Thursday, 19 May 2016

What is Nashorn?

Brief description about Java Nashorn

               Nashorn is a Javascript Engine developed by Oracle in Java Platform. It is a part of Java 8. The Nashorn name is the German translation of rhinoceros which came from the cover of Javascript book of O'Reilly Associates. The performance of the Nashorn is several times better than the old Javascript Engine Rhino. You can invoke Nashorn from a Java application using the Java Scripting API to interpret embedded scripts, or you can pass the script to the jjs or jrunscript tool. Nashorn is the only JavaScript engine included in the JDK.




               Nashorn's goal is to implement a lightweight high-performance JavaScript runtime in Java with a native JVM. This Project intends to enable Java developers embedding of JavaScript in Java applications via JSR-223 and to develop free standing JavaScript applications using the jrunscript command-line tool.

               This Project is designed to take full advantage of newer technologies for native JVMs that have been made since the original development of JVM-based JavaScript which was started in 1997 by Netscape and maintained by Mozilla. This Project will be an entirely new code base, focused on these newer technologies. In particular the project will utilize the MethodHandles and InvokeDynamic APIs described in JSR-292.


Invoking Nashorn from Java Code


               To invoke Nashorn in your Java application, create an instance of the Nashorn engine using the Java Scripting API.



To get an instance of the Nashorn engine:


1. Import the javax.script package.

2. Create a ScriptEngineManager object.

                The ScriptEngineManager class is the starting point for the Java Scripting API. A ScriptEngineManager object is used to instantiate ScriptEngine objects and maintain global variable values shared by them.

3. Get a ScriptEngine object from the manager using the getEngineByName() method.

             This method takes one String argument with the name of the script engine. To get an instance of the Nashorn engine, pass in "nashorn". Alternatively, you can use any of the following: "Nashorn", "javascript", "JavaScript", "js", "JS", "ecmascript", "ECMAScript".

               After you have the Nashorn engine instance, you can use it to evaluate statements and script files, set variables, and so on. The below example provides simple Java application code that evaluates a print("Hello, World!"); statement using Nashorn.

Example :




//Evaluating a Script Statement Using Nashorn

import javax.script.*;

public class EvalScript {

public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {

// create a script engine manager

ScriptEngineManager factory = new ScriptEngineManager();

// create a Nashorn script engine

ScriptEngine engine = factory.getEngineByName("nashorn");

// evaluate JavaScript statement

try {

engine.eval("print('Hello, World!');");

} catch (final ScriptException se) { se.printStackTrace(); }

}

}

Invoking Nashorn from the Command Line


There are two command-line tools that can be used to invoke the Nashorn engine:

  • jrunscript

This is a generic command that invokes any available script engine compliant with JSR 223. By default, without any options, jrunscript invokes the Nashorn engine, because it is the default script engine in the JDK.

  • jjs

This is the recommended tool, created specifically for Nashorn. To evaluate a script file using Nashorn, pass the name of the script file to the jjs tool. To launch an interactive shell that interprets statements passed in using standard input, start the jjs tool without specifying any script files.

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