For further consideration...

David Goodenough david.goodenough at
Wed Mar 25 02:29:19 PDT 2009

On Tuesday 24 March 2009, Joe Darcy wrote:
> Greetings.
> In the first three weeks  of Project Coin over two dozen proposals have
> been sent to the mailing list for evaluation. The proposals have ranged
> the gamut from new kinds of expressions, to new statements forms, to
> improved generics support.  Thanks to everyone who has sent in
> interesting, thoughtful proposals and contributed to informative
> discussions on the list!
> While there is a bit less than a week left in the call for proposals
> period, there has been enough discussion on the list to winnow the slate
> of proposals sent in so far to those that merit further consideration
> for possible inclusion in the platform.
> First, Bruce Chapman's proposal to extend the scope of imports to
> include package annotations will be implemented under JLS maintenance so
> further action is unnecessary on this matter as part of Project Coin.
> Second, since the JSR 294 expert group is discussing adding a module
> level of accessibility to the language, the decision of whether or not
> to include Adrian Kuhn's proposal of letting "package" explicitly name
> the default accessibility level will be deferred to that body.  Working
> with Alex, I reviewed the remaining proposals.  Sun believes that the
> following proposals are small enough, have favorable estimated reward to
> effort ratios, and advance the stated criteria of making things
> programmers do everyday easier or supporting platform changes in JDK 7:
>      * Strings in switch, Joe Darcy
>      * Improved Exception Handling for Java, Neal Gafter
>      * Automatic Resource Management, Josh Bloch
>      * Improved Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation,
>        Jeremy Manson
>      * Elvis and Other Null-Safe Operators,
>        Written by Neal Gafter and submitted by Stephen Colebourne
>      * Simplified Varargs Method Invocation, Bob Lee
> As this is just an initial cut and the proposals are not yet in a form
> suitable for direct inclusion in the JLS, work should continue to refine
> these proposed specifications and preferably also to produce prototype
> implementations to allow a more thorough evaluation of the utility and
> scope of the changes.  The email list should focus on improving the
> selected proposals and on getting any remaining new proposals submitted;
> continued discussion of the other proposals is discouraged.
> The final list of small language changes will be determined after the
> call for proposals is over so proposals sent in this week are certainly
> still in the running!  The final list will only have around five items
> so it is possible not all the changes above will be on the eventual
> final list.
> -Joe

I realise that as you say the list is not final, but looking at the list of 
items my lightweight properties proposal is (at least to my eyes) 
considerably smaller than most of the provisional list.  It is smaller
in respect to all of the changes to the language, the changes to the
library and the changes to the compiler.

I realise that anything mentioning properties is mired in history and 
that there seems to be a "do it all or don't touch it" approach to the
problem which is a problem because the result is that it will not happen
for (to be realistic) at least 5 years.

I also realise that the proposal is perhaps not written with detail updates
to the JLS etc, but I have never been involved in such things and would
hesitate to try to write them up properly.  If this is needed then I am sure
it can be done.  I am more than happy to work with anyone prepared
to give constructive help.

I would therefore be interested to know why my proposal is not being
considered.  I believe I have shown need (BeanBindings, Criteria and
PropertyChangeSupport uncheckable string literals for field names).
It is also in the spirit of Java and one of great strengths (compiler/ide 


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