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Google, IBM to back Kenya programming language for Swarm Computing

Since Oracle went loggerheads with Google over Java and James Gosling, its inventor, joining Google it was obvious that something is in store for the Java programming language. Now IBM and Google are joining forces for the next generation of programming language. Both partners have vast experience in building virtual machines (IBM with their J9 JVM, Google with the Dalvik VM) and operating systems (IBM with AIX, OS/390, z/OS and a few others, Google with Android and their undisclosed GoogleOS that powers Google search).
IBM Distinguished Engineer Noah Mendelsohn explains in an internal blog entry: " Everything comes together nicely. With J9 we have the VM experience, Dalvik runs on small devices, Websphere SMASH (a.k.a project zero) did prove that a VM can host multiple languages with different personalities and our Rational Tool family is ready to deliver. We took a close look at Microsoft's Singularity operating system and their general approach of modelling their tools after existing platforms and concepts. You could say: dotNet started as "Java minus the historic baggage", so now we create "Java reloaded" which will be the best of both worlds".
On the search for a new approach Gosling wanted to stay with his beloved beans, so Google and IBM approached Robert Chatley to expand on the excellent Kenya Programming language. Naturally Robert was thrilled to see his work entering the limelight. While you already can download and play with Kenya 4.6 and Kenya for Eclipse, the real interesting release will be KenyaNG (NG stands for " Next Generation") initially expected in Beta in Q4 2011. The list of features is impressive:
  • The KenyaNG VM will be able to run directly under a hypervisor, no additional OS required. Planned are version for Android compatible phones, tablets, Laptops and Desktops, x86 Servers as well as big Iron running on AIX or z/OS' hypervisor
  • The KenyaNG VM will support all Android APIs and extend them with parallel clustering capabilities. So intensive computations could be distributed over a swarm of mobile devices or a swarm of KenyaNG runtimes running in a cloud. Eliminating the overhead of a classical operating system makes it possible to move from cloud to swarm computing further optimising the use of computational resources
  • KenyaNG is completely running in managed code, so most attack vectors (buffer overflows, code morphing etc.) run empty
  • There will be various language bindings for the KenyaNG runtime, Java being the most obvious. Confirmed are: JavaScript, PHP and Python. In discussion: LUA, Erlang, Lisp, ADA and Cobol
  • Miguel de Icaza has announced that his team will port the Mono project to KenyaNG thus making it a viable destination for dotNet applications
  • Besides the KenyaNG core there are extension layers planned that seamlessly extend the platform with standardised capabilities around data, processes and workflows. The KenyaNG data kernel will offer a unified access to large scale data by directly storing structures defined in UML diagrams. The KenyaNG process engine will provide workflow capabilities that are based on BPML definitions
Kenya co-author Prof. Susan Eisenbach, head of "Distributed Software Engineering" at the Imperial College London is very pleased: " IBM's and Google's endorsement of Kenya shows that we have been on the right track for years using Kenya to teach programming to our student. The probably rapidly growing demand for Kenya skills will provide our students a competitive advantage in the job marked and further enhance the college's reputation for visionary work.". Wikipedia is still a little short on the language, but that will change very soon. And I hope we see XPages running on a Kenya core rather soon.
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Posted by on 01 April 2011 | Comments (0) | categories: Business Software


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