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Luddites - Watch Your Back

Posted by brucechapman on December 17, 2007 at 1:54 PM PST

Neal Gafter's latest blog on closures has attracted two or three comments from people wanting to object to generics, and a number of other conservative commenters voicing an objection to closures. Josh's JavaPolis presentation makes a valid point that these opinions cannot be ignored.

I have invested some time getting my head around some (but not all) of the closures proposals. I don't know whether I find that easier or harder than your average practitioner, but with a little effort I can now relatively easily read and comprehend most example code.

I have also invested some time getting my head around the early draft of JSR-308 and there are parts (like method receivers) of that which I just can't get my head around. Maybe I'm thick, or maybe the spec does not do a good job of explaining what is fundamentally a good idea, or maybe the idea is fundamentally wrong. I don't yet know.

What I do know is that closures is not the only language proposal out there that can make a java program look foreign to those who can't or won't put in the effort required to internalize them. JSR-308 makes closures look simple, and its a lot closer, in terms of the JSR lifecycle, to becoming a part of the java language specification.

To all those who are voicing opinions against language changes that make java more complex, have you read the JSR-308 early draft? And have you sent your comments to the expert group?

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