Architect.

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