PROPOSAL: Method and Field Literals

Neal Gafter neal at
Thu Mar 12 08:23:27 PDT 2009

On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 8:16 AM, David Goodenough
<david.goodenough at> wrote:
> You are right that getting Field or Method literals into Annotations
> would be difficult, because the Annotation rules require compile time
> constants as arguements (that is not what it says in the language
> spec but it is what it means).  Because Field and Method objects are not
> stored in the class file directly (they are reconstructed at run time when
> they are used from a binary form) it would be extreemly difficult to regard
> these as compile time constants, and it would require not only a language
> syntax change, compiler changes and run time changes, but also a change
> to the class file format.

I think adding support for field and method literals to the language
can be done as a separate step from supporting them in annotations.
Doing the first step as a new expression form lays the groundwork for
extending annotations as a separate step, possibly in JDK8, but to me
the first step looks small enough for project coin.

More information about the coin-dev mailing list