PRE-PROPOSAL: Source and Encoding keyword

Jeremy Manson jeremy.manson at
Sun Mar 15 16:58:01 PDT 2009


I wrote out a long response to each of your points, but I realized
that perhaps what it boiled down to was something I said in my
previous message: "I'm not objecting to versioning in principle, but I
think there are enough unanswered questions that this proposal is
probably beyond the scope of "small changes"."

You are saying that if I have a problem with something, it is the
-source flag.  You are absolutely right: I have problems with the
-source flag.  Those problems should be sorted out before we include
it in the language.  Each solution to each of these problems makes
this change larger:

1) API / Classfile compatibility

2) Backticks for identifiers

3) A need for thorough documentation for each potential version we
support.  (You seem to be suggesting that this would be
implementation-dependent, but that's unlike everything else in the
language.  Java is historically opposed to things that are
implementation-dependent.  Part of the selling point of Java is that
code written for / compiled on a version of Java 7 will work with /
compile on all compliant Java 7 implementations.).

4) Is "source" really necessary at the top of the file (you seem to be
agreeing that it is), and if so, is that what we actually want?

I also think it would be worthwhile finding out how this proposal gels
with the module system they are introducing.

Fundamentally, it seems to me to be a large problem to solve, and I
think the right answer is to start a proper JSR and make sure you get
it right.

It is, of course, by no means important to Project Coin that I (as one
person) happen to think that this change is (or should be) too large.
But I suspect that I'm not the only one.


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