11 Oct 2017

Node-ChakraCore update from Node.js Interactive 2017

Author: Arunesh Chandra
Go to Source

Earlier this year, we shared an update on some key milestones achieved for Node-ChakraCore like cross-platform support, community participation for N-API, Node-ChakraCore on iOS and more. Today, as Node.js enthusiasts from all over the world gather in Vancouver, Canada for Node.js Interactive, we’d like to share an update on Node-ChakraCore – from its progress in handling production workloads and advancing N-API, to an update on running Node on iOS with ChakraCore.

Node-ChakraCore in production deployments

While Node-ChakraCore is still a pre-release project, and the team has been actively working on improving its reliability, performance and compatibility with popular Node.js modules. As with any new platform, running large production workloads is always a great challenge to test maturity and quality.

Today we are happy to announce that Microsoft Edge Developer portal is handling 100% of its production traffic on Node-ChakraCore! This is a large global website, deployed across multiple datacenters across multiple regions, which handles over 16 million requests per month. Our site uses over 60 npm modules including popular ones like body-parser, cheerio, express, lodash, redis, winston, applicationinsights, and many more.

Node-ChakraCore was a drop-in replacement for Node runtime for this website, demonstrating great compatibility with the existing Node.js module ecosystem—we’re happy to report that not a single line of application code was changed to achieve this migration.

Screen capture of dev.microsoftedge.com running in Microsoft Edge

The Microsoft Edge Developer site now runs 100% of production traffic on Node-ChakraCore

Node-ChakraCore is also beginning to see production usage outside of Microsoft properties, specifically for its Time-Travel debugging (TTD) capabilities. Travix is a global online travel company with various travel brands like BudgetAir.com, CheapTickets.nl, vliegwinkel.nl, Vayama.com and FlugLaden. It handles around 3.5 million bookings per year across all its different brands.

Screen capture showing Travix.com in Microsoft Edge

Travix uses Node-ChakraCore for their build system for the entire website, including their CI/CD pipeline.

Travix uses Node-ChakraCore for their build system for the entire website, including their CI/CD pipeline. According to Jean Baudin, a software developer at Travix, the main reason for this was Time-Travel debugging capability with Node-ChakraCore.

Using Time-Travel debugging in our CI/CD pipeline has significantly reduced our time to repro and diagnose the issues in our CI/CD pipeline

– Jean Baudin, Software Developer, Travix.com

Their home-grown CI/CD pipeline uses TTD record functionality for pre-production testing to automatically capture traces in case of errors, which is then used offline by developers to quickly reproduce the problem in VSCode with ability to step back and understand the control flow of the faulty execution, thereby saving time in searching through logs and reconstruction of the repro steps.  Travix also uses Node-ChakraCore in its production deployment of one of their microservices that handles its gateway to connect to KongDB for their database access.

These deployments are a significant milestone in our journey to enable Node-ChakraCore as a drop-in replacement for production sites in the future. Our goal is to exit pre-release status having rigorously validated Node-ChakraCore to meet the high quality bar expected by Node.js developers.

ABI Stable Node.js API (N-API)

Evolving the Node.js ecosystem through community participation is one of the main objectives of Node-ChakraCore and we are humbled to have the opportunity to participate in the conversations regarding future of Node.js. The N-API project is one such example of the Node-ChakraCore team collaborating with the API working group and others in the community to solve a real-world problem for Node.js native module developers by helping define and implement a new ABI stable API surface for Node.js. ABI stability is very important to have a healthy and robust module ecosystem that allows more potential for future growth of the platform. N-API helps reduce the maintenance costs for native module authors by allowing them to compile their modules just once for all future Node versions. More significantly for native module consumers, it reduces friction in upgrading to new Node version since the native module dependencies will “just work” against the new version of Node.

N-API has been available as an experimental feature since May 2017 in Node 8.0, and we’ve been excited by the interest shown in just a few short months, as can be seen by the chart below showing downloads of the node-addon-api module.

Chart showing downloads of the node-addon-api over time, trending rapidly updward from ~250 in Jun 2017 to ~1500 in Sep 2017

Downloads of the node-addon-api module (via npm-stat.com)

We’ve heard lots of great feedback from the community on the initial implementation. The working group has been able to quickly act on your feedback, and has recently landed several important changes available in Node.js 8.6—most notably, the removal of the command line flag, which now enables N-API module deployments in prod/pre-prod environment without having to change the deployment scripts, making it easier to interop with ES6 modules and support for async_hooks. With this, all known breaking changes have landed in Node 8.6, and we now strongly encourage module maintainers to consider porting a native module to N-API.

The next milestone for N-API is to exit the experimental status, which depends on community adoption. Check out the N-API github repository to find out different ways to help in moving this project forward.

Node.js for Mobile Apps

Node.js was born in the cloud, but recently we’ve seen growing interest in running Node.js on mobile devices. Some examples include hood.ie’s offline first initiative, Rockwell Automation’s TeamOne solution for factory floor device automation, and Luna from Craftwork, which runs both on a set-top box and on an iPad to allow same content consumption experience on a TV and on a tablet, and many more.

Janea Systems’ recent announcement about their Node.js for Mobile Apps project is another step towards addressing this growing trend. Earlier this year Janea Systems had shown a demo of Node.js running on iOS, today the project is available for free and is open source so that the community can start building on it.  We are delighted to see Node-ChakraCore being used as a key part of this solution to provide Node.js runtime on iOS and to expand the reach of Node.js usage.

What’s Next

The focus for Node-ChakraCore is to continue making progress on performance, compatibility and cross-platform support for the EcmaScript Internationalization API. In the last 3 months, Node-ChakraCore has gained 30% perf improvement on ACME Air benchmark on Linux. We will be sharing more on this in the coming months.

Get involved

We would like to thank everyone who is already involved and invite more people to help advance the Node-ChakraCore project. If you are building something using Node-ChakraCore, we’d love to hear from you and learn from your experience. Here are some of the ways to help out. If you are a:

  1. Node.js Developer – Try testing Node-ChakraCore in your project, and use Time-Travel debugging with VSCode and let us know how it goes.
  2. Node.js module maintainer – Try testing your module with Node-ChakraCore. Use these instructions to add Node-ChakraCore in your own CI to ensure ongoing compatibility. If you run into issues, please let us know at our repo or our gitter channel.
  3. Node.js native module maintainer – Consider porting your module to N-API. N-API is the future of native modules on Node, and porting your module will help you reduce your maintenance costs and be ready for future versions of Node.js and will also work with Node-ChakraCore.

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback, so please keep it coming. Find us on Twitter @ChakraCore, our gitter channel or open an issue on Node-ChakraCore github repo to start a conversation.

Arunesh Chandra, Sr. PM JavaScript Platform and Tools

Go to Source

Share this
04 Oct 2017

Microsoft to bring Spotify to Groove Music Pass customers

Author: Jerry Johnson
Go to Source

With the continued advancement of music streaming today, all the world’s music has become easily accessible across a variety of devices, unlocking new ways to discover and experience music. As we continue to listen to what our customers want in their music experience we know that access to the best streaming service, the largest catalog of music, and a variety of subscriptions is top of the list.

Which is why we’re excited to announce that we’re expanding our partnership with Spotify to bring the world’s largest music streaming service to our Groove Music Pass customers. Beginning this week*, Groove Music Pass customers can easily move all their curated playlists and collections directly into Spotify. Plus, you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium.**

Groove logo with arrow pointing to the right toward the Spotify logo

We will continue to invest in and update the Groove Music app on all Windows devices to support playback and management of owned music, but after December 31, 2017, the Groove Music app will no longer offer the option to stream, purchase, and download music.

Transition your music with just a few clicks

Beginning this week for Windows Insiders and rolling out broadly next week**, Groove Music Pass subscribers will be able to easily transition existing music collections and playlists to Spotify with a few clicks.

Here’s how:

1. Launch the latest Groove app: Log into the latest Groove app version from the Windows Store or Xbox One. Once you’re signed into your account, you’ll see a pop-up window from Spotify with instructions on how to login or create a Spotify account.

Groove notification prompting users to transition their music to Spotify

2. Log in to Spotify:

  • If you have an existing Spotify account, you’ll be prompted to input your username and password.
  • If you’re new to Spotify, and on your PC, you’ll be asked a few basic questions to help you create an account, starting with a username.

Prompt asking users to connect Groove Music to their Spotify account by signing into Spotify or creating a new Spotify account.

3. Move your music: After signing into your Spotify account, we’ll move your music collection and playlists from Groove Music to Spotify.

Prompt to move music from Groove to Spotify

4. Play music in Spotify: The process of moving your music to your Spotify account will take a few minutes. After completing step three, you’ll be able to listen to your music library in the Spotify app!

Confirmation of music being moved to Spotify from Groove.

Spotify is the world’s largest music streaming service

With Spotify on Windows, music fans will enjoy an incredible music streaming experience with a catalog of more than 30 million songs, popular playlists like Today’s Top Hits, RapCaviar, and Rock. This, plus on-demand access across all your devices (PCs, mobile phones, tablets, home entertainment systems, cars, gaming consoles, including the recently launched Spotify on Xbox One, and more).

Whether you prefer to curate your own playlists or seek inspiration from others, Spotify’s extensive music library offers everything from the classics to classical, pop to hip hop, jazz, country, and the list goes on! Spotify also offers music fans a personalized music experience with playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar, so you can always hear your next favorite song.

Exploring the music collection is as simple as searching keywords, browsing playlists, or discovering new music through tunes picked just for your taste.

More partner music experiences to choose from

The Windows Store offers a variety of music services in addition to Spotify, allowing customers to stream or download their favorite tunes wherever they are. Visit the Windows Store for a complete list of music services available.

Our partners are at the center of delivering great experiences on Windows and enabling them to shine on our platform is a top priority. By collaborating closely with industry leaders like Spotify, we can deliver the music customers want and focus on new and innovative ways to experience music.

Thanks to our community for your support on this journey. Feel free to check out the FAQ.

*An update to the Groove Music app including the ability to move music to Spotify, will be available for Windows Insiders beginning this week. The Groove Music app update for Windows 10 and Xbox One devices will roll out broadly the week of October 9, 2017 and will enable Groove Music Pass customers to move existing music collections and playlists to Spotify. Groove Music Pass content will be available to move to Spotify until at least January 31, 2018.

 **To find out whether you may be eligible for a 60-day free trial of Spotify Premium, check out our FAQ.

Go to Source

Share this
03 Oct 2017

Forza Motorsport 7 now available worldwide on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs

Author: Brian Ekberg
Go to Source

  • Standard Edition – This edition features the full version of the game running at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. Players can collect over 700 Forzavista™ cars including the largest assortment of Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis in any racing game. With over 30 world-famous environments and tracks featuring dynamic weather and race conditions that change every time you return to the track, no two races are the same.
  • Deluxe Edition – Deluxe Edition includes the full version of the game, VIP membership ($20 value), and both the Hoonigan and Fate of the Furious car packs.
  • Ultimate Edition – This edition is for the Forza fan wanting it all. In addition to the content in the Deluxe Edition, Ultimate Edition owners will have access to the Forza Motorsport 7 Car Pass ($30 value).

And with Xbox One X coming Nov. 7 even more players will get to experience gorgeous graphics in native 4K, at 60fps and HDR. If you haven’t experienced Forza Motorsport 7 yet, check it out now by downloading the free demo from the Windows Store here. See you on the track!

Go to Source

Share this
02 Oct 2017

Windows 10 Tip: Export your Minecraft creations to Remix3D.com

Author: Heather Alekson
Go to Source

The Minecraft Team recently released the Better Together Update, designed to unify the console, mobile and Windows 10 PC versions of the game under one single Minecraft, which includes cross-platform play, infinite worlds, the community Marketplace and servers. And for Windows 10 PC players, integration with Paint 3D and Remix3D.com makes it easy to export and share 3D creations and inspire others.

Today, we’re going to show you how to get started creating your very own 3D content in Windows!

Start by opening a new creative world, or an existing creative world.

If you are not using a creative world, you will need to enter creative mode by opening the in-game menu, enabling cheats, and changing your Personal game mode to “Creative”. This will allow you to use cheats, which are needed to enable the new Structure Block in-game. You will also need to change the Trust Player Permissions dropdown to “Operator”. This will allow you to use cheats, which are needed to enable the new Structure Block in-game.

Build the object you’d like to export from Minecraft

Build the object you’d like to export from Minecraft

 Build the object you’d like to export from Minecraft

Give your in-game player a Structure Block

Now you will need to give your in-game player a Structure Block by pressing “/” and typing the following command: “/give @p structure_block” without the quotation marks.

Give your in-game player a Structure Block

Now place the Structure Block on the ground near the creation you would like to export by holding the Structure Block in your characters hand, and right-clicking on the ground near your creation.

Right-click on the Structure Block, and fill in the bounding coordinates for your creation.

Right-click on the Structure Block, and fill in the bounding coordinates for your creation.

You will need to fill in the X, Y, and Z coordinates for both the “Size” and “Offset”. Then enter a name for your creation, and select “3D Export”.

 Now select “Export,” and to export your structure to Remix3D!

Now select “Export,” and to export your structure to Remix3D!

This will also prompt you to save the model locally in File Explorer.

Now select “Export,” and to export your structure to Remix3D!

Add a description and tags to your 3D model to classify your content on Remix3D.

Once finished, select “Upload” and then “Visit Model” to go directly to our community and see our village created in Minecraft, after it has been uploaded to Remix3D.com!

Add a description and tags

Share your creations to social media directly from Remix3D and inspire your friends!

Check out your creation on Remix3D.com and select your social media of choice to share your creation with friends.

Share your creations to social media

In case you missed it, here’s last week’s Windows 10 Tip:

Windows 10 Tip: Work better together with Microsoft Excel

We hope this has inspired you to start creating in 3D!

Go to Source

Share this
02 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2017
02 Oct 2017

© 2010-2018 Alt-Tech Inc. All rights reserved.

Click Me