Bitten by the lambda parameter name

Zhong Yu zhong.j.yu at
Tue Jul 16 16:29:34 PDT 2013

It creates a dilemma for API designers. In this case Doug Lea chooses
efficiency, at the cost of annoying user Remi Forax.

Programmers would love to reuse simple names. Here's an example that
seems pretty reasonable, note the two "event" variables

    buttonB.onClick(event->{ form.submit(); })

Zhong Yu

On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 3:20 PM, Dan Smith <daniel.smith at> wrote:
> On Jul 16, 2013, at 9:20 AM, Remi Forax <forax at> wrote:
>> On 07/16/2013 05:05 PM, Maurizio Cimadamore wrote:
>>> On 16/07/13 16:00, Peter Levart wrote:
>>>> Perhaps here, an overloaded Map.computeIfAbsent that takes a Supplier
>>>> instead of Function would be handy. Even when you need the key to
>>>> construct new value, it is usually ready in some effectively-final
>>>> variable in the scope. And when you don't need the key, a constructor
>>>> reference could be applied like:
>>>> partySetMap.computeIfAbsent(kind, HashSet::new).add(...);
>>> +1
>>> I think the underlying problem to this discussion might be that there
>>> are places (and computeIfAbsent seems to be one of them) where the
>>> lambdi-fication of the library took a somewhat convoluted path, in
>>> which the 'same' variables needs to be supplied multiple times in
>>> order to keep the chain happy (which then turns out to be problematic
>>> because of scoping rules).
>> There is a big difference, if you provide the key as parameter the
>> lambda will be a constant so the cost of using it is 0
>> (if you forget the initialization cost), if you don't provide the key as
>> parameter, you will need to capture it and in that case, the runtime
>> will create a fresh lambda for each call.
> So this amounts to a language feature request to facilitate a performance optimization.  You'd like to avoid capture by using a pattern that relies on re-declaring variables for identical values, because capture is less efficient.  Thus, you wish the language were more friendly to re-declarations.
> In such situations, it's appropriate to ask: is this the tail wagging the dog?  Capture is the _right_ way to express what's going on, even if it's less performant.  Right?
> I wonder if the efficiency problem will be optimized away someday.  Maybe with value types, the VM could avoid boxing up the capture variables with the underlying function?
> —Dan

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