General community and Process Questions (blog comment followups)
amalter at illegalcheese.com
Mon Jul 20 18:15:58 PDT 2009
I'm hoping to productively bring your attention to an off-list
discussion. Recently the jdk7 announce blog "The Planetarium" posted a short
teaser on the state of the upcoming jdk7 language changes (
As often seems to happen (and I'll admit to being part of), the comments
turned into a negative compliant-fest on current proposal set and process
So, while guilty of the sin, I've also felt it a bit unfair. I've been
following Joe Darcy's blog and lurking here on the list from nearly the
inception. It is obvious to me that everyone involved is attempting to be as
open and receptive as possible. Certainly creating a coin proposal and the
mostly constructive criticism they receive here is night and day compared to
the opaque and complex (from the outside) JSR process.
However, when initially responding to the blog post, I also felt a bit of
frustration and I believe I've boiled it down into two core issues that may
turn out to be misunderstandings.
So here goes..
a) The two proposals initially mentioned by the first blog commenter, regex
or non-backslash escaping and multi-line string declarations, seem to meet
the project coin mission perfectly. They have a large
positive usability impact and a large group of casual advocates,
additionally, from those unfamiliar with the jdk internals, they seem like
"small" changes already present in most other modern languages.
However, (from the outside) it appears that those proposals have been
dropped and it's unclear why. I believe that this has lead to some people
into dismissing the entire process as capricious and opaque. Would it be
possible to get an insiders explanation on why these proposals are off the
table? Is it just that no one wrote a formal proposal?
(I'm guessing not, and if I had to take a stab I'd say that there are some
lurking nasty grammar parser issues around change string constant
declarations. However, if someone could clarify, even if it's just something
like "changing javac's parser to accommodate this would be a nightmare", I
think people would understand.)
This leads to
b) What is the process for finalizing the changes that go into coin and then
get folded into the jdk. I understand that people who participate here have
some influence, but who has final say? Does the whole thing get wrapped up
in a JSR and get voted? Is it just a judgement call of the internal
Sun architects? Understanding the process would really help it feel more
'open' and I think get people psyched about contributing.
If this has all been answered before, I apologize, just point me in the
Anyway, I'd also like to thank everyone working on the current set of
proposals. There is a lot of cool stuff in there that will make
the language and platform better.
Thanks for your time,
-Adam Malter @ tradecard . com
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