Opportunity Cost and Proposal Selection

james lowden jl0235 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 1 06:21:39 PDT 2009


I noticed that the version of the "large arrays" linked from your blog is the older (and messier) one; I updated it to this one:


--- On Tue, 3/31/09, Joe Darcy <Joe.Darcy at Sun.COM> wrote:

> From: Joe Darcy <Joe.Darcy at Sun.COM>
> Subject: Opportunity Cost and Proposal Selection
> To: "coin-dev at openjdk.java.net" <coin-dev at openjdk.java.net>
> Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 8:58 PM
> Hello.
> There has been some traffic on the list about criteria for
> proposal 
> selection (and non-selection) and I wanted to discuss that
> briefly.
> First, a reminder from some earlier blog entries describing
> the context 
> for Project Coin:
> "Especially with the maturity of the Java platform,
> the onus is on the 
> proposer to convince that a language change should go in;
> the onus is 
> not to prove the change should stay out."
> http://blogs.sun.com/darcy/entry/criteria_for_desirable_small_language
> December 23, 2008
> "Given the rough timeline for JDK 7 and other on-going
> efforts to change 
> the language, such as modules and annotations on types,
> only a limited 
> number of small changes can be considered for JDK 7."
> http://blogs.sun.com/darcy/entry/guidance_measure_language_change_size
> December 11, 2008
> With nearly 70 proposals submitted to the mailing list and
> the Sun bug 
> database having well over 100 open "requests for
> enhancements" (rfe's) 
> for the language, the large majority of those proposals and
> rfe's will 
> *not* be included in JDK 7 as part of Project Coin or any
> other effort.
> Project Coin will be limited to around 5 proposals total. 
> That's it.
> Therefore for Project Coin, in addition to determining
> whether a 
> proposal to change the language is in and of itself
> appropriate, a 
> determination also has to be made as to whether the change
> is more 
> compelling than all but four or so other proposals.
> In economic terms, there an an opportunity cost in the
> proposal 
> selection; that is, because of finite resources, choosing
> to have a 
> particular proposal in the platform removes the opportunity
> to do other 
> proposals.
> There will be good, compelling proposals that would improve
> the language 
> *not* selected for Project Coin because there are a full
> set of better, 
> more compelling proposals that are more useful to include
> instead.
> Having available prototypes for proposals, running the
> existing tests, 
> and writing new tests can only better inform the
> forthcoming proposal 
> evaluation and selection.
> -Joe


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