Adobe Tech Radar: Sept. 27, 2019

Bertrand Delacretaz
Sep 27 · 4 min read

New and shiny things Adobe engineers are looking at.

Continuing on our monthly cadence, with the last Friday of the month comes our Tech Radar: a digest of things at which Adobe engineers are looking or that we are creating.

Open source

The ApacheCon North America conference took place recently in Las Vegas, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Foundation. Video recordings of many sessions are available on the Foundation’s YouTube channel.

Apache: trillions and trillions served —

Among our favorites are the Founder’s Panel, which reflects on the Foundation’s history and on where our industry is, and James Gosling’s keynote, where the lead designer of Java reflects on his personal journey to open source. The European edition of that conference takes place Oct. 22–24 in Berlin, Germany.

The Adobe/Magento Squashtoberfest 2019 is on! Submitting at least five pull requests to any public repositories under or during October 2019 qualifies you to win cool swag!

FRED, our Frontend Regression Validator, was open sourced recently. It uses Machine Learning to segment website screenshots and compare them both at the layout and content levels for regression testing. It avoids the brittleness of DOM-based comparisons and helps focus the tests on what actually matters.

Ten years of Apache Sling! Photo:

The adaptTo() 2019 conference took place in Berlin, Germany, around Apache Sling and Adobe Experience Manager. It’s is a small but very lively conference that brings together users of these products, often around deeply technical topics. Slides, links to source code and video recordings are available from the schedule page.


Mob Programming (Adobe Stock)

Some of our teams have been trying Mob Programming and they are enthusiastic about it. A single keyboard, a few displays and a colocated or virtual mob of programmers help focus on difficult problems and efficiently put people’s brains together. Typists take turns but the whole team is sharing their neurons on the specific problem that they’re working on. Woody Zuill’s presentation from GOTO Copenhagen 2017 (53-minute video) explains the concept in more detail.

Using the GraphQL Context to abstract access to services is an interesting pattern described by Eric Clemmons in a blog post.

The pure bash bible is a large collection of examples of how to implement common functions using only built-in bash features. Might come handy as we tend to write more scripts these days for devops and containerized things. is a useful online testing tool that generates HTTP responses based on a simple and clean syntax. The code is available if you want to install it yourself. — unclutter your .profile

Direnv is a useful shell extension that loads and unloads environment variables depending on the current directory. We found the mechanism used to hook code to the bash prompt (“direnv hook bash”) to be interesting. And it could inspire some fun April Fools jokes.

Java programmers might welcome the JVM’s Class Data Sharing features, available since JDK 11, which helps start Java code faster as well as reduce the application’s footprint. An example using Elasticsearch shows a startup time of 1.4 seconds instead of 2.7, and another one with JRuby shows a 30% faster startup time. This won’t help much if it’s your own Java code that takes a long time to start, but for small or specially (re)designed applications it might be very useful.

Serverless technologies

Massive parallelism? (Adobe Stock)

In Faster File Transfers with Serverless, James Thomas shows an interesting use of Serverless functions for massively parallel file copies, reducing copying time between cloud object stores from three hours to four minutes for his use case.

Realizing (late) that NodeJS runs WebAssembly has allowed us to run fun serverless experiments with the standard Adobe I/O Runtime. Considering that many languages can be compiled to WebAssembly this opens interesting perspectives. We can’t wait to run that COBOL code on I/O Runtime. Well, maybe not.

Tyson Norris, one of the bright minds behind Adobe I/O Runtime

The Off-by-None Serverless Newsletter by Jeremy Daly provides lots of useful information on serverless technologies, weekly or mostly weekly.

A recent interview of our colleague Tyson Norris, who helps design our Adobe I/O Runtime serverless environment, provides insights about how that service works and what that team is looking at in terms of its ongoing evolution.

We’ll talk to you again in a month. In the meantime here’s how FRED sees an example Web page. Or dreams about it, maybe?

FRED’s analysis of a Web page —

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

Bertrand Delacretaz

Written by

Apache Software Foundation Member and former Director. Principal Scientist, Adobe Digital Experience group.

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

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