The Khronos Group has announced the immediate availability of Vulkan 1.0, a royalty-free open standard API specification. Vulkan has been in the making for 18 months, and is designed to provide high-efficiency, cross-platform access to graphics and compute on modern GPUs used in a wide variety of devices such as PCs, consoles, mobile phones and embedded platforms.

“The Vulkan working group has been driven by more positive developer energy than any other Khronos project, resulting in the release of specifications, conformance tests, and open-source SDK and compiler components in just 18 months,” said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president at NVIDIA. “Vulkan does not replace traditional APIs, but it provides another choice for developers. In the right hands, Vulkan’s multi-threading and explicit resource management can enable a new class of smooth, high-performance engines and applications.”

Kotlin 1.0 released
JetBrains has announced it has finally reached version 1.0 of its pragmatic language for JVM and Android: Kotlin. According to the company, Kotlin works everywhere Java works, and is focused on interoperability, safety, clarity and tooling support. Kotlin features support for mixed Java and Kotlin projects, an extensive standard library, and the ability to use any Java library.

The company plans to add constant performance improvements, JavaScript support, support for generating Java 9 bytecode with optimized lambdas, a new compiler that works with older binaries, and the ability to work with older binaries and newer binaries at runtime.

“For us pragmatism is about creating user experience, not a language or a library alone,” wrote Andrey Breslav, lead language designer of Kotlin at JetBrains, in a blog post. “Many of the language design decisions were made under constraints like ‘Won’t this impede incremental compilation?’, ‘What if this increases APK method counts?’, ‘How will the IDE highlight this as you type?’, and many more like these. As a result, we are proud of our tooling as well as the language.”

Rackspace launches early access for Data Connectors
Rackspace is unveiling a new feature designed to make it easier and more cost-effective to move between data sources and tools. Data Connectors is part of the ObjectRocket platform.

“We believe that application developers should never have to worry about their databases,” said Chris Lalonde, ObjectRocket cofounder and general manager of data at Rackspace. “At ObjectRocket, we’re taking another step toward that goal. Data connectors will make developers’ lives easier and allow them to focus on their business.”

Rackspace plans to add new features such as guided schema to Data Connectors and the ability to connect data stores.

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