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Poll Result: Majority Supports Including Closures in Java 7

Posted by editor on November 27, 2009 at 9:12 AM PST

Slightly more than half of respondants to last week's poll believe that closures will improve Java. A total of 365 votes were cast. The exact poll question and results were:

What do you think about closures in JDK 7?

  • 51% (185 votes) - Closures will improve Java
  • 12% (44 votes) - I was/am opposed to closures in Java
  • 14% (50 votes) - Where was the community process in this decision?
  • 9% (32 votes) - I don't know
  • 13% (46 votes) - What's a closure?
  • 2% (8 votes) - Other

While this is not a scientific poll, the results clearly show that, among those who chose to vote, closures in Java are viewed positively by a majority of developers who understand what closures are.

Unsurprisingly (to me), a significant number of people chose to register complaint on how the decision to include closures in Java 7 came about. "Where was the community process in this decision?" is a question that was asked by dozens of commentators immediately after Mark Reinhold's surprise announcement at Devoxx that closures (of a certain type) will be included in Java 7. While we can't tell for sure, my guess is that more of the people who selected this option oppose closures in Java -- but, I also think that this option was probably selected by many people who might favor the inclusion of closures in Java, but object to the effective closure of debate on closures in Java 7 that occurred a year ago, only to be followed by a sudden announcement out of the blue that closures will be included and Java 7, and "here's the type of closure we're going to include." That seemed rather dictatorial to me.

In his comment posted to the poll, ipsi said:

I'm a little concerned about the community process in this decision... I haven't seen the actual announcement (is that visible online anywhere? Or at the least the actual wording?), but it sounds like the announcement was "There will be closures in JDK 7". Not "Well, we've decided to push back the JDK 7 release for reasons that have nothing to do with the Sun/Oracle Deal, and now have time to revisit the closure proposals", not "Project leadership has changed, and we're interested in revisiting closures", but "Closures are coming. Our closures. Applaud. Now".

It's true that a few days ago, in his post "There's not a moment to lose!", Mark Reinhold invited the community to participate going forward:

Revising a programming language that

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nearly same results in german java community

This quickvote on shows nearly the same results. It is a German poll with 377 votes: 47 % look forward to the decision, 20 % think that Closures are positive for Java but criticize the missing community process. Regards Claudia