The JVM Thing 9 – 5th December 2018

The JVM Thing was born in early 2017 out of a gap in the Yorkshire market for likeminded individuals who could get together and discuss all things JVM. Although there were already a number of well-established meetups covering other technologies, somehow there wasn’t for Java. This fact is a little strange considering Java is one of, if not the most in demand programming languages in Yorkshire right now!

So a Java meetup was created which after the first event was changed to include all JVM languages with the aim of the group being to:

Bring together software enthusiasts to show, tell, share knowledge and discuss key topics related to the JVM ecosystem.

The JVM Thing 9.0 was hosted at Hippo Digital, kicked off with a great talk on Graal VM by Chris Seaton, currently Research Manager Oracle Labs. Chris gave us some background on GraalVM and “Ten Things To Do with GraalVM”.

What is GraalVM?

GraalVM is the ‘One Compiler to rule them all’, meaning that you can use it for both just-in-time compilation and, ahead-of-time compilation for: Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, R, C and other languages.

Ten Things to do with GraalVM!

  1. High performance modern Java – One simple way to use GraalVM is as your Java JIT compiler, running the Java command in GraalVM means no extra configuration is needed.
  2. Low footprint, fast start-up Java – GraalVM gives us the ability to distribute and run your existing Java programs with a low-footprint and fast start-up.
  3. Combine JavaScript, Java, Ruby and R – As well as Java, GraalVM uses a new language implementation framework called Truffle that makes it possible to work on JavaScript, Ruby, R and Python as well as Java.
  4. Run native languages on the JVM – Another language that GraalVM supports is C. GraalVM can run C code in the same way that it runs languages like JavaScript and Ruby.
  5. Tools that work across all languages – GraalVM and the Truffle framework allows all languages to implement functionality like debuggers.
  6. Extend a JVMbased application – A new Polyglot API lets you load and run code in other languages and to use values from them.
  7. Extend a native application – GraalVM already includes one native library built like this – it’s a library that lets you run code written in any GraalVM languages from native applications.
  8. Java code as a native library – GraalVM lets you take a Java library, either off-the-shelf or one you’ve written yourself, and compile it to a standalone native library for use from other native languages.
  9. Polyglot in the database – You can run GraalVM languages inside the Oracle Database so that you can use the same logic from your frontends or backends inside your Database logic.
  10. Create your own language – Using Truffle you are able to write an abstract syntax tree interpreter for a language, this is probably the simplest way to implement a language.

Overall GraalVM enables a very diverse set of new functionality, it’s a platform on which you can build more powerful languages and tools and put them in to more environments.


As well as the talk on GraalVM by Chris we also had a series of exciting Lightning talks!

“Keeping Current with Legacy Systems” by Chris Wormald – Working on proof of concept? Get it in your CV!

“Going Serverless with the JVM” by Richard McIntyre – If you don’t know about AWS Lambda, Get to know.

“An introduction to Spring Cloud Stream” by Danny Kay – A new way to build message oriented microservice architectures.

“Talking to Alexa” by Ben Foster – Writing serverless Java Apps for Amazon’s Alexa.

We always appreciate your feedback so if you attended and would like to pass on any comments please feel free to email me with any suggestions. We are already in the process of planning the next JVM Thing and are looking for speakers and potential hosts so please get in touch if you want to get involved.

The JVM Thing is not just for career developers, anyone who has an interest in Java, Free pizza, Kotlin Free Beer, Scala and more (JVM languages not complimentary refreshments) is welcome to come along.

Fruition IT are currently running our annual “elf on the Shelf” Christmas fundraiser for Leeds Baby Bank and Leeds Children’s Hospital – Please dig deep and help us support this very worthy cause!

Until next time…