Fwd: Proposal for generics over primitives needs a rethink

Brian Goetz brian.goetz at oracle.com
Fri Jan 2 17:37:21 UTC 2015

> All I'm asking for is a concrete explanation

This all sounds very reasonable, except that it's not actually all that 
reasonable at all.

> - If you do, then please share it with us, because it's missing from
> the paper which I and others have taken the time to read and
> understand and evaluate.

We have to divide our time between exploring, implementing, and 
communicating.  The demand for communication is infinite, as you've so 
ably demonstrated; if we provided all the communication that was 
demanded, there'd be no time left for doing, and we'd all lose.  So, I'm 
sorry if my explanation seems inadequate to you.  Perhaps you could look 
at it as half full rather than half empty: you got quite a bit of 
attention, you got your idea heard, you got confirmation that these 
ideas had been seriously examined before, and you got some explanation 
-- all at the time basically of your choosing.  That's a lot; sorry if 
its not enough for you.

> - Otherwise, if you don't have any such explanation, then there's
> something missing here, and it seems to be that Any should be back on
> the table for consideration.

The bar for "idea should be on the table" is not "Gavin thinks it is 
good enough."  For that matter, I'm not even sure what it means to be 
"on the table" (or whether this idea is, or isn't on the table, or even 
where the table is.)  But we've discussed it and considered it to no 
small degree, and will probably consider it some more.  I think that's 
all the table-hood you can reasonable ask for.

> - Or are you saying that such an explanation exists, but you're for
> some reason unable to share it with me?

We've shared some of our thoughts.  Hopefully, enough to convince you 
and others that this is not just something that never occurred to us, 
but that it's been examined and some smart people have some serious 
concerns.  If that's not enough for you, I'm sorry.  We try very hard to 
balance the various responsibilities of "doing" vs "communicating".  I 
understand that we can't make everyone happy.

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