NetKernel News Volume 1 Issue 9

December 18th 2010

What's new this week?

There is a new full distribution NKSE 4.0.2, get it from the usual location...

Why? Well, thanks to Jeff Rogers, we discovered that the shell script handling for whitespace in the installation path (often present on OSX), had a side-effect of passing the extra JVM options as a single item (so effectively they were not getting set). Jeff has provided a much improved bash script that handles the whitespace and JVM params properly. As a bonus it also supports a "-debug" switch to start the JVM in remote debug mode - this means we have dropped the old script.

Unfortunately the boot shell script is the last non-hot-replaceable part of the system. So to make sure everyone is on the same foundation there is a new distro image. Please update to this version since all future updates will be targeted to the 4.0.2 repository.

NKSE 4.0.2 incorporates all the previous system updates and also includes the following new updates...

System Updates:


Based on user feedback the "New Module Wizard" received some updates. The naming of the new module's directory now follows the "dotted urn" convention. On the final screen a link is provided directly to any public service that was set up by the wizard for direct testing. The whitespace formatting of the generated module.xml is now vastly improved (see xml-core for a new tool)

The "Deployment Editor Tool" is updated and now prevents accidental damage to stem modules (ie core system modules).


An handler has been added to the pluggable-overlay. This allows you to provide a service request that will be called and which receives any exception thrown by a failed inner request.


Fixed ModuleManager so that runlevels can be changed dynamically and tightened validation of runlevel so that it fails-safe. The org.netkernel.layer0.representation.WrappedThrowable class has been refactored to layer0 from layer1 (see change to pluggable-overlay)


active:XMLTidy is a new pretty XML formatter with special attention to whitespace.


The UI received some further attention. It now supports a package pick list that allows multiple selections to be made at once. Filtering of visible packages has been simplified, and may now be filtered by repository and package sets (eg main, universe etc). The distribution now ships with "multiverse" enabled out of the box - providing access to the extended set of development and 3rd party packages.

Also added is a fail-safe mode in which apposite will always copy the current "modules.xml" to "modules.xml.previous" before writing out the new version to trigger the system update.

Repository Updates


The JMS transport is now less chatty when it can't connect - it logs an error once on the first failed attempt to connect.


The demo transport is disabled by default to prevent spurious "failed to connect logs" before you've actually started doing the tutorial. The tutorial explains how to start it.

Developer News - NetKernel Quick Reference

We have written a detailed quick reference sheet that can be printed and used as a developer cheat sheet. It covers pretty much all areas of development from modules, spaces, overlays, DPML and NKF.

If there are any areas you think we've missed please let us know.

ROC News

Randy's article on NetKernel grammars is now up on InfoQ

And, Tony is writing a blog entry . It must be Christmas.

Season Greetings

Well I don't intend to release a newsletter next Friday and we will be operating support-cover-only in the Christmas to New Year period, so this is the last newsletter of the year.

Thank you all for your enthusiasm, feedback, support and general encouragement. We're very pleased to finally have NK4 out the door and we're really looking forward to 2010.

Have a great holiday and we wish you a successful and prosperous New Year.


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