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LiveRebel: The End of the Story

LiveRebel, developed by ZeroTurnaround, is a “release automation tool” which allows teams to shift to automated release process from scripted or manual releases and makes it easier for non-technical teams to start the release with just one click on a button. LiveRebel’s “one-click app releases” can deploy apps quickly and safely, has real-time tracking and monitoring of apps, and has full support for various platforms such as Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby. This product has started in 2008, however, LiveRebel’s story ended so soon.

In a statement posted last August 11 in ZeroTurnaround’s website, Jevgeni Kabanov, founder and CEO of ZeroTurnaround, declared that LiveRebel will now be discontinued. All of their active customers will be refunded and will be provided with support and help in migrating off LiveRebel until August 11, 2015 only. The company came up with the decision because their current market is not enough to sustain the product. He also thanked everyone who became a part of LiveRebel for over six years.

Here is a summary of LiveRebel’s life cycle as told by Kabanov:

  • (2008): LiveRebel – Start of development
  • (May 2011): LiveRebel 1.0 – First release
  • (February 2012): LiveRebel 2.0 – Ability to manage any Java EE application update and choose the default strategy depending on whether the hotpatch update would be successful or not.
  • (October 2012): LiveRebel 2.5 – Added support for executing custom release script
  • (March 2013): LiveRebel 2.6 – Supported database and configuration changes and multi-platform releases
  • (June 2013): LiveRebel 2.7 – Extended rolling update support to any web platform
  • (January 2014): LiveRebel 3.0 – Ability to release multiple applications in one transaction
  • (2014): LiveRebel 3.1 – Improved performance and scalability, no longer support hotpatching
  • (August 11, 2014): Announced discontinuation of LiveRebel
  • (August 11, 2015): End of support and deadline in helping migrate off LiveRebel

Even with the increase in their customers in 2013 and first half of 2014, ZeroTurnaround still chose to end LiveRebel. Mid-market deployments are not enough to catch up with their competitors because of the following reasons: Release management is still under developed with no agreement on what it should look like and it is still not yet in-demand in the market.

Although the LiveRebel stops here, XRebel, an “interactive profiler” and ZeroTurnaround’s newest developer tool has just started its journey. For 2015, the company’s aim is to continue to improve JRebel and XRebel and will concentrate in developing new tools that will benefit the developers’ productiveness, happiness and awareness.

Java 9: Early Access Release

The development of Java 9 is now in progress, just a few months after the general availability release of the much awaited Java 8. The OpenJDK has started the JDK 9 Project wherein they have open its repositories for “bug fixes and small enhancements only”. As stated on their Mission Statement, the goal of the project is to “produce an open-source reference implementation of the Java SE 9 Platform, to be defined by a forthcoming JSR in the Java Community Process”. Same role for JDK 9 Project will be given to the authors, committers or reviewers who contributed at least one changeset to the JDK 8 Project. JDK 9’s latest Early Access Release – build b26 is now available for download and testing.

While Java 8’s main attraction is Project Lambda, Project Jigsaw is believed to be one of the main features of Java 9. “It’s now time to switch gears and focus on creating a production-quality design and implementation suitable for JDK 9 and thence Java SE 9, as previously proposed” Mark Reinhold, Oracle’s chief Java architect stated in his blog post last July. As Reinhold mentioned, Project Jigsaw is originally meant to be included in Java 8, however, in the 3rd quarter of 2012 the Oracle team decided to “defer it from Java 8 to Java 9”. Project Jigsaw is now on its Phase Two and aims to achieve the following:

  • Create a modular structure wherein Java SE Platform and the JDK APIs’ will be divided into set of modules.
  • Boost security and maintainability of Java SE Platform Implementations in general, and the JDK in particular;
  • Enhance application performance
  • Provide easy construction and maintenance of Java SE and EE Platforms’ libraries and large application.

According to Reinhold, Jigsaw will create a big impact to the JDK and he said that merging to the JDK is advisable to be performed before Jigsaw is complete.

What’s in Scala 2.12

In a roadmap published in Scala’s website last June 30, 2014, stated their plan for the new Scala version – Scala 2.12.

While Scala 2.10 and Scala 2.11 use previous versions of Java, the distribution for Scala 2.12 will be entirely built and will require Java 8. Therefore, in preparation for the Scala 2.12, the next releases of Scala 2.11.x, “Java 8-style closure compilation: Miguel’s new back-end & optimizer” will be introduced as experimental features. The Scala team is also planning to have an easy cross-building between 2.11 and 2.12 using full backward source compatibility. Version 2.11 and 2.12 compiler and standard library code bases will be aligned closely to achieve a smooth transition to Java 8.

The roadmap also listed the following shared features of Scala 2.11 (under a flag) and 2.12:

  • Java 8 interop (bidirectional)
  • Miguel’s new back-end & optimizer
  • Style checker
  • Collections enhancement
  • Improvement on documentation
  • Continuous improvements on infrastructure such as sbt build, pull request validation & release automation, bug tracker cleanup and automation.

On the fourth quarter of 2014, infrastructure development for 2.12 will start and the development for transition will be on 2015. Below is the schedule which they follow:

2.10.0             |             04/01/2013             |             First 2.10.x release

2.11.0             |             16/04/2014             |             First 2.11.x release

2.11.1             |             19/05/2014

2.11.2             |             21/07/2014

2.11.3             |              29/09/2014

2.10.5              |          Q4 2014                   |             Last 2.10.x release

2.12.0-M1        |           24/11/2014

2.11.4             |           Dec 2014

2.12.0-M{2,3,4} |           Q{1,2,3} 2015          |              quarterly 2.12.0-Mx releases

2.12.0-M5        |             Oct 2015

2.12.0-RC1        |          Nov 2015                |                (1 year after M1)

2.12.0                |            Jan 2016

The new features exclusive for Scala 2.12 that will be developed on 2015 are as follows:

  • FunctionN will be turned into Functional Interfaces wherein higher-order methods in Scala can be called without a wrapper using Java 8 code
  • Support for @interface traits
  • Possibility of integrating Streams into Scala collections
  • JDK’s forkjoin library will be used instead of embedding your own
  • Enhanced lazy val initialization – SIP-20

These features are binary incompatible thus cannot be backported to 2.11.

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