Electron 1.0

For the last two years, Electron has helped developers build cross platform desktop apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Now we’re excited to share a major milestone for our framework and for the community that created it. The release of Electron 1.0 is now available from electron.atom.io.

electron

Electron 1.0 represents a major milestone in API stability and maturity. This release allows you to build apps that act and feel truly native on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Building Electron apps is easier than ever with new docs, new tools, and a new app to walk you through the Electron APIs.

If you’re ready to build your very first Electron app, here’s a quick start guide to help you get started.

Under the hood of Microsoft's Windows Subsystem for Linux

Bash on Windows 10 was one of the big reveals at Microsoft's recent Build conference. Since then, there's been a lot of speculation about what Microsoft did to make this possible.

Microsoft is starting to provide more details via blog posts and a new Channel 9 video on what's going on under the covers.

bashlinuxwin10

Spoiler alert: There's no secret Linux kernel hidden in Windows 10. Instead, it's the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) that was developed by the Windows Kernel team is what provides the foundation that enabled the Linux binaries to run on Windows.

WSL includes a user mode session manager, pico provider drivers that emulate a Linux kernel and pico processes that host the unmodified user mode Linux, like Bash, as Microsoft officials explain in an April 22 blog post.

"It is the space between the user mode Linux binaries and the Windows kernel components where the magic happens," according to Microsoft's post."By placing unmodified Linux binaries in Pico processes we enable Linux system calls to be directed into the Windows kernel. The lxss.sys and lxcore.sys drivers translate the Linux system calls into NT APIs and emulate the Linux kernel."

The Channel 9 architectural overview video and the related blog post both note that the Windows kernel does include the Drawbridge pico process/pico driver concepts. And it's these pico processes and drivers that "provide the foundation for the Windows Subsystem for Linux."

The post and video are worth checking out for those whose hearts beat just a little quicker when they see an OS architectural diagram.

How To Setup Native Bash On Ubuntu On Windows 10

Alright, this post is for our developer friends only: the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build – build 14316 – includes the much-hyped Bash shell from Ubuntu. What’s the Bash shell, and how can you start using it in Windows 10? Find out after the bump.

Start Using Bash In Windows 10

bash-cmd

As of typing this post, you need to be a Windows Insider running Insider Preview Build 14316 on your Windows 10 PC to be able to execute Bash commands and scripts. If you’ve met these requirements, you’re good to go.

Here’s what you need to setup Bash on Ubuntu Linux on Windows 10: first, go to Settings > Update & security > For developers and enable Developer Mode; second, search for Windows Features, and from Turn Windows features on or off  go ahead and enable Windows subsystem for Linux (beta); third and final, open the Command Prompt and type bash to install it. That’s it!

We will update this post later on when Microsoft releases this feature to the general public as part of the Anniversary Update later this year. Until then, happy scripting!

What is Bash, and why is it on Windows 10?

Bash_screenshot

Bash is a hugely popular shell and command language that runs just below the Command Prompt, and it accepts a different, and much more accepted set of commands and scripts. Bash is popular on Linux and OSX where it serves as the primary command line language.

Windows is quite late to the party, but developers are happy because this means they’ll be able to use all their favorite, powerful Bash commands and scripts in Windows 10.

People have made a big deal out of Bash on Windows 10 because in order to bring Bash to their operating system, Microsoft had to develop a Linux subsystem just for Windows. So, in running Bash natively on Windows 10, you are – in a way – running Linux on Windows 10. That’s a big deal!

Microsoft has released a Debian Linux switch OS

Microsoft_has_released_Debian_Linux_switch_OS_Yoda

Put down your coffee gently. Microsoft has today released a homegrown open-source operating system, based on Debian GNU/Linux, that runs on network switches.

The software is dubbed SONiC, aka Software for Open Networking in the Cloud. It's a toolkit of code and kernel patches to bend switch hardware to your will, so you can dictate how it works and what it can do, rather than relying on proprietary firmware from a traditional networking vendor.

It also pits Redmond against white-box network operating systems from the likes of HP, Dell, and Cumulus Networks.

SONiC builds upon the Windows giant's Linux-based Azure Cloud Switch (ACS) operating system that we learned about in September.

ACS is the brains of switches in Microsoft's Azure cloud: the code can run on all sorts of hardware from different equipment makers, and uses a common C API – the Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) – to program the specialist chips in the networking gear. This means ACS can control and manage network devices and implement features as required regardless of who made the underlying electronics.

This underlying hardware must therefore implement the SAI, an API that Microsoft contributed to the Open Compute Project (OCP) in 2015. The OCP, launched by Facebook in 2011, encourages hardware manufacturers to produce generic gear to the project's open standards and specifications so large organizations can buy the machines cheaply in bulk and use software to customize and control the gear as they wish.

Redmond – backed by Arista, Broadcom, Dell and Mellanox – now hopes to contribute ACS's sibling SONiC to the OCP so organizations can pick and choose their switch hardware and shape their networks as needed using Redmond's software.

"SONiC is a collection of software networking components required to build network devices like switches," said Azure CTO Mark Russinovich, who will give a keynote at the OCP Summit in San Jose, California, in the next few minutes.

"Together with SAI, SONiC will enable cloud operators to take advantage of hardware innovation, while giving them a framework to build upon open source code for applications on the network switch.

"We believe it’s the final piece of the puzzle in delivering a fully open sourced switch platform that can share the same software stack across hardware from multiple switch vendors."

SONiC is available for download now from Microsoft's Azure GitHub repo under a mix of open-source licenses including the GNU GPL and the Apache license.

Today's news follows Microsoft's other bombshell this week: a port of SQL Server for Linux, due out in 2017. This is all extremely surprising given the Windows giant was hell bent on destroying Linux until very recently.

Now, according to Russinovich, more than 25 per cent of virtual machines running on Azure are Linux-powered, up from 20 per cent six months ago.

Redmond fans insist their favorite IT giant has turned a new leaf, that it no longer likens open-source to cancer and communism, and that it now truly loves Linux. Those of us who found themselves on the business end of Microsoft in the 1990s will be thinking of the old words from a nearly forgotten age. Embrace. Extend... ®

Updated to add

Russinovich has blogged about SONiC here.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has said it "has no plans to sell SONiC to customers or provide any network engineering or development support." It also stressed that "SONiC is a collection of networking software components required to have a fully functional L3 device that can be agnostic of any particular Linux distribution. Today SONiC runs on Debian."

Announcing SQL Server on Linux

SQL-Loves-Linux_Microsoft-640x358

It’s been an incredible year for the data business at Microsoft and an incredible year for data across the industry. This Thursday at our Data Driven event in New York, we will kick off a wave of launch activities for SQL Server 2016 with general availability later this year. This is the most significant release of SQL Server that we have ever done, and brings with it some fantastic new capabilities. SQL Server 2016 delivers:

  • Groundbreaking security encryption capabilities that enable data to always be encrypted at rest, in motion and in-memory to deliver maximum security protection
  • In-memory database support for every workload with performance increases up to 30-100x
  • Incredible Data Warehousing performance with the #1, #2 and #3 TPC-H 10 Terabyte benchmarks for non-clustered performance, and the #1 SAP SD Two-Tier performance benchmark on windows
  • Business Intelligence for every employee on every device – including new mobile BI support for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices
  • Advanced analytics using our new R support that enables customers to do real-time predictive analytics on both operational and analytic data
  • Unique cloud capabilities that enable customers to deploy hybrid architectures that partition data workloads across on-premises and cloud based systems to save costs and increase agility

These improvements, and many more, are all built into SQL Server and bring you not just a new database but a complete platform for data management, business analytics and intelligent apps – one that can be used in a consistent way across both on-premises and the cloud. In fact, over the last year we’ve been using the SQL Server 2016 code-base to run in production more than 1.4 million SQL Databases in the cloud using our Azure SQL Database as a Service offering, and this real-world experience has made SQL Server 2016 an incredibly robust and battle-hardened data platform.

Gartner recently named Microsoft as leading the industry in their Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems in both execution and vision. We’re also a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics, and Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, as well as leading in vision in the Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms.

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Why Visual Studio Code?



Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their core code-edit-debug cycle. Visual Studio Code is the first code editor, and first cross-platform development tool - supporting OSX, Linux, and Windows - in the Visual Studio family.

At its heart, Visual Studio Code features a powerful, fast code editor great for day-to-day use. The Preview release of Code already has many of the features developers need in a code and text editor, including navigation, keyboard support with customizable bindings, syntax highlighting, bracket matching, auto indentation, and snippets, with support for dozens of languages.

For serious coding, developers often need to work with code as more than just text. Visual Studio Code includes built-in support for always-on IntelliSense code completion, richer semantic code understanding and navigation, and code refactoring. In the Preview, Code includes enriched built-in support for ASP.NET 5 development with C#, and Node.js development with TypeScript and JavaScript, powered by the same underlying technologies that drive Visual Studio. Code includes great tooling for web technologies such as HTML, CSS, LESS, SASS, and JSON. Code also integrates with package managers and repositories, and builds and other common tasks to make everyday workflows faster. And Code understands Git, and delivers great Git workflows and source diffs integrated with the editor.

But developers don't spend all their time just writing code: they go back and forth between coding and debugging. Debugging is the most popular feature in Visual Studio, and often the one feature from an IDE that developers want in a leaner coding experience. Visual Studio Code includes a streamlined, integrated debugging experience, with support for Node.js debugging in the Preview, and more to come later.

Architecturally, Visual Studio Code combines the best of web, native, and language-specific technologies. Using the GitHub Electron Shell, Code combines web technologies such as JavaScript and Node.js with the speed and flexibility of native apps. Code uses a newer, faster version of the same industrial-strength HTML-based editor that has powered the “Monaco” cloud editor, Internet Explorer's F12 Tools, and other projects. And Code uses a tools service architecture that enables it to use many of the same technologies that power Visual Studio, including Roslyn for .NET, TypeScript, the Visual Studio debugging engine, and more. In future previews, as we continue to evolve and refine this architecture, Visual Studio Code will include a public extensibility model that lets developers build and use plug-ins, and richly customize their edit-build-debug experience.

We are, of course, still very early with Visual Studio Code. If you prefer a code editor-centric development tool, or are building cross-platform web and cloud applications, we invite you to try out the Visual Studio Code Preview, and let us know what you think!

Next Steps

Read on to find out about:

  • Code Basics - a quick orientation of VSCode
  • Editing Evolved - from code colorization & multi-cursor to IntelliSense
  • Debugging - OK time for the really fun stuff - break, step, watch

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