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Google: Under-the-hood change helps Web apps on Chrome

Google has taught Chrome how to walk and chew gum at the same time.

The newest Chrome beta version, 33, includes a feature called concurrent compilation that means the browser takes a smoother, faster trip to an optimized version of the Web page code it's running.

"Concurrent code compilation is another step towards reducing latency in Chrome," said Chrome programmer Yang Guo in a blog post Thursday.

JavaScript performance is crucial to browsers, which increasingly run Web-based apps written in JavaScript, not just load relatively static Web pages.

Concurrent compilation takes advantage of the fact that most … Read more

Google Dart target: Chrome soon! Other browsers...someday

Minecraft is one of the most widely used games around these days. So it was notable when the programmer who wrote it, Markus "Notch" Persson, embraced Google's Dart programming language for Web apps.

"I love it," Persson tweeted in November, shortly after Google released Dart 1.0.

That's music to the ears of Google developers who created Dart to rewrite the rules of Web programming and, as they see it, to overcome shortcomings of the JavaScript language at the foundation of Web apps today. To fully succeed, though, Google will have to persuade a … Read more

Best free sites for learning how to write code

Not so long ago, typing was for secretaries, journalists, and would-be authors. Now we're all tapping away at keyboards and screens from morning until night.

The number of people who spend their workday coding continues to soar. In the not-too-distant future, writing code may be as commonplace as typing and other forms of text-keying are today.

Learning how to code has never been easier. Whether you're a programming newbie or an old hand looking to learn a new skill or two, these four free services have you covered. (Note that all but W3Schools.com requires that you register … Read more

Appeals court considers Oracle's Java copyright claims

A US appeals court on Wednesday considered whether Oracle should be afforded copyright protection over certain portions of the Java programming language in a case that is being closely watched by software developers.

The appeal, being heard by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC, is the latest chapter in the company's long-running patent and copyright battle over Google's use of Java application programming interfaces (APIs) in Android. Oracle sued Google in 2010, alleging that Google's use of 37 Java APIs in its mobile operating system constituted patent and copyright infringement.

Google … Read more

Adobe and Java vulnerabilities leave Windows open for exploitation

A recent report by the AV-Test Institute found that exploits in Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java account for 66 percent of Windows systems affected by malware.

In a 10-year-plus study, AV-Test uncovered that one exploit for Adobe Reader had nearly 37,000 recorded variants that exploited user machines with high levels of precision. Users with outdated software or versions known to be susceptible stood virtually no chance of avoiding malware damage without some form of protective software.

The biggest offender? Java, which had a whopping 82,000 attacks spread across different versions, making it one of the most vulnerable … Read more

Chrome, Opera pass Epic Citadel demo's Web graphics test

Chrome and Opera have become the first browsers to match Mozilla Firefox's support for Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 and the Web-based Epic Citadel demo that's built on the 3D graphics technology. The demo's computing challenges include 3D graphics covered with 2D textures, rustling leaves, flowing water, reflective stone floors, lens flare, and shadows and other lighting effects.

Mozilla and Epic Games demonstrated the advanced Web programming in March using a combination of Mozilla technologies: Emscripten that converts C or C++ software into JavaScript, and asm.js that can run a specialized subset of JavaScript much faster. … Read more

Mixbook sees 'perfect storm' for Google's Dart language (Q&A)

Google's Dart programming language, an attempt to outdo JavaScript for writing Web apps, has had a polarizing effect on the Web.

Mozilla and Microsoft don't like it, preferring to focus on improvements to the incumbent technology, JavaScript. But Google, which just released Dart 1.0, aims to speed up Web-based software and the programmers who write it.

One company, Mixbook, which is firmly in the pro-Dart camp, is betting on Dart with a service that stands to offer millions of dollars in annual revenue.

"Google has set up a perfect storm for a new language," said … Read more

Dart, Google's controversial Web language, turns 1.0

Dart is done.

Well, not completely done -- anything not actually cancelled at Google is a constant work in progress -- but the company on Thursday announced version 1.0 of its controversial Web programming language. Dart is designed to improve on JavaScript when it comes to programmer efficiency and software performance for Web sites and Web apps.

The 1.0 release means Dart is now ready for real-world Web sites, not just for testing, said Dart project leader Lars Bak in a blog post. And even though lots of roadblocks mean it's not possible to use Dart directly … Read more

Google modernizes Octane JavaScript speed test

Google has updated its Octane speed test for measuring JavaScript performance, expanding its scope and rounding out the benchmark with computing tasks from rival browser makers Mozilla and Microsoft.

With the expanded scope, Google tries to measure not just execution performance but also delays that can trip up Web pages and Web apps, Google said in its Octane 2.0 announcement Wednesday. Specifically, it added new tests to gauge sluggishness from the initial compilation of JavaScript programs into machine-executable code and from the memory-scrubbing operation called garbage collection.

More politically interesting is Octane 2.0's addition of Microsoft's Typescript compilerRead more

Amazon signs up for 'future of streaming' ORBX

One potential future for streaming technology doesn't look much like it does today, and that was enough to convince Amazon Web Services to sign up for it.

Amazon began to offer to AWS customers technology on Tuesday that allows them to stream complex games and software, thanks to a deal with visual rendering firm OTOY to implement the new JavaScript codec ORBX.

AWS customers using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) G2 will be able to stream complex software and games that require scalable GPU ray traced rendering such as Autodesk 3DS Max and Maya from AWS servers to … Read more