Elliotte Harold on Java 7

February 1, 2007

Whilst I don’t agree with all of the points he’s making, anyone who’s interested in the future of Java as a language or generally geeks out on programming language development should check out Elliotte Harold’s recent blog posts. Start here.

Elliotte is conservative in his approach to Java, arguing that additional syntaxes and ones which make constructs implicit are bad for learning a language and bad for understanding programs. They’re valid points. On the other hand I can also see that there’s no point understanding programs that no-one runs any more because the programmers got bored and went off to program .net or ruby, which is what Sun must be worried about.

In his latest post he takes apart a proposed syntax for cleaning up functor anonymous inner classes (implementations of interfaces with only one method). I’m not entirely convinced by it either, but I am convinced by the requirement – if Java is going to be useful in an increasingly distributed environment it needs better syntax for doing things like callbacks and threads.

Previously, when Elliotte was disparaging about the properties proposals (which are almost totally over-complex in my eyes) he had a better proposal waiting in the wings – hopefully that’s the case this time!

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