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James Gosling is probably best known for creating the Java programming language while working at Sun Microsystems. Currently, he is the chief software architect at Liquid Robotics. Among other projects, Liquid Robotics makes the Wave Glider, an autonomous, environmentally powered marine robot. James has agreed to take a little time from the oceangoing robots and answer any questions you have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.

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hypnosec writes "Following news that a Java 0-day has been rolled into exploit kits, without any patch to fix the vulnerability, Mozilla and Apple have blocked the latest versions of Java on Firefox and Mac OS X respectively. Mozilla has taken steps to protect its user base from the yet-unpatched vulnerability. Mozilla has added to its Firefox add-on block-list: Java 7 Update 10, Java 7 Update 9, Java 6 Update 38 and Java 6 Update 37. Similar steps have also been taken by Apple; it has updated its anti-malware system to only allow version 1.7.10.19 or higher, thereby automatically blocking the vulnerable version, 1.7.10.18." Here are some ways to disable Java, if you're not sure how.

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CowboyRobot writes "Dr. Dobb's has an editorial on the problem of using return values and exceptions to handle errors. Quoting: 'But return values, even in the refined form found in Go, have a drawback that we've become so used to we tend to see past it: Code is cluttered with error-checking routines. Exceptions here provide greater readability: Within a single try block, I can see the various steps clearly, and skip over the various exception remedies in the catch statements. The error-handling clutter is in part moved to the end of the code thread. But even in exception-based languages there is still a lot of code that tests returned values to determine whether to carry on or go down some error-handling path. In this regard, I have long felt that language designers have been remarkably unimaginative. How can it be that after 60+ years of language development, errors are handled by only two comparatively verbose and crude options, return values or exceptions? I've long felt we needed a third option.'"

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At BUILD in Redmond today, Microsoft announced its plans to improve C++ standards conformance in its Visual Studio development environment, and talked about ways in which C++ would become a better, regularly updated, modern programming language. Microsoft developer and C++ standard committee chair Herb Sutter introduced work being done by the C++ community to make the language better, and also discussed the work being done by Microsoft to make its own compiler better.

C++, the systems programming language, is one of the most important programming languages in the world. It's used to build important system infrastructure (operating system kernels tend still to be C, but the systems built on those kernels are often C++), and one of the first choices for development of fast, efficient software.

It's also emerging from a dark period in its history. The first version of the standard was delivered in 1998. The next didn't get finished until early 2011, after a painful and drawn-out process that saw the committee going down blind alleys and suffering political infighting. C++ has also suffered from being more than a little uncool; safe environments like Java, .NET, Python, Ruby, Node.js and more have all won considerable mindshare, and have become the go-to tools for a large class of applications, taking advantage of C++'s 13-year failure to add necessary, modern features in a timely manner.

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