Language/library updatesRubinius 1.1 released
Rubinius, an alternative Ruby interpreter/VM, released version 1.1. I spoke with Engine Yard's Evan Phoenix, lead developer on Rubinius, to find out what's in the new version. The new version is API compatible with Ruby 1.8.7, but its performance is comparable to Ruby 1.9. The new version has much needed debugging facilities. The performance is significantly enhanced (they shifted to JIT compilation), has a better garbage collector, and uses RAM more efficiently. Evan stated that making better use of the underlying hardware was a big concern. He also expects that the next version (which will be Ruby 1.9 compatible) will be available in approximately 4 - 6 months.Windows Phone 7 tools for VB.NET coders
If you use jQuery UI, you'll be happy to know that you can use it on the Microsoft Content Delivery Network (CDN) for free with no registration. Microsoft's CDN is probably faster than your network, and clients will see it as the same source and only cache it once instead of per-domain.Recent SQL Azure changes
SQL Azure got an update recently with a few new features; you can read the details on the SQL Server Team Blog. There isn't anything earth shattering in there, but the database copy is a useful feature.Major updates to RIM's developer situation
Lost in the hoopla around the BlackBerry tablet, RIM also made a good number of major announcements around development tools. Check out the RIM press page and look for the September 27 entries; there are a lot of items there! Jason Hiner has a good summary of the announcements, as well as details on the HTML5 situation with the BlackBerry tablet.
Tools and productsRightScale offering test labs in the cloud
RightScale is now offering cloud-based test labs. Through partnerships with various vendors, RightScale is able to offer a very smooth experience. I spoke with Kent Mitchell at Zend (who is one of the partners working with RightScale). He explained that this offering allows developers to define standard configurations that can be rapidly provisioned and started for testing, and that the developer's current tools (such as Zend Studio) can easily debug against the test server.Windows Phone 7 Dev Tools final release
The Windows Phone 7 Developer Tools were released in their final form. You need to upgrade from the beta if you want your apps to work in the Marketplace.
XNA 4.0 is also being released at the same time.Eclipse Helios SR1
Eclipse Helios just got its first service release. Download it to stay current.Geographic analysis + mobile apps
Appcelerator and FortiusOne have teamed up and announced the pending release of Titanium+Geo. It is an intriguing system that allows you to overlay mobile application usage analysis with geographic data. For example, you can see where your app is being used, giving insight into how it can be improved.Iron Speed Designer 7.1
Iron Speed has released version 7.1 of its flagship Iron Speed Designer IDE. The update brings support for Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint 2010.eXo 3.0 CMS for Java
The eXo CMS for Java has been updated to 3.0. The latest version looks to challenge SharePoint as an all-encompassing CMs and collaboration system.Treejack, Chalkmark updated
Optimal Workshop has updated its Treejack and Chalkmark tools, both of which are used for usability testing.
Editorial and commentaryIs the OpenOffice fork a sign of things to come?
It didn't take long for OpenOffice to fork, due to dissatisfaction with Oracle's direction. Can you blame them? Historically, major project forks do not fare well (back in the day, Linux beat the BSDs in no small part because of the concerns around the forking of BSD). It will be interesting to see if LibreOffice (the new fork's name) can retain user base and maybe gain some momentum, or if it (and OpenOffice) will fizzle out. Also, is MySQL next?A look into the C# crystal ball
The CodePlex Foundation (similar to the Apache Foundation) changed its name to OuterCurve to distance it from the CodePlex forge that Microsoft runs (Microsoft started the CodePlex Foundation as well).Hadoop developer survey
Karmasphere (vendors of Hadoop in the cloud) released an interesting survey of Hadoop developers. It's an interesting look at Hadoop, especially if you are considering getting started in it, to see what the challenges might be and what technologies are worth looking at.
Tips and tricksCritical ASP.NET security hole and patch
There is a huge ASP.NET security bug, related to the custom errors system. Fortunately, a patch is available, so download it ASAP.Can you solve Cyber Command's code?
The U.S. military's new Cyber Command has a puzzle in its unit logo. Can you solve it? While others have broken it already, it is certainly a fun challenge to tackle.Updated Google SEO Guide
Google has updated its SEO Guide (PDF). It is significantly expanded (by nearly 50%) since the previous version.Using HTML 5 templates for Visual Studio 2010
Here's an interesting pairing: Windows Phone 7 and IronRuby. I honestly thought it wouldn't work together, but Shay Friedman has information on how to make it happen.Free Parallel Programming with Microsoft .NET book
You can get a free, electronic copy of the upcoming book Parallel Programming with Microsoft .NET from O'Reilly.Windows Phone 7 resources
Jeff Blankenberg has put together an evolving list of Windows Phone 7 resources on his site. He says that it will be changing often.
EventsEmbarcadero CodeRage 5
Embarcadero is holding its annual online CodeRage conference October 4 - 8. It's completely free.PHP Barcelona
Eclipse Summit Europe is happening November 2 - 4 in Ludwigsburg, DE. There are a lot of Eclipse related events this fall!GiveCamps across the United States
There are a variety of GiveCamps being organized January 14 - 16, 2011 across the United States. These are events for developers to get together and lend their skills to help charities.
J.JaDisclosure of Justin's industry affiliations: Justin James has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides; he has a contract with OpenAmplify, which is owned by Hapax, to write a series of blogs, tutorials, and articles; and he has a contract with OutSystems to write articles, sample code, etc.
Justin James is an OutSystems MVP, architect, and developer with expertise in SaaS applications and enterprise applications.