❯ Guillaume Laforge

URL slug or how to remove accents from strings in Java

In this article, we’ll figure out how to create slugs. Not the slobbery kind of little gastropods that crawls on the ground. Instead, we’ll see how to create the short hyphened text you can see in the URL of your web browser, and that is often a URL-friendly variation of the title of the article. Interestingly, one of the most popular posts on my blog is an almost 20 year old article that explains how to remove accents from a string. Read more...

Gemini Function Calling

A promising feature of the Gemini large language model released recently by Google DeepMind, is the support for function calls. It’s a way to supplement the model, by letting it know an external functions or APIs can be called. So you’re not limited by the knowledge cut-off of the model: instead, in the flow of the conversation with the model, you can pass a list of functions the model will know are available to get the information it needs, to complete the generation of its answer. Read more...

Visualize and Inspect Workflows Executions

When using a service like Google Cloud Workflows, in particular as your workflows get bigger, it can be difficult to understand what’s going on under the hood. With multiple branches, step jumps, iterations, and also parallel branches and iterations, if your workflow fails during an execution, until now, you had to check the execution status, or go deep through the logs to find more details about the failed step. I have good news for you! Read more...

Hands on Codelabs to dabble with Large Language Models in Java

Hot on the heels of the release of Gemini, I’d like to share a couple of resources I created to get your hands on large language models, using LangChain4J, and the PaLM 2 model. Later on, I’ll also share with you articles and codelabs that take advantage of Gemini, of course. The PaLM 2 model supports 2 modes: text generation, and chat. In the 2 codelabs, you’ll need to have created an account on Google Cloud, and created a project. Read more...

Get Started with Gemini in Java

Google announced today the availability of Gemini, its latest and more powerful Large Language Model. Gemini is multimodal, which means it’s able to consume not only text, but also images or videos. I had the pleasure of working on the Java samples and help with the Java SDK, with wonderful engineer colleagues, and I’d like to share some examples of what you can do with Gemini, using Java! First of all, you’ll need to have an account on Google Cloud and created a project. Read more...

Tech Watch #5 — November, 15, 2023

Some friends shared this article from Uwe Friedrichsen, tilted back to the future, that talks about this feeling of “déjà-vu”, this impression that in IT we keep on reinventing the wheel. With references to mainframes, Uwe compared CICS to Lambda function scheduling, JCL to step functions, mainframe software development environments to the trendy platform engineering. There are two things I like about this article. First of all, it rings a bell with me, as we’ve seen the pendulum swing as we keep reinventing some patterns or rediscovering certain best practices, sometimes favoring an approach one day, and coming back to another approach the next day. Read more...

Tech Watch #4 — October, 27, 2023

The State of AI report is pretty interesting to read (even if long!). Among the major sections: research, industry, but also politics, safety, and some predictions. You’ll find an executive summary in one slide, on slide #8. On #22, emergent capabilities of LLMs is covered and mentions Stanford’s research that talks about the importance of more linear and continuous measures as otherwise capabilities sound like they emerge out of the blue. Read more...

Tech Watch #3 — October, 20, 2023

Stop Using char in Java. And Code Points It’s a can of worms, when you start messing with chars, code points, and you’re likely going to get it wrong in the end. As much as possible, stay away from chars and code points, and instead, use as much as possible the String methods like indexOf() / substring(), and some regex when you really need to find grapheme clusters. Paul King shared his presentations on Why use Groovy in 2023 and an update on the Groovy 5 roadmapIt’s interesting to see how and where Groovy goes beyond what is offered by Java, sometimes thanks to its dynamic nature, sometimes because of its compile-time transformation capabilities. Read more...

Tech Watch #2 — Oct 06, 2023

Generative AI exists because of the transformer I confess I rarely read the Financial Times, but they have a really neat articles with animations on how large language models work, thanks to the transformer neural network architecture, an architecture invented by Google in 2017. They talk about text vector embeddings, how the self-attention makes LLM understand the relationship between words and the surrounding context, and also doesn’t forget to mention hallucinations, how “grounding” and RLHF (Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback) can help mitigate them to some extent. Read more...

Client-side consumption of a rate-limited API in Java

In the literature, you’ll easily find information on how to rate-limit your API. I even talked about Web API rate limitation years ago at a conference, covering the usage of HTTP headers like X-RateLimit-*. Rate limiting is important to help your service cope with too much load, or also to implement a tiered pricing scheme (the more you pay, the more requests you’re allowed to make in a certain amount of time). Read more...