State of the Java Style Guidelines document

Lars Francke lars.francke at
Mon Aug 7 11:59:28 UTC 2017

Hi all,

just another bump. Any idea on what the process is from here on? Who can I
contact to get this going?


On Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 9:37 AM, Lars Francke <lars.francke at>

> That's good to hear, thanks for the clarification.
> For now that leaves the question what's blocking this from being published
> or maybe what can be done to move this forward. Any idea who can publish
> this and/or what procedures to follow?
> On Thu, Jul 27, 2017 at 10:39 PM, Jim Graham <james.graham at>
> wrote:
>> I've already said that I think it should be published.  I have an
>> objection that I've noted just to keep it on the record (via broken record
>> loop), but that wasn't a blocking objection...
>>                         ...jim
>> On 7/27/17 1:44 AM, Lars Francke wrote:
>>> Thanks for the feedback everyone!
>>> I understand that people have different personal preferences various
>>> topics and we'll never be able to find one style that accommodates all of
>>> them.
>>> Just to explain what my personal motivation for this push is:
>>> Lots of open-source projects (I'm mostly working with the Big Data
>>> Apache projects) list the old Sun Code Conventions[1] as the code style to
>>> follow. Unfortunately those haven't been updated in 20 years and they leave
>>> out lots of minor details that have been clarified in the new version. So
>>> for me a revised version of this old document (with no/little changes in
>>> the actual code style) would already be a huge benefit.
>>> I'm not lobbying for these style guidelines to be adopted by every
>>> OpenJDK project (or any project in fact). I'd love for those guidelines to
>>> be published as-is as "guidelines" that projects (outside of the OpenJDK as
>>> well) can adopt. Nothing's stopping you (as is done in Apache projects
>>> frequently) to have your own guidelines "inherit" from these and overwrite
>>> certain rules.
>>>  >I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to reduce the readability of my code
>>> because the one person in charge had something against a single additional
>>> line in the source base that would provide clarity...
>>> People obviously have different opinions on readability and I'm not sure
>>> if it's a good idea to list alternative versions for all contentious issues
>>> because it would make the whole document more or less meaningless. I think
>>> Jonathan has a good point in that the guidelines already cater for
>>> differing styles and you could publish your own version for the FX project
>>> that lists the points where you deviate from these guidelines.
>>> A more procedural question though: Assuming we can find a document
>>> version that we all agree on. What would be needed to publish it and who'd
>>> be the right person to do so?
>>> Thank you,
>>> Lars
>>> [1] <>
>>> On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 9:46 PM, Jim Graham <james.graham at
>>> <mailto:james.graham at>> wrote:
>>>     Agreed, but this version is already in use in the code and was
>>> adopted by an entire group, though not the group that
>>>     the effort towards updating this document was based in.
>>>     I had suggested it to the author.  It seemed to go nowhere and I
>>> don't believe it was presented in a poll that was
>>>     sent out asking for feedback on style variations so it never got the
>>> visibility I think it deserved.  There were
>>>     clear biases to ignore the input at the time and I thought it
>>> short-sighted.
>>>     There are many areas where I disagree with the variant chosen, but
>>> will go with the flow, but this is one area where
>>>     I really don't get why the suggestion was ignored as I see it as
>>> superior in terms of maintainability on every
>>>     single front to what was documented - to the extent where I will
>>> always be non-compliant with the suggested form -
>>>     I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to reduce the readability of my code
>>> because the one person in charge had something
>>>     against a single additional line in the source base that would
>>> provide clarity...
>>>                                      ...jim
>>>     On 7/26/17 12:30 PM, Jonathan Gibbons wrote:
>>>         Religious wars are waged over lesser issues.
>>>         I think it is presumptious to recommend a style for all Java
>>> code, but I do think it is reasonable to establish
>>>         coding guidelines for a specific code base, such as OpenJDK.
>>> Even so, opinions will still differ, and there was
>>>         an attempt in Andreas' work to accommodate reasonable
>>> alternatives, with a general proviso of, "when editing
>>>         existing code that has a consistent style, try to conform to
>>> that style, and not slavishly conform to some
>>>         different standard."
>>>         -- Jon
>>>         On 07/26/2017 12:21 PM, Jim Graham wrote:
>>>             Sorry to sound like a broken record here - I think it should
>>> be published too, but... ;)
>>>             If only it would adopt the convention used in much of 2D and
>>> FX of putting a brace on its own line after a
>>>             line-wrapped conditional/method declaration (preferably as
>>> the primary form, but even as an acceptable
>>>             alternative):
>>>             public void longMethodNameUsedOnlyForIllustration(SomeLongClassName
>>> paramA,
>>>  LongClassName paramB,
>>>                                                                int
>>> someOtherParam)
>>>                      throws OtherFormsAreUglySmileyFaceException
>>>             {
>>>                  ...
>>>             }
>>>             provides the cleanest and clearest sight line to see where
>>> the body of the method/class/conditional starts...
>>>             </broken record mode>
>>>                              ...jim
>>>             On 7/26/17 3:21 AM, Remi Forax wrote:
>>>                 I agree with Lars,
>>>                 this should be published ASAP.
>>>                 regards,
>>>                 Remi
>>>                 On July 26, 2017 8:41:29 AM GMT+02:00, Lars Francke <
>>> lars.francke at
>>>                 <mailto:lars.francke at>> wrote:
>>>                     Hi everyone,
>>>                     I've been following the work Andreas Lundblad has
>>> done on the new Java
>>>                     Style Guidelines[1]. I know that he's not with
>>> Oracle anymore but the
>>>                     draft
>>>                     looks good (and has done so for at least a year), I
>>> think all comments
>>>                     have
>>>                     been worked into it. Why has it not been published?
>>> Is anyone working
>>>                     on
>>>                     this, if yes, who?
>>>                     I'd be happy to do any work needed to bring it to a
>>> final and published
>>>                     form if needed. But to me it looks ready to be
>>> published today (apart
>>>                     from
>>>                     a few minor issues I've reported to Andreas already).
>>>                     The old code conventions from 1997 can really use an
>>> updated version.
>>>                     Cheers,
>>>                     Lars
>>>                     [1] <
>>> lundblad/styleguide/index-v6.html
>>>                     <
>>> lundblad/styleguide/index-v6.html>>

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